Laura Neuman Named Anne Arundel County Executive

The chief executive officer of Howard County’s Economic Development Authority will be sworn into office at 10 a.m. Friday in Annapolis.

UPDATE (11:45 a.m.)—Laura Neuman, who was selected to be the new county executive, was greeted with a rush of applause moments after she received a majority vote Thursday from the Anne Arundel County Council.

Neuman, 46, is a native of Anne Arundel County and the CEO of the Howard County Economic Development Authority

She gave a rousing speech during her interview with council members on Thursday night, laying her whole life bare—her trials and successes in making her own way in the world. Neuman earned a master's in business administration without a high school diploma or undergraduate degree, worked at T. Rowe Price, and Hilton Hotels before earning a name for herself in Maryland.

"It is truly an honor to serve," Neuman said after she was selected by the council.

Want to learn more about the newest executive? Read Ellicott City Patch's feature on Neuman from 2011. 

Neuman was sworn into office at 10 a.m. Friday in front of the Anne Arundel County Courthouse in downtown Annapolis.

Click here to see video of Neuman taking the oath of office.

The County Council went through three rounds of voting before landing on Neuman as the next executive. Other finalists included Delegate Steve Schuh, interim county executive John Hammond and Dave Cordle, chief investigator of state's attorney's office.

In the final round of voting, Neuman had gathered the necessary four votes from councilmen Chris Trumbauer (D-6th District), Jamie Benoit (D-4th District), Jerry Walker (R-7th District), and Peter Smith (D-1st District). The remaining councilmen voted for Schuh.

As for her first order of business as county executive, Neuman said she wants to restore confidence in the county government, after former executive John R. Leopold's departure.

"I think we need to create a culture that is collaborative and has strong leadership," she said during her interview. "Without strong leadership, the rest of it doesn't happen."

Neuman also spoke of creating a "culture of excellence" within the county.

"There should be a culture here that expects nothing less than excellence," she said.

Patch spoke with Neuman a few minutes before the final round of voting, during a recess taken by the council. At the time, she was considered a wild card by some. She said she was excited to be among the finalists, and was honored to have made it this far.

Howard County Executive Ken Ulman issued a statement following Neuman's selection as executive, saying he had picked her as the state's first female economic development chief, and together they grew the cyber industry and continued Howard's position as having the lowest unemployment rate in the state, along with the highest private sector job growth.

"Laura will make a terrific county executive, and the Anne Arundel County Council made a wise choice. I stand ready to assist Laura in any way as she takes on this new challenge, and I know the citizens of the county will be impressed with her drive and commitment," Ulman said in the statement.

