A Week In Business – July 19, 2019

Biz APictured, from left, are Tammy Galusha, service operations manager for Business Health Services; Tracey Mullineaux, employee health/wellness nurse at AGH; and Nicole Morris, infection prevention and employee health manager at AGH.



Hospital Earns Wellness Award

BERLIN –  Atlantic General Hospital has been recognized by Healthiest Maryland Businesses as a gold level recipient of the Wellness at Work awards for the fourth consecutive year. The Wellness at Work awards took place at the 10th Annual Maryland Workplace Health and Wellness Symposium in Baltimore.

The Wellness at Work awards are sponsored by Healthiest Maryland Businesses, the state’s initiative to support healthy workplaces. Any Maryland employer who is a member of Healthiest Maryland Businesses is eligible to apply, and there is no cost to be a member. Recognition criteria are based on the CDC’s Workplace Health Model and applicants are asked to describe activities and share examples of policies and tools developed and utilized in the four areas of assessment, planning and management, implementation, and evaluation.

This isn’t the first time Atlantic General Hospital has been recognized for the quality of its employee wellness program. AGH was a gold level recipient in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Employers may earn a Gold, Silver, Bronze, or On the Path award based on their activities to establish leadership support for wellness, create wellness committees, survey the needs and interests of their employees, set health improvement goals, and develop monitoring tools to track their outcomes over time.

AGH created the Associates Getting Healthy wellness program in 2013. This program was implemented with the goals of providing opportunities for the associates to improve their health and wellbeing and control the high cost of providing health benefits. Those goals were achieved and results in creating a culture at AGH that helped associates begin or enhance a healthier lifestyle.


Home Prices Rise Due To Low Inventory

BERLIN – A more than 25 percent drop in available housing inventory on Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore has led to higher list and sale prices, according to the latest numbers from the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (Coastal).

Throughout June, there were 1,854 active, available residential units on the Shore. In June 2018, there were 2,493 available units, which is a 25.6 percent drop. Individually, active listings are down by 22.3 percent in Worcester County, by 34.1 percent in Wicomico County, and by 23 percent in Somerset County.

New listings in June were also down overall by 8.5 percent across the Shore. Individually, new listings were up by 2.4 percent in Wicomico and were down by 21 percent and 13.4 percent in Somerset and Worcester, respectively.

With limited inventory comes multiple offers and increased prices. The average list price for the Shore is $269,688, which is 15.9 percent higher than this time last year. The average sale price is $207,431, which is 2.4 percent higher than this time last year.

Settlements are down slightly compared to June of last year, with new settlements being 5.4 percent lower and Year to Date (YTD) settlements being 2.6 percent lower. Individually, new settlements throughout June were up by 3.8 percent in Somerset, and were down by 16.8 percent and 1.2 percent in Wicomico and Worcester, respectively.

The homes that are selling are leaving the market at the same pace as last year, with an average Cumulative Days on Market (CDOM) for the Tri-County area at 124 days. Individually, CDOM increased by 25.6 percent in Somerset, and decreased by 9.1 percent and 14.3 percent in Wicomico and Worcester, respectively.

“Limited local inventory is driving our numbers down across the Shore, as it’s done for the past few years,” said Coastal President Bernie Flax. “However, we are still very busy with pending sales. Also the market is very competitive, which is great for sellers.”


New Sales Team Formed

OCEAN CITY – Holiday Real Estate has announced the Milko LeCates Group sales team.

Milko LeCates Group is guided by veteran real estate partners Denise A. Milko and Leah M. LeCates, combining over 30 years selling deluxe real estate, banking and finance experience.

Team Leader Milko (formerly of Get Milko fame), is vice president of Holiday Real Estate, an Ocean City native and second-generation Realtor with an impressive resume. She has superior knowledge of the area and expert negotiation skills. She prides herself on her expertise and return clientele.

LeCates is the founder and broker of Home Mortgage Services, Ocean City’s first female-owned mortgage brokerage business firm. Prior to her brokerage, she was vice president of a Baltimore-based bank and is exceedingly well versed in financing, sales and market trends. She is now listing and selling coastal properties as part of the Milko LeCates Group.


Chef Added At Yacht Club

BERLIN — Record crowds at the Ocean Pines Yacht Club have admittedly led to some slippage in the food quality. Because of that, leadership last week took proactive steps to improve, most notably including the addition of renowned local Chef Michael Rendell to assist Head Chef John Chiusano.

Ralph DeAngelus, cofounder of the Matt Ortt Companies that runs the Ocean Pines Yacht Club, said Rendell would not only help bring the restaurant back up to par, but also take it to the next level.

“Because the kitchen has been so insane, our Head Chef John Chiusano has been trying to keep up with daytime pool business and nighttime dinners – the whole nine yards. It’s overwhelming and it’s more than a one-man job,” DeAngelus said.

The Ocean Pines Yacht Club has set new sales standards several times this season. First, the Ortt Companies broke their own records during Memorial Day weekend. Then, in July the Yacht Club facility set a single-day record with a $53,000 total revenue haul – including a $25,000 banquet – and on July 5 the restaurant by itself set a single-day record with more than $40,700 in net revenues.

“The truth of the matter is, we’ve been so overwhelmed by this massive business that our food quality has slipped just a little bit,” DeAngelus said. “We brought this guy in to make sure, not only that stuff doesn’t fall through the cracks, but that we immediately address our issues and even bring our quality up a little bit higher.”

According to DeAngelus, Rendell will function as a second head chef that reports directly to Chiusano.

“[Rendell] is a qualified head chef and has been in Ocean City for years,” DeAngelus said. “He was the head chef at Ky West, so he’s super talented.”

DeAngelus said Rendell would enhance daily featured specials and, through his strong ties with local farmers, improve the freshness and quality of ingredients at the Yacht Club.

“The guy can make the best Veal Osso Bucco on the planet,” DeAngelus said, adding the dish would become a regular on the featured specials menu. “We brought this guy here to raise the bar of what we can produce. He’ll also help to free up Chef Chiusano to work more on the banquets and overall food quality.”

Rendell will also assist with teaching and developing some of the younger kitchen talent.

“Because of the massive success that we’ve had this year, our kitchen was overtaxed and we weren’t putting out the product that we’re accustomed to, but we immediately addressed it,” DeAngelus said. “We recognized the problem, we’re being proactive about it and, not only do we want to get it back to where it was, but we want to raise the bar even higher. We want Ocean Pines to be as proud of us as they have been in the past.”

For his part, Rendell said he’s thrilled to come onboard.

“I’m very excited to have joined the Matt Ortt Companies at the Yacht Club,” he said. “Helping Chef John get things to the next level is why I’m here and I have no intentions whatsoever of letting him down.”