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CEO, Eagle Bank
EagleBankMark Choe is the embodiment of the American Dream come to life. An immigrant from South Korea, Mark arrived in the United States on his own in 1985 in search of a more open and relaxed society than his native country. He has since risen from these humble beginnings to his current position as one of the most prominent and successful business leaders and restaurateurs in the progressive area of Takoma Park.
As Chairman and CEO of EagleBank, the Washington, DC area’s largest community bank with more than $5.5 billion in assets and over 20 offices headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Ron Paul is a local force to be reckoned with. Since founding the publicly-traded Eagle Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq EGBN) in 1997, Ron has consistently driven the organization to ever-greater heights of achievement and recognition. With a BBB+ rating from Kroll Bond Rating Agency and citations for its excellent financial performance by leading bank rating services, such as IDC Financial Publishing, Veribanc, and BauerFinancial, EagleBank was also named one of 40 institutions to the Honor Roll of Banks compiled by Keefe, Bruyette and Woods in 2014. The company has also been named a Sm-All Star Bank by Sandler O’Neill & Partners.
Prior to his launch of Eagle Bancorp, Ron held several leadership positions across various areas of the financial and investment industries, cementing his status as a leading expert and pioneer. In his executive positions with several groups, including founding his own other ventures, Ronald D. Paul Companies and RDP Management, Inc. (since 1987), Ron has also held key roles with Bethesda Investments, Inc., Republic Properties Trust, Allegiance Bank and Allegiance Banc Corporation, and Prince George’s National Bank, Ron consistently grew his portfolio of experience and local footprint, essential ingredients to his ongoing success and position as a community leader.
Ron is an active participant in several leading professional and community organizations, such as the Independent Community Bankers of America and its Large Community Bank Council, The Washington Hospital Center and National Capital Area chapter of the National Kidney Foundation, the University of Maryland Alumni Association, and the Montgomery County, Maryland Economic Advisory Council, among many others. Ron is also a frequent contributor in a number of local and larger industry publications, and has been featured in The Washington Post’s Capital Business, The Washington Business Journal, and The New York Times. Additionally, Ron frequently participates as a speaker to various groups throughout the year, including giving the December 2014 Commencement Address to the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, and presenting at a number of industry conferences and meetings, a key aspect of his continued desire to give back and share his knowledge and experience with others.
Ron holds a B.A. degree in Accounting from the University of Maryland and authors a blog, “Checking in with EagleBank Chairman Ron Paul,” in his spare time, at www.EagleBankBlog.com.
CEO, United Therapeutics Corporation
Dr. Martine Rothblatt is Chairwoman and Co-CEO of United Therapeutics Corporation (UTHR), and President and CEO of its Lung Biotechnology public benefit company. An accomplished regulatory attorney, entrepreneur, author, and multi-discipline expert, she is the inventor of satellite radio and is also one of the country’s highest-paid female CEOs. Dr. Rothblatt created and led Sirius XM as its Chairman and CEO, and she also holds several patents on her inventions covering numerous fields of discipline, including satellite radio, prostacyclin biochemistry, and cognitive software. Dr. Rothblatt has also published several books, her most recent titles being on xenotransplantation (Your Life or Mine, Ashgate) and cyberethics (Virtually Human, St. Martin’s).
Born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in San Diego, California, Dr. Rothblatt first became inspired by the idea of uniting the world via satellite communications after a visit to the NASA tracking station in the Seychelles in the summer of 1974. She later completed her undergraduate studies in this area, becoming an active member of the L5 Society and its Southern California affiliate OASIS (the Organization for the Advancement of Space Industrialization and Settlement), where she became a regular contributor on legal aspects of space colonization. Dr. Rothblatt later enrolled in the joint MBA/JD program at UCLA, where upon graduation she received a job at leading Washington, DC law firm, Covington & Burling to represent the television broadcasting industry before the FCC in the areas of direct broadcasting satellites and spread spectrum communication. Dr. Rothblatt was then retained by NASA to obtain FCC approval for the IEEE c-band system on its tracking and data relay satellites and by the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Radio Frequencies to safeguard before the FCC radio astronomy quiet bands used for deep space research. Later that year she was also retained by Gerard K. O’Neill to handle business and regulatory matters for his newly invented satellite navigation technology, known as the Geostar System, followed by a number of other positions, including with the Spanish International Network, and later becoming the CEO of Geostar Corporation in 1986. After leaving Geostar, she founded Worldspace and Sirus Satellite Radio in 1990 before becoming full-time Chairwoman and CEO of United Therapeutics Corporation in 1997, the position she still holds today.
