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August Business News

July 2015

A Two-For-One Device Houses the Right Radio at the Right Time
August 11, 2015–The U.S. Special Operations Command, or SOCOM, had a question: how could their forces mount AN/PRC 117G and Rover 6 radios to a vehicle without exceeding strict size and weight regulations? Luckily, a little innovation can go a long way:

“Instead of designing two separate radio mounts, our engineers created a universal two-radio mount design that swivels to expose two separate mounting brackets,” said James Shannon, the project’s lead for the Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command’s communications-electronics center, or CERDEC.

To meet airlift weight restrictions for multiple types of aircraft, the C4ISR integration design had to adhere to a strict 150- pound weight limit. PIF engineers drew upon their extensive experience designing radio mounts to determine that it would be impossible to design two mounts that would meet these requirements along with their auxiliary components. By eliminating one entire mount and a set of power cables, the design reduced the vehicle’s weight by approximately 25 pounds.

“That doesn’t sound like much weight, but the reduction means the aircraft can fly farther and the vehicle can carry more ammunition, fuel, food and water, which are critical provisions for any mission,” Shannon said.

The entire design, fabrication, and integration for the radio mount took place in the PIF, which provides full service engineering support for shelter, vehicle, aircraft, watercraft and Soldier prototype C4ISR systems. Government organizations can collaborate with PIF engineers by using an iterative development process to refine technologies prior to establishing set requirements.

“Our customers approach us with challenges such as these where they are not entirely sure how to close the gap between a concept and a solution,” Manning said. “By keeping an open mind and through outside-the-box thinking, our engineers have the latitude to excel through innovation.”

Click here to read the full story.

Father Martins Ashley and University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center Open Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program
KleinBldg(August 10, 2015) — Father Martin’s Ashley and University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center today announced the opening of the Ashley Outpatient Treatment Program, an intensive outpatient program that provides compassionate, personalized and professional treatment for adults 18 and over who suffer from disorders of alcohol and drug use in Harford County and the surrounding area.

The new program, located in the Klein Ambulatory Care Center at University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air (520 Upper Chesapeake Drive, Suite 304), is staffed and operated by Father Martin’s Ashley in space leased from the hospital. It is the first collaboration of its kind by the two leading health care organizations.

“We know that people with addictions are caught in a vicious circle of physical brain changes and the psychological consequences of those changes. The Ashley Outpatient Treatment Program model is evidence-based and proven by research to increase the chances of long-term recovery,” said Mariana Izraelson, Psy.D., LCADC, program director – outpatient services for Father Martin’s Ashley. “It is built on Ashley’s 32-year tradition of emphasizing individualized treatment based on the unique needs of each patient. Our expert team of caring professionals will assess each patient and establish an integrated, individual care plan focused on those unique needs.”

Lyle Sheldon, president and CEO of University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health, said, “This new center addresses an urgent need in our region by providing easy access to state-of-the-art addiction treatment services led by one of the nation’s leading providers. We know this comprehensive and intensive program will help stem the tide of repetitive medical and emergency room visits due to drug misuse or abuse and lead many people to a lifetime of recovery and wellness.”

Added Bernadette Solounias, M.D., senior vice president of treatment services, medical director for Father Martin’s Ashley, “Just as our inpatient facility in Havre de Grace has done for more than three decades, the new outpatient program offers an environment that understands and nurtures the individual. We work closely with other professionals involved in the patient’s care to achieve a higher level of mental, physical and emotional health.”

The center is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; on Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. for relapse and acupuncture groups only. Afternoon and evening groups are available. Admissions hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. More information may be obtained by calling 443.760.3456 (outpatient admissions); 1.800.799.HOPE (4673) (after-hours outpatient admissions); and 1.800.799. HOPE (4673) ext. 213 (inpatient admissions). Walk-ins are accepted Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Betamore, Plank Industries, Baltimore and Startup Maryland Team to Launch Beta City New All-Day Event to Attract Leading National VCs, Startups and Entrepreneurs

(August 17, 2015)—Betamore is pleased to announce a partnership with Plank Industries, Baltimore and Startup Maryland to produce the first annual Beta City, a new marquee event that will celebrate and spotlight the startups and businesses that are fueling the region’s economic and employment growth.

betamore1The new, day-long event, will showcase the strengths and growth of the Greater Baltimore region. Beta City will provide a platform for leading regional entrepreneurs to demonstrate their products and share their stories with national venture capital leaders and the larger regional business community.

“Our goal is to recognize the talented individuals and organizations who are working to build, uplift and move Baltimore and Maryland forward as a global destination for entrepreneurship,” said Betamore CEO Jennifer Meyer. Greg Cangialosi, Betamore Cofounder and Chair stated, “Bringing together the network of resources and individuals who help and support the growth of early stage companies is core to our mission. We will continue to build out opportunities to bring people together and drive entrepreneurship in Baltimore.”

Taking place on October 1, 2015, Beta City will be divided into three distinct portions:

• Venture Pitch Day at Betamore: Connecting national venture capital leaders to local, early-stage companies
• VIP event at Plank Industries’ new innovation center, City Garage, featuring a campus tour and demos with regional startups
• An evening networking event at City Garage and awards ceremony spotlighting individuals and businesses who have made a powerful impact on the region’s community
• Tour stop during Pitch Across Maryland tour and celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship

Beta City will be an anchor event of the fourth annual Baltimore Innovation Week and the second-to-last stop for the Startup Maryland Pitch Across Maryland. BIW is a week-long celebration of the region’s technology and innovation community and Pitch Across Maryland is a month-long bus tour and video pitch competition that shines a spotlight on Maryland’s diverse industry mix and emerging high-growth ventures.

