A Week In Business

Biz AAmong the honorees at this year’s Coastal Association of REALTORS® 2015 Annual Awards Ceremony were, from left, Mike Ciorrocco of Universal Mortgage & Finance, Rhonda Evans of ERA Martin & Associates, Edie Brennan of RE/MAX Crossroads, Vicki Harmon of Coldwell Banker, Marlene Ott of RE/MAX Crossroads, Brandon Johnson of ERA Martin & Associates and Paul Faulstich of Century 21 New Horizon. Not pictured was Dean Richardson. Submitted Photos

Annual Awards Presented

OCEAN CITY – In recognition of their hard work to uphold the highest of industry standards, eight local real estate professionals were honored during the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (CAR) 2015 Annual Awards ceremony on July 29 at the Ocean City Marlin Club.

Edie Brennan, a REALTOR® for RE/MAX Crossroads in Ocean Pines, received this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her extensive work in the local real estate industry as well as her numerous civic and charitable contributions to her community. A REALTOR® for over 35 years, Brennan has historically been active in her local real estate association, serving in top leadership positions in the 1980s and also on various CAR committees. She is also active with the Women’s Council of REALTORS® and regularly attends National and Maryland Associations of REALTORS® conferences and committee meetings. Brennan is a champion of community outreach and service, most notably as an active member of the board of directors for the Ocean Pines Players Community Theater Group. She has starred in or appeared in over 60 shows and has directed nine shows. All proceeds from these productions help award arts scholarships to local graduating seniors. Brennan has been a breast cancer survivor for nine years and supports the American Cancer Society in many local events.

Vicki Harmon, a REALTOR® with Coldwell Banker in Ocean City, was recognized as CAR’s REALTOR® of the Year for being a driven leader who has given an enormous amount of her time to the success of CAR, while also thriving in the local real estate industry and volunteering for various local charitable efforts. Harmon has been a REALTOR® member for nine years, currently serving as the president of the CAR Board of Directors and the technology coach and new agent instructor for Coldwell Banker. Harmon is active in various local civic organizations and helps coordinate the Ocean City Art League’s annual Sandcastle Home Tour that raises over $35,000 each year for the Art League.

Marlene Ott, a REALTOR® with RE/MAX Crossroads in Ocean City, won this year’s Super Nova Award, which recognizes a long-time REALTOR® who is still successful and active in the association. Ott has been a REALTOR® for over 35 years and boasts an extensive list of accolades, including induction into the RE/MAX Crossroads Hall of Fame in 1991 and being named Metropolitan Magazine’s REALTOR® of the Year in 2007, among others. Ott is civically engaged, serving on the Worcester County Planning Commission for over five years in addition to other government commissions that directly impact the local real estate market. She is also active in various charitable efforts, including the Worcester County Veteran’s Memorial Committee and the Verizon Wireless Hope Project to donate cell phones for victims of domestic violence.

Rhonda Evans’ lengthy civic activity resume earned her this year’s Community Service Award. A REALTOR® for ERA Martin & Associates in Salisbury, Evans regularly volunteers for numerous local organizations, including the Salisbury Fire Department and the Maintaining Active Citizens Center. Evans’ passion for helping the local aging community led her to found the Eastern Shore chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and has been instrumental in raising over $30,000 for the cause through various fundraising events. Evans also donated two acres of her family’s farm to the Melson United Methodist Church for expansion of its cemetery, and regularly volunteers at church events.

Mike Ciorrocco, Mid-Atlantic Division Manager with Universal Mortgage & Finance, is CAR’s 2015 Affiliate of the Year. An advocate for the association, Ciorrocco has been instrumental in the implementation of CAR’s monthly Business Card Exchange program, which allows REALTORS® and affiliate members to network at an after-hours event while raising money for a local charity. Universal Mortgage & Finance is CAR’s 2015 platinum affiliate sponsor, which funds various association functions throughout the year. Ciorrocco has also worked to increase the association’s affiliate membership by encouraging other businesses who provide services to REALTORS® to join CAR.

Brandon Johnson, a REALTOR® with ERA Martin & Associates in Salisbury, received this year’s Rising Star Award. An association member for about two years, Johnson has served on various CAR committees, including Government Affairs, RPAC, and MLS Strategic Planning, among others. In addition to his work as a REALTOR®, Johnson also serves as ERA Martin’s Information Technology professional. He is also very active in the community outreach efforts of his firm, regularly participating in projects like the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, preparation of care packages for troops overseas, and collection of Christmas gifts for less fortunate families, among others.