Other highlights of her career include her leadership in the International Bar Association’s biopolitical project to develop a draft of the Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights for the United Nations. Dr. Rothblatt became involved in the medical-life sciences field following her daughter being diagnosed with life-threatening pulmonary hypertension in the late 1990s. She created the PPH Care Foundation and medical biotechnology company, United Therapeutics following this and began her Ph.D. studies in medical ethics.
Dr. Rothblatt holds J.D. and MBA degrees from UCLA, and a Ph.D. in Medical Ethics from the Royal London School of Medicine & Dentistry.
President and CEO, Holy Cross Health
As the President and CEO of Holy Cross Health in Silver Spring, Maryland and the Maryland Region of Trinity Health, Kevin Sexton is a leading businessman and healthcare executive in the metropolitan Washington, DC region, with an illustrious career history. Since he joined Holy Cross Hospital in 1998, Kevin has been a leading force in its significant growth, focus on community need and consistent, strong financial performance, as well as its commitment to quality and efficiency and staff engagement. Holy Cross has been cited repeatedly by the State of Maryland for its outstanding community benefit programs. It has been recognized as a “Best Place to Work” by the Alliance for Workplace Excellence every year since 1999. In addition, Holy Cross Hospital has been designated as a “top Performer on Key Quality Measures” by the Joint Commission, the only hospital in the state of Maryland to receive this accolade for 2010 and 2011, and one of 66 hospitals in the country to win it four years in a row, including in 2012 and 2013.
Kevin led the efforts to secure State approval for Holy Cross Germantown Hospital, the first new hospital in Montgomery County in 35 years and the first in the US to be built on a community college campus (Montgomery College) to advance the care of patients and the education of the next generation of healthcare workers. He played a leadership role in creating and reaching consensus on a new all-payor reimbursement system for Maryland to promote improved access and sustainable healthcare for Marylanders.
He recently reorganized Holy Cross to enable it to thrive in this new health care world while continuing to serve the vulnerable in our community.
Prior to his service with Holy Cross Health, Kevin was the Senior Vice President and Director of Healthcare Organizations practice of The Lewin Group, a nationally-recognized healthcare policy and consulting firm. He has also served as President of the MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, and Director of the Office of Management and Budget of the Health Care Financing Administration where he was selected as a charter member of the federal government’s Senior Executive Service.
Kevin holds a B.S.B.A. degree from Georgetown University and a M.P.A. from Harvard University.
President, Smokey Glen Farm Barbequers, Inc.
Jim Sweet is the President and CEO of Smokey Glen Farm, a family-owned & unique special events venue in the Gaithersburg – Darnestown neighborhood that celebrated its 62nd anniversary in 2015.
Smokey Glen Farm’s history dates back to 1953 where George & Betty Sweet began a barbequed chicken concession at University of Maryland’s Byrd Stadium when George was a graduate student in the University’s agriculture department. The property now known as Smokey Glen Farm was purchased in 1958, followed by a commitment by George & Betty to build the diverse family farm operation of their dreams. The primary operation was 13,000 laying hens for local wholesale & door to door egg sales, and the secondary operations included a construction business, a small herd of cattle, and hosting and catering services for corporate and group events.
In the years since its founding, Smokey Glen Farm continues to grow and prosper under Jim’s leadership, and is now comprised of 12 full-time and nearly 200 part-time employees, making it the county’s largest single-unit youth employer. The Farm is comprised of five separate event venues and nearly 30 acres in Christmas trees as its seasonal business continues to grow and evolve. Throughout its evolution over more than six decades, the Farm has consistently remained true to the Sweet family’s central mission – to preserve & uphold the family farm and business, serve the surrounding community, and continue their tradition of establishing a thoughtful, purposeful, and nurturing environment to support young people as they develop leadership skills and work ethic to carry with them throughout their adult lives.
Smokey Glen Farm has earned a reputation among their clientele for beautiful private facilities, excellent customer service, and outstanding barbeque specialties. They also have a stellar reputation for giving back through volunteerism, charitable giving, community support and advocacy. Under Jim’s leadership, with the support of his mother, brother and an outstanding staff, the family legacy established by George and Betty Sweet continues to thrive for future generations of family, guests and staff members.