May 24 // Barbara Mikulski's advice to an ailing Baltimore: 'Stop whining'

The best way to move Baltimore forward from its blight, unemployment and horrific three-year cycle of violent crime and record homicide rates is to stand up to it with gusto. "Stop whining and start winning," retired U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski told a group of about 75 business leaders at an informal panel Wednesday afternoon downtown. The event was sponsored by Venable LLP and held at 750 E. Pratt St. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Franchot reverses position, wants alcohol sales in Maryland grocery stores

Comptroller Peter Franchot wants Maryland to join a majority of the U.S. and allow beer and wine sales in all grocery stores, marking a reversal from a previous stance he had on the issue as recently as last fall. The Democratic comptroller said in an interview this week with the Business Journal that the move to legalize alcohol sales in supermarkets would "provide a shot in the arm" to local craft brewers, an industry he has been seeking to reform for more than a year. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Activists join forces against D.C.-area bids for Amazon’s second headquarters

Activists are organizing against the Washington region’s bids for Amazon.com’s second headquarters, saying governments shouldn’t offer tax subsidies to a wealthy company when they haven’t devoted enough money to public schools, mass transit and the poor. In a meeting Tuesday night, about 100 activists from more than a dozen social justice and workers’ rights groups gathered in a Northwest D.C. church calling for more transparency in the bids submitted by the District, Maryland and Virginia. The groups say no public financial incentives should be included in the offers. (Wash. Post)

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Baltimore Community Foundation creates $6 million 'impact' fund to target city's ills

Patti Baum envisions a Baltimore where the economy is "thriving for all people." That's the reason Baum and other board members of the Baltimore Community Foundation decided they had to change the way the foundation does business. BCF on Wednesday introduced an investment pool that will fund community groups already targeting issues like affordable housing and blighted neighborhoods in the city and Baltimore County. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Under Armour helps give Kohl's activewear sales a boost

Kohl's Corp. CEO Michelle Gass said Tuesday that the retailer is seeing "strong growth" from its partnership with Under Armour Inc. Comparable sales of activewear grew 10 percent in the first quarter, outpacing the company's overall comparable sales growth of 3.6 percent. Overall, Kohl's reported sales of $4.2 billion. Gass, who recently succeeded longtime Kohl's executive Kevin Mansell as CEO, said Nike Inc., Under Armour and Adidas AG drove the growth of activewear sales. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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CareFirst promotes from within to fill CEO post

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield has elevated Brian D. Pieninck to CEO, putting him in the top spot at the region’s largest health insurer amid a turbulent time for the health care industry. Pieninck joined Baltimore-based CareFirst in 2015 as executive vice president and has been chief operating officer for the last year. He will succeed Chet Burrell, who plans to retire as CEO June 30 after a decade in the role. Pieninck will begin the new role July 1. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Capital Digestive Care buys Rockville medical complex, plans 'hub for patient services'

Silver Spring-based Capital Digestive Care LLC has purchased a 100,000-square-foot medical office complex in Rockville. The gastroenterology group bought two properties at 15001 and 15005 Shady Grove Road with developer partner Anchor Health Properties, selected through a request for proposals, in a deal that closed Monday. The team declined to disclose terms of the deal, said Anchor CEO Ben Ochs. (Wash. Bus. Journal)

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Jennifer Pilcher named director, senior strategist at Crosby Marketing Communications

Jennifer Pilcher has joined Crosby Marketing Communications in Annapolis as a director and senior strategist. Using more than 15 years of marketing and media expertise and her personal experience as a Navy spouse, she will help clients develop authentic content and outreach programs designed to empower the lives of active duty personnel, National Guard and reservists, veterans, military spouses and beyond. (Balt. Sun)

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