A Week In Business

Seminar Attended

OCEAN CITY — Harry B. How III and Michael J. Wood of MAD Engineering Inc. recently participated in a seminar in Wilmington, Del. on Structural Forensic Engineering.

This day-long class covered the causes of structural failures, which include material deficiencies, design errors, excessive loading, and deterioration. It also discussed the forensic investigation process for various types of structures. This course served as a refresher for both Engineers, and an update on new technologies in the investigation process.

Structural Forensic Engineering is important in the Ocean City area, where coastal conditions and extreme temperature variations cause severe deterioration to buildings and other types of structures.

MAD Engineering Inc., a full service Architecture and Engineering Firm located in Ocean City, specializes in all aspects of structural engineering with a heavy emphasis on restoration work. The company, celebrating its 35th year, also offers an architectural department with experience in all facets of residential and commercial design.

Firm Relocates Office

SALISBURY – Fisher Architecture LLC, a locally owned, experienced architectural firm providing functional design and construction solutions to clients, announced it has moved its office to 542 Riverside Drive in Salisbury. The new space accommodates office space for the growing staff of 10.

“We hadn’t been in the Pine Bluff location long and realized we were outgrowing the space quickly,” Keith Fisher of Fisher Architecture LLC. “Not a bad problem to have. We are continuing to add talented individuals to our team to meet the demands of the market and our community.”

Fisher drafted a design for the renovation of what was once a BB&T Bank. He utilized the existing roof structure from the bank’s drive-thru and turned it into a conference room while keeping the existing brick façade from the building as a finishing touch to the room. Fisher also re-oriented the entrance to the building in order to create a large open office environment for the studio staff.

“During construction we found multiple old windows in the attic from the original building construction with true divided lites and re-used them in several places throughout the building in order to facilitate additional light into the studio space,” said Fisher.

Chief Financial Officer Caitlin Fisher added, “As our company grows, so will the staff. This building allows us to expand by another four-plus staff members, where at which point we then have the opportunity to add on to the existing footprint of the building.”

New Realtors Join Firm

SALISBURY – Long & Foster Real Estate recently welcomed Tom and Tara Ruch to its Salisbury office to specialize in working with homebuyers, sellers and hunting land.

Tom and Tara Ruch

Tom and Tara Ruch

“We are very excited and fortunate to have Tom and Tara join our team of highly trained professionals,” said Patricia Moore, manager of the Salisbury office. “The combination of Long & Foster and Tom and Tara’s unique skills and knowledge will no doubt provide the highest level of service to local buyers and sellers.”

The Ruchs successfully completed Long & Foster’s Star Builders program, an extensive training course for newly licensed sales associates, as well as associates returning to the field of real estate. The program’s curriculum covers contracts, agency, prospecting, business planning, finance and working with buyers and sellers. The Ruchs hold memberships in the Coastal Association of Realtors.

“Being passionate for homes and land, we understand the special bond between individuals and their homes. Becoming Realtors under Long & Foster was the next logical step in our career goals, and it provided a perfect outlet to serve our community,” said the Ruchs.

“The dynamics of today’s residential real estate market are constantly changing. Completing our Star Builders program has provided Tom and Tara with the right tools to meet those changing dynamics,” said Gary Scott, president of Long & Foster Real Estate. “We welcome Tom and Tara to Long & Foster, a company that has helped local buyers and sellers reach their homeownership goals for more than 45 years.”

New Agent Announced

OCEAN CITY — Berkshire Hathaway announced this week that Katie Quinn as joined its local team of sales agents.

Katie Quinn

Katie Quinn

Born into a family with sales in her blood, Quinn, straight out of high school, started with a growing marketing company as a sales agent. Within a year, she was promoted to company trainer and was relocated to Charleston, S.C. Over the next three years, she had successfully opened up six new offices throughout the southeast and was considered the youngest executive director in the organization. Eventually missing her Maryland roots, in 2002 she moved closer to her family in Ocean City. That same week she was hired as a finance and insurance manager in the auto industry. Over the next 13 years, she consistently produced leading sales numbers, advanced to the top producing stores and was considered the lead trainer in the company. The opportunity arose for her to pursue her ultimate dream career, which was real estate, and she jumped on it.

Now working with the prestigious Linda Moran Team within Berkshire Hathaway that carries over 35 years of experience, Quinn is now ready to go to work for her clients. She has a fresh, innovative skill set with a natural dedication to her clients’ best interests.

“Katie is an example of the kind of agent we want on our team,” said Berkshire Hathaway Manager Jay Wise. “She is an agent that exemplifies the Berkshire Hathaway tradition of trust and integrity.”

Construction Underway At Old Feldman’s

SALISBURY – Gillis Gilkerson has announced the initial phase of construction on River View Commons, the old Feldman’s Furniture building, is underway. The Gillis team is making timely progress to meet a fourth quarter 2015 occupancy deadline.

“This is an opportunity for Gillis Gilkerson to take a historic landmark that has deteriorated over time and transform it to fit into the present day revitalized core of downtown Salisbury,” said Dwight Miller, president of Gillis Gilkerson. “This undertaking is more than the renovation of an old run down building. It will breathe new life into a community that is on the cusp of regeneration.”

Gillis Gilkerson broke ground in September 2014 to replace the roof and reinforce the walls of the 15,000-square-foot original structure. The initial phase of construction will include the renovation of the existing facility and the addition of stair towers, an elevator and a common space, allowing for a total of 20,000 square feet.

Renovations will convert the 19th century landmark into a multi-use building with available space for a restaurant, gallery, shops and offices. Plans also include an outside deck and public river walk along the Wicomico River and Mill Street.

“It is a bedrock structure with high visibility in the heart of downtown Salisbury,” said Palmer Gillis, CEO of Gillis Gilkerson. “The exciting part is having the opportunity to take a historic building and transform it into a structure with modern-day purpose and functionality.”