by Stacey Smith Stacey Smith

Letter from Secretary Kelly Schulz on COVID-19 : Critical Updates & SBA Loan Approval

Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland received the letter below on March 19, 2020 from Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz with links to the most current COVID-19 information and updates, FAQs , loans for businesses, recent orders by Governor Hogan, and a link to send questions and concerns to the Secretary and her team at Maryland Commerce. Be safe.

Mike Galiazzo, RMI President

A Letter From Kelly Schulz, Secretary, Maryland Department of Commerce

Dear Partners and Valued Members of Maryland’s Business Community,

We understand these are difficult times, and we at the Maryland Department of Commerce are here to provide some guidance for businesses across the state.

This morning, Governor Hogan announced that as of today at 5PM , enclosed malls should close pedestrian concourses and other common areas, including food courts and retail stores only accessible from inside the enclosed shopping center. This does not require stores to close that are attached to malls and directly accessible from the outside.

Today’s announcement also impacts recreational establishments across the state, including bingo halls, bowling alleys, pool halls, and amusement parks. Please read the executive order for more information.

These closures are in addition to those previously announced by the Governor, including all bars, restaurants, and other similar establishments that sell food or beverages for consumption on site; all Maryland casinos, racetracks, and simulcast betting facilities ; as well as all fitness centers, health clubs, health spas, gyms, aquatic centers, and self-defense schools. This does not include hair salons, barber shops, funeral homes, or food trucks . Drive-thru, carry-out, and delivery services will also continue.

If a business does not fit into one of the categories for closing in the executive order, there is nothing saying that they are required to close, but we strongly recommend that everyone use their best judgement and consider the possible impact on employees and customers if remaining open. Public utility, such as the need to provide food or essential supplies, must be balanced with the need to preserve public health.

If a business remains open, it is critical that they follow social distancing guidelines and do everything in their power to prevent groups of 10 or more people from congregating in one area. If a business is not covered in one of Governor Hogan’s executive orders, please use it as guidance.

Businesses with 10 or more people that are not included in the executive order are not required to close, but we need everyone’s help to prevent the virus from spreading. This may require you to make difficult choices. Guidance from the CDC for businesses is available here.

Governor Hogan also announced today that Maryland has received official designation from SBA that allows small businesses to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans during this state of emergency. Learn more about these low-interest loans and how they can benefit businesses throughout the state .

It is essential that you continue to check our Coronavirus Information for Businesses webpage for the latest information and guidance. This site will be updated frequently as new information becomes available. It includes an FAQ that will also be updated regularly.

Please let us know if you have any questions by emailing Secretary.Commerce@Maryland.Gov .

Thank you,



RMI Runway Show Brings Maryland Manufacturers Together to Showcase Their Innovative & Fashionable Wares

Over 200 of Maryland’s manufacturers and industry, business, civic and elected leaders attended Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland’s “Maryland Made to Wear” Runway Show & Networking Event on Thursday, February 20, 2020 at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore city.

The event was designed as a festive and unique way to celebrate Maryland manufacturing and highlight its value in our everyday lives – bringing awareness to Maryland’s incredible industry of manufacturers of products we wear and use in a wide range of applications. More than 25 Maryland manufactured products made for function, fitness, fashion, comfort and safety were showcased in action on the “runway” at this inaugural event.

Neill Christopher, RMI Board member, shared his enthusiasm for the event saying, “RMI has once again demonstrated that Maryland manufacturing is innovative, exciting, environmentally responsible and FUN and FASHIONABLE. Last night’s presentation was enlightening and creative. RMI continues to raise the bar by developing opportunities for manufacturers to showcase their products in an original (and occasionally avant-garde) format. How will you ever top this? Great job!”

Participating product manufacturers hailed from Anne Arundel County, Baltimore city, Baltimore County, Cecil County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Queen Anne’s County and Washington County.

  • Check out our “Maryland Made to Wear” event photo gallery, here. And download photos at no cost. (Select a photo  and click on the download arrow on the left side. You do not need to purchase photos.)

“This event was one of the most inclusive RMI events we’ve hosted, with a collective of 26 product companies, 23 volunteer runway models and over 30 partner organizations and sponsors from all over the state pitching in in some way to make the event happen,” said Mike Galiazzo, President of RMI.

  • Click here to view partners, sponsors and contact information for each participating Maryland manufacturer.

“The innovative high-energy event helped bring the community together in a fun way to discover and celebrate how very cool, innovative and exciting Maryland manufacturing really is,” said Galiazzo.

The vision of this event was to demonstrate that manufacturing matters to Maryland’s economy, and I think we successfully did so via a rather non-traditional and exciting way,” said Galiazzo.

