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 Honors Its Volunteers and Awards Four

David McCormick-Goodhart, Marilyn Balcombe, Shannon Gorman, Martha Schoonmaker

In a time-honored tradition, the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce (GGCC) honored its volunteers at its membership picnic. The Business Networking after Five event on Thursday, September 20. The event was held at and sponsored by Smokey Glen Farm Barbequers, Inc. in Gaithersburg.

The GGCC holds its annual picnic in honor of its volunteers who generously give their time and talents to the Chamber. These remarkable people are an integral part of the Chamber and its success. The event is held annually at Smokey Glen Farm – an active supporter of the GGCC – a family owned business that has held corporate citizenship as a core value for over 50 years.

GGCC President / CEO Marilyn Balcombe personally thanked all the Chamber’s volunteers noting their “participation on committees and at events is priceless”.

We simply can’t do all we do at the Chamber without our volunteers. Each year we are truly honored to recognize their efforts,” said Balcombe.

The GGCC has 110 active volunteers serving on one or more of the following committees:

  • Board of Directors
  • Legislative Affairs
  • Economic Development
  • Membership
  • Events
  • Young Professionals
  • Non-Profit
  • Golf
  • Annual Celebration Dinner

The volunteers’ commitment helps the GGCC remain vital and meet the needs of our business community.

Four chamber members received an award & special recognition for their commitment and involvement with the Chamber. These “exceptional volunteers” were nominated by the working committees of the Chamber for having substantially contributed to GGCC member programs and activities.

“We can’t do all the great things we do without our volunteers. Our exceptional volunteer awardees show the breadth of involvement in the Chamber. With Martha, Eileen, David, and Shannon, you get a cross section of who we are as a Chamber.,” said Balcombe.

About the 2018 exceptional volunteers: 

An important endeavor at the GGCC is for the community and the businesses to come together. The Chamber is blessed to have the support of Montgomery College. For the past 17 years, Montgomery College has shown its support to the Chamber and are big advocates of us; and we of them. Martha Schoonmaker, Executive Director, Pinkney Innovation Complex for Science & Technology at Montgomery College was recognized for her work with our economic development committee. Schoonmaker was instrumental in the planning stages & execution of the I-270 Corridor Bus Tour. The Chamber thanked her for her commitment in helping us ensure a vibrant community, with a business-friendly environment.

“This made my day, week, month and year”, said Schoonmaker on receiving her award. “When I was just a new economic developer to PIC MC four years ago, not knowing a soul, GGCC took me in and helped me to know all the people I needed to know.”

David McCormick-Goodhart, Financial Advisor at Savant Capital Management, is an active participant on the Chamber’s membership committee. He always has a positive attitude, is dedicated and is the first to volunteer as an ambassador or just to lend a hand. He has contributed to the vitality of the committee.

Shannon Gorman is the President of Gorman’s Garments & Gear. She is the epitome of going above and beyond. As a regular event attendee and active participant on the events committee, Gorman loves to volunteer and is always there to lend her support. Her dedication to the committee ensures its success and the success of the Chamber’s events. She also comes prepared with fantastic embroidered door prize items.

Eileen Engels, Apex Home Loans, was recognized for being an asset to the Young Professionals Group (YPG). She currently serves on the YPG planning meetings and attends YPG events regularly. Engels always comes to the meetings chock full of ideas, a smile and goes the extra mile to ensure that all the young professionals are engaged at an event and having a good time. She also volunteers her time at events & on the events committee. Her passion, drive and commitment enhance the value & ensure the success of this group.

Interested in learning more about how you can volunteer with the GGCC? Check out the Chamber’s committee page at

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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About Laura Rowles

Laura authors the blog Your Success is Our Business on MyMCMedia. 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.


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