Meet Local Educational Forum & Tradeshow

Learn About Innovations and Developments Transforming Baltimore

Visit Baltimore and our hospitality partners invite you to join us for an opportunity to hear directly from regional decision makers and influencers at this year’s Meet Local Educational Forum & Tradeshow. 

The forum will feature a panel of local executives and thought leaders working to drive innovation and transformational change across a variety of Baltimore’s top industries, in turn, leaving a lasting positive impact on our community:

Tuesday, April 25, 2017
The Baltimore Museum of Art
10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore MD 21218
4:00 - 5:30pm Educational Forum
5:30 - 7:00pm  Networking & Tradeshow (click here for a list of exhibitors)
(free valet parking will be provided)

Visit Baltimore relaunched a refreshed Meet Local campaign in October 2015 with an invitation to everyone from local residents to corporate business leaders to bring their next event to Baltimore. The goal of Meet Local is to drive incremental short-term business to our hospitality community. To find out more information about this campaign, visit

Meet Local Panelist Bios

Moderator - Al Hutchinson, President & CEO, Visit Baltimore

Al Hutchinson, Visit BaltimoreAl Hutchinson joined Visit Baltimore as president and CEO in November 2016. As the chief executive of the city’s official destination development and marketing organization, he is responsible for overseeing the promotion of the Baltimore region as a destination for conventions, meetings, leisure visits, day-trips, group tours and family reunions, in addition to serving as the hospitality industry’s liaison to the business, civic and local community, and demonstrating the impact of tourism on the City and the State. 

Hutchinson brings more than 24 years of experience in the hospitality and destination marketing industry to Baltimore. He most recently served as president and CEO of the Visit Mobile, where he was recognized as the 2016 Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Alliance’s ‘Tourism Promoter of the Year,’ and in 2014 was the recipient of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners ‘Pioneer Award’. 

Prior to joining Visit Mobile, Hutchinson served as the Vice President of Convention Sales and Services at the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau where, for more than 11 years, he led the convention sales and services team, directed the advertising agency and worked closely with community leaders, industry decision maker, elected officials and tourism partners. Hutchinson has also held previous leadership positions with the Greater Pittsburgh Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Charlotte Convention Center, the Park Hotel in Charlotte and the Richmond Metropolitan CVB. 

Hutchinson is a graduate of the University of Alabama and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Destination Marketing Association International’s (DMAI) Destination & Travel Foundation; United States Travel Association (USTA); and is also a member of Religious Conference Management Association’s (RCMA) Executive Supplier Council. In the local community, Hutchinson serves on the Baltimore Hotel Corporation Board, the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore’s Board, and the Visit Baltimore Education & Training Foundation Board, in addition to leading the Baltimore Convention & Tourism Board, which oversees both Visit Baltimore and the Baltimore Convention Center seamless and effective sales process. 

Hutchinson is married to wife, Unae Hutchinson and has two children, Asia and Jalen. 

BLocal - Calvin Bulter, CEO, BGE

Calvin Butler, BGECalvin G. Butler Jr. is the chief executive officer of Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), the nation’s first gas utility. Butler is responsible for BGE’s successful execution of the company’s six key areas: safety, reliability, distinctive customer service, innovation and technology, and diversity and inclusion. Butler also is a member of BGE’s Board of Directors and a member of the executive committee of BGE’s parent company, Exelon. Butler currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and RLI Corp, where he is a member of the Audit and Nominations/Governance committees. 

Prior to becoming CEO in March 2014, Butler served as BGE’s senior vice president, regulatory and external affairs. Butler also served as Exelon’s senior vice president of corporate affairs and held other leadership positions at Exelon and BGE’s sister utility, ComEd (Chicago). During the Exelon and Constellation Energy merger, Butler played a critical role in company and stakeholder relations. Before joining Exelon in 2008, Butler held senior leadership roles in external affairs as well as manufacturing with the print, digital and supply chain solutions company RR Donnelley. Butler spent his early career with CILCORP (Central Illinois Light Co.), where he worked in government affairs, legal and strategy. 

Butler serves on the boards of several prominent Baltimore-based organizations including the Baltimore Community Foundation, University of Maryland Medical Center, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Greater Baltimore Committee, Maryland Zoological Society (Maryland Zoo in Baltimore), Enoch Pratt Free Library, Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, the Center Club and Caves Valley Golf Club. Butler also serves on the board of the Institute of International Education, a not-for-profit organization focused on advancing scholarship, promoting access to education, and building economies. 

Butler is the 2016 chair of the United Way of Central Maryland’s giving campaign. Also in 2016, Butler served as Host Committee co-chair of the National Urban League Annual Conference. He was also the 2016 chair of Baltimore’s inaugural Light City Festival, a celebration of innovation and light that brought 400,000 people to downtown Baltimore, and will co-chair the event in 2017. He also co-chairs the BLocal initiative, a pledge by Baltimore’s leading businesses to buy, build and hire locally. 

Butler has been recognized by several organizations for his leadership and community commitment. Among his honors, The Daily Record named Butler one of Maryland’s “Most Admired CEOs” and one of the top 35 Influential Marylanders. He also received an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters from Morgan State University in 2014. 

