Talbot County Announces Speaker for Business Appreciation Summit on May 2

Business Appreciation Summit - Chris Pilkerton

Former acting administrator and general legal counsel for the U.S. Small Business Administration Chris Pilkerton will headline the 17th Talbot County Business Appreciation Summit on Thursday, May 2, 2024.

The Talbot County Department of Economic Development and Tourism hosts the summit in partnership with the Talbot County Economic Development Commission. The annual event celebrates the local business community and honors businesses, projects, and individuals who have made a significant impact in the community. Nearly 200 business, government, and civic leaders will attend.

“The summit celebrates the strength and resiliency of our business community and the people who make Talbot County work,” said Talbot County Economic Development and Tourism Director Cassandra Vanhooser. “This year’s event is especially exciting because Chris has great insights, especially for small businesses, and is highly regarded as a speaker.” 

In addition to his work at the SBA, Pilkerton also served as the executive director of the White House Opportunity Now initiative, a government-wide program to support economic initiatives for underserved communities. While at the White House, he was a senior policy advisor, leading the Jobs & Economy Pillar of the Domestic Policy Council.

Now a Talbot County resident, he began his career as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan. Pilkerton went on to become senior counsel at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, a compliance director at JP Morgan Chase, and an executive at Accion Opportunity Fund, the leading community development financial institution focused exclusively on support for small businesses.

Pilkerton was named to Fortune’s List of the 50 Heroes of the Fortune 500 and is the author of UNDERSERVED: Harnessing the Principles of Lincoln’s Reconstruction for Today’s Forgotten Communities and an upcoming book on pandemic economic stimulus programs to be released later this year. 

“I am very honored to be speaking at the Talbot County Business Appreciation Summit,” said Pilkerton. “The determination and hard work of all small business owners should be celebrated, and I am excited that I can be there to recognize my friends and neighbors from the Eastern Shore.” 

The breakfast and awards presentation begins at 8 a.m. at the Tidewater Inn’s Gold Ballroom. Seating is limited, with tickets at $45 per person and advance purchase required here.  

The Talbot County Department of Economic Development and Tourism’s mission is to enhance and promote a business-friendly environment for current and prospective enterprises and to advocate for policies that support and strengthen the economic vitality of Talbot County. The department’s vision for Talbot County is built on the principles of strong communities, empowered businesses, and innovative solutions.

Business owners and managers may register to receive the Department of Economic Development and Tourism’s monthly newsletter and can find breaking news at www.talbotworks.org. The department can also be reached at 410-770-8000 or by visiting 215 Bay Street, Suite 5, Easton, Md.


About Talbot County Department of Economic Development and Tourism

The Talbot County Department of Economic Development and Tourism’s mission is to enhance and promote a business-friendly environment for current and prospective enterprises and to advocate for policies that support and strengthen the economic vitality of Talbot County. The department’s vision for Talbot County is built on the principles of strong communities, empowered businesses, and innovative solutions.

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