More information about the event will be announced over the coming weeks, with tickets available at

Jessica Kuhn Appointed to Board of Directors of the Women’s Housing Coalition
Ellin & Tucker, the Baltimore-based public accounting and business consulting firm, announced today that Jessica Kuhn, a manager in the firm’s audit, accounting and consulting department, has been appointed to the board of directors of the Women’s Housing Coalition – a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing safe, affordable housing and support services to low-income women and families in Baltimore City. As a member of the board, Kuhn will serve a three-year term, helping drive the organization’s mission by raising awareness of the organization and cultivating donor support.

jess-color-3“Ellin & Tucker has invested in serving the Baltimore community since our founding in 1946 … between her work for our nonprofit clients and her ongoing community involvement, Jessica has consistently managed to help further that mission,” said Edwin Brake, managing director at Ellin & Tucker. “I have every confidence that Jessica will be a tremendous asset to the Women’s Housing Coalition as it continues to address the needs of underserved women in Baltimore.”

In addition to her role on the board of directors, Kuhn is also a member of the coalition’s finance committee, which is responsible for managing the organization’s financial operations. Kuhn will also help the newly formed FUNdraising committee in promoting the Women’s Housing Coalition’s services and events.

“I’m eager to use my financial background to serve an organization that so deeply impacts the lives of women in need,” said Kuhn. “The Women’s Housing Coalition provides invaluable resources to women who want to rebuild their lives, and the staff and board alike are devoted to seeing them succeed. It’s an honor to be joining other business leaders for this important cause.”

The Women’s Housing Coalition has the capacity to serve 99 women and 40 children and aims to help women achieve their own personal goals by providing access to mental health services, substance abuse counseling, parenting classes, dress for success workshops, educational programs and more.

Vibrancy21 Announces Celebrity Waiter Night
Vibrancy21 is eager to announce Celebrity Waiter Night, which will take place on September 21, 2015 at PAZO Restaurant in Baltimore! This event is a staple in the Baltimore Community once hosted by the Matt Birk Foundation and then the Torrey Smith Foundation.

The Lardarius Webb Foundation is honored to inherit this event! Please join Lardarius & his teammates as they assist the PAZO staff for an unforgettable night!

You’ll receive:
*An amazing three-course meal
*Beer & Wine
*Up close interaction with several Ravens players
*Silent Auction & Live Auctions

Don’t miss out on this unbelievable event as it will sell out fast!

System Source Blood Drive on 8/20 – Receive a Microsoft Office Class
System Source is hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive nearby in Hunt Valley on Thursday, August 20th from 9am – 2:30pm.

We want to say “thanks for donating” by giving you a free 1 day Microsoft Office class (up to $310 value) for use anytime in 2015.

Easy appointment scheduling online or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

To see full list of Microsoft classes, click here

PBS Airing DEBT OF HONOR November 10, 2015– Part of its STORIES OF SERVICE Program

PBS announced today that DEBT OF HONOR: DISABLED VETERANS IN AMERICAN HISTORY, a new documentary film by six-time Emmy Award-winning director Ric Burns, will premiere nationwide on Tuesday, November 10, 2015, at 9 p.m. (check local listings), as part of PBS’ Stories of Service. In an effort to share the film with the largest audience possible, including military personnel and veterans and their families, the National Endowment of Humanities is partnering with PBS and Washington, DC, public television station WETA to hold a series of screenings in schools and with other organizations to highlight local stories of disabled veterans.

DEBT OF HONOR examines the way in which the American government and society as a whole have regarded disabled veterans throughout history, beginning in the aftermath of the Revolutionary War and continuing through today’s conflicts in the Middle East. The film combines personal stories, told by distinguished disabled veterans, with deep history narrated by leading scholars in the fields of disability studies, history and psychology to illustrate the human cost of war and the enormous sacrifices of military service. These sacrifices are brought to life through hundreds of carefully curated still images and archival footage from across the country.

Lois Pope, a noted philanthropist and the film’s underwriter, says, “This film is about the human costs of war. It should serve to remind and educate all of us about the courageous men and women who have sacrificed parts of their bodies and minds fighting for our country.”

DEBT OF HONOR: DISABLED VETERANS IN AMERICAN HISTORY is a production of Steeplechase Films. Directed by Ric Burns. Produced by Ric Burns, Bonnie Lafave and Nat Rosa. Co-producer, Josh Woltermann. Edited by Mikaela Shwer. WETA is the presenting station. Funding was provided by Lois Pope. National Outreach supported by a grant from The National Endowment of Humanities.

The Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce Awards Scholarship

County Council President Richard Slutzky presents a citation to Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce scholarship recipient, Jennifer Kwon, a recent graduate of Aberdeen High School.

County Council President Richard Slutzky presents a citation to Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce scholarship recipient, Jennifer Kwon, a recent graduate of Aberdeen High School.

The Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce recently awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Jennifer Kwon, a 2015 graduate of Aberdeen High School. Jennifer will begin studies at the University of Pittsburgh in the next few weeks as a Biology major.





