Henry “Hank” Abromson took a leap of entrepreneurial faith, opening his own law firm in Frederick, Maryland, Henry Martin Law, this past January. He joined the Fort Detrick Alliance in fall 2014 while working as an associate attorney at Miles & Stockbridge, jumping in as co-chair of the group’s Organization Committee. In this position he took a lead role in helping the Alliance through its re-organization as a 501 (C)(3) nonprofit in 2017 and its recent mission statement review, ultimately taking on the mantle of Alliance President in January 2018.
“My first impression,” he says, “was that there were so many businesses and government leaders, city, county, and state, leaders of academia, service members and scientists, who were committed and devoted to this organization for the purpose of keeping Fort Detrick around and healthy. That was really impressive.”
The unified effort appealed to Abromson’s sense of civic responsibility and his understanding of how businesses interconnect. “It is the largest employer in this area. It is a huge employer for Washington and Montgomery counties as well. The health of Fort Detrick is important to the health of the rest of us, economically and socially.”
Henry Martin Law specializes in helping small and emerging businesses, particularly with their business formation, general business concerns like contracts, and intellectual property protection. “I appreciate the drive and energy it takes to strike out on your own and follow a dream, because I work with a lot of start-up companies and now I am one; but it’s up to all of us to create an environment where success is possible. I think the success of one’s business or career in this region, whether they know it or not, is directly tied to the success of the Fort.”
Through his participation with the Alliance, Abromson connected with fellow member Janice Riley, Manager of HCC’s Technical Innovation Center (TIC). Now Abromson holds volunteer hours and offers presentations to help new businesses there, expanding his firm’s sphere of influence.
He says his membership isn’t necessarily a direct feeder for new clients, but it lays the groundwork for such opportunities. “I’m not a government contractor or a government contracts attorney and I don’t have many clients that work directly with Fort Detrick, but I am interested as a local resident and a business owner. It is invaluable for getting to know community members, getting to know people of influence in the community, people who are interested in making the community better. That’s very important to me.” Abromson is also the Founder of a local business leaders group called Club Next and is on the Board of a local non-profit called Back to Life Campaign, Inc.
He encourages other members to take advantage of networking opportunities for maximum return on investment, such as the quarterly breakfasts and casual socials. “Our annual dinner is always a nice event. It’s a chance to eat and drink and mingle and meet people…The most important thing to remember is that you don’t necessarily have to jump in and be on the board. We have a lot of different ways to get involved and contribute, especially within the committees.”
“What I enjoy in my company,” says Abromson, “is helping people who are involved in Frederick and Washington, Montgomery counties realize their dream of starting a business and strengthen their communities. That ties directly into what we’re doing with the Fort Detrick Alliance. I think the organization mission and what I do in my business are very similar. They go hand-in-hand. I hope to continue doing that as President of the Alliance.”