Event Testimonials:

“Crazy stimulating night of good food and drink and great networking with new and old friends. Proud to be one of the sponsors and runway announcers. Kudos, RMI, for putting on such an amazing event!” Lester Miller, Strategic Factory

“What a fun and creative way to showcase Maryland Manufacturers.” Sharon Turner, Alexander & Tom

“I was thrilled to be a part of this first-time event. Michael Galiazzo, you were right. People will be talking about this event until next year!” Vicki Franz, I95 BUSINESS

“What a wonderfully executed event! I learned so much about what is made in Maryland. The runway was rocking! Everyone looked like they were having so much fun. RMI knocked it out of the park, and the food was a delightful bonus.” Brigitte Peters, MD Department of Commerce

“Congratulations to Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland for hosting an amazing event last night. Great crowd of 200+ that learned about some really interesting companies manufacturing wearable products here in Maryland.” John Dinkel, Dinkel Business Development

“Fun and interesting evening. Old and new friends. Great job, RMI!” Betsy Collie, MD Business Innovation Association

“Super fun evening and innovative event!” Cheryl Hickox, I95 BUSINESS

For more information on the 2020 “Maryland Made to Wear” Runway Show & Networking Event or to express interest in being involved in the 2021 event, contact Stacey Smith, Director of Outreach & Events, at or 443-844-0047.


Recap of Jan 17 Future of Maryland Manufacturing in 2020

See video presentation from the January 17, 2020 Future of Maryland Manufacturing in 2020 event featuring keynote speaker Anirban Basu, CEO of the Sage Policy Group and a panel of manufacturing executives including John Williamson, CEO of Jamison Doors, Susan Ganz, CEO of Lion Brothers and Douglas Hamilton, CEO of Hamilton Associates.

On Friday, January 17 over 140 manufacturing stakeholders attended RMI’s “Future of Maryland Manufacturing in 2020” event at PSA Insurance and Financial Services’ headquarters in Hunt Valley. They came to hear from Anirban Basu, CEO of the Sage Policy Group and a panel of manufacturing executives from Jamison Doors, Lion Brothers and Hamilton Associates. People came as far away as Frederick, Washington, Prince Georges, Kent and Caroline Counties to attend.

Jan 17 Future of Maryland Manufacturing in 2020

Basu delivered his usual engaging performance, spiced-up with much levity, as he provided his outlook for Maryland manufacturing and the U.S. economy.  He hit on a lot of key points in terms of the U.S. economy being strong, employment at record lows, nominal inflation and continued consumer spending as some of the indicators of a continued positive U.S. economic outlook.  He also provided some cautionary guidance.

Basu did caution that while the economy looks strong, corporate profits have plateaued as many companies are not investing their businesses but actually buying back shares and taking out record corporate debt. He cited the corporate debt, the national debt and personal debt being at all time highs as warning signs for the future, recommending it would be good to raise cash while times are good in preparation for a downturn.

Jan 17 Future of Maryland Manufacturing in 2020

As for Maryland’s manufacturing outlook, Basu pointed out that manufacturing employment has stayed positive now for most of the past 5 years after a long period of decline. Maryland manufacturers have become leaner and more niche players to stay globally competitive. Basu stressed that manufacturing is still a great opportunity for those seeking to join the middle class. He noted that Maryland manufacturing employees on average are earning more than $28 an hour versus the service sector in retail where earners often earn around $15 an hour. He also pointed out that Maryland’s dependence on the federal procurement largess continues to spur manufacturing growth, particularly in the defense and electronics sectors.

The audience also heard from a panel of medium-sized manufacturing companies who gave their own outlook for their company’s growth prospects. Each company is engaged in different growth phases and provided unique perspectives accordingly.

  • John Williams, CEO of Jamison Doors sited the strong growth his company has been enjoying due to the current Administration’s pro business policies.
  • Douglas Hamilton, CEO of Hamilton Associates, a private family business holding company for three distinct business segments, discussed how he is transforming each company to better compete globally. He says that while the company always manages cash conservatively to be prepared for a downturn, management is continuing to make growth and infrastructure investments in 2020.
  • Finally, the audience heard from Suzy Ganz, CEO of Lion Brothers who discussed how they transformed their turn-of-the-century embroidery company into a digital technology and innovation-led company in apparel identity, which has grown at a 40% year- on- year growth rate for the past three years. She also announced their recent establishment of their second micro manufacturing facility in Owings Mills.

Click here to view Anirban Basu’s presentation slides.


February 20, 2020: Network, Party & Celebrate MD Manufacturing

RMI invites you to network, party & celebrate with us on 2-20-2020!

