Founders / Municipal government

Power Moves: Cole stepping down as CEO of BDC, joining Margrave Strategies

Plus, key hiring news in Maryland biotech and cybersecurity.

William H. Cole IV speaks at City Garage in 2018. (Photo by Stephen Babcock)

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Baltimore Development Corporation President and CEO William H. Cole IV is joining the Columbia-based consultancy founded by former Howard County Executive Ken Ulman.

Cole is joining Margrave Strategies as a partner in May. Colin Tarbert will become the next president and CEO of BDC, the organization said Monday.

“I’ve devoted my life to making Baltimore and the region better, and I believe that by joining Margrave, we will have the opportunity to make a lasting impact on the lives of Marylanders by envisioning the communities and neighborhoods where they will work, live and play,” Cole said said in a statement.

Margrave Strategies consults on plans with communities looking to spur growth at the cross section of higher education, healthcare and entrepreneurship. The firm has worked with Maryland universities such as the University of Maryland College Park and Towson University on redevelopment plans linked to business growth and their surrounding communities.

After serving for seven years on the City Council, Cole in 2014 became the leader of BDC, which is the economic development agency for the city of Baltimore. Along with providing loans to businesses, the agency has direct involvement in the tech community as the organization overseeing city-backed incubator ETC.

We frequently see Cole at tech events with his involvement in projects such as the redevelopment of Port Covington and initiatives to spur business growth around institutions like the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Assuming the top post at BDC, Tarbet has worked in various city roles over 13 years — including overseeing BDC under Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake — and is currently the deputy chief of strategic alliances in the mayor’s office. Tarbert played a key role in establishing the city’s Neighborhood Impact Investment Fund, which provides for development in disinvested neighborhoods.


Later this month, Peter Greenleaf is joining British Columbia, Canada-based Aurinia Pharmaceuticals as CEO. The late-stage biopharmaceutical company is focused on the immunology market.

Greenleaf previously served as CEO of Cerecor, a publicly traded, Maryland-based pharmaceutical company specializing in pediatric orphan and rare disease that relocated its headquarters from Baltimore to Rockville last year. He joined that company about a year ago, and will remain on its board of directors. Greenleaf is also the previous CEO of Maryland’s Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, and as president of Gaithersburg-based MedImmune.

With the move, Cerecor said Dr. Simon Pedder is being appointed as executive chairman of the board, while Patrick Crutcher is assuming the role of chief strategy officer.


Howard County-based RackTop Systems made three hires that it said will bolster its federal sales efforts:

  • Graham Moore joined as VP of federal sales. He previously served in sales leadership roles with Datrium and Pure Storage, as well as positions at Symantec, NetApp and Veritas.
  • Michael Beegen was hired as director of federal systems engineering, overseeing deployment and maintenance of the company’s product to the federal government. He, too, served in key roles at Datrium, Pure Storage and NetApp.
  • Brian Santrock joined as manager of federal accounts, servicing the company’s public sector accounts in the western U.S. He was previously federal account manager at Rubrik and Pure Storage.

The company that makes technology combining data storage and cybersecurity recently raised $15 million in Series A funding. When the news went public last month, CEO Eric Bednash said the company would be expanding in sales.

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