February 8, 2023
Annapolis, US 47 F

Annapolis Economic Development Corp Gets New Chair

Annapolis Mayor Joshua J. Cohen and Annapolis Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) President and CEO Lara Fritts are pleased to announce Reza Jafari has taken over the responsibilities as Chairman of the Board and will replace Midgett Parker effective immediately.

“As Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Annapolis Economic Development Corporation, having overseen the formation, launching, and first two years of operations of this private-public 501(c)(3)  entity, I believe in allowing others to participate and take leadership roles in the continued effort to help retain our City’s business community,” Midgett S. Parker said.

Much to the excitement of Mr. Parker’s partners in his private law practice, Mr. Parker is returning to the full-time practice of business and land-use law at Linowes and Blocher LLP.  He will remain in an advisory role to the AEDC as Chairman Emeritus.

Reza Jafari, who was one of the original board members and Treasurer, is Chairman & CEO of e-Development International, an executive advisory group that promotes, facilitates, advises and participates in Information and Communication Technology initiatives for Social Entrepreneurship and Public Private Partnerships for economic development.

“AEDC is a clear manifestation of a multi stakeholder partnership,” Reza Jafari said. “I am utterly excited about my new role and our contributions to the future of Annapolis. I believe that residents ofAnnapolis, the Business Community of Annapolis, faith-based and non-profit organizations ofAnnapolis and the City government have a great opportunity to work together and bring Annapolis to the top of the most favorable places to live, to visit and to do business. As long as we all believe that our future, our fortunes, and our prosperity are interdependent, then we can make this possible — together.”

James C. DiPaula, Jr., Executive Vice President for Compass Marketing, an industry leader for sales and marketing solutions, has been named Treasurer.

Mayor Cohen signed into law legislation to create the Annapolis Economic Development Corporation on July 20, 2010.

“It is with great appreciation that I acknowledge Midgett’s commitment to the corporation,” Mayor Cohen said. “His dedication to the mission and goals of the organization is responsible for the great strides AEDC made in its first two years. His perseverance will be missed, but I know the allegiance to the cause will be well represented by Reza.  Mr. Jafari’s passion for the profession, combined with his inherent ability to implement economic developments strategies, make him the perfect fit. I offer my continued support to Reza and my lasting gratitude to Midgett.”

The Annapolis Economic Development Corporation has a twelve-member board consisting of the President & CEO of the organization as a non-voting ex officio member and 11 dedicated local business leaders who volunteer their time to support the commercial well-being of Annapolis.

The Chairman and three additional board members are appointed by the Mayor of Annapolis. Three are ex officio voting members representing their organizations: Annapolis & Anne Arundel CountyConference & Visitors Bureau, the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce, and the City Manager for the City of Annapolis. The remaining four board members are selected from the business community at large.

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