Plank, Bisciotti demonstrate relevance of having corporate headquarters

I note with admiration and respect the substantial philanthropic commitments of both Under Armour founder Kevin Plank and Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti to Baltimore City's schools, and to the Baltimore region generally. However, I find The Sun's recognition of their significant corporate citizenship to the region ("Protecting Baltimore's house," June 11) strangely out of sync with past statements about the irrelevance of losing other corporate headquarters.

Specifically, on these same pages, The Sun considered whether the loss of Constellation Energy, our last Fortune 500 company, had any relevance ("America's branch town," March 18), questioning "…beyond pride, what does it really mean?" The Sun went on to state that "the loss of Constellation headquarters, then, is no reason to panic…"

Perhaps the editors are correct in speculating that jobs lost in the private sector can be replaced with jobs in advanced biomedical research, and attempts to convert research into commerce. However, how long must the region wait to replace the lost generation of corporate leaders, from businesses as diverse as Alex Brown and Maryland National Bank to Westinghouse and Black and Decker, all of whom historically donated their time and resources to the needs of the Baltimore metro area?

Many will disagree on whether Maryland is "pro-" or "anti-" business. However, no one can understate the importance of corporate citizenship, and the critical importance of luring or developing other Baltimore-based corporate headquarters to the future well-being of this metropolitan region.

Howard Klein, Forest Hill

The writer is vice president of Kleins ShopRite of Maryland.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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