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The idea of forming an alliance of Prince George's County business leaders to advocate for public education was conceived in 2002 by County Councilman Thomas R. Hendershot and David R. Merkowitz, the CEO of Strategic Communications, a private public affairs firm. Convinced that the business community should play an important role in the debate over the schools, they met with a broad range of business and education officials over the course of several months to gauge support for the idea. The response was uniformly positive.

In December 2002, a steering committee was created to explore how best to work for the kinds of changes that would benefit the county's children. Supported by contributions from major companies, the group conducted extensive research on public opinion and attitudes toward education and related issues and held numerous discussions concerning the particular challenges facing the county's public education system. Armed with this information, they created the Prince George's Business-Education Alliance. The organization will take an active role in securing adequate resources for public education and improving perceptions of the schools by policy makers, the media, and the public at large.



The Alliance is being organized as an independent, nonprofit corporation and is seeking recognition of its charitable status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Until that time, Meristem, an existing nonprofit educational organization, will serve as fiscal agent for the Alliance. All contributions to the Alliance are tax deductible. The Alliance is not affiliated with any government agency or educational institution. It will be governed by a board of directors made up of its members and an executive committee elected by the board. The activities of the Alliance are being managed by Strategic Communications. David Merkowitz serves as Executive Director of the Alliance.



Membership in the Alliance is open to all businesses that operate in Prince George's County and, on an affiliate basis, to business associations and foundations. The membership currently includes more than two dozen major companies that employ thousands of county residents, as well as virtually every major business association in the county and the CEOs of the public school system and Prince George's Community College. The Alliance continues to recruit new members and also is planning an outreach campaign to small businesses. Click here for a complete roster of members.


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P.O. Box 73
College Park, MD 20741-0073
Phone: (301) 277-8042 Fax: (301) 864-2977
E-mail: alliance@pgbea.org