A Week In Business – March 31, 2017

Company Commits To Solar Energy

LEWES — Atlantic Millwork and Cabinetry, a family owned small business in Lewes specializing in windows, doors, cabinetry, decking, millwork products and more, recently hosted Senator Tom Carper from Delaware and Kathy Beisner, acting director for USDA Rural development in Maryland Delaware, for a tour of their facility and their new solar energy system.

Delaware Senator Tom Carper, center, congratulates Atlantic Millwork & Cabinetry President Mark Woodruff and co-owner Patrick Reed on their warehouse’s new solar panel project, which is pictured on the right. Photos by Vincent McDowell, above, and TJ Redefer, right.

Delaware Senator Tom Carper, center, congratulates Atlantic Millwork & Cabinetry President Mark Woodruff and co-owner Patrick Reed on their warehouse’s new solar panel project, which is pictured on the right. Photos by Vincent McDowell, above, and TJ Redefer, right.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0514.JPGWith the aid of a grant from Rural Energy for America Program that covered 25% of the cost, Atlantic Millwork & Cabinetry commissioned The CNC Solar Company in Rehoboth Beach to install a 143 kW DC system on the southern facing upper roof of their warehouse.

“Our mission at USDA Rural Development is to help increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life in Rural America,” said Beisner. “One way we do that is through the Rural Energy for America Program that has helped roughly 55 rural small businesses and farmers in Delaware improve their bottom line by installing renewable energy systems and energy efficient equipment.  Through Federal loan guarantees and grants the program helps cut carbon emissions, creates jobs and saves families hundreds of dollars on their utility bills each year.”

Small businesses across the United States are using USDA financing in innovative ways as a means to creating more sustainable communities and the enhancement of economic competitiveness.

“Small businesses like Atlantic Millwork & Cabinetry are the backbone of America’s economy,” said Carper. “Federal grant programs like this one from USDA Rural Development help our nation’s small businesses make investments that allow them to become more energy efficient and boost their bottom line at the same time. That’s what I like to call a win-win.”

The 550-panel system has taken Atlantic Millwork & Cabinetry nearly off the grid and provides almost 90% of the electricity it takes to operate their offices and warehouse. When asked about the decision to go solar Mark Woodruff, president of Atlantic Millwork & Cabinetry, said, “The move made business sense, the savings in electricity, the funding from the USDA Rural development, and tax benefits made sense. When you take all those variables into account, the system will pay for itself in six years. Not to mention it’s beneficial to the environment in our local community.”

Co-owner Richard Reed added, “We had looked at doing the panel’s years ago, but now with the incentives it made sense to move forward with the project.”

The energy grant program has been around since 2002, but the first Delaware applications didn’t come in until 2009, Beisner said. Since then 55 farms and businesses have participated.

Manager Appointed

BERLIN — Mercantile Processing Inc. President and CEO Kyle Morgan has announced that Stacy Schaffer has joined the company as the territory manager for Maryland and Delaware.

In her new role, Schaffer will be responsible for growing and servicing MPI’s merchant account portfolio in the region as well as managing bank relations. Schaffer comes to MPI with vast merchant services, business banking and marketing experience.

MPI is a merchant services provider serving all of North American and select international markets. MPI’s offerings include credit card processing, point of sale systems, payroll services as well as gift card and loyalty programs.

Stacey McMichael

Stacey McMichael

Olivia Momme

Olivia Momme

New Staff Announced

SALISBURY — United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore has announced the addition of two new team members to support local programs and services throughout Wicomico, Worcester, Somerset and Dorchester counties. Resource Development Manager Stacey McMichael and Community Outreach Coordinator Olivia Mommé recently joined the United Way team.

McMichael comes to United Way with 25 years of nonprofit and management experience.  She will be leading the workplace giving campaign in the four county region as well as coordinating donor stewardship efforts and analytics.

