A Week In Business

The new Coastal Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors include, back from left, Terrance McGowan, Joe Wilson, Joel Maher, Darron Whitehead, Don Bailey, Courtney Wright and Wesley Cox; and, seated from left, Vicki Harmon, Lauren Bunting, Brigit Taylor and Linda Moran. Submitted Photo

The new Coastal Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors include, back from left, Terrance McGowan, Joe Wilson, Joel Maher, Darron Whitehead, Don Bailey, Courtney Wright and Wesley Cox; and, seated from left, Vicki Harmon, Lauren Bunting, Brigit Taylor and Linda Moran. Submitted Photo

New Board Installed

BERLIN – The Coastal Association of REALTORS® (CAR) installed its 2014-2015 board of directors at a special ceremony on Oct. 1 at the Ocean Pines Yacht Club.

Vicki Harmon, a REALTOR® for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage at 104th Street in Ocean City and a CAR member since 2007, was installed as president of the association’s board.

“Being president of CAR is a very challenging, yet rewarding experience,” Harmon said. “I have the opportunity to help shape the future direction of our ever changing industry both here at the coast as well as at the state and national levels.”

Harmon was installed by Dean Cottrill, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage NRT and former president of the Anne Arundel Board of REALTORS® board of directors.

Other CAR members installed at the ceremony by Janice Kirkner, president of the Maryland Association of REALTORS® board of directors include President Elect Linda Moran, Prudential PenFed Realty, West Ocean City; Vice President Joel Maher, Coldwell Banker Residential, Salisbury; Secretary Wesley Cox, Sperry Van Ness Miller, Salisbury; Treasurer Donald Bailey, Coldwell Banker Residential, Salisbury; Immediate Past President Susan Megargee, Re/Max Crossroads, Fruitland; Director Lauren Bunting, Bunting Realty, Berlin; Director Terrence McGowan, Prudential PenFed Realty, Ocean City; Director Brigit Taylor, Resort Quest of Delaware, Bethany Beach; Director Joe Wilson, Condominium Realty, LTD, Ocean City; Director Darron Whitehead, Whitehead Real Estate Exec., Salisbury; and Director Courtney Wright, Condominium Realty, LTD, Ocean City.

“A warm congratulations to our new board of directors and a big ‘thank you’ for their service,” said Sheila Dodson, executive director of CAR. “We’re looking forward to another successful year for our membership and organization.”

 

AGH Hires Veteran

Builders For Project

SALISBURY – Delmarva Veteran Builders (DVB), the region’s only commercial construction firm dedicated to bringing employment to U.S. Armed Forces Veterans, announced it has been hired to build a patient care facility for Atlantic General Health System on Gina Renee Plaza on Route 50.

The 3,700-square-foot project will be home to a primary and specialty patient care center. DVB will demolish the existing structure and build a new floor plan that will include a new HVAC system.

Initial plans are for the Atlantic General Health System location to include a family practice physician, a pediatrician and an internal medicine physician as well as a nurse practitioner to provide same day appointments for AGH patients. In the near future, AGH will add a same day urgent care center, offering similar care as provided in the Atlantic ImmediCare Centers.

Long-term goals will be to expand and provide specialty care which could include, Gynecology, Neurology, Dermatology, Urology and potentially out-patient diagnostic services such an out-patient lab or imaging services in other areas of the building.

“Delmarva Veteran Builders is excited to work with Atlantic General in providing a structure that will support healthcare services to a growing community,” said Chris Eccleston of DVB. “We take pride in working with partners on projects that ultimately help people in the local community. I learned that this is one of the fastest growing communities with limited access to Primary Care services. We are happy to help in any way we can. As Kevin Costner’s character said in Field of Dreams – If you build it, they will come.”

“As a first time contractor at Atlantic General Hospital, I was pleased with Delmarva Veteran Builders performance renovating our Employee Health and Human Resource offices,” said Kim Justice, Vice President of Planning/Operations, Atlantic General Hospital. “The job was done on schedule and within budget. Delmarva Veteran Builders were accommodating to changing environmental conditions and provided flexibility in scheduling around patient care activities. I look forward to the same qualities and workmanship on this project.”

 

Academy Earns Award

WEST OCEAN CITY — Ocean Aviation Flight Academy has been recognized for its high standard of accomplishment in flight training by The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the world’s largest aviation association.

The flight school has been awarded a spot on the Flight Training Excellence Awards Honor Roll, a title given to high scoring flight schools from AOPA’s annual flight training poll.

The Flight Training Excellence awards were created to highlight the best the flight training industry has to offer.

“We created these awards to recognize those who instill a lifelong passion for aviation among their students and it was clear from the customer reviews that these professionals are providing a quality flight instruction experience.” said Brittney Miculka, director of pilot community development for AOPA.

To select the award winners, AOPA invited those who have taken flight training within the last 24 months to complete the Flight Training Poll. Each individual could nominate up to one flight school and one flight instructor. The online poll was conducted from June 3 to Aug. 23, using a process that contains several safeguards designed to ensure fair competition. AOPA’s poll had more than 3,600 respondents.

“Our whole team is so proud to have been recognized among the leaders of professional flight training in the world,” said Michael Freed, president of Ocean Aviation.

Information about flight training at Ocean Aviation Flight Academy, is available at 410-213-8400 or at www.flyoceanaviation.com.

 

Health Care Designation

BALTIMORE – The Health Facilities Association of Maryland (HFAM) recently presented Maryland State Senator James “Jim” Mathias (District 38) with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Health Care. The award was presented at HFAM’s Annual Convention in Ocean City, which was attended by more than 600 Maryland health care leaders.

“As a longtime trailblazer in government and in business, Senator Mathias understands that health care drives job creation and serves as an economic engine in his district and throughout Maryland,” said Joseph DeMattos Jr., President and CEO of HFAM. “Senator Mathias’ district includes six HFAM member centers, which employ nearly 700 workers who provide hundreds of thousands of days of quality care to Eastern Shore residents in need.”

“I am humbled that members of the Health Facilities Association of Maryland recognized my dedication and efforts to long term care and those to whom these services are provided. I am proud as Senator to be part of the dedicated team that diligently works to improve these services to those that need them the most. I remain dedicated, ever grateful, and look forward to successfully serving the needs of our long term care community together,” said Mathias.

DeMattos added, “Senator Mathias championed the Senior Prescription Drug Relief Act, which created both the Maryland Pharmacy Discount Program and the Maryland MEDBANK Program, making affordable prescription drugs more accessible to Maryland’s more than one million seniors. HFAM members, who provide more than six million days of quality care to Marylanders in need each year, are committed to recognizing leaders for their contribution to ensuring quality care in Maryland.”

 

Large Land Auction Set

SALISBURY — Ben Alder, Senior Advisor of the Alder Land Group at Sperry Van Ness – Miller Commercial Real Estate in Salisbury, in collaboration with Tim Dudley, of SVN Motley’s in Richmond, Va., are auctioning over 1,800 acres of land. The 12 properties are located throughout Maryland and offer 400 tillable acres, 1,228 wooded acres and 250 marsh acres. The auction is online and on-site at Black Diamond Lodge in Fruitland on Nov. 13 at 2 p.m.

“This land event is about finding your place to get away and get outdoors on the Eastern Shore. Each property has its own potential for deer, turkey or waterfowl hunting and many of them also offer opportunities for residential use,” said Alder. “It is our belief that this is a great way to sell land and give buyers an opportunity to focus on a select group of properties that share similar characteristics.”

For more information about the hunting and farmland properties for auction or to pre-register, visit www.alderlandgroup.com

 

Nursing Program Honored

SALISBURY — Salisbury University has been ranked the 16th “Best Affordable RN-BSN Degree Program” in the nation, based on cost and quality.

The complete list of only 30 schools was narrowed down from hundreds of fully accredited nursing degree programs in the United States. All have a net price less than $22,000.

Institutions then were scored based on graduation and freshmen retention rates, student-to-faculty ratio, percentage of classes taught by graduate assistants, minimum grade point average admission requirements, type of classes available and three-year average NCLEX pass rates.

“The SU Nursing Department and its faculty, staff and students are committed to excellence in their work and in their profession,” said Dr. Lisa Seldomridge, department chair. “We are grateful this is being recognized.”

 

Salisbury Property Sold

SALISBURY– Three properties on a high traffic corner of Route 13 South in Salisbury have been sold to a Chinese investment firm.

Chris Davis and Rick Tilghman, both Senior Advisors with Sperry Van Ness-Miller Commercial Real Estate, facilitated the sale of Court Plaza shopping center. Court Plaza, formerly owned by a Bethesda-based company, sold for $4.2 million. Tilghman represented the seller and Davis represented the buyer.

Located directly adjacent to Court Plaza, the Temple Hill Motel sold for $2.15 million. Davis represented the buyer and seller in this transaction. Finally, a smaller property on Kay Avenue completed the 12 acre site sale, and Brent Miller, Managing Director of SVN-Miller, represented the seller. Don Bailey, agent with Coldwell Banker, co-represented the buyer with Chris Davis in all three transactions.

Preliminary plans for the site include a retail center, a hotel, and multi-family housing for Salisbury University students.

“This is a new and exciting redevelopment project that will have a positive impact on the City of Salisbury, especially the South end of town,” said Davis. “The strategic location of these three properties close to Salisbury University is what attracted these investors to our market.”

 

General Levin Winder Chapter Of The DAR Welcomes Its Newest Members

O

The General Levin Winder Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) recently welcomed its newest member during a luncheon at the Worcester County Developmental Center. Regent Barbara Greene May and Chaplain Ann Frey Fowler administered the oath of membership to Martha (Marty) Ray Waters Pusey, whose grandmother and great-grandmother were members of one of Maryland’s oldest chapters, Janet Montgomery Chapter, in Rockville.

Bertino, Wilson Vying To Replace Boggs As Ocean Pines Commissioner

Pictured at this week’s candidates forum in Ocean Pines are, from left, County Commissioners Bud Church and Virgil Shockley and District 5 candidates Chip Bertino and Tom Wilson. Photo by Charlene Sharpe

BERLIN – One candidate pushed world experience while another touted Worcester County experience at a forum featuring the District 5 Worcester County Commissioners this week.

Long-time Ocean Pines resident and newspaper publisher Chip Bertino, a Republican, and local volunteer Tom Wilson, a Democrat, shared their thoughts on the challenges facing Worcester County and the best way to promote it at a forum hosted by the Coastal Association of Realtors and Ocean City Today on Oct. 22. Both are vying for the seat held by retiring commissioner Judy Boggs.

Bertino told voters he has spent years attending county meetings as a newspaper publisher and knew the ins and outs of local government.

“I’m proud to be from Ocean Pines,” he said. “We are an engaged community. We want what we want, and we’re not afraid to ask for it. We deserve to have vibrant, dedicated representation.”

Wilson, who spent time as finance director for the Peace Corps and executive officer for the African Development Foundation, retired to Ocean Pines 11 years ago. He said he had a history of getting things done.

“I have experience and I know how to work with government,” Wilson said. “I’m not going to sit here and blame the state for everything.”

Wilson said he considered the biggest problem in Worcester County to be the lack of year-round employment. He said the County Commissioners boast about the work Worcester County’s economic development director had done, but he maintains, “It’s not enough.”

Bertino, on the other hand, said the most pressing issue in Worcester County was the budget. He said the county had to be more cautious with its funding and to think of the future.

“I think it’s very important we start to take into account where we need to be and where we want to be in 2017 and 2018,” he said. “Four years from now, I don’t want to stand in front of this group and say we’ve had to raise taxes.”

When asked what could be done to promote rural Worcester County and not just its beaches, Wilson said the area needed to stop relying on a tourism economy, one that goes away every winter.

“We need to focus on keeping the jobs we have and work on getting more,” he said. “I love it here and I’m confident we can bring in others if only we try.”

Bertino said the county’s economic development team was helping to generate interest in the area but that more support was needed from the state.

“We’re doing a lot of things right and we’re not getting exactly what we need at the state level,” he said.

An audience member asked what each candidate would do to support public safety.

Bertino said his son was a law enforcement officer and it’s an issue h takes seriously.

“Anything we can do to protect our officers is a family matter in our household,” he said, adding that he would do whatever he could to help local law enforcement.

Wilson said his time as president of Diakonia had put him in contact with police and other law enforcement officials. He said he had seen the problem heroin was becoming on the Eastern Shore. Part of supporting law enforcement, he said, was supporting the prevention services offered by the Worcester County Health Department.

“It’s not just putting people in jail it’s also prevention,” he said. “It needs to be a coordinated approach. We need to work together to address these problems.”

 

 

Berlin’s New Econ. Development Director Named; Wells Currently Works For Sykesville In Same Position

Ivy Wells

BERLIN – An accomplished tourism and economic development professional from Sykesville has been selected to replace Michael Day as Berlin’s director of economic development.

Town officials announced that Ivy Wells, currently the director of economic development in Sykesville, has been selected to take over the position being vacated by Day, who is retiring.

“We’re obviously all delighted with how much Michael Day got done but the job is not done,” Mayor Gee Williams said. “There’s so much opportunity with Ivy’s experience and enthusiasm. As much as has been done there’s still a lot to do.”

Wells, who has served as economic development director and Main Street manager in Sykesville for the past six years, is expected to start in Berlin Nov. 24.

“I feel extremely privileged that I’m getting this opportunity,” Wells said. “I can’t wait to make Berlin my home.”

Wells, a graduate of the University of Maryland College Park, is also a certified Tourism Ambassador for the state and a board member for the Community Development Network of Maryland.

Day says that because of her work in Sykesville Wells already knows many of the state’s tourism and economic development officials, something that will help her get off to a smooth start in Berlin. Day will also be spending some time with Wells to get her started. She met several local officials during a visit to Octoberfest last weekend. She said she made a point to get to town early so she could see how staff set up for the event.

“It was like a well-oiled machine,” she said. “I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Day expects Wells to be a good fit in Berlin.

“We wrote the job description as if they were looking for me,” he said, “and she fit it almost perfectly.”

Williams agreed. He said that although several qualified applicants had expressed interest in the position, Wells was the best of the bunch.

“When you’ve got someone that’s one of the best prospects in the state it’s tough competition for everybody,” he said.

Williams was impressed with Wells’ work in Sykesville, where she helped get a Main Street program off the ground just as Day had in Berlin.

“I’m impressed with her record of success in turning a little into a lot,” he said.

Berlin Councilmember Lisa Hall said she was excited to have Wells come to Berlin.

“I have been aware of the great strides she has made in developing the Main Street program as well as in economic development,” Hall said. “I look forward to working with Ivy and seeing her move economic development in Berlin to the next level.”

 

District Delegate Opponents Talk Issues At Forum

Mary Beth Carozza, a Republican seeking the District 38C Delegate post, speaks during Wednesday evening’s candidates forum. Pictured, from left, are Senator Jim Mathias, Delegate Mike McDermott and Carozza’s opponent, Judy Davis. Photo by Charlene Sharpe

BERLIN – Candidates for the new District 38C seat shared their views on job creation and how to get things done at the state level at a forum this week as they prepared for a final stretch of campaigning.

Candidates Mary Beth Carozza and Judy Davis joined several other candidates in a forum Oct. 22 sponsored by the Coastal Association of Realtors and Ocean City Today at the Ocean Pines Library.

Republican Carozza, an Ocean City native who has served in a variety of government positions including a stint in President George W. Bush’s administration as well as deputy staff director for then-Governor Bob Ehrlich, stressed her plans to work with the state’s representatives on the other side of the Bay Bridge to get things done and to make sure the Eastern Shore was represented.

Carozza said everyone in Maryland has ties to the shore — whether they had vacationed there, gone to college there or had relatives that had retired there — and she would remind them of that.

“The approach I would take is by working with delegations on the other side of the bridge,” she said. “Instead of us against them, I’d say they’re vested already in the shore. What is good for the shore as far as policies go really benefits all Marylanders.”

Democrat Davis said she would use the variety of skills she learned as a teacher and her four decades of experience from living on the Eastern Shore to make sure local voices were heard. Davis taught early child and special education for 22 years in Worcester and Wicomico counties.

“The skills and life experience I have I’d use to build a common ground or common understanding with folks across the bridge,” she said.

Neither candidate disputed the need for more stable jobs in the area. Davis named a number of programs already in place designed to provide small business loans, training and high-tech educational opportunities. She said the county’s Step-Up internships were giving kids exposure to careers in the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math.

“I’m one that advocates using the programs that are already in place, not reinventing the wheel, to help with our job expansion,” she said.

Carozza said her tactic would be to provide support for the area’s two major industries — tourism and agriculture.

“You have my commitment I will support, vote for and lead on initiatives to strengthen those core industries,” she said.

Carozza added that she would like to see more focus put on high-tech jobs as well.

“I think we do a great job educating our young people but we need to make sure the economic opportunities are here so they don’t feel they have to leave,” she said.

Asked about their thoughts on real estate by the Coastal Association of Realtors, both women touted its importance to the local economy. Carozza said she would work with realtors on ways to strengthen the economy. Davis said the area “could sell itself” and that the shore should continue to be promoted as a year-round destination.

A question from the audience asked each candidate how they would work to continue drug court. Currently, there is a drug court division within the Circuit Court for Worcester County. It was established in 2005 and its three programs, “operate with a team of agencies working together for service integration and collective treatment planning,” according to the Circuit Court’s website.

Carozza said she would take the approach she learned working for former governor Bob Ehrlich.

“Before I make a commitment, I will do my homework,” she said. “I understand it’s your taxpayer dollars we’re investing.”

Davis said that during her time as a teacher two of her students had died because of drug abuse and she understands the importance of protecting young people from substance abuse. She said she would like to make sure critical health department programs remained funded.

“We need to continue to work hard to save our young people from substance abuse,” she said.

In closing, Carozza stressed her desire to improve the local economy and make sure the shore was represented at the state level. She said the door-to-door visits she has done during campaigning had helped her see firsthand the area’s needs.

“I believe by doing all these visits you all strengthen the positions I can take,” she said. “I have every intention to support, vote for and lead on policy issues.”

Davis reminded voters that she has been a shore resident for four decades, while Carozza spent years working in Washington D.C. Davis said she lives on a modest teacher’s pension.

“You won’t see an ad pop on the Internet this week,” she said. “You won’t see numerous commercials. You won’t see ads in the paper because I believe money spent on our people and on our community is more satisfying than money spent on the campaign.”

 

Ocean City News In Brief

OCEAN CITY – This week’s Mayor and City Council agenda was light with the election looming, but a construction manager for the fire headquarters renovation was hired, an employee benefit insurance contract was renewed for 2015 and additional donations were received to purchase more beach toys.

 

Construction Manager For Headquarters Chosen

Under the consent agenda this week was a request to approve the construction manager for the Fire Department Headquarters Project.

According to City Engineer Terry McGean, three proposals for construction management services were received by the city in response to an advertisement and have been reviewed by the staff.

McGean recommended the approval of the low bidder, Willow Construction, which offered a total price of about $282,300. The Town of Ocean City has worked with Willow Construction in the past, according to McGean.

The council voted unanimously to approve the consent agenda.

The design for renovations to fire headquarters located on 15th Street was approved in July. Becker Morgan was selected as the architect and there have been numerous collaborative meetings with the fire department design team to refine the needs and space requirements of the building.

The project is being funded by the 2012 bond issue. The renovation and addition budget comes to a total of $2 million with $1.5 million originally allocated in the bond, and $500,000 coming from savings from the Boardwalk reconstruction and Fire Station 4 project.

In December 2012, the need for the project was presented to the Mayor and City Council. At that time, Deputy Fire Marshal Cliff Christello reviewed with the council fire headquarters was built in 1960 and is an 18,000-square-foot building that serves as a fire station with bunk rooms, meeting area, dispatch area, and administrative offices for the OCFD.

In 2008, the city’s Fire Marshal, Emergency Medical Services and the Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company were combined under a single command structure, and the current headquarters building cannot adequately meet the needs of the occupants.

The project will address leakage by replacing the roof, windows and doors, add offices that were lost during past renovations, an increase in garage space with the addition of a new engine bay, additional bunk space, an exercise facility and improved air quality.

 

Benefit Insurance Contract Renewed

Human Resources Director Wayne Evans submitted medical, prescription, drug and vision plans required rate action for 2015. Dental, accidental death, dismemberment and long-term disability renewal rates are being recommended unchanged from 2014.

The health plan renewal over Fiscal Year 2015 and Fiscal Year 2016 is an annual cost of $8.6 million with a 3.6-percent rate increase from 2014.

Rosanne Calzetta of CEBS Bolton Partners, Inc. recommended the town renew with CareFirst for the medical/prescription drug and vision plans, continue the self-insured modified retrospective funding arrangement and continue to fund full HDHP deductible for 2015 at an additional annual incremental cost of $6,300. Also, it was recommended to renew with Assurant for the dental and long-term disability, as well with CIGNA for life insurance, dependent life, accidental death, dismemberment and supplemental life.

The council voted unanimously to approve the recommendation.

 

Beach Toy Donations

During the summer, Tow Boat US owner Greg Hall pledged $1,000 to fund additional beach toys and asked other local businesses to match that number.

Councilman Doug Cymek followed his lead and pledged a $500 donation followed by Councilman Brent Ashley who also made a $500 donation.

This week Ashley announced three other $500 donations have been made by Rob Jager of Rob’s Lawn Care, OC Fisherman’s Marina and Ocean City Taxpayers for Social Justice spokesperson Tony Christ. The total of donations has now reached $3,500.

In April of 2013, the Recreation and Parks Commission agreed to not have the wooden playground structures, referred to as beach toys, return to the beach off the Boardwalk once staff brought to the elected officials’ attention how the structures have become safety hazards as well as a nuisance with late-night shenanigans.

Once that decision was finalized, many residents and visitors voiced concerns over not having the playgrounds on the beach as they had become a tradition along the Boardwalk for young visitors.

This summer the first replacement beach toy of a dinosaur play structure arrived on the beach. The equipment was offered to Ocean City at a discounted rate of $16,480 with free delivery.

“Again, he [Hall] challenges more people to donate, so we can more playground equipment up there for families to enjoy,” Ashley said.

 

United Way Contributes $95,500 To The Salvation Army

Community A

United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore recently contributed $95,500 to The Salvation Army in support of vital youth programs and social services benefitting over 10,000 Lower Shore residents in Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset counties. The contribution has been directed specifically for The Salisbury Youth Club, The Crisfield Youth Club, The Education/Latchkey Program, The Richard Hazel Youth Center and The Social Services Program. Pictured, from left, are Zymire Clark, Willie Downing, Fariah Mitchell, Major Victor Tidman, Joseph Mizer and Seyanie Thomas of Salvation Army and United Way’s Amy Luppens. Submitted Photos