A Week In Business – August 4, 2023

Director Welcomed

SALISBURY – The principals of Gillis Gilkerson (GGI) are pleased to announce the growth of their team with the addition of Jamie Heater as Gillis Gilkerson’s director of marketing.


Jamie Heater

Heater joins the team with over 15 years of experience, having previously served as executive director for Salisbury Arts and Entertainment District and as an advertising account executive with 47-ABC. Heater’s experience in communications, marketing, event planning, community development and public art administration make her an excellent fit for the construction and development firm.

“I am thrilled to begin this new chapter with Gillis Gilkerson,” said Heater. “Gillis Gilkerson embodies the principles of community, passion and integrity with a trusted reputation for investing in the Delmarva community. It will be an honor to continue serving the area through the work of this company.”

Heater is a graduate of Salisbury University with a degree in accounting and a Masters of Business Administration. In addition to her role with Gillis Gilkerson, Heater serves on the Maryland Public Art Commission and as board member for Salisbury Arts Alliance. She is well known for her role managing events in downtown Salisbury including 3rd Fridays, New Years Eve Ball Drop and the Friday Night Live Concert Series at Riverwalk Amphitheater. Heater has also played a large part in the proliferation of public art in Salisbury, through the implementation of several projects including the City of Salisbury’s upcoming Public Art Master Plan.

“We are extremely lucky to have Ms. Heater join our team.” said Gillis Gilkerson President Tyler Barnes. “She has proved herself to be an outstanding asset to this community and an expert technician in her craft through the many successful projects she has spearheaded over the years. The addition of Ms. Heater to our team will only strengthen Gillis Gilkerson’s bright future.”


Property Leased

SALISBURY – SVN Miller Commercial Real Estate Senior Advisor Tonney Insley and Managing Director Brent Miller brokered the long-term lease of 4,000 square feet at 2320 N. Salisbury Blvd. in Salisbury, Md., the former Pier 1 Imports.

The deal will see Banfield Pet Hospital, who was represented by Angie Trosper of CBRE, in their new space by the end of the summer. Banfield will continue to operate out of the Salisbury PetSmart until they make their transition.

Founded in Portland, Oregon, in 1955, Banfield is now the leading provider of preventive veterinary care in the U.S. with more than 1,000 hospitals in neighborhoods across the country and Puerto Rico and 3,600 veterinarians. In 2007, Banfield joined the Mars, Incorporated family of businesses, uniting our team of passionate professionals under a shared purpose: a better world for pets.

The introduction of Banfield to the former Pier 1 property leaves 4,960 square feet of rentable space.


Professor Appointed

PRINCESS ANNE – A University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) professor is among Gov. Wes Moore’s appointments to the Cannabis Public Health Advisory Council.


Madhumi Mitra

The appointment of Madhumi Mitra, Ph.D., a tenured professor of biology and environmental sciences, to the Advisory Council was announced Monday by the governor’s office. The council is under the Maryland Department of Health.

“The use of adult-use cannabis is largely uncharted territory,” Mitra said. “I feel that responsible cannabis use and safeguarding youth must remain at the forefront of any cannabis legalization effort. By addressing the potential risks of cannabis use and implementing evidence-based prevention, education and support measures, I hope to work with the council members to foster a safe and responsible cannabis landscape that benefits Maryland’s communities and protects its youth from potential harm.”

Established by the General Assembly in 2022 through the passage of House Bill 837, the Advisory Council will study and identify recommendations to the governor and the General Assembly on the public health impacts of cannabis legalization and strategies to mitigate youth access, misuse and addiction to cannabis.

“I am grateful to these leaders, experts and public servants for agreeing to serve on this critically important council,” Moore said of the nine appointees. “As Maryland joins a growing number of states in establishing an adult-use cannabis market, we must ensure we have the right laws, policies and strategies in place to safeguard public health, promote safe and responsible use, and prevent underage consumption, drugged driving and misuse of cannabis products.”

Mitra, who holds a doctorate in botany from North Carolina State University, has served at UMES for 24 years. She also serves as the coordinator for biology and chemistry education programs.

In 2021, she was among an elite group of scientists, health care professionals, attorneys and entrepreneurs to earn the first master’s degrees in medical cannabis science in the nation. The program was at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore. She played a pivotal role as team leader in the development of an educational app for staff and patients in collaboration with a Maryland medical dispensary.

