- The Washington Times - Monday, July 7, 2003

About a dozen business executives in Prince George’s County are organizing to help improve education, communities and public safety, and to attract businesses.

“We … know that our county has great potential and that working together, many dreams can be fulfilled,” said Chairman Gary S. Murray Sr. “Our guiding principle will always be to do the right thing.”

Former County Council member M.H. “Jim” Estepp is president and chief executive officer of the Greater Prince George’s Business Roundtable. It is fashioned after scores of round tables across the nation and the national Business Roundtable, which was formed in 1972. Businesses in Montgomery County have formed a Roundtable for Education.

The Prince George’s County group will hold its first public forum Sept. 19 at Prince George’s Community College to present its objectives to the community, said communications director Anne K. Harter, former official with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

Only chief executive officers of businesses may become members of the round table. Organization began more than a month ago, said Mr. Estepp, and eventually will comprise about 20 CEOs.

“On several issues, they felt the public was not adequately informed,” Mr. Estepp said. “There hasn’t been enough dialogue among agencies and civic organizations.

“We are interested in making this county a better place to live in, to go to school in, to work in,” he said.

Improving education is already high on the group’s list. It is considering building new schools and leasing them to the county, as similar groups in other states are doing.

“That way, the county wouldn’t have to pay for their construction and upkeep,” Mr. Estepp said.

County Executive Jack B. Johnson and the County Council approve of the group’s goals, Mr. Estepp said.

Mr. Murray, a University of Maryland graduate, founded HumanVision Technology Ventures, co-founded Sylvest Management Systems in 1987, and, until June 30, was chairman of the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corp. He is now chairman of the Maryland Economic Development Commission.

Other round-table officers include: Reginald Daniel, founder in 1996 of Scientific and Engineering Solutions; Mike Little, CEO of B&W; Technologies, which received the business-philanthropy award in 2001 from the Maryland Chamber of Commerce; and Hubert “Petey” Green, founder of Prince George’s County Community and Business Relations Corp., director of Prince George’s Financial Services Corp., and president of the Black Chamber of Commerce.

“These are not people who are constantly clutching the spotlight,” said Ms. Harter. “These are people who move mountains quietly.”

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