A Week In Business – August 26, 2022

Officer Named

SNOW HILL – The Worcester County Commissioners appointed Nicholas Rice to serve as the procurement officer with Worcester County Government (WCG).

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Nicholas Rice

On August 15, Rice stepped into this newly created position, which was approved in the fiscal year 2023 WCG operating budget.

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“The procurement officer position aligns perfectly with our mission to be responsible with taxpayer dollars.” Chief Administrative Officer Weston Young said. “Nick is a consummate professional in this field and will oversee the county’s efforts to obtain the best value in all of our purchases, from day-to-day expenses to our multi-million-dollar capital projects.”

Rice is certified by the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing as a public procurement officer and a professional public buyer. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and a Master of Business Administration from Salisbury University.

He brings nine years of experience in public procurement to WCG. From August 2016 to August 2022, Rice served as the purchasing agent for Wicomico County Government. Prior to that time, he worked as a purchasing associate for the Town of Ocean City.

“I am grateful to the commissioners for this opportunity to serve the citizens of Worcester County,” Rice said. “I look forward to applying my knowledge and experience in public procurement in an effort to positively impact the county.”

Rice will work closely with the Worcester County Commissioners and staff, as well as other local, state, and regional purchasing cooperatives and associations to leverage spend and utilize economies of scale. He will represent WCG in sourcing, procurement, contract administration, inventory management, vendor management, and other related duties.

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Director Hired

OCEAN CITY, Maryland – The Ocean City Hotel Motel Association (OCHMRA) Executive Director Susan Jones is pleased to announce that Laura Blair will be joining her team as the new business development director.

“Laura will work with the OCHMRA to assist in the Association’s mission to connect industry interests through

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Laura Blair

advocacy, education and partnerships with the goal of serving as the hospitality connector,” Jones said.

Specifically, Blair will be assisting with the association’s annual Trade Show, all other OCHMRA events and marketing efforts.  Blair brings a myriad of experience and education to her new position including working with the National Association of Underwriters (NALU) in Washington, D.C., as the national community relations director helping its 140,000 members to conduct charitable work in their respective communities.

Blair won accolades for a program called “Our America Matters” and received letters from two sitting U.S. presidents for her work in volunteerism.  She also worked in Montgomery County, Md., for the local cable company as the community relations director where she focused on channel launchings and related charitable tie-ins.  Blair moved to Ocean City four years ago and more recently has been working for the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce assisting with membership efforts.

Blair is a graduate of The American University in Washington, D.C., where she received her graduate degree in public communications.

Established in 1971, the OCHMRA is a local nonprofit trade association uniting the Ocean City hospitality industry. The OCHMRA is the ultimate people connector working to solve common issues relative to the industry and acts as a clearinghouse for dissemination of information.

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Director Announced

SALISBURY – Wor-Wic Community College recently welcomed Kara Funkhouser of Frankford, Del., as director of continuing education, workforce development and youth initiatives.

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Kara Funkhouser

Funkhouser previously worked at Delaware Technical Community College, where she oversaw professional development and personal enrichment programs, as well as summer camp.

She has a bachelor’s degree from Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, W.Va., and a master’s degree from Arkansas Tech University in Russellville.

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Practitioner Welcomed

SALISBURY – TidalHealth is pleased to welcome Sarah Proffit, MSN, FNP, to TidalHealth Gastroenterology in Salisbury.

Proffit began her nursing career in 2007, when she worked as a registered nurse in the Med-Surg, Progressive Care

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Sarah Proffit

Unit and in Interventional Radiology at TidalHealth Peninsula Regional. She graduated from Wilmington University in 2019 with her nurse practitioner degree.

Proffit participated in two medical mission trips to the Dominican Republic in 2018 and 2019.

When she isn’t caring for patients, she enjoys going on adventures with her family, exploring Guyana in South America, where her husband spent the first 11 years of his life, going to the beach, and going to the pool.

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New Employees

ANNAPOLIS – Ørsted, the U.S. leader in offshore wind, today announced the addition of two seasoned maritime industry leaders to its Mid-Atlantic Marine Affairs team.

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Norm Witt

Former U.S. Coast Guard Commander Norm Witt and Ocean City, Maryland-based commercial fisherman Dana Nelson will lead outreach to the maritime community in support of its mid-Atlantic projects, including Skipjack Wind.

Skipjack Wind is a 966-megawatt offshore wind project off the Maryland-Delaware coast that will power nearly 300,000 homes in the region with renewable energy.

“Ørsted believes deeply in fostering a collaborative approach with the maritime industry to ensure the successful co-use of our oceans,” said Brady Walker, Ørsted’s head of government affairs and strategy in Maryland and Delaware. “With Commander Witt and Dana Nelson joining our in-house team of maritime professionals, we will continue to be in consistent and transparent engagement with maritime users about Ørsted’s maritime activities during Skipjack Wind’s development.”

Witt joins Ørsted with over 23 years of experience as a Coast Guard officer with diverse operational assignments during his military career.

After serving as deck watch officer aboard a Coast Guard cutter, he transitioned to marine safety and security and completed multiple operational tours on the east, west, and Gulf coasts. Witt’s most recent assignments include executive officer of the Pacific Strike Team and commanding officer of Marine Safety Unit Savannah. Witt also served four years as an officer in the U.S. Army prior to transitioning to the Coast Guard.

Witt will direct engagement with maritime stakeholders, identifying and addressing navigation safety issues, and working with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Nelson has a diverse career including 12 years as a commercial fisherman in Ocean City and several years as a Department of Defense contractor.

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Dana Nelson

Dana previously served Ørsted as a fisheries liaison officer supporting mid-Atlantic site investigation surveys.  Originally from Gibson Island, Md., Nelson has been a resident of Ocean City for the past 40 years.

Nelson will be responsible for facilitating, maintaining, and improving relationships with local and regional commercial fishing fleets and other maritime stakeholders.

The Ørsted vision is a world that runs entirely on green energy. Four years in a row, Ørsted earned recognition as the world’s most sustainable energy company by Corporate Knights, including for 2022. The company is a global clean energy leader and has the largest portfolio of offshore wind energy in the world.