High level public servants often change positions every few years, especially when administrations change. It is also usual that public servants don’t stay very long in the same position. That is why the story of Philip Kapneck is so intriguing.
It is quite unique to hear of someone appointed to the same position multiple times. Especially by administrations of different political stripes, over 40 years.
40 Years of Service
As of October 2014, Philip Kapneck had served for the past 40 years as the Maryland Trade Ambassador. He started Maryland’s International Business effort in Brussels, Belgium, in 1972, and in 1974, was appointed Maryland Trade Ambassador.
In the 40 years from 1974 to 2014, Kapneck achieved what can only be described as almost unbelievable goals. His main goal was to attract more business and industry to Maryland. He did that, and set new records by creating an incredible number of jobs in the State.
While he was humbled by the news, Philip Kapneck did not want any notoriety about that achievement. However, now the information is out, the news staff found it hard not to recognize and applaud his achievements.
Ambassador Kapneck was noted by one correspondent as “a Gentleman and a Statesman.” It is a phrase used by others about the gentleman that he is and the achievements he made as a Statesman. “A Gentleman and a Statesman” fits him like a hand in a glove. Amb. Kapneck is not a politician, but a true public servant. He worked day and night, helping his fellow man and citizens of the State of Maryland. He helped to find jobs and to attract new business and industry to the State.
Business Leads For Maryland
Ambassador Kapneck’s contacts, both in the USA and overseas, have continued to give him leads of companies that want to set up their businesses in the Maryland area.
The companies Ambassador Kapneck worked with include Axion Structural Design, Fieldfturf, A & M Imports, Intrinsic Yacht, and First Down Mobile.
In 2010, Philip Kapneck turned his attention to calling many of the companies that he attracted to Maryland, to see if they had job openings. His aim was to assist Maryland citizens find jobs, in what was at that time, a sluggish economy. He was extremely successful at locating jobs from the many companies he worked with. As a result, by 2012, Maryland’s unemployment rate was less than 6%. Maryland ranked number 5, having one of the best household incomes in the country.
The successful strategy used by Ambassador Kapneck was to attract new business and industry from overseas and in the USA. He suggested ideas to business and industry to help set up their operation. Then he assisted companies operating in the State to set up a network with other related companies. That provided the possibility they could expand each others’ business and thereby employ more people.
Philip Kapneck Appointment
Former State officials and colleagues who are still close friends with the Ambassador said that he was first appointed by Governor Marvin Mandel. Other administrations thereafter reconfirmed the appointment, through December 2014. Both Democrat and Republican administrations appointed him. That totals 40 years of hard work and dedication to the State and its citizens.
Each time he celebrated the opening of a new business and industry, Ambassador Kapneck arranged a ribbon-cutting ceremony. It was a high-visibility way to announce the introduction of a company to the public and business community. Throughout the years, after opening many new companies, the ribbon cutting ceremony became Ambassador Kapneck’s trademark in the business world. In fact, it was said that if you see a ribbon-cutting in Maryland, you could be sure Ambassador Kapneck was there, either in person or in spirit.
The State of Maryland participated in a yearly Embassy Night function in Washington DC, where Ambassadors, foreign dignitaries, state officials, and heads of business attended. One of the international diplomats who knew Ambassador Kapneck well, said he and Ambassador Kapneck were both working in Brussels, Belgium. They met at an international business conference. He said Ambassador Kapneck is extremely popular world-wide with the Diplomatic Corps. “He is not only Maryland’s Trade Ambassador but also their Goodwill Ambassador.”
Goodwill he is. The State of Maryland provided the Ambassador with business cards and stationery. Philip Kapneck’s business cards had the State seal, the Department’s address and phone number, but most important was his title and name “The Honorable Philip Kapneck. Trade Ambassador State of Maryland.” To him, this meant he should work hard to live up to the expectations that the State wanted from him. He not only lived up to their expectations, but broke all records. Kapneck achieved the most outstanding results that anyone could ever have dreamed of.
Appreciation For Philip Kapneck’s Work
Ambassador Kapneck continues to receive thank you cards and letters from the citizens of the State.
His fellow colleagues said that Philip Kapneck achieved overwhelming success as Trade Ambassador. They said this was proof of his outstanding work over the past forty years.
One of the Ambassador’s long-time colleagues gave a wonderful quotation.
“Philip Kapneck brought his appointment and title to life, serving as the Maryland Trade Ambassador, because of his continued successes. There never was before and may never again be someone else to achieve the goals he conquered. In the sporting world, a baseball or football player’s number may be retired because he was so outstanding, and they would not issue that number to any future player. The Maryland Trade Ambassador title should be recognized as a tribute to Philip Kapneck and his success over the past 40 years, a special appointment that turned into a title used by following administrations, to show the pride of what it stood for, Maryland Trade Ambassador, and the gentleman and statesman it represented.”
A former official said, “He told us his thank-you in return, was not just for us, his former colleagues and Maryland State officials, but for all the people in the State of Maryland as well as other States in the USA, plus all the people he met and worked with overseas. All of those people believed in him and worked with him in his position as the Maryland Trade Ambassador. He said that made his job a fantastic opportunity for him to serve in that position. Ambassador Philip Kapneck said it has been one of the greatest honors in his life and he will always be grateful to each administration that believed in him.”
“Mr Ambassador, from the citizens of the State, as well as the State of Maryland, we are proud and honored to have been here to see your dedication, hard work and outstanding achievements,” the former State official said.