Hart to Heart Transportation Announces the Appointment of Michael Forthman, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Mike-Forthman-photo1Hart to Heart Transportation, a regional provider of ambulance, paratransit and wheelchair transportation services in Maryland and Delaware, has announced the appointment of Michael A. Forthman, MBA, as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
As the newest member of Hart to Heart’s executive leadership team, Mr. Forthman is responsible for leading, implementing and integrating strategic and operational initiatives in alignment with the organization’s growth strategy. Additionally, he focuses on the development and execution of risk management protocols, revenue cycle enhancement strategies, safety initiatives, and patient satisfaction and experience improvement tools.
“I am excited about the opportunity to lead Hart to Heart’s growth strategy,” said Mr. Forthman. “This is a company that is innovative and truly setting the standards for how the healthcare transportation market should operate, now and in the future.”

Mr. Forthman has over 25 years of healthcare administration experience. For the past 10 years, he served as the Vice President of Facilities and Support Services at Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC). Prior to holding that role, he worked at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center for 10 years in various administrative leadership roles, culminating in the position of Senior Director of Support Services. In his early career, he worked for five years in various accounting and finance positions at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maryland.
A lifelong resident of Harford County and graduate of Edgewood Senior High School, Mr. Forthman currently resides in Forest Hill with his wife and two sons.

Harford Land Trust Announces Fourth Annual Harvest Moon Dinner and Auction to Preserve Harford County’s Diverse Landscapes
August 4, 2015 – The Harford Land Trust (HLT), an organization that helps protect farms, forests and community parks in Harford County, will host its fourth annual Harvest Moon Dinner and Auction on October 10, 2015 at Water’s Edge Events Center in Belcamp, Maryland. Funds raised will be used to further the mission of the HLT and aid in the perpetuity of Harford County’s diverse and productive landscapes for future generations to enjoy.

The Harvest Moon Dinner and Auction will begin at 6:00 p.m. with a cocktail hour, music, silent auction and end with a live auction presented by Harford County native and award-winning auctioneer Lynne Zink. Donations of goods and services for the evening’s auctions are still being accepted. “Not only does this event raise funds to support the work of the HLT, it is known for its outstanding live and silent auction items. We have the best selection of vacations, outdoor equipment, local art work and professional services,” says Helton. Items already secured for the silent and live auctions include landscape design services, club-level Ravens tickets, hand-crafted furniture, unique paintings, a Moroccan feast and more.

This year, the HLT has selected Dr. Dennis Kirkwood, past HLT board vice president and secretary and long-time Harford County educator, to serve as honorary chair of the event. According Helton, Dr. Kirkwood, a long-time supporter of the HLT and nature enthusiast, truly embodies the organization’s mission.

Tickets to the Harvest Moon Dinner and Auction are $100 per person and include dinner, wine, beer and entertainment. To purchase tickets to the Harvest Moon Dinner and Auction, please RSVP by September 26, at To donate auction items or become an event sponsor, please send an email to

The event is sponsored in part by Ann and Art Helton, Lassen, Marine & Webster, Mid-Atlantic Farm Credit, Harford Financial Group and APG Federal Credit Union.

Harford County REALTORS Rebuild Edgewood Meadows Sign
2015 Edgewood Meadows Sign (119)The Harford County REALTORS® Membership Committee, under the leadership of Kim Bogris with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage and with the support of labor and materials from Ron Humphreys with CTI Services LLC, reconstructed the Edgewood Meadows community sign. The community sign has been in very poor condition and an eye sore for decades in the disbanded homeowners association along Edgewood Road.

The project was identified by Harford County Councilman Mike Perrone, Jr. With his help and several homeowners, Harford REALTORS® went to work reconstructing the 20 foot brick wall. Repairs were made, it was painted and new letters were installed proudly announcing Edgewood Meadows community.

Harford County REALTORS® with Century 21 The Real Estate Centre in Aberdeen recently held a lunch for the patients a Perry Point and donated $190 as part of the Wounded Warrior Project.

Harford County REALTORS® from all the brokerages are raising funds to help Bella, the five year old granddaughter of past president Simon Nwaigwe. Bella was seriously injured in an auto accident and will require special care the rest of her life. A Pinwheel is placed in the garden of the association office for each contributor.

Blue Valley Winery and Vineyard Wine Wins Bronze at The San Francisco Wine Festival

Blue Valley Winery and Vineyard in Delaplane, Virginia was awarded a bronze medal at the 2015 San Francisco International Wine Competition for its 2013 Heritage White Blend.

The largest and most influential wine competition in America, the San Francisco International Wine Competition has been setting the standard for professional wine judging since its debut in 1980. Now in its 35th year, the SFIWC maintains the highest level of integrity with a blind-tasting system performed by a highly experienced panel of internationally acclaimed wine experts.

Sterigo Zissios, co-owner of Blue Valley Vineyards accepted the award on behalf of the winery. “My family heritage began in the picturesque mountains of Greece, one of the oldest wine-making regions of the world. We have continued this family tradition here in northern Virginia and are honored to accept this award for our 2013 Heritage White,” he concluded.

This year’s San Francisco International Wine Competition received the highest number of nominations in the award’s 35 year history and included 4,902 products from 29 states and 26 countries.

The 2013 Heritage (white blend) is described as a winemaker’s dream, warm toasty oak flavors well-integrated with a dynamic flavor profile of lush honeydew, roasted cashews, and lively acidity.

Blue Valley Winery and Vineyard is located in Delaplane, Virginia near Washington, DC. Owned and operated by the Zissios family, their wine making heritage is uncorked in each award winning bottle they produce. Their state-of-the-art, 20,000 square foot facility offer stunning views across 63 acres of rolling farmland and balance rustic and modern beauty. The winery is available for special event rental and the tasting room is open daily from Monday – Thursday: 11am – 6pm Friday – Sunday: 11am – 7pm.