Butler earned a bachelor’s degree from Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., and a Juris Doctor degree from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Mo. He remains actively involved with both institutions. 

Butler and his wife, Sharon, have two children, Blake Calvin and Raini Alexis. 

Healthcare - Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City Health Commissioner

Leana Wen, Baltimore CityDr. Leana Wen is the Commissioner of Health for the City of Baltimore. An emergency physician and patient and community advocate, she leads the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD), the oldest, continuously-operating health department in the United States, formed in 1793. BCHD is an agency with a $130 million annual budget and 1,000 employees committed to improving well-being and combatting disparities through education, policy/advocacy, and direct service delivery. BCHD’s wide-ranging responsibilities include maternal and child health, youth wellness, school health, senior services, animal control, restaurant inspections, emergency preparedness, STI/HIV treatment, and acute and chronic disease prevention.
Facing an unprecedented number of people dying from opioid overdose, Dr. Wen issued a blanket prescription for the opioid antidote, naloxone, to all 620,000 residents of Baltimore. Since 2015, this program has saved over 800 lives. In March 2016, Dr. Wen was invited by the White House to speak on a panel with President Obama about Baltimore’s efforts to address addiction as a public health crisis.

Under her direction, the Baltimore City Health Department leads the country in health innovations, including: B’More for Healthy Babies, a collective impact strategy resulting in a 38 percent reduction of infant mortality in just seven years; Vision for Baltimore, an initiative to provide glasses to every child who needs them; Safe Streets, a program to engage returning citizens and hospitals in treating gun violence as a contagious disease; and Healthy Baltimore 2020, a blueprint for health and well-being that enlists all sectors to achieve the ambitious goal of cutting disparities in half in ten years. 

Technology - Jen Meyer, CEO, Betamore

Jen Meyer, BetamoreJen Meyer is the CEO of Betamore, an award-winning coworking, incubator and campus for technology and entrepreneurship.Jen is responsible for leading Betamore’s efforts in actively supporting, growing and launching technology-based startup companies and educating regional technology talent for 21st century jobs. Established in 2012, Betamore has been home to 100+ companies that have collectively raised more than $52M in venture capital and in 2015 contributed $13.5M to the Baltimore City Economy. In addition, the education offerings have served over 14,000 attendees and over 200+ Academy graduates. Jen’s background is in the technology and financial industries, with a focus on leadership, operations and building communities.Jen has been an adjunct professor in the Loyola University MBA program, serves on the GBC Leadership board, Stevenson University's President’s Advisory Council, Tech Advisory Board of Digital Harbor High School, and was a board member for the Emerging Technology Center and Loyola Graduate Alumni. 

Arts & Culture - Jeannie Howe, Executive Director, Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance

Jeannie Howe, GBCAJeannie L. Howe is the Executive Director of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA), a regional, membership organization that was organized by artists and cultural organizations to unify, nurture and promote the cultural sector in Baltimore and its five surrounding counties. Under her leadership, since January 2012 GBCA has transformed and expanded its services to the cultural community, including: new professional development initiatives for artists and emerging arts management leaders of color; re-launched audience development strategies; supported artists with awards and grants; and advocated for the health, visibility, and financial strength of the sector. Membership during this time has increased from 80 to nearly 500 artists and organizations.

Prior to joining GBCA, Howe was founder and president of BayCliff Associates, and provided management and fundraising consultation for nonprofit clients, including Everyman Theatre in Baltimore for whom she led a successful $17.7 million capital campaign. Her career has included leadership positions with a range of nonprofit organizations including the Alley Theatre, Baltimore Reads, and The Marrow Foundation (now Be the Match Foundation).

Howe has held many volunteer positions including her current service on the Baltimore Orchard Project and Callaway Garrison Improvement Association Boards of Directors. Howe received a M.A. in Theatre from Miami University of Ohio and a B.A. in Theatre from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. In 2014, the Daily Record recognized her as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women.

Development - William H. Cole, President and CEO, Baltimore Development Corporation

Bill Cole Baltimore Development CorporationWilliam H. Cole is the president and CEO of the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC), which serves as the economic development agency for the City of Baltimore.  BDC’s mission is to retain and help expand existing businesses as well as attracting new opportunities, which will increase job opportunities and spur additional investment in city neighborhoods. 

Prior to his appointment at BDC in 2014, Cole was the associate vice president of Institutional Advancement at the University of Baltimore.  He was twice elected to the Baltimore City Council and represented its 11th district from 2007 to 2014.  Cole also served as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1999 to 2002 and was a special assistant to U.S. Representative Elijah E. Cummings from 1996 to 2003. 

In addition to his BDC responsibilities, Cole is active on more than a dozen civic and non-profit boards.  He is the chair of the Baltimore Hotel Corporation board, as well as a member of the boards of the Downtown Partnership, Waterfront Partnership, Visit Baltimore, the Central Baltimore Future Fund and the Schaefer Center for Public Policy at the University of Baltimore. He previously served as co-chair of the Baltimore Opportunity Collaborative, the regional plan for sustainable development.

Cole earned a B.A. in Government & Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park, and M.A. in Legal and Ethical Studies from the University of Baltimore. 

A native Marylander, Cole has lived in Baltimore City for more than 30 years.  He and his wife Michelle are the proud parents of three Baltimore City public school students.