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Hrabowski, Burrell highlight Influential Marylanders

Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and Chet Burrell, president and CEO of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, highlight the 2014 crop of Influential Marylanders selected by The Daily Record.

Both Hrabowski and Burrell will be inducted this year into the Circle of Excellence for sustained achievement, marking the third time they have been honored as Influential Marylanders. They join an impressive list of people from all walks of life who have made a significant impact in their field and who are influential leaders in our state.

Influential Marylanders, an annual award, was created in 2006. From the beginning, the selection process has rested in the hands of the editors in The Daily Record’s newsroom who deal with the state’s newsmakers day in and day out. For the last couple of years, The Daily Record has also encouraged online nominations; this year, seven of the winners owe their selection to an initial nomination that came in online. Selections are also made in consultation with the newspaper’s publisher, Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, and its top advertising executives.

There are 10 categories for nomination, ranging from Law to Technology to Real Estate; each has five awards (in a small number cases, an award can have more than one winner). One category, Freestyle, is our way of honoring Marylanders whose activities do not fall neatly into one of the other nine; this year’s Freestyle winners include Steve Phillips, CEO of Phillips Seafood, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, and Dominique Dawes, who was part of three U.S. Olympics teams in gymnastics and who is now co-chair of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition.

One category you won’t find: politicians or those who hold or run for elective office — which in Maryland means no judges, either. The Daily Record considers them influential in their own right. This is a chance for us to shine the spotlight on Marylanders who deserve to be even better known than they are.

A full list of winners appears here. The Daily Record will hold an event to present the awards starting at 5:30 p.m. on March 27 at The Grand Lodge in Cockeysville.

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