Harford County Awarded $120,000 Grant as Glassman Administration Targets Heroin Epidemic Devastating Youth and Families

The Harford County Department of Community Services Office of Drug Control Policy has been awarded a $120,000 grant from the Maryland Behavior Health Administration to fight heroin addiction and overdose in Harford County. Targeting the heroin epidemic is a priority under the administration of County Executive Barry Glassman.

“It is shocking, but heroin is reaching children as young as 11 in neighborhoods all across Harford County, and it only takes one dose to have lasting and devastating effects,” said County Executive Glassman. “Prevention, treatment and recovery resources are key, and that is where my administration is directing available funds.”

The $120,000 grant will expand the county’s drug and alcohol abuse prevention outreach to middle and high schools and to community organizations by supporting two prevention specialist positions. Earlier this year,the county Office of Drug Control Policy received a $100,000 grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to fund a high-profile public awareness campaign of radio spots, print advertising, mobile bus advertisements and billboards throughout Harford County.

Despite a tight budget for fiscal year 2016, the Glassman administration has also committed first-ever county funding to begin addressing treatment. Funds in the amount of $100,000 will be used to strengthen post-recovery support systems, including training for peer recovery coaches, treatment funding and case management. These systems are critical aids for individuals in recovery and at-risk for relapse and overdose.

In addition, the county Office of Drug Control Policy is working with 211, a nationwide, free and confidential resource service, to develop a protocol for operators to help families and individuals struggling with addiction. A September roll-out is anticipated for this new 24/7 resource, to coincide with National Recovery Month.

Also in September, the Glassman administration plans to hold a town hall meeting in partnership with the Harford County Sherriff’s Office to update citizens on the heroin epidemic. The meeting will include a discussion of actions by county government and law enforcement to address the epidemic, and opportunities for community input.

The Department of Community Services Office of Drug Control Policy is the leading drug and alcohol abuse prevention agency in Harford County; upcoming events include:

Caitlin’s Games – a fundraiser to support treatment and case management
Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Kelly Field, 502 Boulton St., Bel Air

Office of Drug Control Policy Presentation
Harford County Chamber of Commerce Membership Luncheon
Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015; 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Main Street Tower, 29 S. Main St., Bel Air

Run for Recovery
Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015; 8:00 a.m.
Starts at Harford Community College, 401 Thomas Run Road, Bel Air

Close Foundation “Shining a Light on Recovery” Candlelight Vigil
Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015; 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Shamrock Park, Lee Way & Hickory Avenue, Bel Air

Human Rope to Stop the Dope*
Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015; 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Rt. 22 & Hays Street, Bel Air

National Drug Take Back*
Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015; 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
220 S. Main St. (Parking Lot), Bel Air

*These events are part of Healthy Harford Day 2015

Baltimore County’s Rural Legacy Land Preservation Program Earns State Recertification and Funding to Preserve 1,000 More Acres

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced today that the County’s land preservation program has been recognized for its achievements and recertified for three years, allowing the County to retain the lion’s share of local agricultural land transfer fees to invest in land preservation. The State Rural Legacy Program has also awarded funding to two Baltimore County land trusts and Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation made easement offers to seven Baltimore County farms.

“Preserving rural land in Baltimore County continues to provide many benefits to the citizens of the County. From maintaining a source of local food, to preserving forests that enhance the water quality of our drinking water reservoirs, to reducing the cost of sprawl, Baltimore County remains a national leader in land preservation,” said Kamenetz.

County Land Preservation Commitment is State and National Model –
Under Kamenetz, County Has Invested $9.7 Million, Preserved Nearly 5,000 Acres

The State recognized the success of the County’s land preservation strategy that combines restrictive zoning with a growth boundary and acquisition of easements. Since entering office, County Executive Kamenetz has maintained his commitment to land preservation with a total of 4,867 acres preserved in the past five years moving the County closer to its goal of 80,000 acres. For the past five years the County has preserved almost six acres for each acre converted to development.

In approving the County’s request for recertification, the Maryland Department of Planning recognized that even though it is the third most populous jurisdiction in Maryland, Baltimore County has set aside more than 135,000 acres – one third of the County – for agriculture, forestry and open space. Baltimore County has placed 62,828 acres under easement and is ranked first among counties for Maryland Environmental Trust donated easements, third for Rural Legacy and fourth for agricultural easements.

Baltimore County Has Approved Only 2% of Permit Requests in Protected Agricultural Areas

Over the reporting period, FY 2012 – 2014, the County approved only 2% of all new permits within the 135,000 acres designated as Agricultural Preservation Area. It retained its protective agricultural zoning and committed $9.7 million of county funds for land preservation during this period.

Carol West, Executive Director of Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation praised the County’s work saying, “The MALPF Board of Trustees and the Maryland Department of Planning were pleased to recertify Baltimore County for another three years. Recertification allows the County to retain more of their agricultural transfer taxes to be used for preservation in any of the many active programs within the County. They continue to demonstrate their commitment to the preservation of farmland and support of farmers in the County. They have committed more funds for the current acquisition than any other county.”

“I am very pleased that the County is partnering with the State to preserve farmland and open space — one of the best ways to protect our water quality,” said County Council Chair Cathy Bevins.

