AC Business Owners Honored in Maryland for Collaboration Efforts

James Whitehead, of Atlantic City RX5 Cyber Envision Center and Derek Brock, of Community Auto Repair Guy, LLC, were honored for trying to bring NJ and MD business owners together.

AC Business Owners Honored in Maryland for Collaboration Efforts
Maryland Black Caucus Chairman Emeritus Darryl Barnes, president of the Bi-County Business Roundtable (Left), Derek Brock, owner of Community Auto Repair Guy, LLC (Center), James Whitehead, executive director of the Atlantic City RX5 Cyber Envision Center (Right).

COLLEGE PARK, MD — Two Atlantic City business owners were honored in College Park, MD on Thursday by the Bi-County Business Roundtable.

Maryland Black Caucus Chairman Emeritus Darryl Barnes, president of the Bi-County Business Roundtable (Left), Derek Brock, owner of Community Auto Repair Guy, LLC (Center), James Whitehead, executive director of the Atlantic City RX5 Cyber Envision Center (Right). Photo Credit: Mark Tyler

James Whitehead, executive director of the Atlantic City RX5 Cyber Envision Center and Derek Brock, owner of Community Auto Repair Guy, LLC and former owner of Mutual Taxi and Limousine, a historically Black-owned business, each received a Special Recognition Award at “The Red Affair: A Night of Glitz, Glamour & Excellence” for their work in the community.

Maryland Black Caucus Chairman Emeritus Darryl Barnes, who is a partner with Evans Barnes Associates, serves as president of the Maryland Bi-County Business Roundtable. Photo Credit: Mark Tyler

Maryland Black Caucus Chairman Emeritus Darryl Barnes, who is a partner with Evans Barnes Associates and serves as president of the Maryland Bi-County Business Roundtable said they were recognized, in part, because they are working to build a collaboration between New Jersey and Maryland business owners.

“The event highlights some amazing individuals to allow them to see how collaboration works,” said Barnes. “Most importantly, 350 persons are in the room, all of them small business owners, to talk about how we work collaboratively together and to foster relationships between Maryland and Atlantic City.”

Barnes said expanding reach into New Jersey is high on his agenda for the organization in the new year. "This is somewhat of the crescendo of bringing Prince George's County and Atlantic City together," said Whitehead.

In August, Whitehead, Brock, Barnes, and Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small, Sr., worked together to bring the NJ-MD Networking Breakfast to Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. The goal was to encourage; diversity, equity, and inclusion; Rx5 Cyber Security-Artificial Intelligence Youth education, workforce training and real estate development.

At that time, Small explained that Atlantic City has received $30 million from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to encourage growth. The city has also received an $800,000 grant to be used for a microloan program. In September, the small administration held the "How to Do Business with the Great City of Atlantic City" seminar to help business owners learn how to contract with the municipality. Small was also slated to be honored but could not attend because of a prior commitment.

“Darryl Barnes, Derek Brock and I are all supportive of Mayor Small’s community economic agenda,” Whitehead said. “And we’re committed to supporting the mayor, the city council, and (NJ) state Sen. Vince Polistina, Assemblywoman Claire Swift and Assemblyman Don Guardian to achieve a pathway to progress.”

Whitehead has distinguished himself through his leadership in the field of cybersecurity. He has said that his goal is to impact 2 million students around the world with a curriculum that includes Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, STEM, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence literacy. Whitehead is working with Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer, who is the founder of WOZ ED and is determined to train youth to excel in the cybersecurity field.

Whitehead said resources in Maryland and New Jersey could be mutually beneficial.

“Maryland, DC and Virginia have very progressive Black and white business communities working to achieve diversity, equity and inclusion which is our ultimate goal for Black and white entrepreneurs in both Atlantic City and Atlantic County,” Whitehead said. “We’re bringing New Jersey and Maryland together to support red, white and blue capitalism and we look forward to working with Atlantic City Focus to launch a new global youth cyber arts for peace project.”

The event was held from 6-10 p.m. at The Hotel at the University of Maryland overlooking the college campus.

Jason Wright, president of the Washington Commanders, was the keynote speaker

Jason Wright, president of the Washington Commanders, addresses the Bi-County Business Roundtable. Photo Credit: Mark Tyler

Wright leads the organization’s business divisions, overseeing operations, finance, sales and marketing. Wright is the first Black team president in NFL history and he is also the youngest team president in the league. Wright said he has succeeded by utilizing a four-point life strategy:

  • Hyper focus
  • Make methodical decisions
  • Engage the community, and
  • Never Give Up

The Bi-County Business Roundtable is dedicated to fostering collaboration, innovation, and prosperity within the business community. The association has become known as the voice of underrepresented and small businesses in Maryland and Washington D.C. Metropolitan area.

Sponsors for the event included:

  • Employ Prince George’s Inc.,
  • Cisco Systems,
  • JI Solutions,
  • FSC First,
  • Hopkins Navies Management,
  • Wave Welcome,
  • Prince George’s Community Federal Credit Union,
  • Luminis Health; and
  • Truist Bank.

To see a photo gallery of the event click here.


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