Her various research interests include the nutritional potential of medicinal plants such as hemp.

Advisory Council members are not subject to Senate confirmation and serve four-year terms. The Advisory Council elects its chair. Mitra’s swearing in with the Clerk of the Court will be scheduled at a later date.


New Hire

SALISBURY – Hudson Behavioral Health has hired Susan Forrest, MSW, CAC-AD as its new director of clinical operations. Forrest has more than a decade of experience working to improve recovery resources in the greater Salisbury area.


Susan Forrest

In her role at Hudson Behavioral Health, Forrest is responsible for overseeing the full spectrum of clinical operations, including inpatient treatment at the residential campus in Salisbury and the treatment and recovery housing in Maryland and Delaware. She is collaborating with the medical director and CEO to implement plans to open an outpatient facility in late 2023.

“Susan is well-known in the recovery community in our area, and is a passionate and extremely qualified individual,” said Leslie Brown, CEO of Hudson Behavioral Health. “She is an asset to our team, and I’m thrilled to work side-by-side with her.”

Forrest received her associate degree in chemical dependency counseling from Wor-Wic Community College in 2006, her bachelor’s degree in social work from Salisbury University in 2008, and her master’s degree in social work from Salisbury University in 2011. Before joining Hudson Behavioral Health, Forrest was the Director of Addiction Services at Cove Recovery LLC in Salisbury, Md.


Building Sold

SALISBURY – The McClellan Team with SVN Miller Commercial Real Estate recently sold 1315 S. Salisbury Boulevard in Salisbury, Md.

The team worked with Howard Properties to sell the former Parties Etc. property, located just across from Salisbury University. After many years of hassle-free ownership, they ultimately decided to sell once their long-term tenant elected to sell their business and vacate the property.

Many clients’ own income-producing real estate and are seemingly content with an on-time rent payment. The McClellan Team stresses the importance of not just collecting rent, but also reviewing the return that rent is providing on the actual building equity. In an ever-changing market, the most successful investors make this a regular practice.
The team listed both the South Salisbury property and another Fruitland warehouse for sale. They generated multiple offers on both and then worked with the owner to secure viable properties which could be acquired using the provisions of a 1031 exchange. This allowed ownership to defer some significant capital gains taxes. The team’s efforts resulted in him diversifying his investments from two properties to now owning four properties consisting of 2 office buildings and 2 residential properties. Most importantly, ownership increased its overall operating income by over 25%.



In honor of the firm’s 40th anniversary, Becker Morgan Group was honored to support Sean’s House in Newark, Del., with a donation of $4,000. The donation was presented to Chris Locke, founder of Sean’s House, right, and to Zach Ryan, SL24 executive director, left, by Christopher D. Duke, PE, associate principal of Becker Morgan Group. The foundation was created to honor the life and memory of Sean Locke, who struggled with mental illness. The Unlocke the Light movement at Sean’s House mission is to educate high school and college students about depression, provide suicide prevention resources, help with life transitions, and create a safe haven where students can receive professional help.
Submitted Photo

New Headquarters

OCEAN CITY – Montgomery Financial, a leading Independent, Fiduciary, Registered Investment Advisory firm, is delighted to announce its upcoming move to a brand-new office space, marking a significant milestone in the company’s growth and success.

The decision to relocate the headquarters is a testament to Montgomery Financial’s dedication to providing unparalleled services and a remarkable customer experience. The new office, located at 11718 Ocean Gateway, Ocean City, Md., 21842, is set to begin operations on Monday, Aug. 7. This strategic move is driven by Montgomery Financial’s commitment to expanding its capabilities to better serve its customers and foster enhanced collaboration and innovation within the organization.

The new headquarters, housed in a standalone building, offers a more spacious and modern environment designed to cater to the needs of both clients and employees alike. With this upgrade, Montgomery Financial aims to elevate its operational efficiency and create an even more conducive environment for teamwork and creativity.

“We are thrilled about this exciting development in the evolution of Montgomery Financial,” said Nick Craven, CFP and vice president at Montgomery Financial. “This relocation represents a significant step forward for us, as we strive to continually improve our offerings and deliver exceptional service to our valued clients.”

Montgomery Financial would like to extend its heartfelt appreciation to its valued clients, partners, and the community for their unwavering support throughout its journey. For more information about Montgomery Financial, please visit www.mfswealth.com or contact them at 410-208-1004.