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Acknowledgements
Presented by April Young at the 1997 Chairman's Dinner
November 25, 1997

It is my pleasure to welcome all of you to the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project's first annual Chairman's Dinner for our investors and special guests. The dual purpose of tonight's dinner is to update our largest investors on the KnowledgeWay's progress and provide you a glimpse of the future through the eyes of our very own visionary and chairman - Mario Morino.

Before I introduce Mario, I want to briefly report on what your investment is supporting:

A Clear Mission

The Potomac KnowledgeWay Project is a leadership organization with a clear mission: to make the Greater Washington region a global leader in digital information products and services (IPS). Thanks to your support, we have significantly increased the awareness of the region's role and leadership in specific technology sectors, the opportunities we have and our inherent strengths – points which Mario will address in a minute.

Five Year Goals

We are well on our way to achieving the five year goals we set when we started our Development Campaign earlier this year:

Our first goal is to help foster the creation of 2,000 netpreneurs by 2002: as of yesterday there were 1,000 netpreneurs in our database, and the number grows everyday.

Our second goal is to create 50,000 new knowledge-based jobs: we estimate that netpreneurs alone employ more than 10,000 people -- this does not count new jobs created in existing companies like BTG, CDSI and SAIC.

Our third goal is to triple the region's number of knowledge workers: while we do not yet have a reliable baseline for this goal, activities by the two technology councils, the Board of Trade, the region's educational institutions, and unique efforts such as the Washington Technology Initiative are increasing the pipeline of workers as we speak.

Our fourth goal is to aid in the recognition of the Greater Washington region as a global leader in the creation, production and delivery of digital information products and services: we have made progress towards this goal as evidenced by coverage of the region in major media including NBC Nightly News, Forbes, BusinessWeek, New York Times and The Washington Post, as well as a wide range of local and industry publications.

Our fifth goal is to add $3.5 billion to the region's personal consumption beginning in 2002: the foundation continues to be built as we accomplish the first of these goals and as the wages and investments of a wide range of companies and enterprises - existing, startups, and migrants - are invested in the region's economy.

Five Strategic Programs

We have a clear work program to sustain this momentum through Mario's generosity. With the help of Chuck Stein, one of our board members, we identified five strategic programs that will support our efforts to accomplish our mission of making the Greater Washington region a global leader in digital information products and services.

KnowledgeWay Education Program: It is a campaign that will increase the awareness of the region's digital economy.

KnowledgeWay Skills for Success: We will articulate the skills our region's information businesses believe are needed to ensure that students and adults at all levels have an awareness of and capability to succeed in an information products and services-based economy.

KnowledgeWay IPS Research Institute: We will drive the creation of a world-class research institute devoted to the creation, production and delivery of leading edge digital information products and services. I am delighted to announce that one of the first initiatives generated from this effort is a "Three President's Summit" scheduled for March of 1998. This summit is bringing together the presidents of the University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University and George Mason University.

KnowledgeWay Netpreneur Program: Many of you, if not all of you, are aware of this incredibly successful program that fosters and supports a community of net-centric entrepreneurs.

KnowledgeWay Report Card: This program will measure and disseminate a "report card" on the region's progress in becoming a global leader in digital information products and services.

As a reminder of what it is we are here to do and what it is you are supporting, each of you have a card at your place setting with our mission on one side and our five strategic programs on the other. This card is to keep us on track and to help you help us get our message out. We are committed to focusing on these five programs and keeping you, our investors happy.

Thank You

None of these things would have been possible, without the support of many individuals. My deepest thanks to:

  • our Board of Directors who have provided incredible guidance and leadership
  • our early and largest investors, without whom we would not exist
  • our Development Campaign co-chairs and division leaders who helped us throughout the campaign
  • the netpreneurs who are changing the face of this region with their net-centric businesses and success stories
  • our special guests who have participated in either our "Stars of Telecom" or "Barons of the Beltway" programs, and
  • Mario Morino, our true visionary, whose leadership and generosity has lead the way for change and opportunity
At this point, it is my honor and pleasure to introduce a man who has been the guiding light behind the creation and implementation of the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project and specifically the Netpreneur Program. Personally, Mario has been a mentor, a task master and leader. He has made this journey exciting and full of challenges. We all owe him a debt of gratitude for his willingness to lead and his generosity toward what he believes in, Mario Morino.
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