Troy LeMaile-Stovall and Colin Tarbert discuss Baltimore’s ecosystem

COLUMBIA, Md., (April 25, 2024)respectTEDCO, Maryland’s economic engine for technology companies, released another episode of TEDCO Talks. This insightful series allows TEDCO CEO, Troy LeMaile-Stovall, to connect with thought leaders throughout the state of Maryland and beyond, discussing different topics regarding economic development.

On this episode, LeMaile-Stovall welcomed Colin Tarbert, CEO and president of the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC), an organization working to enable economic growth in a manner that is inclusive to all residents.

respectA Ripple Effect

The conversation began by recognizing the recent tragedy – the collapse of the Francis Scott Key (FSK) Bridge. 

The closure of any port is bound to impact the economy and local businesses, but with the Port of Baltimore – an entity that directly employs almost 10% of the jobs in the city and is one of the busiest ports on the east coast – the impact is bound to ripple throughout the state, across the nation and into other countries. On top of being the number one importer of roll-on, roll-off vessels (cars, tractors, etc.), LeMaile-Stovall cites that the Baltimore port is one of the biggest exporters of coal to India; this coal is then used to make bricks that are sent back to the Baltimore port and used in various building projects.

According to Tarbert, there is a misconception circling that cargo ships are arriving to ports faster than they would arrive to the Port of Baltimore and therefore distribution is faster. While this is partially correct – Baltimore is farther west than either of these ports, therefore making the ships’ trip a bit longer – the other ports are father away from distributers and customers. And since cargo ships tend to travel faster than vehicles on land, this additional distance after arriving at the port is leading to longer customer wait times and more expenses for companies. 

Looking Ahead

The collapse of the FSK Bridge will affect the surrounding economy and will require adjustments to be made as construction continues. However, the BDC’s goals remain the same – to redevelop and support Baltimore’s job growth and investment. 

“That’s our primary mission – to see investment across the city, not just in downtown, but in neighborhoods. And we want to make sure that the economic growth that happens in Baltimore city is something that benefits all Baltimoreans,” Tarbert explained. “Baltimore is a Black-majority city… I still want Baltimore to be a Black-majority city, but one that has neighborhoods that are all doing well and are invested in. I don’t want to change the culture of Baltimore, even though I want to improve life and economic development for the city.”

BDC and Upsurge, two organizations in Baltimore centered on promoting economic development, are striving to do just that. LeMaile-Stovall ends the episode with admiration, recognizing the deliberate planning both organizations are doing to consider how to “have this growth and do it without displacing anyone.”  

Learn more about Tarbert, plans for Baltimore’s growth, and more by listening to the whole conversation here and subscribe to TEDCO’s YouTube channel to be notified each time a new TEDCO Talks episode is released.


TEDCO, the Maryland Technology Development Corporation, enhances economic empowerment growth through the fostering of an inclusive entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem. TEDCO identifies, invests in, and helps grow technology and life science-based companies in Maryland. Learn more at

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