$3.8 Million in State Funding For Preservation of 1,000 Acres

Subject to Board of Public Works approval, the State Rural Legacy Program has awarded $1.1 million to two Baltimore County Land Trusts. These awards were out of a total of $10 million statewide, for which there were 26 applications. These land trusts will seek to preserve land as soon as the funding receives final approval. The Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation Board of Trustees approved an allocation of $2.63 million in state funds, and, with $1.3 million in County matching funds, they made offers to seven farms, subject to Board of Public Works and County Council approvals. Preservation from these two programs is expected to protect 1,000 acres of rural land in the County.

“We greatly appreciate the continued support by the State, County Executive and County Council for farmers seeking to permanently preserve their farmland,” said Gail Ensor, Chairperson of the Baltimore County Agricultural Land Preservation Advisory Board. “Farming, and the many agriculture related industries, are an important part of the County’s economy as well as a key component of the rural landscape.”

Land Preservation Has Moved to County Department of Planning to Promote Better Coordination

The County’s Land Preservation function has recently been relocated to the Department of Planning. This has created the opportunity to better integrate land preservation with land use planning. It has also provided the opportunity to make its programs more consistent with the County’s Historic Preservation program, which is also housed in Planning. “We are pleased to have the land preservation program in Planning where we can integrate many of its functions into rural planning. We are especially pleased to work with the dedicated Agricultural Land Preservation Advisory Board,” said Planning Director Andrea Van Arsdale.

Annual Meeting Recognizes Board Members
The Harford County Chamber of Commerce held their annual meeting on July 16, 2015 to induct new Board of Directors leadership. Outgoing Chair Paul Balsamo inducted Bill Suchting as the new Chair. Newly elected to the Board were Mark Dardozzi, Denise Dregier and Dr. Mary Teddy Wray. Accepting a second three year term were Paige Boyle, Randy Brunkhorst and Debi Williams.
Recognition was awarded to Patrice Riciarrdi (pictured right) as Member of the Year, and Robin Sommer, outgoing Board member, received the Hall of Fame Award. Dr. Dennis Golladay, Presi2015 Board photodent of Harford Community College, was the speaker.
For a full list of Board Members, visit INBOX, July news.

Pam Klahr, President & CEO
Bill Suchting, Battelle
Chair Elect
Jay Ellenby, Safe Harbors Travel Group, Inc.
Immediate Past Chair
Paul Balsamo, Balsamo, Stewart, Lutters & Ruth
Vice Chair of Finance
Mary Hastler, Harford County Public Library
Vice Chair of Administration
Paige Boyle, Boyle Buick GMC Truck
At Large Co-Chairs
Business Development
Bob Bloom, WXCY, 103.7
Jack Schammel, Leading Logic, LLC
Bonnie Johansen, Baltimore Gas & Electric

Board Members

Mary Ann Bogarty
Harford Bank

Randy Brunkhorst
State Farm Insurance

Pat Chambers
WebIXI, Inc.

Mark Dardozzi*
Elegant Restoration Inc.
Denise Dregier*
Harford Community College

Jeff Foulk
SURVICE Engineering
Karen Holt
Harford County Office of Economic Development

Joy Hoover
University of Maryland
Upper Chesapeake Health

Jillian Lader
Harford County Public Schools

Aaron Piccirilli
MedStar Franklin Square Hospital Center

Patrice Ricciardi
Freedom Federal Credit Union

Lee Tayson
Liberty Mutual Group

Jay Van Deusen
Van Deusen Construction, Inc.

Debi Williams
M & T Bank

Dr. Mary Teddy Wray*
Laurel Bush Family Dentistry
*Newly elected

Freedom Sponsors Patriot Programs For 19 Harford County Elementary Schools
In continued support of the Harford County Public Schools, Freedom Federal Credit Union recently completed its annual Patriot Program sponsorships. During the 2014/2015 school year, Freedom increased its support to a total of 19 elementary schools, providing incentives to students who completed the Patriot Program requirements.

The Patriot Program is a voluntary program that helps students learn about their country, patriotism, national and state geography, and government, while developing a sense of appreciation for American history. Freedom provides the 19 schools with incentive awards of a drawstring backpack for students who successfully complete the program requirements for their individual grade level. This year’s donations supported nearly 5,000 students.

Healthy Harford Appoints Sharon Lipford Executive Director

Sharon Lipford

Sharon Lipford

Healthy Harford, a nonprofit that inspires and empowers healthy people, healthy families, and healthy communities, has appointed Sharon M. Lipford as executive director. She began her new position on July 1.

Lipford recently served as deputy director of the Department of Community Services for Harford County Government, where she was responsible for strategic planning and the administration of the department’s budget. She also provided oversight leadership for six divisions: aging, behavioral health, citizen services, community development, drug and alcohol prevention and human relations. She is also the chair of the Harford County Health Department Local Health Improvement Coalition-Behavioral Health Committee and serves on the Harford County Sheriff’s Office Crisis Negotiation Team and Critical Incident Stress Management Team as the mental health professional. She has more than 25 years of experience in nonprofit executive leadership.

Freedom Federal Credit Union Announces Winner of 2015 Annual Golden Apple Plus Educator Award

Loretta Richardson

Loretta Richardson

Freedom Federal Credit Union is proud to announce Loretta Richardson, a teacher at George D. Lisby Elementary School in Aberdeen, as the winner of the 2015 Annual $1,000 Golden Apple Plus Educator Award. Richardson, an educator in Harford County for 47 years, won with her entry of a new playground area at the school specifically for the Pre-K children under age 5. The funds will be used to purchase new equipment in an effort to get children engaged in physical activity to improve their overall health while also helping the child become productive, successful, and healthy citizens of Harford County.