Also honored during the awards ceremony were Paul Faulstich of Century 21 New Horizon and Dean Richardson of Richardson Enterprises for achieving Emeritus Status, meaning they have been continuous members of the association for 40 years.

Conference Attended

Igor Conev

Igor Conev

OCEAN CITY — Igor Conev, vice-president of Mann Properties, Inc. of Ocean City, recently attended the three-day Alliance of Community Association Managers‐Chief Executive Officers Mindshare 2015 (ACAM-CEO) in Charleston, S,C. ACAM-CEO Mindshare is an annual networking and leadership experience organized and managed by peer community management company proprietors and senior executives.

Participants reviewed and discussed industry tools and services in such areas as risk management and crisis; financial, tax and law compliance; insurance and legal challenges; cybersecurity; and real–‐time solutions for condominium and HOA. Conev was the only attendee from the Delmarva Peninsula.

Bank Adds Staff Member

OCEAN CITY — Wayne Benson, President and CEO of Bank of Ocean City, along with the Board of Directors, recently welcomed Sonia Baker as the newest addition to their staff.

Baker joins Bank of Ocean City with 25 years of banking experience, specializing in Commercial Services.  She most recently was a Commercial Relationship Manager at a regional bank serving the Ocean City area.  She is a lending and credit professional and has completed banking courses through RMA and Wor-Wic Community College.  She is currently attending Maryland Banking School.

For her community, she serves as Secretary to Junior Achievement of Worcester County.

“I am happy to be working for a local community bank that provides outstanding customer service and values their employees,” said Baker, who resides in Berlin with her husband, Frank and her son, Lee.

Bank of Ocean City is a locally-owned, independent community bank.  Established in 1916 and headquartered in West Ocean City, the bank has six offices — four in Ocean City, one in Ocean Pines and one in Berlin.

AGH Launches New Website

BERLIN – Atlantic General Hospital and Health System launched a new, mobile responsive website last week as part of its continued mission of providing access to quality care, personalized service and education to improve individual and community health.

A screenshot of AGH’s new website is pictured. The improved site was launched last month.

A screenshot of AGH’s new website is pictured. The improved site was launched last month.

In its 22 years of service to the residents and visitors of Berlin and the surrounding community, Atlantic General Hospital and Health System has seen much growth and continues to evolve to provide the right path to good health. The new www.atlanticgeneral.org provides an improved tool for finding health care providers, health education opportunities, and information for truly coordinated care.

Some enhancements include updated graphic elements and an intuitive website structure help site visitors quickly find what they need; an improved calendar of events to list ongoing support groups, health screenings and other community events of interest; forms for online bill pay and donations to the foundation are enhanced and will operate whether on a mobile device or desktop computer; the layout of the website will shift to preserve legibility and ease of navigation, regardless of the device – desktop computer, tablet or smartphone – on which it is being accessed; content features allow for posting of secondary locations for provider practices as well as board certifications, fellowship training, links to videos and, in the near future, the capability to email providers’ offices to request more information or an appointment; and a wealth of content to improve health literacy and understanding of what it takes to be healthy, including recipes for quick, healthy meal planning.

Company Honored

REHOBOTH BEACH — SoDel Concepts, a hospitality company based in Rehoboth Beach, Del., has been honored in several categories on Coastal Style magazine’s annual “Best of” list.

Scott Kammerer, president and CEO of SoDel Concepts, was named Best Businessman (Sussex County). Tyler Tribbitt was named Best Bartender. Tribbett works at Bluecoast Sefood Grill in Bethany Beach, one of SoDel Concepts’ eight restaurants along the coast.

Catch 54 in Fenwick was given honors for its water-view dining, and Papa Grande’s Coastal Taqueria received the Best Happy Hour. SoDel Concepts’ catering division, Plate Catering, was named Best Caterer.

Chef Scott Viselli received the Best Chef (Sussex County) award. Viselli until May was the chef at Papa Grande’s in Fenwick Island. There is also a Rehoboth Beach location. He’s now the chef at the Cove at Bayside, a client of SoDel Concepts’ hospitality management and consulting arm. SoDel Chef Ronnie Burkle received the honor last year for his work at NorthEast Seafood Kitchen. He is currently SoDel Concepts’ Corporate Chef, overseeing four SoDel restaurants and their food truck, Big Thunder Roadside Kitchen.