Enjoy delicious food, drinks, music and the opportunity to connect with manufacturers, organizations, agencies and companies that are part of Maryland’s vibrant manufacturing ecosystem. See some of Maryland’s coolest manufactured items in action on our “runway” as we take a short break from networking to showcase products made for function, fitness, fashion, comfort and safety via a fun and unique runway show. It’s a festive networking event and party designed to reinforce why MARYLAND MANUFACTURING MATTERS.

View Flyer Here

See Our Runway “Models” Here

View List of MD Manufactured Products To Be Featured On the Runway

Check Out Businesses, Organizations & Agencies Attending Here

See who is supporting this fun and festive event here

5:00-6:15 pm  Networking & Music
6:15-7:15 pm  Remarks & Runway show featuring Maryland made products
7:15-8:00 pm Networking & Music continues

Note: Food and drinks (beer, wine, signature cocktail and non-alcoholic beverages) will be available all evening from 5:00-7:30 p.m.
View Menu Here.

Dress code: Casual, Business casual

$75 RMI members; $95 non-RMI members.
No refunds after 1/20/2020.

Questions? Email or call (443)844-0047.

January 17, 2020: The Future of Maryland Manufacturing in 2020

RMI Presents:
The Future of Maryland Manufacturing in 2020

Keynote Speaker: Anirban Basu
Chairman and CEO, Sage Policy Group

(This event sold out last year.)
January 17, 2020 | 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. | PSA Insurance, Hunt Valley, MD

As we kick-off the business year of 2020, join RMI on January 17 for an important, lively and entertaining discussion on the Future of Maryland Manufacturing in 2020. Discover what’s next! Gain insights into the new and emerging trends that manufacturers need to know about.

Anirban Basu portrait

Our distinguished guest speaker will share statistics, insights and perspectives on the manufacturing sector including:

  • What does the global forecast look like for manufacturing and what role/impact does manufacturing play/have on Maryland’s economy?
  • What do manufacturers need to do to attract the talent necessary to compete in 2020 and beyond?
  • What does 2020 look like for Maryland’s manufacturing industry?

Following Mr. Basu’s presentation, we’ll hear thoughts for 2020 and beyond from several of Maryland’s leading manufacturing company executives:

Speakers: Douglas Hamilton CEO of Hamilton Associates. Suzy Ganz, CEO of Lion Brothers. John T. Williams, CEO of Jamison Door Company

Location/Time: RMI Premier Partner PSA Insurance will once again host this annual program at their beautiful Hunt Valley facility approximately 1 mile off of I83 with convenient, no-charge parking. Coffee and danishes will be available during the program, and a boxed lunch will be provided at the end of the program to eat at the event or to take to go compliments of PSA Insurance & Financial Services. 

This will be a great opportunity to prepare your company for the coming year with fantastic insights on topics that can directly impact your business.

Seating is limited. Register today.

Special thanks to our host and food and beverage sponsor:

PSA Insurance Logo

This program brought to you through RMI with these partners and sponsors:


Manufacturing Business Connect Event Brings Montgomery County Manufacturers Together in Rockville

RMI Montgomery County Business Connect EventOn November 8th, RMI & Montgomery County Executive Co-Hosted the Montgomery County Manufacturing Business Connect Event at the Hilton Rockville as RMI brought 20+ state and local resource providers together to meet with Montgomery County manufacturers.

You can see more pictures from the event on Montgomery County’s Flickr album


Three Maryland manufacturers, Douglas Hamilton of Hamilton Associates(left) John Freeburger of Holmatro(center), and Matt Turpin of Zentech Manufacturing(right) shared their positive experiences and tremendous cost-savings realized through RMI’s energy-saving grant program at RMI’s Montgomery Business Connect Event.

from Montgomery County’s description:

“It’s a new day for Montgomery County,” said County Executive Marc Elrich at the Montgomery Manufacturing Business Connect forum. This first of its kind forum, co-hosted by the County Executive and the Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland (RMI), connected local manufacturers with state and local government resources. There are more than 400 manufacturers in Montgomery County. Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz highlighted the importance of manufacturing in Montgomery County and across the state. Xometry CEO Randy Altschuler was the keynote speaker, and he told the crowd that his company is based here because he loves living in Montgomery County.


November 8, 2019: Montgomery County Manufacturing Business Connect Event in Rockville, MD

November 8: Montgomery County Manufacturing Business Connect Event in Rockville, MD

Attention manufacturing executives, HR, CFOs and facility managers from leading biotech, pharma, IT, defense, printing and other industry executives from Montgomery County. Find out how you can access thousands of dollars of state and local resources to address your workforce needs, reduce energy expenses and find grant funding, access financing/tax credit programs and more…all in one place.


