A Week In Business – July 30, 2021

Freeman Outlines Public Nature Transfer

BERLIN – Part of the Carl M. Freeman Companies’ philosophy has always been to create places that enrich lives. For that reason, the company announced this week 673 acres that make up the former Bay Club and an adjacent farm, formerly considered for commercial and residential redevelopment by Carl M. Freeman Companies, will be transferred to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for use as public green space.

Plans include removing the structures and golf cart paths from the Bay Club site, formerly a 36-hole golf course. The property, which sits just west of the Berlin town limits, will be managed by the Maryland Forest Service and Chesapeake Forest Lands.

“We are always hyper-focused on quality of life for the people in and around our communities, and we’re delighted to make it possible for the residents of Berlin, Worcester County and the state of Maryland enjoy this unique natural asset,” said Michelle Freeman, CEO of Carl M. Freeman Companies. “CMFC has a solid, verifiable history of being outstanding stewards of the environment. We are consistently working with many different preservation groups such as the Center for the Inland Bays and Sussex County Land Trust and have preserved hundreds of acres of wetlands over the years.”

Freeman added, “This is going to be something families in the Berlin and Ocean City areas will enjoy for years to come, with an opportunity to immerse themselves into nature.”

Jeff Evans, director of marketing for Carl M. Freeman Companies, agreed the green space will be a proud area for town residents.

“We’re excited to be able to participate in this significant contribution to Berlin’s greenbelt,” said Evans. “It’s always our priority to provide outdoor recreation in all our communities and helping the town of Berlin and Worcester County create a new area for outdoor recreation has been exceptionally rewarding.”

Once opened to the public, the new nature area will be one of just a few on the Delmarva peninsula and the closest inland preserve to the Ocean City area. The Maryland Board of Public Works, which recommended the sale’s approval, has said the land, a mix of forests, fields and the former golf club fairways, will be reforested with native trees to “maximize hunting and other recreational activities while protecting water quality.” Plans for the site include nature walking trails, hunting, forestry and potential equestrian trails, the agency says.

Carl M. Freeman Companies has chosen not to develop the 673-acre former Bay Club golf course and instead, transfer the land to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for use as public nature area.

According to the Urban Lands Institute, shared public spaces that allow equitable access for residents have a direct positive impact on human health. The sale of The Bay Club property ensures the everyone in Berlin and Worcester County will be able to enjoy the natural wonders of the lower Eastern Shore.

Freeman originally purchased The Bay Club and the adjacent farm in the late 1990s. The transfer of the property began in fall of 2020 and was facilitated by the Lower Shore Land Trust, which works to establish conservation easements along the southern end of Maryland’s Eastern Shore and help landowners preserve property from future development.

Evans says once demolition of the old golf paths and club structures is complete, he anticipates the nature preserve will be open to the public sometime in 2022.


New Hires Announced

SALISBURY — CFS, Inc. (Comprehensive Financial Solutions) has hired two new key employees — Katie Brittingham as director of marketing and Matt McKinley as director of business development.

Brittingham and McKinley will play instrumental roles in the dual strategic objectives of enhancing CFS’s already topflight customer service and developing growth opportunities

“For nearly 40 years we have invested in our community, seeking local talent to increase our client’s experience. The CFS legacy aims to help the families across Delmarva; Matt and Katie will be a great addition to help us accomplish this goal,” said Michael Sise, Certified Financial Planner™ and Partner.

Brittingham joins the team with experience managing marketing efforts across Delmarva. Her unique perspective of industries and audiences brings new insight the firm is eager to leverage for clients.

“I am eager to join a team so committed to its clients and their families, while having a great company culture. CFS has something for everyone, and I am ready to help them grow their reach in the region,” Brittingham said.

McKinley holds the Certified Financial Advisor™ designation and is the only practicing CFA™ in Wicomico County. A Berlin native and Salisbury University graduate, his extensive background in the financial services industry includes management position with large government finance agencies and banking; publishing in economic journals; and developing investment portfolios and operational efficiencies.