Mommé has been involved with United Way for five years as a volunteer and, most recently, as a part time campaign associate. Her primary focus will be on working with companies in Worcester County and coordinating the Dine United campaign.

Chamber President Named

SALISBURY — Dr. Cathy Townsend, chairperson of the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce (SACC), has announced the appointment of Bill Chambers as SACC’s President/CEO. After an extensive search by a committee made up of key members and officers of the SACC, Chambers was chosen to head Salisbury’s 820-member business organization.

Bill Chambers

Bill Chambers

“We are excited to have Mr. Chambers on board,” Townsend said. “Bill’s extensive experience with Chambers of Commerce and his varied career experiences makes him more than qualified to implement the chamber’s strategic plan. Bill is a leader and will be a truly effective voice for the business community. He will continue to build the Chamber as the area’s indispensable business resource.”

Chambers said, “It is a privilege and honor to have the opportunity to serve the vibrant business community and the membership of the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce. Along with a dedicated board and excellent chamber staff, we will work to increase the Chambers’ presence on the Lower Shore.”

Chambers is an experienced executive with 37 years of high level organizational management expertise. He has managed large, multi-level programs utilizing public and private partnerships. He has been the President/CEO of the Calvert County Chamber of Commerce for two years and has represented over 430 member business organizations. He has worked directly with the Maryland Legislative Delegation on legislation impacting local businesses and has also worked closely with local elected and appointed officials. Bill’s past Chamber experience also includes past chairman of the board for the Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber of Commerce, Calvert County Chamber of Commerce, and the Maryland Chamber of Commerce.

Rondi Tucker

Rondi Tucker

Employee Added

WILLARDS — Atlantic/Smith, Cropper & Deeley (ASC&D) has welcomed Rondi Tucker as a benefits coordinator in the Life & Health Department.  She is a licensed agent who coordinates and manages all aspects of employee benefits for ASC&D Clients.

Tucker has many years of experience in customer service as well as a background in insurance.

University Ranks High

SALISBURY — Salisbury University is among the top campuses in Maryland for positioning students to successfully repay college loans, according to a recent study by Student Loan Report.

The website ranked SU No. 4 in the state (No. 214 in the nation) according to its Student Debt Repayment Success Indicator. Only John Hopkins University; the University of Maryland, College Park; and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County scored higher.

Student Loan Report’s formula calculates student debt repayment success based on factors including average debt incurred, early career pay and loan default rate. According to the study, SU’s students graduate with an average of $$25,376 in debt (compared to the national average of $30,100 for public institutions), with an average annual early career salary of $44,800.

“SU is proud to support our amazing students in making their dreams possible,” said Aaron Basko, assistant vice president for enrollment management. “Our students are investing in themselves and achieving great outcomes – in jobs, graduate schools and national fellowships. Best of all, they are getting an education that pays them back.”

Salisbury “is clearly doing a great job at giving students the best chance to successfully repay their student debt,” said Drew Cloud, founder of Student Loan Report. “Student loan debt is holding back so many of our nation’s young adults, and it is refreshing to see schools like [SU] making a difference.”

Events Director Appointed

LONG NECK — Sarah Dickinson was recently named the director of events at The Clubhouse at Baywood, which is located in Baywood Greens, a golf course community in Long Neck.  The Clubhouse — which is operated by Highwater Management, a division of Rehoboth Beach-based SoDel Concepts — is open to the public.

Sarah Dickinson

Sarah Dickinson

“With Sarah at the helm of The Clubhouse’s events department, we’re capable of handling a range of functions, from weddings and bridal showers to intimate celebrations to nonprofit fundraisers,” says Danielle Panarello, director of operations at The Clubhouse. “Sarah has extensive experience in event planning and the hospitality industry. She’s dedicated to delivering a memorable experience for our guests.”

Dickinson grew up just outside of Philadelphia in Chester County, Pa. The championship swimmer graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in interior merchandising and business. She moved to Delaware in 2011 when she took a job as a pharmaceutical salesperson.