Today, I interviewed a former official of the Maryland State Government who worked for many years with Maryland Trade Ambassador, Philip Kapneck.
Alan Gray: Thank you for doing this.
I’m happy to help tell the story.
Ambassador Kapneck served the State for 40 years, through consecutive administrations. That must be unprecendented.
Yes, Ambassador Phillip Kapneck served 40 years as Maryland Trade Ambassador. Once in a lifetime, a person of this magnitude will create such a success in the business world that his efforts will always be remembered as an outstanding achievement. It was outstanding in the past, the present, and those of us who know government service also believe, the future. No one else was able to come close to what Ambassador Kapneck was able to achieve.
Just over 40 years ago, the governor started the ball rolling, to generate business and create more jobs. Successive administrations continued the appointment.
Governor Mandel and the State of Maryland made the best choice possible, choosing Philip Kapneck as their trade ambassador.
He was selected many times, to continue his work and the amazing job he was doing. Every four years when Republicans or Democrats were elected president or governor, he was reappointed to continue that amazing work.
The aim was to help European companies to set up operations in the state, and create more jobs.
Ambassador Kapneck’s first base of operations was in Brussels Belgium. The aim was to attract European business and industry to stimulate the US Economy and job market. If they could attract thousands of businesses, they could get hundreds and thousands of Americans to work.
And that was very successful.
Every week, manufacturers and businesses from overseas wanted to set up their companies in the USA.
Ambassador Kapneck had brought so many companies from overseas to assist the many people needing jobs. He accomplished things that were never done before, and shattered all previous records on the books.
He created such a huge demand for European businesses to start up in the USA that the number of companies wanting to come to America to start up was almost unbelievable.
Did the companies only come to Maryland?
If the companies initially came to Maryland, but preferred to check another state for some reason, Ambassador Kapneck would talk to other governors to get their thoughts.
They talked about what could be achieved if the company came to the USA, even if it would help another state, where people were looking for work. This would create jobs there. After that, other states started advertising for companies to come to their state to see what they had to offer.
Did that reduce the number of companies coming to Maryland?
Europeans were still asking to speak to “Ambassador Philip Kapneck.” He still seemed to be the number 1 contact for those European companies wanting to set up in the USA. The reason is that he was the first to set up in Brussels and he had the confidence of the Europeans. He was honest, helpful and bilingual, plus he had a great personality and this attracted companies to deal with him first, whether he was over there in Brussels at the time or back in the USA.
In many cases, European families who set up their business in the USA were doing well, they would tell their families in Europe, to contact Ambassador Kapneck who could assist them.
What do you think is Philip Kapneck’s greatest achievement?
Philip Kapneck will be remembered most as the man who gave 40 years of service helping people get jobs, attracting business and industry to the USA, caring for his fellow man, and creating the most amazing number of jobs what no-one else has ever created in the history of our country.
It will be written in future history books that Ambassador Philip Kapneck was able to turn around the state’s economy 360 degrees by attracting foreign business and manufacturing to America and employing millions of people who were looking for jobs.
The timing was perfect and businesses took off like a jet plane.
Thank you for passing on this information, I appreciate it.
It’s my pleasure. Philip Kapneck, just like most of us in government service, never wants notoriety, but his achievements have been so outstanding, that people should know what he has done, and what is possible when someone sets out to do good for his fellow man.
Alan Gray is a business writer who covers a range of business issues, including interviewing business leaders with interesting things to say.