Case | HBS Case Collection | May 2009

Montgomery County Business Roundtable for Education

by Allen S. Grossman and Geoff Eckman Marietta

Abstract

Montgomery County Business Roundtable for Education (MCBRE) was a business-public education partnership with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) that promoted cross-sector knowledge sharing and academic excellence. Its suite of core student programs, such as “720,” where business leaders addressed nearly half of the ninth-grade class about the importance of achievement in high school, and the Young Professionals Conference, an event for juniors that highlighted exciting business practices, allowed businesses to connect with students at the individual level. At the same time, the creation of platforms for business-education learning brought system-level improvements. In particular, MCBRE's board of advisors meetings brought together top executives from companies such as Lockheed Martin, NASDAQ, and PricewaterhouseCoopers with MCPS leaders to learn about management and leadership practices. After leading MCBRE for the past five years, first as executive director and now as board chair, Jane Kubasik was leaving. While the newly hired executive director, Heather Schwager, was more than qualified to take over, there were some concerns. Kubasik had planned and implemented most of MCBRE's current initiatives and single-handedly recruited nearly all of MCBRE's current members. Would MCBRE be able to retain its impressive membership without Kubasik? With its selective invite-only criteria for new members, would MCBRE be able to continue to grow? Should growth even be a goal?

Keywords: Business Ventures; Education; Knowledge Sharing; Leadership; Practice; Partners and Partnerships; Education Industry; Maryland;

Citation:

Grossman, Allen S., and Geoff Eckman Marietta. "Montgomery County Business Roundtable for Education." Harvard Business School Case 309-105, May 2009.