A Week In Business – February 11, 2022

New Executive Director

BERLIN – The Board of Directors has announced Lauren Cooper will be the new Executive Director for The CRICKET Center, Worcester County’s Child Advocacy Center.

Biz A Cooper

Lauren Cooper

Cooper believes that there is no more impactful and meaningful work than serving as a voice for children who have witnessed or experienced abuse. Cooper most recently worked for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Delaware as the Center Coordinator and Forensic Interviewer where she served as a member of the multidisciplinary team and coordinated a comprehensive response to child abuse allegations.

Cooper has conducted over six hundred forensic interviews of child victims and witnesses and has worked tirelessly alongside local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, child protection workers, and medical providers to ensure every child has a voice.

Cooper’s dedication to public service began when she served the Circuit Court for Wicomico County as the Drug Court Resource Manager and later became the Family Services Coordinator.

Cooper is distinguished by her determination to raise awareness of child abuse, community engagement, and ability to lead and educate others. She was the recipient of the Children’s Advocacy Center’s Outstanding Leadership Award in 2020 and serves as a faculty member for the state of Delaware’s forensic interview protocol training for multidisciplinary team members. She graduated with honors from Wilmington University and holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Criminal Behavior, a Master’s of Science Degree in Leadership and Administration, and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Salisbury University.

“We are fortunate to have found a dynamic and passionate leader like Lauren,” said Deborah Travers, President, CRICKET Center Board of Directors. “Her background and experience on the front lines along with her creativity and advocacy are just a perfect fit. This is demanding work for all of the agencies involved and her understanding of that will aid in supporting the needs of everyone.”


Grant Award Announced

SELBYVILLE – As part of its commitment to support the Sussex County community, the Carl M. Freeman Foundation recently contributed $25,000 to the Center for Inland Bays. The funds will support Phase II of the James Farm Ecological Preserve Master Plan, a grand re-envisioning of the James Farm Ecological Preserve near Ocean View that will make the recreational and educational opportunities offered at the 150-acre oasis more easily accessible to diverse audiences for generations to come.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Carl M. Freeman Foundation for their generous support of this important project,” said Chris Bason, Executive Director. “When it’s complete, the result will be a regionally important outdoor education site with facilities that match the beauty of the Preserve’s diverse ecosystems. This grant brings us one step closer to realizing this vision”

“The Carl M. Freeman Foundation Trustees have supported the Center for Inland Bays for 10 years contributing nearly $50,000. We are thrilled to support their efforts to enhance the James Farm Ecological Preserve for all community members to enjoy,” said Patti Grimes, executive director of the Foundation.


Taylor Bank Promotes Three

BERLIN — Taylor Bank is proud to announce the promotion of three distinguished employees.

Biz B Vogel

Carolynn Vogel

Carolynn Vogel has been promoted to Internal Auditor. She has worked with Taylor Bank since 2018. She began her career as a Customer Service Associate at the Bank’s Main Office. In October 2019, she transitioned to Compliance Specialist. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in

Management from The Pennsylvania State University. Active in the community, she volunteers with several local organizations, including Lower Sussex Little League, Raven Nation Music Boosters, and Cub Scout Pack 280 in Ocean View.


Scott Williams has been promoted to Assistant Vice President.He serves as Credit Administrator and has worked with Taylor

Biz C Williams

Scott Williams

Bank for 16 years. In 2006, he joined as Customer Service Associate and was subsequently promoted to Management Trainee in June 2008. In 2009, he became Assistant Manager of the Bank’s Main Office. In 2014, he transferred to the loan department where he served as Credit Analyst and Loan Operations Supervisor before his promotion to Credit Administrator in 2017. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems from Salisbury University and volunteers with Salisbury Elks 817.



Biz D Meyer

Cindy Meyer

Cindy Meyer has been promoted to Assistant Vice President, Director of Human Resources. She has more than 20 years of human resources

experience, and has served the Bank since 2019, when she was appointed Human Resources Manager. She is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Maryland College Park.


“These team members possess a wealth of experience and talent that we are proud to recognize by expanding their roles and responsibilities within the bank,” said Taylor Bank President and CEO Ray Thompson. “We look forward to celebrating each well-deserved promotion and are proud to continue engineering strategic growth and success for our team that will best serve our customers.”


New Hospitality Brand

OCEAN CITY – Off The Hook Restaurant Group, announced a newly founded parent company, Common Ground Hospitality. Common Ground will dissolve Off The Hook Restaurant Group and acquire the brands portfolio of award winning restaurants and catering division. Common Ground is a passion-driven hospitality group, whose mission it is to develop innovative dining concepts, distinctive culinary experiences, and honest hospitality to connect the community.

Biz E Hagen

Steve Hagen

“The time has come to evolve our brands and expand our portfolio,” commented Steve Hagen, “Our new team of seasoned and passionate hospitality professionals brings their years of success and knowledge that will impact and bring much needed change to our new and existing projects.”

Common Ground Hospitality’s leadership includes Steve Hagen as CEO, Tom Ogilvie as President, Nino Mancari as Director of Culinary Operations, Justin Scheinholtz as Director of Beverage, Katie Ogilvie as Director of Events and Marketing, and Rick Haney, Jay Davis, Christian Costantino and Jason Dietterick as Directors of Operations.

“Our passion first approach to hospitality is what sets us apart and makes our concepts a place where creativity and innovation are honored and that is the key to a successful restaurant.” says Nino Mancari, Director of Culinary.

Common Ground Hospitality will open new dining concepts and remodel existing locations. “A lot will change this year, but our commitment to providing the fresh ingredients, honest hospitality and local farm to table eats that you have come to love and expect from our brand will never change” said Tom Ogilvie, President.

Common Ground will start with renovations at Hooked Up Ale House & Raw Bar in Millville and Off The Hook in Bethany.


Architecture Firm Recognized

SALISBURY – The American Institute of Architects Chesapeake Bay Chapter (AIA CBC) recently named Becker Morgan Group 2021 Firm of the Year. The award recognized Becker Morgan Group’s commitment to the chapter across a wide range of activities, member involvement, and design awards.

The AIA CBC is a regional component of the American Institute of Architects serving architects in eleven counties bordering Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The Chapter is committed to promoting ethical practices, advocating for codes and regulations that govern the quality of the built environment, and providing support for architectural services that enhance the quality of life for all people.