New member of the board, Steve Edwards

As part of our continuing look at the members of the VOACC Board of Directors, we learn a bit more about one of our new members, Steve Edwards.

Steve Edwards founded Edwards Industries (dba, Edwards Performance Solutions) in 1997 to provide tailored business services and solutions that result in greater operational performance. Since its inception, Steve has devoted himself and the company to specializing in the implementation of proven processes, methodologies, and emerging technologies – driving mission success for commercial businesses, Government agencies, and non-profit organizations. Now as Founder and Executive Board Member, Steve focuses on strategies that build relationships and leverage market conditions to promote corporate growth, while holding true to the company vision and core values.

“Edwards was founded and built based on two guiding principles: business morality/ethics and employee empowerment. The success of Edwards hinges on trust and integrity in our business practices. My personal faith in the Lord guides me in all that I do, and as such, we aspire to the highest level of ethics and moral principles. Our employees are the reason we succeed; therefore, I always want to create an environment where employees are engaged and given the resources to achieve their full potential – making Edwards the best place to be employed.”

Mr. Edwards is the originator of many of the methodologies used by the company, as well as the primary or contributing author to many of the training courses/books the company offers. He is also active in many industry relevant organizations, including the: Project Management Institute (PMI), Cybersecurity Association of Maryland, Inc. (CAMI), Maryland Chamber of Commerce, Howard County Chamber of Commerce, and BWI Partnership.

Steve firmly believes that community involvement leverages community strength – bringing out the best that each contributes. Steve is an active member of his church, serving on various committees and councils. He also serves on the Board of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, and the Maryland Chamber Foundation. He is also an active, life-long member of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and has served on the Executive Board of the BSA – Baltimore Area Council (BAC). Mr. Edwards is an Eagle Scout (class of 1974), an active member of the National Eagle Scout Association (NESA), and recipient of the Silver Beaver Award, the NESA Outstand Eagle Scout Award (NOESA), and in 2019 was named the Eagle Scout Executive of the Year.

We asked Steve a few questions...

What about VOACC inspired you to join the Board of Directors?

I was introduced to VOACC President and CEO, Russ Snyder, in 2019. Prior to meeting Russ, I did not know much about the VOACC organization. I was extremely impressed with the organization and their mission; and the more I learned, the more I was overcome to get involved. The VOACC mission and vision align closely with my personal beliefs, as well as my organization’s corporate agenda. As someone who owns an organization going on 25 years, I wanted to offer my skills and perspective to help VOACC continue to grow and flourish – seeing how I might assist in extending their outreach.

What are you looking forward to the most as a member of the Board? What are your goals?

As a new Board member, I look forward to learning more about VOACC programs and collaborating with other Board members – seeing where I can insert my experience and expand my perspective, based on the experiences of other Board members. My goal is to promote VOACC’s initiatives and get others involved; ultimately expanding the reach of VOACC’s brand and initiatives.

Is there a particular VOACC program(s) that resonates with you the strongest? If so, why?

As a business owner, I find a special connection with their programs that promote an empowered workforce. This includes helping those who have been incarcerated or otherwise displaced find employment. I believe everyone deserves a second chance and the opportunity to support their local economy and community. All of VOACC’s programs support families and individuals with genuine respect, meeting them where they are today – and supporting their growth to where they desire to be tomorrow.

What does being "Called to Care" mean to you personally?

I’ve always believed in living by example, with a servant leadership approach – looking at how you can best serve and strengthen your community. VOACC considers themselves a Christian church without walls. I hope to embody and resonate that mission, helping others learn where I have struggled and doing my part to promote these important programs.

About His Company

Edwards Performance Solutions (Edwards) is a professional services and solutions firm that helps commercial businesses, Government agencies, and non-profit organizations achieve mission goals and organizational success. We combine executive-level expertise with process improvement approaches, methodologies and solutions to incorporate business best practices and cybersecurity into an enterprise-wide organizational culture. Through delivering the highest quality solutions and services, we ensure our customers meet and exceed their goals.

We are appraised at Level 3 for Services for CMMI, as well as ISO 9001:2015 and are an Enterprise Solutions Provider for Microsoft® Project Professional, Project Server, and SharePoint. We are a global level Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.) with the Project Management Institute (PMI®) with our professional staff holding many industry leading certifications in Project Management, Technology, and Cybersecurity discipline areas.

The company has been recognized numerous times for our technical capabilities and achievements, our continual growth, and our workplace environment, as well as our philanthropy, and community outreach. These recognitions include ten-times on Inc. Magazine’s Inc5000 list of the fastest-growing companies across the country; six-times as a Baltimore Sun’s Top Workplace awarded based on independent employee survey feedback; the Small Business Philanthropy Award from the Baltimore Business Journal (BBJ) and the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Maryland 2019 Service Award from the Governor’s Office on Service & Volunteerism.

Business and Community Affiliations

Edwards Performance Solutions (Founder & President 1997-2013, President & CEO 2013-2016, Founder & Executive Board 2016-Present)

Maryland Chamber of Commerce (Board of Directors 2016-Present)

Maryland Chamber Foundation (Board of Directors 2020-Present, Board Treasurer 2021-Present)

Baltimore Area Council, Boy Scouts of America (BAC-BSA) (Eagle Scout 1973, Executive Board 2007-2019, NOESA Chair 2016-2019, Board Advisor 2020-Present)

Bishop Cummins RE Church (Vestry Member 1998-2016, Finance Committee Chair 2001-2015, Parish Council 2016-Present, Technology Committee Co-Chair 1998-Present)

Volunteers of America, Chesapeake & Carolinas (VOACC) (Board of Directors 2021-Present)