“We are overwhelmed by these honors,” Kammerer said. “We could not be prouder of our employees, who’re working in our restaurants every day to provide exceptional food and superior service to our guests, both local residents and visitors to the Culinary Coast.”

Bank Lands In Sussex

SALISBURY — Wesley Cox, Senior Advisor at Sperry Van Ness-Miller Commercial Real Estate, has announced that First Financial Bank is entering the Eastern Shore market with a location in Sussex County, Del.

First Financial will be occupying 2,000 square feet of brand new professional office space at the Stone Creek Business Park in Laurel, Del.

First Financial Ag Lending is one of the nation’s leading poultry lenders and this will be their 13th location in the United States.

“First Financial has been an absolute pleasure to deal with in helping them secure their first location in the area and it is exciting to see the growth of the agricultural market they serve,” said Cox.

Allen Ginn, vice president of First Financial, said, “We have financing solutions that can be tailored to your poultry operation. First Financial Bank and our dedicated customer service team are looking forward to serving the needs of both existing and new poultry producers on the Eastern Shore.”

Center Recognized

SALISBURY — Salisbury University’s Counseling Center has received a Certificate of Excellence from Kognito, a leading provider and innovator of mental health and suicide prevention programs for higher education.

The award acknowledges SU’s commitment to best practices, and creating and sustaining a culture of support for students suffering from mental distress during the 2014-15 academic year.

A recent national study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that 31.6 percent of college students felt so depressed that they had difficulty functioning. SU uses Kognito’s simulation programs to train faculty, staff and students to recognize and approach students who may be suffering from mental distress and refer them to the appropriate resources.

“SU has demonstrated the heart, commitment and drive to truly create a campuswide culture that’s skilled and supportive for students who may be suffering from mental distress,” said Lori Janjigian, Kognito vice president of client services. “They are dedicated to not only creating such an atmosphere, but sustaining it.”

SU participates in Kognito training through its Stand4YOU program, made possible through a three-year, $302,883 grant funded by the federal Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, the nation’s first youth suicide prevention bill.

Real Estate Licensed Earned

Jack Wendler

Jack Wendler

SALISBURY — Sperry Van Ness-Miller Commercial Real Estate has announced that Financial Analyst Jack Wendler has earned his Maryland Real Estate License. Wendler works with Land Advisor Bob Rich.

“Jack brings a fresh perspective to the confidential conversations we hold with our clients,” said Rich. “He has a proven ability to help clients solve complex financial problems and identify new investment opportunities in real estate.”

In his role at SVN-Miller, Wendler provides in-depth financial analysis and strategic guidance for SVN clients.

Gold Seal Achieved

SALISBURY — Peninsula Regional Medical Center (PRMC) announced that it has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers. The Gold Seal of Approval® and the Heart-Check mark represent symbols of quality from their respective organizations.

PRMC recently underwent a rigorous onsite review where Joint Commission experts evaluated compliance with stroke-related standards and requirements, including program management, the delivery of clinical care and performance improvement.

“Peninsula Regional Medical Center has thoroughly demonstrated the greatest level of commitment to the care of stroke patients through its Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers,” said Wendi J. Roberts, RN, executive director, Certification Programs. “We commend PRMC for becoming a leader in stroke care, potentially providing a higher standard of service for stroke patients in its community.”

“We congratulate Peninsula Regional for achieving this designation,” said Nancy Brown, Chief Executive Officer, American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. “By adhering to this very specific set of treatment guidelines PRMC has clearly made it a priority to deliver high quality care to all patients affected by stroke.”

Established in 2003, Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers is awarded for a two-year period to Joint Commission-accredited acute care hospitals.  The Stroke Team at Peninsula Regional treats-on average-over 600 patients each year who arrive at the Medical Center’s Emergency/Trauma Center with stroke symptoms, volumes that rival centers like Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and others in much larger, urban areas. The prevalence of stroke regionally is clearly linked to public risk factors including tobacco use, diabetes, high cholesterol, physical inactivity and excessive alcohol consumption where the Delmarva Peninsula witnesses an equal or higher percentage of each compared to Maryland’s population as a whole.

“PRMC and our Neurosciences team are pleased to receive advanced certification from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association,” said Dr. Peggy Naleppa, President/CEO of PRMC. “The certification provides us with the opportunity to highlight the exceptional stroke care we provide as well as to continually strive to advance our care even further.”