In addition to Ms. Richardson’s essay, two additional submissions by Jimmy Grant and Alisa Janiski were awarded $250 runner-up prizes. Grant, an Advanced Placement U.S. History teacher as Fallston High School, addressed helping students who take advanced classes to prepare for a newly revamped College Board test. Janiski, a fourth-grade teacher at Prospect Mill, called for funds to help purchase new technology tools to help math and science lessons come alive.

Northrop Team of Long & Foster ranked first in Maryland
The Creig Northrop Team of Long & Foster Real Estate was ranked first in Maryland and fourth overall in the nation based on sales volume and transaction sides according to REAL Trends, which provides statistical analysis for the residential real estate industry. The Northrop Team achieved a sales volume of $510,514,385 and completed 1,090 transaction sides in 2014.

“Being recognized as a leader in the REAL Trends rankings comes only with a steadfast dedication to serving local buyers and sellers,” says Creig Northrop, president of The Northrop Team. “We are proud of our ranking and we will continue to bring our customers the unparalleled service, expertise and client-first philosophy they can expect from Maryland’s top-ranking residential real estate team.”

The Northrop Team’s ranking is part of REAL Trends 1000, which was developed jointly by The Wall Street Journal and REAL Trends. REAL Trends compiles rankings based on surveys of previous applicants, as well as 900 of the largest United States brokerage firms. An independent third party verifies all submissions, and staff from REAL Trends also reviews these submissions for accuracy.

Insurance Force Adds Members
Insurance Force recently added two additional members – Tiffany Zebron and Dylan Engel who have recently joined in efforts to provide the best quality service to its clients.

Maller Wealth Advisors Names-Rizakos

Stavros Rizakos

Maller Wealth Advisors Names New Support Planners

Stephen Beauchamp

Stephen Beauchamp

Maller Wealth Advisors, a national wealth management firm, promoted Stavros Rizakos to a support planner. Additionally, they hired Stephen E. Beauchamp. In their new positions, they are responsible for helping financial advisors build client portfolios and analyzing financial plans. Rizakos was previously a planner assistant with the company, while Beauchamp worked for the T. Rowe Price Group as an associate in its Retail Investment Services division and then as a financial representative in its Brokerage division.

New Chesapeake Enterprise Zone Offers Tax Benefits to Businesses Investing in Eastern Baltimore County
New tax benefits are available to businesses investing in industrial and commercial development on 7,000 acres in eastern Baltimore County. Maryland has approved a new Chesapeake Enterprise Zone to spur expansion of existing companies, promote development of vacant and underutilized properties and provide incentives for businesses to hire and add jobs.

Businesses locating, expanding or hiring new workers in the enterprise zone could be eligible for real property and income tax credits, according to the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development. Major opportunity sites in the new Chesapeake Enterprise Zone include the 3,100-acre Sparrows Point peninsula, slated to become a hub for manufacturing, transportation and port related uses. The one million square foot Middle River Depot, a former World War II aircraft plant on Eastern Boulevard at Maryland Route 43, offers transit-oriented development opportunities with the MARC commuter rail station.

Troy Griffin Named Vice-President Of Customer Service Strategy And Operations For Comcast Cable’s Beltway Region
Comcast Cable announced that Troy Griffin has been appointed Vice President of Customer Service Strategy and Operations for the company’s Beltway Region, which includes Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and parts of Delaware and West Virginia. A familiar face, Griffin returns to the region after leading customer service operations in Comcast’s Western New England Region for the past three years.

“It is with great pleasure that I welcome Troy back to the region. His passion for both the employee and customer experience are undeniable,” says Thomas Coughlin, Senior Vice President of Comcast’s Beltway Region. “His dedication and leadership will help us in continuing to create a culture focused on providing superb service.”

In this role, Griffin will work closely with his team to implement the company’s recently announced multi-year strategy to transform the customer experience and to create a culture focused on exceeding customers’ expectations, at all levels of the company. The plan centers on looking at every decision through a customer lens and making measurable changes and improvements across the company.

Harford County REALTORS Support The Community
The Harford County REALTORS with Century 21 Real Estate Centre in Aberdeen recently hosted a community yard sale, which raised over $350 for Wounded Warriors. Broker Gary Hoffer says, “Over 30 hours of our agent’s time was contributed towards making this event a success. We can’t be more proud and thankful for those who served our country and placed themselves in harm’s way to protect us.”

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Bel Air held a community shred it day. Shredding is not only a good security measure to help protect a person’s identity, but it is also used to recycle many products, saving hundreds of trees. Agents also held a food drive and collected over 2,500 pounds of food and collected $500 in donations to help a local Food Bank.

Advance Realty in Perry Hall raised $500 donations benefitting Wounded Warriors, and $1,500 benefitting the earthquake victims in Nepal. Long and Foster Real Estate in Aberdeen participated in the Adam Thompson 5K Run, which benefits scholarship recipients to Harford Community College Nursing Program and raises awareness to not drive while distracted. Agents also devoted over 80 hours, raising over $5,000 for scholarships for High School seniors and the Aberdeen Stem Program.

Additive Manufacturing Week Honored at RAMP MD’s First Anniversary
July 12-17 was named Additive Manufacturing Week by the county executives of Harford and Cecil Counties at an open house celebrating the first anniversary of a non-profit dedicated to expanding the state’s additive manufacturing capabilities.

The Regional Additive Manufacturing Partnership of Maryland (RAMP MD) is a public-private partnership formed by the Maryland General Assembly in 2014. Additive Manufacturing, also known as 3D Printing, speeds up product development times and reduces costs associated with manufacturing, making it more efficient and less wasteful.

Baltimore County Ranked No. 7 in Digital Survey
The Digital Counties Survey, conducted by the Center for Digital Government in partnership with the National Association of Counties (NACo), has ranked Baltimore County among the top 10 counties in the nation. This award is presented to those counties that use technology initiatives to create cost savings and administrative efficiencies. It is considered a tremendous honor, and it highlights the “remarkable skill and dedication of our technology staff and our employees throughout County government,” says County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

Bruce Robertson

Bruce W. Robertson

eOriginal Names Bruce W. Robertson Director of Business Development
eOriginal, Inc. announced the appointment of Bruce W. Robertson to Director of Business Development. Stephen Bisbee, CEO and President of eOriginal, hopes this hire will instigate growth of the company’s go-to market strategies while additionally developing and scaling up new business and customer bases.

“It is our responsibility to educate and assist companies with the adoption of digital transaction processes so that they can have a competitive advantage in their industry and realize cost and time-saving benefits,” says Robertson. Before joining the eOriginal team, Robertson worked at Agora Financial, LLC, in Baltimore.

Trey English Named One of “America’s Retail Champions”
The National Retail Federation – the world’s largest retail trade association – has recognized Trey English of Broks-Huff Tire & Auto Center in Hunt Valley, Maryland, as one of “America’s Retail Champions.” This notable acknowledgement was extended for their advocacy and engagement on behalf of the retail industry, which supports one in four American jobs.

Center for the Visual and Performing Arts to Host International Plein Air Painting Festival in October
The Center for the Visual and Performing Arts announced the first International Plein Air Painting Festival to be held October 7-11 at various sites around Harford County. Painters, both professional and amateur, ages 18 and older are invited from around the world – as well as locally – to paint outdoors. A jury comprised of local government representatives and artists will award cash prizes of $500 for first place, $250 for second, and $100 for third place.

The public is invited to watch the artists work and will have an opportunity to meet them and view and purchase finished paintings during a free reception, exhibition, and sale at Rockfield Manor in Bel Air on Oct. 11 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. A portion of those proceeds will go to Center for the Arts. It will be catered by Pairings Bistro and feature live music.

Additional painting activities will be held throughout the county, including a live demonstration for children at Broom’s Bloom Diary on Saturday, October 10 at 2:00 p.m. Artists interested in participating must bring their own supplies and register by September 1 at

Sheryl Davis Kohl Named Rotary Club of Aberdeen Paul Harris Awardee

Sheryl Kohl

Sheryl Kohl

The Paul Harris Fellow is an honor given to those who have donated more than $1,000 to The Rotary Foundation. It recognizes those who have an outstanding commitment to the Rotary club and the community around them. George T. Heidelmaier, Jr., President of The Rotary Club of Aberdeen, states that Sheryl Davis Kohl, “is the pure description of a Paul Harris Fellow” and that she “does so many great things in our community on a daily basis.”

Harford Ballet Company Changes Name To Ballet Chesapeake
After 16 years as the foremost classical and contemporary dance company in the Northern Maryland region, Harford Ballet Company is now Ballet Chesapeake. By becoming Ballet Chesapeake, the company will be able to embrace a larger community and reach a wider audience. While the day-to-day operation will remain largely similar, members of Ballet Chesapeake will be met with greater exposure and more opportunities.

Fifth Annual Healthy Harford Day Planned to Draw Largest Crowd Ever
Fifth Annual Healthy Harford Day
Hosted by Healthy Harford, the non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health of Harford County residents, this year’s Healthy Harford Day is taking place on Sept. 26 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 119 South Hays Street in Bel Air. New this year will be a larger performance stage where free exercise classes, cooking demonstrations and performances will take place. Children’s entertainment and activities will also be available.


In Response to Budget Control Act, Army Announces Force Reductions, APG to Reduce 126 Military Positions
The Department of the Army announced force structure decisions and stationing plans for the reduction of the Regular Army from 490,000 to 450,000 soldiers. This reduction of 40,000 soldiers will occur in fiscal years 2016 and 2017, and it represents a cumulative cut in soldiers of 21% since 2012.

Aberdeen Proving Ground’s total reduction is 126 Regular Army positions. “What is important to remember is these reductions are designed to maintain the proper balance between structure, readiness, and modernization,” says Maj. Gen. Bruce T. Crawford, APG Senior Commander. In addition to reorganizing the operational force, the Army is reducing the size of two-star-and-above headquarters and cutting the civilian workforce. The civilian cuts at Aberdeen Proving Ground are not yet known and it will likely be late September or early October before those recommendations are announced. “We anticipate that the majority of the Department of the Army Civilian reductions will be absorbed through attrition and positions that are currently unfilled,” says Crawford, though the analysis is still ongoing.

Christopher Frink Named a Partner at WMS Partners
WMS Partners, a wealth management firm in Towson, MD, is pleased to announce that Christopher Frink has been named a Partner of the firm. Frink has spent his career analyzing investments and building portfolios for a wide range of clients. As Chair of the Alternative Investment Committee, Frink helps to lead the firm’s due diligence process evaluating new investment opportunities. He is also a member of the Investment Committee. In his role as Senior Portfolio Manager, he works with the Senior Client Advisors to continually evaluate client investments and progress towards their goals.

“We are very excited to have Chris join the partnership,” says Timothy W. Chase, Chief Executive Officer. “His background has been instrumental in helping the firm grow our capacity in the Alternative Investment space.”

