Power Moves: USM Vice Chancellor Tom Sadowski is MEDCO's next executive director - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Power Moves: USM Vice Chancellor Tom Sadowski is MEDCO’s next executive director

Plus, Catalyte wins an award from Microsoft, and new roles for longtime tech leaders at Think Systems and Early Charm Ventures.

Tom Sadowski.

(Courtesy photo)

The Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO) said this week that Tom Sadowski will become its next executive director.

Sadowski, who is currently the vice chancellor at the University System of Maryland (USM), will join the state-created organization in early August. He’ll succeed current MEDCO ED Robert Brennan, who is retiring.

Not to be confused with TEDCO, MEDCO is similarly a quasi-public state agency. But it takes a wider lens on economic development than just tech, seeking to bolster economic development, giving and workforce development efforts.

Sadowski is a familiar face in the local tech and entrepreneurial community. With USM, he was the first economic development-focused vice chancellor, and launched the Maryland Momentum Fund, which provides venture funding for university-affiliated startups. And he played a key role as the university system continued to bolster its commercialization and startup formation efforts. Prior to taking the vice chancellor role in 2016, he served as executive director of the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore as it bolstered ties into the tech community.

“Tom has more than thirty years of economic development experience, having held leadership positions at local, regional, and state levels. He has worked across all industry sectors, including aerospace, autonomous systems, cybersecurity, quantum computing, robotics, bio-health, clean energy, advanced manufacturing, agriculture and education-technology,” said Scott Dorsey, MEDCO’s board chair and leader or the org’s search committee, in a statement. “He was chosen after a thoughtful and comprehensive search because of his depth and breadth of experience, his passion for the economic well-being of Maryland, and his enthusiasm for a vibrant economy that is sustainable and competitive.”

Sadowski also serves as the chair of the board for Junior Achievement of Central Maryland, on the Board of Visitors for the University of Maryland Technology Institute (MTech), and on the boards of the Baltimore Metropolitan Council, Cyber Association of Maryland, Maryland Information Security Institute (MISI), Maryland Marketing Partnership, Maryland Technology Council, UMBC Training Centers and the University of Maryland Medical System/Upper Chesapeake Health Foundation.

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Here’s a step of recognition for a full company: Tech workforce company Catalyte won the 2021 Microsoft Inclusion Changemaker Partner of the Year Award. Honorees were chosen from 4,400 submitted nominations from more than 100 countries worldwide and the award is given to a team that “excels at providing innovative and unique services or solutions based on Microsoft technologies that help customers solve challenges of diverse representation, economic access, digital inclusion and/or accessibility.”

Catalyte deploys teams of technologists with Microsoft skills for their clients. Many of those team members initially came to the company from other careers, and the company trained them through its own software development apprenticeship program.

“We’re proud to be aligning efforts with them to create more opportunities for people historically excluded from the industry to advance their careers and become the next generation of amazing software engineers,” Catalyte CEO Jacob Hsu said in a statement. “This Inclusion Changemaker award is validation of our ability to discover, train and advance talent from unexpected places.”

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Tech and operations advisory firm Think Systems has a new lead in due diligence. John Riganati joined the downtown firm in the role of senior executive advisor and due diligence practice lead. Riganati was previously the CTO of a $200M retail chain, and has 25 years of experience as a technology leader. Think Systems President Tony Gruebl said “his engineering background and passion for building things, whether it’s technology, teams, or new business processes, will provide valuable insights and strategies to Think’s clients.”

John Riganati.

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Alairé Jameson

Alairé Jameson.

Early Charm Ventures recently welcomed experienced entrepreneur and venture professional Alairé Jameson to its team as a customer discovery associate. Jameson will develop business cases and funding for new ventures that emerge out of the scientific discoveries in the Pigtown studio’s portfolio.

Jameson has worked over the last three years as an investment analyst at recognizable names in the local early-stage startup funding space, including Baltimore Angels, Early Light Ventures and the University System of Maryland’s Momentum Fund. He has also been an entrepreneur, a change management consultant at Antson Advisors and has worked on startups like EcoMap Technologies and MindStand Technologies. Like many in Baltimore’s tech community, he also has federal experience. Jameson worked for the Fort Meade-based National Security Agency, as well as defense startups Clear Ridge Defense and 4S Silversword.

“I first met Alairé at a Baltimore Angels meeting,” said Ken Malone, executive officer with Early Charm, in a statement. “He impressed me with his knowledge of startups and engaged me with his passion for entrepreneurship. I knew then that we needed him as a part of our team and am excited to get him on board.”

Early Charm is on a growth streak after moving into a new HQ space at 1100 Wicomico.

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