A Week In Business – September 15, 2023

A Week In Business – September 15, 2023
The Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce recently partnered with the Ocean Pines Chamber of Commerce to celebrate five years of operations at Windmill Creek Vineyard & Winery. Above, chamber representatives and Windmill Creek staff are pictured at a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the business’s fifth anniversary. Submitted photo

New Manager

OCEAN PINES – Ocean Pines Association announced an important transition within the aquatics department, as General Manager John Viola on Tuesday introduced Michelle Hitchens as the new aquatics manager.


Michelle Hitchens

Hitchens grew up outside of Philadelphia and moved to the Delmarva area in 2004. Starting at a young age, she worked at an array of recreation and aquatic facilities.

Hitchens, the mother of four children, moved to the Berlin area and joined the aquatics department for Ocean Pines 11 years ago.

With Ocean Pines, she has coordinated aquatics exercise classes and programs, taught exercise classes and lessons, supervised instructors and employees of the department, and helped the department to run smoothly overall.

Hitchens said she is excited to move forward into the aquatics manager position. She loves working for the Ocean Pines Association and for the aquatics department.

She plans to make the transition as smooth and comfortable as possible for the staff, and to make the department and facilities a joy for all to take part in.


Firm Recognized

SALISBURY – Becker Morgan Group is proud to have been recognized by the readers’ choice of Coastal Style Magazine’s Best of 2023 Award for the top architecture firm in Worcester, Wicomico, and Sussex counties.

President Ron Morgan states, “This recognition stands as a testament to our team’s unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation in the field of architecture”.

Becker Morgan Group has been bringing creative design solutions to clients since 1983 and is honored to be known as a responsive and client-centered firm providing optimal design solutions.

The firm is organized into practice areas with dedicated staff, ensuring clients receive specialized design attention for their specific project type.


Casino Revenues

BERLIN – Maryland’s six casinos combined to generate $161,398,690 in revenue from slot machines and table games during August 2023, down $7,953,262 (-4.7%) compared to August 2022.

Casino gaming contributions to the state in August 2023 totaled $68,125,275, a decrease of $2,753,104 (- 3.9%) compared to August 2022.

Contributions to the Education Trust Fund in August 2023 were $49,130,230, a decrease of $2,365,932 (-4.6 %) compared to August 2022. Casino gaming revenues also support the communities and jurisdictions where the casinos are located, Maryland’s horse racing industry, and small, minority- and women-owned businesses.

Maryland’s six privately owned casinos offer both slot machines and table games: MGM National Harbor in Prince George’s County; Live! Casino & Hotel in Anne Arundel County; Horseshoe Casino Baltimore in Baltimore City; Ocean Downs Casino in Worcester County; Hollywood Casino Perryville in Cecil County; and Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Allegany County.

The gaming revenue totals for August 2023 are as follows:

MGM National Harbor (2,301 slot machines, 209 table games), $68,378,878 in August 2023, a decrease of $3,431,583 (-4.8%) from August 2022.

Live! Casino & Hotel (3,853 slot machines, 179 table games), $55,067,729 in August 2023, a decrease of $1,733,292 (-3.1%) from August 2022.

Horseshoe Casino (1,410 slot machines, 122 table games), $15,407,090 in August 2023, a decrease of $1,831,786 (-10.6%) from August 2022.

Ocean Downs Casino (866 slot machines, 19 table games), $10,062,021 in August 2023, a decrease of $469,073 (-4.5%) from August 2022.

Hollywood Casino (671 slot machines, 19 table games), $7,104,629 in August 2023, a decrease of $88,799 (-1.2%) from August 2022.

Rocky Gap Casino (621 slot machines, 16 table games), $5,378,342 in August 2023, a decrease of $398,730 (-6.9%) from August 2022.


Award Recipient

SALISBURY – Since its founding as a state teachers college in 1925, Salisbury University has strived to empower women to succeed in their careers.

The Daily Record recently celebrated that dedication, naming Salisbury University among its inaugural Empowering Women Award recipients for 2023. Sponsored by the Baltimore-based, statewide media company, the award recognizes companies and organizations that show a strong commitment to supporting and elevating women in Maryland.

“From our earliest years as a teachers college with a predominately female student body to today, when women comprise more than half of the University’s senior leadership team, Salisbury University has been a place for women seeking to further their knowledge and their careers,” said SU President Carolyn Ringer Lepre, who was recognized by The Daily Record as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women during her first year at the institution’s helm.

“As a higher education leader in Maryland and in the nation, it is our responsibility to make sure women have a seat at the table in the decision-making process to ensure we continue to foster a culture of inclusion for all.”

“The 2023 Empowering Women honorees demonstrate a consistent commitment to recruiting, hiring and promoting women in their organizations. They also know the benefit of mentoring programs for women and understand the value of women in leadership positions,” said Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, managing director of BridgeTower Media/The Daily Record. “We at The Daily Record are pleased to honor these incredible organizations for empowering women each and every day.”

Honorees demonstrate a track record of hiring and promoting women; support programs to mentor women in their organizations and address inequalities; show a strong record of women on the company’s board or in C-suite positions; and establish diversity, equity and inclusion programs and philanthropic efforts to support women.

Lepre is the second woman leader in SU’s history. She oversees a six-member President’s Cabinet that includes three additional female leaders: Dr. Laurie Couch, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs; Lynn Adkins, associate vice president of administration and finance; and Karen Treber, general counsel. SU also recently hired its first female director of athletics and campus recreation, Monica Gordy Polizzi.

Support programs at the university include the SU Women’s Forum, which leads efforts in gender equality while working to address women’s issues and empower members of the campus community who identify as female. Its initiatives include an annual International Women’s Day conference, featuring discussions and presentations led by members of the SU community.

In addition, SU has worked to make education more accessible to non-traditional students who are also caregivers, including single and working mothers.