Registration, Breakfast and Networking Starts at 7:30 AM

Program Flyer & Agenda

Energy Panel Flyer


RMI Assembles Eastern Shore Manufacturers to Share Energy Program Insights at K&L Microwave in Salisbury

October 17 Eastern Shore Energy Roundtable

From left to right: Representatives from Crystal Steel Fabricators, RMI, Maryland Plastics, K&L Microwave

October 17, Salisbury, MD.  As part of RMI’s Energy Program, we periodically meet with groups of manufacturers who are benefiting from our service and encourage them to share their successes with their manufacturing peers. RMI’s current program is funded for manufacturers served by Delmarva Power and PEPCO utilities through the Maryland Energy Administration by the State of Maryland to help reduce energy consumption and energy cost for manufacturers.

Manufacturers on Maryland’s Eastern Shore have been particularly responsive.  On behalf of RMI, K&L Microwave graciously hosted a morning manufacturing roundtable event at their Salisbury facility on October 17 so participating manufacturers in RMI’s Energy Program could discuss their energy saving progress with their peers and frankly share their experiences on their energy efficiency journey.

The roundtable featured presentations from Maryland Plastics and Crystal Steel Fabricators from Federalsburg and K&L Microwave from Salisbury. Attending manufacturers included representatives from W.L Gore from Elkton and local Salisbury manufacturers including Toroid Corporation, Trinity Sterile, Jubilant Cadista, Blind Industries and Services of Maryland and Tishcon Corporation who came to hear about their results emanating from the RMI Energy Program and to network with their peers.  

RMI’s Energy Program provides top quality engineers who provide energy audits for manufacturing facilities, makes upgrade recommendations to management, helps manufacturers get vendor quotes, finds funding sources for upgrades and helps process paperwork for grants and loans. All at no cost to the manufacture.  Our mandate is to help manufacturers reduce energy at their facilities and save them money on energy expenses. Since 2016, RMI’s Energy Program has served over 90 manufacturers, saving them over $7.5 million through cost savings from energy upgrades, rebates, grants and loans. Manufacturers value having a trusted manufacturing non-profit like RMI provide a second pair of eyes to evaluate energy savings potential at their facilities (see more about the program).

All three of the presenting companies at the roundtable had been awarded Commercial & Industrial grants last spring with RMI’s help through MEA’s competitive grant application process (as well as three other firms in the program, totaling over $220,000 in grant funding to upgrade their energy efficiency projects). 

RMI Assemble Meeting ImageEach presenter described the importance they placed on cutting waste through their energy efficiency upgrades which included primarily lighting and air compressor projects. The unique take-aways went beyond just the energy savings. Program participants discussed the value of upgrading from metal halide lights to LEDs and from fluorescents to LEDs in terms of dollar savings, but also how it was positively affecting employee morale and quality control for production.

Many of the attending manufacturers have multiple locations and have seen the value that can be brought to their one facility and now are eager to similar savings projects for other facilities. One facility manager commented how important it was to have a trusted, knowledgeable advisor guide them on a continual basis on making the right energy investments up front, noting that as they expand their facility upgrades don’t have to be made after the fact. 

Another participant commented on the value of having RMI’s engineering expertise to find opportunities that they might not have found on their own. It was also noted that the projected lower energy costs together with happier employees are helping them validate their investment.  “It’s not just a one-off, it makes us look good.”

“These manufacturing roundtable events are really important,” said Peter Gourlay, RMI Vice President and Manager of RMI’s Energy Program. “The manufacturers-only meetings allow us to hear directly from these participating manufacturers in front of their peers, so we get candid feedback on the value of our service.”  “They also learn a lot from each other so it’s a great networking opportunity for these manufacturers who are all from very different industries – from pharmaceutical – to steel fabrication – to plastics, but they still share a lot in common,” he said.  

Attending manufacturers who had not previously signed up to participate in RMI’s Energy Program were convinced of RMI’s offering and are looking to see how they too might benefit.  

Next RMI Manufacturing Roundtable Event Nov 8 in Rockville: Manufacturers served by PEPCO have a great opportunity to hear more and meet other manufacturing executives who have benefited from RMI’s Energy Program at RMI’s next manufacturing energy roundtable as part of RMI’s Business Direct event on November 8 in Rockville. See more here to register.


October 10, 2019: Promoting Supplier Diversity and Inclusion in Baltimore

October 10: Promoting Supplier Diversity and Inclusion in Baltimore

Join us on Thursday, October 10, 2019, for “MEDWeek Minority Manufacturing Symposium,” hosted by Baltimore City Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young; the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Small, Minority and Women Business; the Mid-Atlantic Region Minority Business Development Agency Advanced Manufacturing Center – Baltimore, and the Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland.