OCDC Recaps Recent Successes At Annual Meeting

OCDC Recaps Recent Successes At Annual Meeting

OCEAN CITY – With almost 100 people in attendance,
Shenanigan’s Irish Pub & Grille was in full swing Wednesday night as the
Ocean City Development Corporation (OCDC) held its annual meeting to discuss
recent projects, hand out awards and elect new board members.

Starting off the evening was OCDC President Jay Knerr, who
praised Executive Director Glenn Irwin for all his efforts over the years.

“Glenn Irwin is probably one of the hardest working
executive directors any organization could have,” he said. “He gives 110
percent each and every day.”

Knerr then went on to talk about the rise of the
corporation since its beginning seven years ago.

“I think that first year 10 people showed up to our annual
meeting, it was pretty sad,” he said. “But judging by the audience tonight, I
think our success is clearly established.”

Knerr, owner of The Kite Loft, went on to talk about some
of the things OCDC has accomplished in the past year such as the downtown
design standards, which recently received an award from the Maryland Downtown
Association, a gratifying moment, Knerr said.

Other accomplishments included the streetscaping projects
on south 1st Street, the finishing of Sunset Park, the inside-out restoration
of the Tarry-a-While house, and public art pieces like the eagle sculpture at
the northern transit station.

Also mentioned was the OCDC’s façade program, which has
gone on since its inception and began in the downtown area.

“To date we’ve completed 29 projects and those projects
equated to $1.5 million worth of private improvements,” Knerr said. “We’ve
started again in the upper downtown area as well this year and have four more
projects completed for an additional $200,000 in private improvements.”

The upcoming Worchester Street parking facility and model
block project were also talked about as ways to stimulate even more development
in the downtown area, said Knerr.

Last week’s meeting also saw two OCDC Annual Awards
presented to distinguished individuals who were vital in the success of the

The first of which went to City Engineer Terry McGean, who
Knerr dubbed the backbone of the city because of his involvement in almost
every project that comes forth and the role he plays in helping these projects
move forward.

“His professionalism and assistance on several downtown
revitalization projects, including Sunset Park, South 1st Street streetscape
and the Worchester Street parking facility, has made those happen and we thank
him deeply for it,” Knerr said.

McGean gratefully accepted the award and thanked the OCDC
for the opportunities they have given him.

“I love working with the OCDC. My favorite part of the job
is being able to build things and my least favorite part of the job is figuring
out how to pay for them,” he said. “OCDC is great, they do all the hard stuff
and I get to do all the fun jobs.”

The second award was presented to Craig Falanga of Pinnacle Design Development, Inc. for best new private

development project.  The project was noted as a new mixed-use
redevelopment project that will assist in the revitalization efforts of
downtown Ocean City, according to Knerr.

“I just wanted to say thanks,”
Falanga said. “It’s not too often in the work I do that you get someone that
recognizes what you do so it’s a heartfelt thanks.”

During the meeting, five OCDC
members were elected to three-year terms – Todd Ferrante, Bob Givarz, Louise
Gulyas, Neil Hitchcock and John Lewis. The sixth board member, Marion
Chambers, was voted to the one-year term.

Lastly, a surprise for Knerr awaited him as former
president of OCDC, Terry Hough, took to the mic. Since
Knerr has served for two consecutive years, the limit according to the OCDC
bylaws, he must soon step down and take his place on the executive committee.

Normally a plaque for an outgoing president is awarded
behind closed doors in front of the board members, however Hough had other

“We are going to do it different this year Jay,” he said.
“We are going to present the plaque to the outgoing president in front of

Hough went on to praise Knerr for all of his hard work and
the dedication.

“It’s been my pleasure serving as the president for the
past two years,” Knerr said. “I’ve really enjoyed it and certainly learned a
lot. But I really like this organization, it’s a mover and a shaker and I’m
glad to be a part of it.”