Danielle Smith, BGE
Danielle Smith follows a long line of Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) executives who support Howard Community College (HCC), dating back to a 1986 BGE gift for the Senator James Clark retirement dinner and endowment. Smith recalls early visits with a BGE colleague and Educational Foundation board member to HCC’s Columbia Classic Grand Prix, where she fell in love with the college’s mission and students.
Now a member of the board herself, Smith brings her own unique perspective to the role. The BGE project management manager is a graduate of Morgan State’s engineering program, a Howard County resident, and the mother of three boys, including a recent Mt. Hebron graduate.
“I talk to many high school students who are looking at HCC, as well as current HCC students … one recently pointed out that HCC has everything the universities have, except for dorms!” says Smith, smiling broadly. “These are academically strong students with good finances who have chosen Howard Community College for its program offerings and structure.”
Smith admires the students’ thought process in choosing a college with small class sizes, involved staff and faculty, and up-to-date facilities like her favorite, the recently opened Science, Engineering, and Technology building. Noting that the electric and gas industry is in search of a multitude of employees—including engineers, support staff, and those who specialize in construction and electrician fields—Smith believes HCC can lay a strong foundation for a number of highly sought-after careers.
BGE is the sponsor of the Best Presentation at HCC’s Engineering Projects night, which gives Smith the opportunity to view the presentations and chat with student participants. Reflecting on an array of phenomenal projects—including an unforgettable wind tunnel—Smith particularly enjoyed discussing the lessons learned by the students and what they’d do to improve their projects next time. “This is the critical thinking we like to see in our hires at BGE,” she says.
Smith’s advice to other businesses who aren’t familiar with Howard Community College? “Come take a look—it really does have everything!”