Friday, October 7, 2011

Volunteer work allows ECBC employee to meet Maryland Lt. Gov; former Secretary of State

Lester Hitch, of Edgewood Chemical BIological Center's Advanced Design and Manufacturing Division, had a unique opportunity to escort General Colin Powell and Anthony Brown, the Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, at Baltimore’s Grand Prix event in early September.
As a lifelong automobile aficionado, Hitch began volunteering at races in November 2010 in support of the Showcar Promotions Program, which involved attending different
Auto shows and happy hours to grand opening events where showcars would be featured. When Hitch found out that the Grand Prix event would be taking place in Baltimore, he jumped at the chance to volunteer.

 “I’ve always been a huge fan of cars, so when I found out that the race was coming to Baltimore, I told myself that I have to be an integral part of this event,” Hitch said.
Initially, Hitch started working with the Promotions Department of the Grand Prix in January 2011, and was later hand-picked by the Master of Ceremonies to work in the Race Ceremonies Department once the Grand Prix event actually started.
“I think I got lucky. My job included day-to-day tasks like assisting the stage hands, working in the Winner’s Circle, making sure the VIPs had their credentials and making sure that everybody knew of the schedule for the day,” Hitch said. This position of assisting the coordination of the day’s race events led Hitch to his honorable responsibility of working with Maryland’s Lt. Governor and Gen. Colin Powell.
Based on his success working in the event, Hitch was picked again to support Lt. Gov. Brown and Gen. Powell, who was the Grand Marshall of the event. Hitch’s duties with the two gentlemen mirrored the previous tasks he completed for the race in general, except that now he was working one-on-one with these distinguished guests. Hitch greeted the men and their staff, filled any requests they had and served as their face for the Baltimore Grand Prix event fulfilling any special requests or requirements.
Hitch describes his role as being a “fly on the wall.” He answered service questions, and acted as a liaison between the event and the guests. He kept interactions professional and coordinated with other staff members to make sure that things ran smoothly. Hitch took Gen. Powell to the VIP suite, took him to see other guests, and made sure that he kept up with the schedule. It wasn’t all business as Hitch and Gen. Powell did have some time to chat about light subjects like Gen. Powell’s son and types of cars.
“It was a privilege to have such an honorable position at the race. To be given the opportunity to meet such important people to our nation and be in their presence is just an honor,” Hitch said. “And to be able to just enjoy the races on top of that is fantastic.”
Hitch said anybody who is interested in volunteering at upcoming race events should feel free to contact him or the race website at

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