A Week In Business

Biz DBrent Miller, senior advisor and managing director of Sperry Van Ness-Miller Commercial Real Estate, has announced that Dunkin’ Donuts has broken ground on a new location on Route 50 and Tilghman Road in Salisbury. Miller facilitated the sale of the 1.27-acre lot, located on the east side of town adjacent to a McDonald’s at the Shoppes of Salisbury. This will be the fifth Dunkin’ Donuts location in the Salisbury area. Submitted Photos

Biz AMembers of the Showell family join leadership of the Peninsula Regional Medical Center Foundation on the beach in front of the Showells’ Castle in the Sand Hotel in Ocean City to present their $100,000 pledge to the Operating Room Campaign at PRMC. Pictured, from left, are Letichia Showell; Adam Showell, Jr.; Adam Showell; Leighton Moore, chairman of the PRMC Foundation; Rebecca Moore; and Denise Billing, PRMC Foundation President.

June Market Update

BERLIN – Existing home sales on the Lower Eastern Shore continue to reflect an upward trend, according to the latest figures from the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (CAR).

Graphic shows June market activity, according to the Coastal Association of Realtors.

Graphic shows June market activity, according to the Coastal Association of Realtors.

CAR’s local housing statistics for June 2015 show settlements of existing homes in the Tri-County area were up 14.5 percent compared to the same month last year. Of particular note is a 55.7 percent increase in single family home settlements in Wicomico County. Worcester County’s single family homes saw a 4.3-percent increase in settlements and Somerset County saw a 12.5 percent increase.

Contracts, or pending sales, were also up, showing an overall 21.1-percent increase compared to the same month last year. Worcester County contracts for single family homes were up 52.6 percent, pointing toward a future increase of settlements.

“More than likely, the nice weather is attracting homebuyers to the beach area and people are finding second homes and vacation homes,” said Vicki Harmon, president of the CAR Board of Directors. “They’ve started the buying process by completing their contracts and are working towards settlement.”

Listings for existing homes were down 1.7 percent, showing a continued and national trend of decreasing inventory numbers. However the number of days that homes are spending on the market was down considerably – 14.5 percent – which shows that homes are being sold faster.

List prices and sales prices were down 6.2 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively, indicating stable prices on the Lower Shore.

CAR’s monthly local housing statistics are pulled from the association’s Multiple Listing Service, which represents the activity of over 1,000 local REALTORS®.

Staff Promotions

SALISBURY – The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore has announced two staff members were recently advanced to new positions within the organization, according to Erica Joseph, president.

Sharon Dickson has been named the foundation’s finance director. In this role, Dickson will be responsible for providing accounting, tax and financial reporting guidance for the foundation and ongoing internal control evaluation. She is a CPA with more than 20 years of accounting and management experience including public and private corporations, non-profit organizations and public accounting. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Dickson joined CFES in 2012 as finance officer.

Heather Mahler has been named the foundation’s program director and will oversee discretionary grant making and nonprofit support programs. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies in 2012 from Salisbury University’s Fulton School of Liberal Arts and was named the CFES Assistant Program Officer in 2011.

“We are very excited to announce these staff promotions. Sharon and Heather bring a high level of commitment, professionalism and experience that will only continue to enhance the mission and success of the Community Foundation,” said Joseph.

New Marketing Head Hired

SALISBURY — The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore announced Gee Williams has been named the new marketing director.

In his role, Williams will be responsible for carrying out the Community Foundation’s marketing and public relations objectives – assisting the president and the board in communicating the foundation mission and developing relationships with donors, prospective donors, nonprofit partners, professional advisors and the general public.

A lifetime resident of Berlin, Williams received a B.S. degree in Journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1971. He was a local newspaper editor and publisher for 28 years and most recently served as the Public Information Officer for the Maryland State Highway Administration.

“We are thrilled Gee has joined our team,” said Foundation President Erica Joseph. “Gee brings a professionalism and familiarity with our community that will only continue to enhance the mission and success of the Community Foundation.”

