Maryland Business is a statewide advocacy organization founded in 2011 to hold our elected leaders accountable for action on the policy issues that matter most to small business and Maryland’s economy.
Founder Jason Judd is both a Maryland small business leader and an economic policy expert. He is President of Cashbox Partners, based in Frederick, and a policy consultant to Demos, a public policy institute based in New York City. He has led national and global policy campaigns over the last 15 years that have been featured in the New York Times, Business Week, The Financial Times, PBS, and The Baltimore Sun.
Ann Costlow is the founder of Sofi’s Crepes LLC, which opened in 2004 as well as Sofi’s Crepes Franchise LLC, established in 2008. There are now four Sofi’s locations around Maryland—two are company-owned and two are franchises. Ann was a Stock Broker in Baltimore for 16 years prior to opening her own business.
Justin Lesher co-founded Optoro, a $13 million software-driven ecommerce company headquartered in Lanham, in Prince George’s County. As chief financial officer, he saw the company through multiple investment rounds and the doubling of revenue and headcount in 2011. Having left day-to-day activities last December, he has shifted his focus to highlighting the challenges faced by small businesses in a political economy dominated by big corporations.
Jim Racheff is the Chairman and CEO of DMS, Inc., an award-winning Frederick company which has provided innovative technology services to bio-medical research and public health organizations for more than 30 years. More recently he founded Racheff Enterprise—a real estate development and management firm focused on redevelopment in-and-around the City of Frederick—and partnered in Frog Eye Farm, an organic micro-farm in Washington County.
Jane Seebold is the Executive Director of Federal Hill Main Street, a nonprofit organization focused on strengthening the business district of the Federal Hill community of Baltimore City, since 2008. Jane has spearheaded the effort to develop a micro-lending program for Baltimore small businesses to address an identified impediment to growth. Prior to this, Jane served as Director of Publications for an international scientific organization in Washington, DC.