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tom February 22, 2013 at 06:15 PM
Lisa, I'm sure you're either lying about that or that you were taken in by someone else's lie. Your accusation would be funny except for the fact that it's slanderous. You are acting vey irresponsibly.
Mike Stringfellow February 22, 2013 at 06:25 PM
@ Jeff and Mike. All points well taken.
Jeff Andrade February 22, 2013 at 06:38 PM
Diane, as Amy and Frank pointed out she did stress the point last night and has in many other venues, and has done a considerable amount of advocacy work to push police to solve previously-closed rape cases. She was also featured on the CBS News 48 Hours see http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/09/16/48hours/main573602.shtml.
Safety first February 22, 2013 at 08:03 PM
She is.
Caroline Reed February 22, 2013 at 09:15 PM
Who is Laura Neuman ... the truth is no one knows and what we do know is troubling (part 1 of 2). 1. She is not registered to vote under her name Laura Neuman (her real name is Laura Volkman). 2. She is recently separated - but not divorced. Does she really live in Anne Arundel County? 3. Does she meet the minimum standards to even be County Executive? 4. She and her children were asked to leave Key School. Why? Her children now attend Gilman School (Baltimore City) 5. She was the director of the Chesapeake Incubator which is under the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation during the Janet Owens administration (Democrat). Why did she leave this off of her application? You would think she would want to discuss her Anne Arundel connections? 6. With no experience she becomes the CEO (for no pay) of a tech start up company in Anne Arundel County (Matrics Inc.). Company is bought a very short time later for hundreds of millions of dollars. Congratulations - but can you explain this? see next post for rest of it............
Caroline Reed February 22, 2013 at 09:16 PM
Who is Laura Neuman ... the truth is no one knows and what we do know is troubling (part 2 of 2). Continued from above............ 7. I am incredibly sensitive to her story about being raped. After being a cold case for many many years, she solves the case "for the police" in three days. This leaves a lot of unanswered questions. She brought this up - so at least she can do is fill in the blanks as to how she solved the case. 8. She is a high school dropout and a college dropout ... but she has an M.B.A. from Loyola ... because she said "she talked them into it." Again, so many unanswered questions here. 9. If she is separated raising children at super expensive Gilman, why would she give up a job making $250,000 a year to take a job making $130,000 in a County that she has very little roots? Questions questions questions. 10. How do we feel about having the Howard County Executive (Ken Ulman) making calls to our elected Council Members advocating for his choice? 11. Is Laura Neuman's loyalty to Ken Ulman, to the 4 council members or to the people of Anne Arundel County? I'm sure she was not born in Kenya (my attempt at humor), but how do we know. Jerry Walker and the three Democrats on the County Council did absolutely no due diligence. She could be anybody. How do we know. Since we did not get to vote for her, I hope others will add to or correct what we do know about her.
hawkeye February 22, 2013 at 09:33 PM
As I sat in the council chamber last night watching the voting, it surprised - no stunned - me and the rest of those present that Laura Neuman actually won this thing. There was a determination early on that the council could take a break during the voting. The first votes cast that actually had Ms Neuman in the running was a surprise since no one knew who she was, and when she delivered her 5 minute speech most of it was focused on her rape and her work with rape victims. I honestly thought towards the end that the only reason she applied was so she could have a platform for her cause. After the council came back from the break and the voting started again, when it was Mr. Smith's turn to vote he was caught off guard and said,"Wait what round is this?" then asked what Trumbauer's vote was (Neuman) and then voted for Neuman. His was the third vote for her and Walker's was the 4th. What back room dealings they were having! So clear that this whole thing was orchestrated by Walker & the Dems on the council. Watch Walker run for county executive in 2014, and you'll know what his reasoning was.
Mike Daley February 22, 2013 at 09:46 PM
hawkeye, Mr. Smith asked Mr. Ladd not Mr. Trumbauer what his vote was becuase Ladd stated "Shuemann". Not sure what your point here was.
tom February 22, 2013 at 10:01 PM
Who is Caroline Reed and why should we be concerned about her laundry list of questions. Caroline seems to question every aspect of Laura Neuman's life. I don't care what school her children attend and I'm sure whatever name she uses is legal. You're trying to make this a detective story. You're throwing out many statements, but not providing any evidence that they're true. Actually, even if most of them were true, it doesn't disqualify Ms Neuman from being our County Executive. The only thing we seem to agree about is that it would have been better to have a special election so the voters could decide. Instead of condemning her from the start, why not give her a chance to prove what she can do?
tom February 22, 2013 at 10:02 PM
gotta love these conspiracy theories.
Mike Stringfellow February 22, 2013 at 10:03 PM
Yeah Ladd kind of looked dumbfounded! His response was really bizzaro, Shueman? Did he even know where he was?
hawkeye February 22, 2013 at 10:13 PM
Mike Daley, that was not the same instance I was talking about. Ladd wasn't the only one combined the 2 names.
My Name February 23, 2013 at 12:33 PM
Money talks
JDes February 23, 2013 at 07:19 PM
I just got an MBA from Loyola while I was reading this !
hawkeye February 24, 2013 at 02:05 AM
The only campaign contributions she and her husband have made over the past 5 years have been to Democrats. Hmmmmm. Ullman, Owens and Samoryzk. Something stinks here.
Stuart Cramer February 24, 2013 at 08:44 PM
Laura Neuman, as director of the Anne Arundel Chesapeake Innovation Center was fired or forced to resign by John Leopold's administration in 2007 because she drove the CIC into financial ruin. Laura Neuman failed to list her work (her only work) for Ann Arundel County on her application for County Executive. The intentional omission of material fact is by definition "fraud." Laura Neuman committed fraud on the citizens of Anne Arundel County. All you union sycophants can attack me all you want, but it does not change the fact that Laura Neuman, Jerry Walker and the three Democrats are all party to this fraud.
tom February 24, 2013 at 10:06 PM
You seem to have all the facts, so why don't you know if she was fired or forced to resign? If we accept this accusation as the truth, how is it that you know what was on her application? I think you're a fraud, just throwing out baseless accusations for which you offer no proof. Actually, even if you provided some proof, I don't really care. What I am interested in is for her to do a good job in her new position. Certainly being fired or forced to resign by Leopold should be a plus in her column.