Supervisor Awarded

OCEAN CITY — Ocean City Recreation and Parks has announced that Ron Strickler was awarded an Externship Program from the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration.

Ron Strickler

Ron Strickler

Strickler, who has worked as a Recreation Supervisor for the Department for nearly 10 years, was selected among a pool of national applicants to receive a special opportunity to attend the National Recreation Professionals Association (NPRA) Congress.

The Externship Program enables outstanding young professionals, 35 years of age and younger, in the parks and recreation field to interact with and learn from members of the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, and other individuals who attend the NRPA Congress and its associated meetings. Up to four externs are selected each year.

“We’re all very proud of Ron and know that he is deserving of this award,” said Kate Gaddis, Recreation Superintendent. “He’s a strong member of the fine team of dedicated recreation professionals we have running our programs here at Ocean City Recreation & Parks.”

Strickler is a graduate of Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, with a B.S Recreation Management. He resides in Berlin with his wife, Nikki, and children, Trey and Marley.

Consultant Appointment

SALISBURY — Timothy Sherman has been appointed as a business consultant at the Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Eastern Region at Salisbury University.

Timothy Sherman

Timothy Sherman

Sherman brings more than 20 years of experience in banking, education, consulting and small business lending to his new position.

“Tim will be a seasoned and staunch advocate for small business on the Eastern Shore,” said John Hickman, SBDC regional director. “His extensive experience in management, lending and small business operations will be an asset to current and aspiring entrepreneurs in our area.”

An outreach of SU’s Franklin P. Perdue School of Business, the SBDC serves the citizens of Maryland in improving the success of their small businesses through low-cost training, no-fee consulting and research. The eastern region serves the Eastern Shore of Maryland through its offices at SU, Chesapeake College and the Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce.


Course Attended

OCEAN CITY – Diane Frederick of the Insurance Management Group, Inc. (IMG) of Ocean City successfully completed and passed the Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR) Personal Lines Course held in Salisbury in May.

The course attended was one course offered by the Insurance Agents and Brokers Association of Maryland. After the successful completion of five courses covering all major areas of the insurance field and five comprehensive examinations, she will be awarded the CISR designation by the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research, the nation’s foremost provider of professional insurance and education.

Frederick joined IMG in February 2014 and has 15 years of insurance experience.

Utility Awarded

BERLIN — Chesapeake Utilities Corporation has been recognized by the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce with its Excellence in Business Award for Corporation of the Year. Chesapeake received the award at the 2015 CDCC Awards for Excellence Dinner in Dover.

The CDCC presented Chesapeake with the award in recognition of the significant long-term contributions to the Central Delaware community made by the Company and its employees.

“I am honored that we have been recognized as a leader in the Delaware business community,” said Michael P. McMasters, president and chief executive officer of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation. “I attribute this recognition to our team of dedicated and innovative employees who take great pride in serving our communities. Our team has seen considerable growth, increasing our Delaware workforce by 65% over the last five years alone.”

This achievement is based on contributions to the community and the positive influence Chesapeake’s involvement has had on making Central Delaware a better place to live and work. Chesapeake has been successfully providing service to Delaware communities for over 150 years, and has continued to grow, creating jobs for Delaware, serving its customers and making a positive impact on local communities.

“As a company, we support many initiatives in Delaware and provide our employees with opportunities to connect with communities through volunteerism,” said Elaine Bittner, senior vice president of Strategic Development. “Over the last year, we actively supported more than 100 organizations company-wide through donations, in-kind contributions, sponsorships and volunteer activities, like our Mentoring program with Delaware schools and the Holiday Cares event with the Food Bank of Delaware.”

Firm Additions

OCEAN CITY — Insurance Management Group, Inc., an independent insurance agency located at 77th Street in Ocean City, recently announced two new additions to its team.

Donna Bradford joined the firm in June as an insurance advisor for the Commercial Lines department. She has lived in the Ocean City area for the past 15 years and has been in the insurance industry for four years.

Lori Taylor joined in June as well as an administrative assistant for the Commercial Lines department. Her career includes customer relations and business ownership and management.