“Future 50” Executives Honored at SmartCEO’s Star-studded Awards Gala in Baltimore


It is, indeed, a night to remember. Despite a troubling economy, there are still many businesses that are thriving. Some have reinvented themselves while others are using non-conventional successful strategies that work. Celebrating their success is what brought hundreds of business leaders/senior-level executives together at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront hotel on Jan. 7, 2010 to honor 50 fastest growing companies in Greater Baltimore.

The event is organized by SmartCEO every year, and its Future 50 program carefully shortlists 50 companies out of hundreds of nominations based on employee and revenue growth over the past three years, and this year’s event in Baltimore was spectacular.

In addition to the Future 50 companies being honored, SmartCEO also featured five companies as Emerging Growth winners. The 55 companies in total employ more than 5,500 individuals and generate more than $2.5 billion in revenue.


Kevin Plank, Chairman and CEO of Under Amour. Plank said, “no loser talk…” and, “walk with a purpose.”

Followed by a reception, Kevin Plank, Chairman and CEO of Under Armour, gave the keynote address.

Mr. Plank gave an overview of his company, its success, and spoke on the importance of ongoing innovation, and, most important, the ability for entrepreneurs to be able to take their business and “…drive it, run it, own it, and walk it.”

Under Armour’s net revenue rose to $835 million in 2009 and Plank said, “We are very proud that that happened here in Baltimore and it happened here for a Maryland company as well.”

Barbour Group

L-R: Patricia Frazier (Business Manager, Md. Washington Minority Contractor’s Assoc.), Debby Nash (VP of Operations, The Barbour Group, LLC), Luwanda Jenkins (Special Secretary, Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs), and Theresa Daytner (CEO/President, Daytner Construction Group)

Plank spoke about his “job description” on a daily basis — build great product, tell a great story, service the business, build a great team — saying that if he does not perform any of these four tasks, then he is not doing his job.

He said innovation is the key. “Innovation a is part of who our brand is; we’re constantly looking to solve problems for athletes,” Plank said, adding that it is important to keep ‘playing offense’ en route to success, advising against any “loser talk.”

Plank touched on the concept and idea around leadership: “listen more than you talk,” “focus…and finish,” and “walk with a purpose.”

While talking about the need to keep “playing offense,” he said it will not only help business leaders to know what direction they are heading but also better position them to take advantage of possibilities.

Amongst this year’s honorees was ADG | Creative, a strategic communications firm that delivers solutions – such as consulting, learning, branding and messaging – through print, broadcast, e-media and social media outlets.


Jeff Antkowiak (Chief Creative Officer, ADG | Creative) and Ibrahim Dabo. Antkowiak says he respects leaders who continue to show tenacity, wisdom, and commitment.

Jeff Antkowiak, Chief Creative Officer of the company, told Ib’s Blog: “I was honored to be a part of the SmartCEO Future 50 gala and I have great respect for the business leaders in our region who continue to show tenacity, wisdom, and commitment on behalf of their workforce no matter what challenge lies before them.”

Karen Barbour, president of The Barbour Group, LLC, told Ib’s Blog: “From the VIP reception to the main event, the SMART CEO award ceremony was spectacular and made this award recipient feel very honored and indeed very special.”

Photo L-R: Karen Barbour (President, The Barbour Group, LLC) and Carole Borden (Founder & CEO, CB Transportation) pose for a "Smart CEO" shot.

Photo L-R: Karen Barbour (President, The Barbour Group, LLC) and Carole Borden (Founder & CEO, CB Transportation) ‘bonding’ together for a “Smart CEO” shot.

Founded in 2002 by Ms. Barbour, a recipient of many corporate awards and recognitions, The Barbour Group is licensed to write surety bonds and commercial insurance in approximately thirty states nation-wide, servicing the surety needs of a wide range of construction and other commercial insurance clientele, from startups to companies with annual gross revenues in excess of $100 million.

The Barbour Group is adept at securing bonding credit for all types of contractors, and evaluates and helps restructure financial statements to groom contractors for larger bonding capacity along with providing business and risk management consultation to contractors and other commercial insurance clientele that encompasses company risk assessment for major liability insurance and property insurance exposures.

Corporate Brokers, LLC, an Annapolis-based grassroots company, also made the SmartCEO Future 50 List. The company, which had a revenue of $7.6 million in 2008, places temporary and permanent staff in numerous industries and locations across the U.S., from total outsourcing of talent acquisition strategies to interim contract recruiting.

