Baltimore County economic development director resigns after three months

The county said Monday afternoon it promoted Abigail Vitaliano to serve as deputy economic development director

Published 11/6/2023 3:36 p.m. EST, Updated 11/6/2023 6:00 p.m. EST

6/16/22—A decal reading “Executive Office” is on the county executive’s door inside the historic Baltimore County Courthouse in Towson, the center of county government.

Baltimore County’s economic development director Marcus L. Wang announced his resignation to his staff Monday — after little more than three months on the job.

In a Nov. 6 morning email to Department of Economic and Workforce Development staffers, Wang, whose appointment was confirmed by the Baltimore County Council in July, said that, “with the the consent of the County Executive, I believe the time is now right for me to return to the private sector.”

Wang’s resignation is effective Nov. 17, according to the county press office.

“I joined County government to help this Department maximize its potential and set it on the right track to success,” Wang, who took the helm of the department July 31, wrote.

“On every front, our Department is stronger than it was three months ago, and it is entirely due to your dedication, your skill, and your passion.”

A county news release confirmed the announcement Monday afternoon. Wang is paid $203,700 in the role, according to county salary data.

“We appreciate Marcus’s energy and committed service” as department director, County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. said in a statement.

“We thank for him for those dedicated efforts and we wish him and his family well as he plans to return to the private sector.”

County spokeswoman Erica Palmisano said late Monday afternoon that the county promoted Abigail Vitaliano to deputy director Sept. 29. Vitaliano “will be assuming day to day activities” as acting director after Wang departs, Palmisano said.

Vitaliano was previously a marketing specialist in the economic development department, according to a list of salaries provided by Baltimore County.

Olszewski’s economic department lacked a deputy director for more than two years, after its prior second-in-command, William “Chris” McCollum, resigned. In May, McCollum pleaded guilty to state prosecutor charges that he embezzled more than $140,000 from political committees on which he served as treasurer while he worked for county government; McCollum is serving a six-month sentence.

In May, the county hired real estate developer and Olszewski campaign donor John Vontran as a “sector strategy coordinator” and strategist in the economic department to be “the primary point of contact” for business owners and corporate executives to access “county and state programs and resources,” according to the county.

The county also announced that Office of Human Resources director Rhoda Benjamin has departed from her role and has been replaced with acting director Renee Coleman, who was the office’s deputy director. Benjamin was paid $210,717, according to county salary data.

The county says Olszewski will name candidates to fill both directors’ positions “in the coming weeks.”

This article has been updated to reflect the status of the county's economic development deputy director position.

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