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TEDCO elects Morgan State entrepreneur center director as first Black chair

Omar S. Muhammad, director of the Entrepreneurial Development and Assistance Center at Morgan State University, on Tuesday became the first Black chair of TEDCO, Maryland’s economic engine for technology companies.

Omar Muhammad, new TEDCO chair.

Muhammad, who replaces Arena Analytics CEO Myra Norton as chair, was one of four executive officers elected by TECDO’s board of directors. Joining Muhammad on the executive team are vice chair Chung Hei Sing, CEO of Applied Derivative Research; treasurer Michael J. Howard, founder of MJH Group; secretary Jennifer Elisseeff, a professor of opthalmology, and the Morton Goldberg professor and director of the Translational Tissue Engineering Center at Wilmer Eye Institute and the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) School of Medicine.

Muhammad is an entrepreneurship ecosystem builder working with entrepreneurs, small businesses, corporations and government entities. He has been actively involved in entrepreneurship since the age of 12, served as a vice president for a nonprofit organization where he operated a $4 million small business loan fund within Baltimore’s Empowerment Zone, and provided small business counseling and entrepreneurial training for women and other budding and existing entrepreneurs.

He served as a business columnist for a national business newspaper and a business radio talk show host for 22 years on National Public Radio. Muhammad is the board chair for TEDCO and serves on other committees to further build entrepreneurship ecosystems. He holds a master’s in technology entrepreneurship from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Science from Morgan State.

Sing is the CEO of Applied Derivative Research, an impact-oriented research platform leveraging technology to preserve and grow wealth in a way that positively impacts society. Passionate about impact, he is an advisor to AARP, an aging-focused nonprofit and board member to Corporate Esports Association, an esports for charity and HR solutions-focused organization.

Previously, he served in a vice president capacity for a hedge fund and COO for a fintech blockchain organization. Prior to that, he deployed his multidisciplinary investment and business experience across industries and asset classes to support the growth of various multimillion- and multibillion-dollar investment firms and their portfolio companies.

Chung is a graduate of George Washington University and Harvard Business School.

Howard is a private investor, strategic adviser, board member and philanthropist. He is the founding member of the MJH Group, a private investment and management consulting firm. For more than 20 years, Howard has been able to translate his corporate vision and proprietary investment strategy into consistent economic returns and operational efficiencies for the firm and its clients. He was an early investor in several technology companies with successful exits.

In addition, Howard was named by a national publication as one of the top private investors in early-stage technology companies. Prior to forming the MJH Group, Howard had a distinguished professional career with PricewaterhouseCoopers and the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Corporation Finance. Howard is a certified public accountant who holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Morgan State University.

In 2004, Elisseeff cofounded Cartilix Inc., a startup that translated adhesive and biomaterial technologies for treating orthopedic disease, acquired by Biomet Inc. in 2009. Also in that year, she founded Aegeria Soft Tissue, a startup focused on soft tissue regeneration and wound healing. She is a member of the National Academy of Inventors (and advises a number of biotech companies around the country).

She received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University and a Ph.D. in medical engineering from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. In 2018, she was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Medicine.

TEDCO is managed by a 19-member board of directors, 14 of whom are appointed by the governor, two appointed by the president of the Maryland Senate, and two appointed by the speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates, each to staggered four-year terms. The 19th member is the Maryland Secretary of Commerce, who serves ex officio.  Each member appointed by the governor must be confirmed by the Senate.