Your Success is Our Business by Laura Rowles View All Posts

photo of Laura Rowles at GGCC

About Your Success is Our Business by Laura Rowles

Laura Rowles is the Director of Events & Marketing for the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce (GGCC) serving almost 400 members by hosting over 30 networking events each year, as well as providing educational seminars and special events. The Chamber hosts numerous events each year including: breakfasts, lunches, after-five’s, ribbon cuttings... Read more

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Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber Awards $16,500 in Scholarships and Raises Another $20,120

(l:r) Jim Muir, Vice President, Hughes Network Systems, LLC; Matthew Motley, Montgomery College student; Margaret Latimer, Vice President and Provost, Montgomery College Germantown Campus; Jalalah Abdullah, Montgomery College student; Stuart Barr, Attorney, Lerch, Early & Brewer, Chartered; and Jimmy Rodriguez, Montgomery College student at the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber Scholarship Award Presentation at the Chamber’s Annual Celebration Dinner held on December 8. (Photo Credit: John Keith, John Keith Photography)

Jim Muir, Matthew Motley, Margaret Latimer, Jalalah Abdullah, Stuart Barr, and Jimmy Rodriguez
PHOTO | John Keith

The Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce (GGCC) with the help of its donors, awarded five Montgomery College students with Montgomery College Scholarships at its Annual Celebration Dinner & Awards Ceremony on December 8.

It was a great evening for the Chamber. $16,500 was awarded to five Montgomery College students, with different majors– cybersecurity, mechanical engineering & computer science. And the GGCC held a live auction – raising $20,120- in an effort to garner additional revenue to support future giving.

“We are so appreciative of the Chamber’s continued support of our students,” said Noah Saposnik , Annual Fund Manager, Montgomery College. “In fact, last year we awarded over $2.4 million to 2,000 students which was a record for us.”

In addition to funding current scholarships, the Chamber has established an endowment for future giving. As of November the endowment was reported at $63,733, with the goal of $100,000. This will ensure that the GGCC continues to support Montgomery College in perpetuity.

“Four years ago we set a very ambitious goal of funding a $100,000 endowment within five years. I’m happy to say we are right on target. With the $20,000 we raised this year, we will certainly reach our five year goal,” said Marilyn Balcombe, GGCC Executive Director.


About the students:

Matthew Motley is a Computer Science major who currently has a 4.0 GPA. Motley volunteers at local rehabilitation centers, hospitals, and psychiatric institution during holidays and breaks from school. He is in his last year at Montgomery College & plans to transfer in the fall to University of Maryland College Park or George Washington University. His goal is to continue his education and attain his masters/doctorate. He is currently enrolled in a specialized internship with the computer science department doing education research, which he said would not be be possible without the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber scholarship, since the internship is unpaid.

Jalalah Abdullah is a Computer Science major with a GPA of 4.00. She is a learning assistant for Introduction to programming and offers tutoring for Computer Science to pass on her knowledge of Computer Science. She plans to transfer to University of Maryland where she will specialize in cyber security. She said that this “scholarship not only helped her financially, but has also instilled confidence within her that hard work will pay off and can be recognized”.

Jana Christina Catuche is a mechanical engineering student at Montgomery College with plans to attend the University of Maryland after graduating and attain an associates degree. At this point in life, she does not have a firm grasp on what she would like to do as a future career, but hopes it has something to do with cars or robotics; since both have her interest. This scholarship has helped her pay for the fall and the upcoming spring semester & she said she is “very excited to received this scholarship”.

Lily Chen is a sophomore at Montgomery College studying Cybersecurity.

Jimmy Rodriguez was born in Silver Spring and has lived his entire life in Gaithersburg. His parents were born in the Dominican Republic and came to the United States for an opportunity to have a better life. His current major is computer science and Rodriguez  plans to earn his associate’s degree at Montgomery College and then transfer to the University of Maryland to earn his bachelor’s degree and then to one day find employment in the computer science field.

The GGCC scholarship committee is chaired by GGCC Board Member & Hughes Network Systems Vice President Jim Muir. Muir manages donations yearly from Chamber Members and GGCC Past Chairs who step up every year and make individual and in some cases personal donations.

The GGCC is active in providing business-to-business networking opportunities throughout the year: a collective voice in local, regional, and state legislative affairs, professional development opportunities and other services that enhance the business environment.

The GGCC is located at 910 Clopper Road, Suite 205N, Gaithersburg, MD. To learn more about the GGCC visit us at Find us on Facebook at: And on Twitter at @GGCCNEWS.

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Laura Rowles

About Laura Rowles

Laura is the Director of Events & Marketing for the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce - a member-based organization of businesses that have joined together for the purpose of promoting the civic, commercial and industrial progress in our communities. The area's economic well-being is a result of the caliber of work that is done by the Chamber. The Chamber has a major impact on business, income and future growth of the area. My position at the Chamber - Director of Events & Marketing - affords me the opportunity to plan quality events for our Members and market the Chamber is a variety of avenues. At the GGCC, we typically have around 30 events each year including: breakfasts, lunches, after-five's, ribbon cuttings and special events. The consensus is we have high quality events with good energy. In 2012, we had over 2,040 people visit our events. Most our events are free to Members so securing sponsorships for all events. Additionally, I am responsible for planning networking, overseeing the budget and marketing of all events in order to make them successful. Lastly, I coordinate all marketing and communication efforts of the GGCC including weekly email blasts, its quarterly newsletter, all social media platforms, media relations and community outreach. Laura authors the blog Your Success is Our Business on MyMCMedia.


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