County Executive Ball Appoints New Howard County Economic Development Authority CEO Jennifer Jones

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Columbia, MD (June 21, 2023) – Howard County Executive Dr. Calvin Ball has appointed Jennifer Jones as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA). The Howard County Economic Development Authority’s Board of Directors unanimously approved Jones’s appointment. Jones will begin this role on July 5, 2023.

“Jennifer Jones is a tremendous asset to Howard County, with extensive business, private, and public sector experience and leadership,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “Her credentials are outstanding, providing a wide breath of knowledge. Her training in engineering, business, and law are wide-ranging, and bring confidence to many businesses as she has analytic, economic, and legal expertise. I am confident that she will excel in this role and help move our economic development into the future.”

Jennifer Jones is an industry thought leader with over 20 years of business and leadership experience in the private and public sectors. During her tenure in the public sector, Jones has been an integral part of the Howard County business ecosystem, directly assisting and forging valuable relationships with thousands of Howard County businesses. Over the course of her career, Jones has served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Howard County Government, where she helped thousands of businesses survive and thrive through the pandemic. She also served as the Vice President of Business Development at Live Nation, where she was responsible for business analysis and market expansion.

In her most recent role as Business Development Strategist for the County Executive’s Office, Jones advised on economic development, holding over a dozen business roundtables to understand and address challenges, and implemented entrepreneurship and small business initiatives. Jones is an active Howard County resident and public servant, serving as a board member of several community and business organizations, including the Howard County Tourism Board, Columbia Festival of the Arts, Howard County National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Downtown Columbia Partnership, and the Howard County Center of African American Culture.

Jones holds a Juris Doctor from Pepperdine University School of Law, a Master of Business Administration from Pepperdine University School of Business, and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University.

“HCEDA’s Board of Directors is excited to announce that we unanimously affirmed the County Executive’s appointment of Jennifer Jones as the new CEO of the organization,” said HCEDA Board Chair Cyndi Gula. “Jennifer’s dedication and commitment to the economic success of Howard County is unsurpassed. Her experience and knowledge, along with the extremely talented HCEDA staff, enables us to further leverage all the organization’s capabilities to best assist the continued growth of Howard County’s business community.”

HCEDA Board Vice Chair Marcellous Frye, Jr. added, “We are thrilled to have Jennifer Jones as the new CEO. She is a talented, creative, and visionary leader that will lead the future growth of Howard County and continue to elevate the Howard County Economic Development Authority.”
Jones will replace Lawrence Twele, CEcD, who earlier announced his retirement from HCEDA after serving as CEO for more than a decade. With Twele at the helm, Howard County reached new heights, from attracting top-tier companies to championing small business development.

During Twele’s tenure at HCEDA, he oversaw nearly 25,000 retained and created jobs, ensuring businesses in Howard County could access the tools they needed to thrive. To expand HCEDA’s business operations and objectives and aid in an expansion of over 10 million square feet, Twele also facilitated a capital investment of over $1.2 billion. Twele has been integral in spearheading growth and results across the region; his bold vision, dedication, and numerous contributions have set the Howard County Economic Development Authority up for continued success.

“I am honored and humbled to have been selected as the next CEO of the Howard County Economic Development Authority,” said Jennifer Jones. “I’m excited to work with the HCEDA Board and other key stakeholders to maximize economic opportunity for our county. Together, we will expand the prosperity and improve the quality of life for all residents and entrepreneurs.”

Howard County Chamber President and CEO Leonardo McClarty added, “The Howard County Chamber has historically had an outstanding partnership with HCEDA. We look forward to strengthening that relationship under the direction of Jennifer Jones. She has proven herself to be a strong supporter of business, and we know she will provide excellent leadership in the future.”

The HCEDA is excited to welcome Jennifer Jones to its team and looks forward to utilizing her experience and innovative ideas for continued business success. To learn more about the HCEDA, visit www.hceda.org.


About Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA): Howard County Economic Development Authority is a public-private partnership whose primary goal is to promote economic growth and stability by supporting existing businesses, targeting new businesses, and attracting corporate/regional headquarters. HCEDA also maintains several programs for small, minority, and agricultural companies’ unique needs. Additionally, the HCEDA strives to preserve the distinctive quality of life in Howard County. To learn more about the HCEDA, visit www.hceda.org.

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