Katie Gagliani February 25, 2013 at 02:03 AM
The applications and questionnaires are public record I thought. I don't think any of these queries into her past is bad. Its healthy. BTW, Omitting employment history is never excusable in the business world. The application typically would never make it past the initial HR screening. Why would someone give her a pass for such an important job? The county turns down maintenance crew applications for such omissions, why is she an exception? Sounds like the democrats thought us voters were idiots. After all, we voted in people like Walker and Grasso and yes, Leopold-- even after he was accused. With McConkey (walker has fundraisers w/ him) and Dwyer (Walker was his treasurer and supporter) rounding out the group, I would think voters would appreciate a desire for the electorate to due diligence on the most powerful official in the county. I appreciate these investigative posts. Its our job as voters to hold our officials to scrutiny, lest we will never move beyond these scandals. With her refusing to answer if she is a caretaker or a true politician, the obligation to know about this newcomer is moreso. We need to rally those who use their power to vote in ignorance. An informed electorate is a better governed society. Thank you to our public private eyes.
hawkeye February 25, 2013 at 03:07 AM
A little known fact is that Janet Owens was asked by Jim Lighthizer's administration to resign as at the head of the Department of Aging. Years later when she ran for county executive he endorsed her. The Dems definitely know how to pull it together, not like the Republicans who shoot themselves in the foot every chance they get.
tom February 25, 2013 at 12:19 PM
I agree with you in principle, but what I've seen here so far is lots of accusations without any evidence, other than conjecture. It seems to be more of a witch hunt than an honest scrutinization.
Katie February 25, 2013 at 03:46 PM
They won't manipulate this woman. On the contrary. She's been a county resident for a long time. I lived in AA for 16 yeas and in all that time I was considered an outsider. It's time for the good old boy network and inbreeding in AA County politics to STOP. This county has one troubled exec and politician and government employee after another. It's like Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, and Prince Georges have this warped political system. I wish her the best.
Katie February 25, 2013 at 03:48 PM
Howard has a low crime rate, great budget, and low unemployment. They attract private employers and enterprise faster than AAC. I think she may be good for the county. I lived there for 16 years and this good old boy/inbred network needs an overhaul.
Katie February 25, 2013 at 03:48 PM
I lived in AAC for 16 years and was still considered an outsider. The county is inbred, plain and simple. You can't get around that.
Katie February 25, 2013 at 04:10 PM
She's lived in AAC for 20 years. That's the problem with the country. It's inbred. Unless you were first slapped on the rear end there and took your first step on the Magothy, everyone considers you an outsider. AAC needs some new blood, someone not inbred.
Joe Robinson February 25, 2013 at 04:58 PM
Tom - you keep talking about accusations. No one is accusing her of anything. Questions are being raised because there are holes. I think all of the questions are valid. Why did she omit important facets of her work history in her application? Why or rather how did she 'talk' Loyola into an MBA? I think Caroline and Katie are on the money for asking these questions. There might be reasonable explanations for it - that doesn't mean the questions cannot be raised. Her questionable ties to the Republican party? Her obvious allegiance to the Democrats? It is our right to demand these answers. Don't you think we have had enough BS from our government - state and federal? We have every right to know who this woman is instead of reading an article and saying 'now who the hell is this?
tom February 25, 2013 at 08:18 PM
Joe Robinson, I don't know that she omitted facets of her work history in her application. I haven't seen the application, have you? As a registered independent voter, I share values of both the Republicans and Democrats, but I don't feel an obligation to be loyal to either party. I vote on the issues, not the party. I hope our new county executive will be the same. We need someone who puts the well-being of the citizens above politics. I agree with you regarding the BS from government, but I don't look for a conspiracy under every rock. What you people are doing is very unproductive. If you really want to know the answers, you should go to the sources. Check out her application if that's so important to you. Call or write Loyola for an explanation. If I was that worried about it, that's what I would do, but I have enough confidence in overall government that I don't feel the need to know every detail. Are her party ties really that important to you? Perhaps you should ask her yourself. Until you provide me with some credible evidence, it's unsubstantial and yes, they are accusations. I don't care that you disagree with me, because my life is full enough that I don't need approval from Patch comments.
Tim Lemke (Editor) February 26, 2013 at 04:24 PM
I've deleted a comment from "Carl Smoltz" because it was in violation of our terms of service regarding false or misleading statements.
Patricia O'Brien - Boarman February 27, 2013 at 04:55 PM
Be nice to keep political parties and gender out of this. Please give the newly elected(by the A. A. County Council), County Executive a chance. She has many challenges facing her regarding cleaning house if she so desires as well as the upcoming budget as well as getting to know the residents in the communities in which she serves and also be responsive to the unions requests. I wish her good luck and best wishes as she takes the helm and faces the many challenges that she will have to deal with. She has already made an excellent choice as her new Chief Of Staff, that being David Cordle, so far she has started off in the right direction, she needs all of our support, so much "power" in positive thinking. Have a nice day everyone and remember until you have walked in my shoes, so to speak, try not to be negative and be so quickly as to condemn. Thanks.
Ray Dizon February 28, 2013 at 02:16 AM
Congrats, Laura, Rick, on your new gigs! BTW, folks, I've known both of them for years and regard their work highly. Let's get beyond partisan politics and move our county forward. Also, Matrics is a great story that has Anne Arundel County bloodlines. One of the inventors of the technology is a resident of the county, and we need more innovators like him and CEOs who can take no pay until the company actually starts performing. Quite contrary to the current model of paying our politicians.
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