Corporate Brokers, LLC, were honored. Photo L-R: Noah Ring (Director of Operations), Quinn Salamandra (Managing Member) and Monica Barnhart (Account Executive)

Corporate Brokers, LLC, were honored. Photo L-R: Noah Ring (Director of Operations), Quinn Salamandra (Managing Member) and Monica Barnhart (Account Executive)

Co-CEO Quinn Salamandra said, thanks to excellent teamwork, his company has grown over the years and it was an honor to be named a Future 50 company by SmartCEO.

“Being recognized by SmartCEO magazine and the Future 50 Committee as one Baltimore’s fastest growing companies is quite an honor,” Salamandra told Ib’s Blog.

“We have a great team at Corporate Brokers, collectively growing our company every year since our inception, despite difficult economic times.  Shane [Ireland] and I are very proud of what we have accomplished as a team.”

Both Ireland and Salamandra are managing members of the company which in 2009 was ranked #287 by INC. 500 as one of the fastest growing U.S.-based private companies.

SmartCEO will host its other Future 50 Awards Gala on January 28th, 2010 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Virginia. For more information visit the organization’s website by clicking here.

Below you will find a photo album of the awards gala, a list of companies honored, a video of the keynote address by Kevin Plank, and a list of exclusive interviews coming up on Ib’s Blog. You will also find a listing of some exclusive interviews by Ib’s Blog.�

Ball Room 1

Thumbs up! to Future 50 honorees


Karen Barbour (President, The Barbour Group, LLC), Bruce E. Tyler (CEO, AttivaSoft), Jeff Antkowiak (Chief Creative Officer, ADG | Creative) and …

See complete listing of SmartCEO’s Future 50 companies in the Greater Baltimore area

ADG Creative
America’s Remote Help Desk
Armada Employer Service
Ascend One Corp./ CareOne Services, Inc.
ASG Security
The Atlantic Remodeling Corporation
The Barbour Group, LLC
Barcoding Inc
Blue Sky Factory, Inc.
BoxTone, Inc.
Brick Bodies Fitness Services, Inc.
Chesapeake Environmental Management, Inc.
Clinical Trials & Surveys Corporation
Coastal Sunbelt Produce, Inc.
Comfort Systems USA – Baltimore
Convergence Technology Consulting, LLC
Corporate Brokers, LLC
Ellicott Dredge Enterprises, LLC
Engenium Technologies Corp.
Exceptional Software Strategies
Gantech, Inc.
GoBeyond IT
Group Insurance Solutions, Inc.
High Rock Studios
High Street Partners, Inc.
Howard Bank
HR Anew, Inc.
IncrediTek, Inc.
Kelly & Associates Insurance Group
Medex Global Group, Inc.
NRL & Associates, Inc.
Offit Kurman P.A.
Performance Technology Group
Plano-Coudon, LLC
Profectus BioSciences, Inc.
Respira Medical
Rollins PCI Construction LLC
Rooftop Communications, LLC
SC&H Group, LLC
SEF Stainless Steel, Inc.
Skyline Network Engineering
Three Dog Logistics
Trusant Technologies, LLC
United Source One
Zenoss, Inc.

Emerging Growth
Blueguard Security, Inc.
Groove Commerce
IntelliGenesis, LLC
The Strata Group
Urban Policy Development, LLC

Ball Room

More than 600 business leaders and senior-level executives attended the awards gala


Lynne Brick

Lynne Brick (President/Owner, Brick Bodies Fitness Services, Inc.) seizes her moment to show why “brick bodies fitness” is important, while co-founder Victor Brick looks on with a smile.


Click on Album below to view photos

SmartCEO Future 50 Awards Gala

Also See:
· About Ibrahim | About Ib’s Blog | Testimonials | Ib’s Blog Home
· Exclusive Interview: Mingle360 CEO Dan Coffing Tells It All About Groundbreaking Social Networking Technology Using MingleStick
· Exclusive Interview: SimulScribe CEO, James Siminoff, On Voicemail-To-Text Transcription
· Exclusive: “Success In The City” Hosts Successful Networking Event; CEO Cynthia de Lorenzi Tells Ib’s Blog How It All Started
· Exclusive Interview: Attorney, CPA, Model, & Writer Miatta Dabo Optimizes Her Talents To Inspire And Serve
Exclusive Interview: Youth Action International Executive Director Kimmie Weeks Fosters Hope and Change Worldwide
“We Have Got To Reach Higher Heights,” Congressman Cummings Said At The CBCF “Economic Recovery Forum”

> Click Here to return to IB’s Blog Home Page
> Click Here to return to Ibdabo.com Home Page

About Ib Dabo

Ib Dabo, founder and executive editor of Ib Talk Online, is a writer, journalist, photographer, and communications and IT leader whose mission is to inspire and work with people to make a difference in our world. Visit his official website - www.IbDabo.com - to learn more. Follow @IbDabo on Twitter and also @IbTalkOnline on Twitter.