Weyrich, Cronin & Sorra, Chartered Welcomes New Tax Director
Weyrich, Cronin & Sorra, Chartered is pleased to announce that Jeffrey A. Jacobson, CPA, Esq. has joined the firm as a Tax Director. Jacobson comes to the firm with approximately 10 years of public accounting experience, as well as over five years with the IRS. Jacobson spent 13 years with a real estate development and management company in roles as CFO and General Counsel. He is experienced in tax, law, accounting, financial planning and management. He is chairman and board member of Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake, a member of AICPA and Maryland Association of Public Accountants and the Maryland Bar Association.

Mary Hastler Elected President of Maryland Library Association
Mary Hastler, CEO of Harford County Public Library, has been elected president of the Maryland Library Association. Her term of office starts immediately and runs for one year.

As president, Hastler’s goal is to establish the Maryland Library Association as the leader in cultivating critical resources and services for its members, while also raising awareness and knowledge of Maryland libraries. Hastler has been an active member of the Maryland Library Association for more than 16 years, and has served numerous committee appointments. In addition to being elected president of the Maryland Library Association, Hastler was named, for the second time, to The Daily Record’s Maryland’s Top 100 Women in 2015.

The Homecoming Project Wins IKEA Life Improvement Challenge
The Homecoming Project, a Bel Air-based transitional residential program for homeless women in substance abuse recovery, is one of 43 nonprofits nationwide to win the IKEA Life Improvement Challenge.

As a winner, the Homecoming Project received a makeover of four rooms – three bedrooms and a recreation room – that included design expertise, products and assembly services.
Since its inception four years ago, more than 120 charities across the country have received more than $1 million in IKEA products, design expertise and manpower. The three nonprofits nominated by stores in Maryland include The Homecoming Project, selected by the store’s contact center in White Marsh; Digital Harbor Foundation, selected by the Baltimore store; and The National Building Museum, chosen by the store in College Park.

Southern Harford Rotary Club Inducts New Officers
The Southern Harford Rotary celebrated the beginning of their Rotary year with the induction of Judy Fritz, Secretary; Sharon Pry, Treasurer; Suzanne Green, Vice President; Ronnie Davis, President Elect; and Susan Manning, President. William Yeakel, Rotary Area Governor, officiated the inductions. The Southern Harford Rotary Club services the Joppa, Edgewood and Abington areas and focuses funds raised to benefit and assist underprivileged youth and their families.

Jen Swanson Named Executive Director of The Humane Society of Harford County

Jen Swanson

Jen Swanson

After an extensive nationwide search, the board of directors of The Humane Society of Harford County (HSHC) announced the appointment of Jen Swanson as executive directorl She will begin on August 3rd, 2015, replacing Mary Leavens, who recently stepped down to pursue other opportunities.

“Our board felt strongly that Jen was an outstanding candidate whose expertise and experience most closely aligned to the current and future needs of our organization,” said Pete Hicks, president of the board of directors and a member of the executive search committee. “We are ecstatic to have a person of her caliber as the new leader.”

Swanson was most recently the director of the Baltimore Humane Society in Reisterstown, where she and her team developed innovative programs and increased adoptions by 33%. Swanson said a focus on customer service, staff morale and the cultivation of strong bonds with the community will be key components of success.

For more information on the Humane Society of Harford County, visit the website at, connect with HSHC on Facebook or Twitter, or call the shelter at (410) 836-1090.

Harford Family House to Host the Bird’s Ball Gala
July 21, 2015—The Harford Family House will host the “Bird’s Ball Gala,” from 7:00-11:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 29. The event will take place at the Water’s Edge Event Center in Belcamp, and it is being presented by Jones Junction and features a sports theme showcasing the “birds” of Baltimore: the Orioles and the Ravens.SilentAuctionArt_Bird'sBall2015_preevent

In addition to Jones Junction, other event sponsors include Chesapeake Employers Insurance, Harford Financial Group, Harford Mutual Insurance, Saxon’s Diamond Centers, TNJ Painting & Drywall, Restore Rehabilitation, Aberdeen Proving Ground Federal Credit Union, Freedom Federal Credit Union, Michael Euler and Patient First. Additional sponsorships are available by visiting or by contacting Harford Family House at or 410-273-6700.

Harford Family House executive director Joyce Duffy says, “Our region is passionate about our hometown sports teams, so selecting our Gala theme this year was easy to do. We are looking forward to seeing a flock of orange and purple guests come out to show they are equally passionate about helping the homeless in our hometown.”

Guests are welcome to wear cocktail attire and accessories in the trademark purple and orange, and there will be photo opportunities with team mascots and cheerleaders. The Bird’s Ball also offers a dinner with Maryland favorites, an open bar and live music provided by The Panama Band. Tickets for the event are $150 per person and are available at

Peter Maller Named Financial Planner of the Year

Peter MallerPeter Maller, founder and president of Maller Wealth Advisors and registered representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors (LFA), was recently named LFA Planner or the Year for 2014. Maller has been named LFA Planner of the Year seven times in the last eight years.

The Planner of the Year recognition is awarded annually to the leading financial planners among thousands affiliated with LFA.

Headquartered in Hunt Valley, Maller Wealth Advisors is a wealth management firm providing investment strategies, financial planning, risk management services, business succession planning and employee benefits to business owners, accomplished professionals and high-net-worth individuals.

Prior to opening Maller Wealth Advisors, Maller provided wealth management services through Heritage Financial Consultants, where he was a founding partner. He is a qualified member of the Million Dollar Round Table, an international, independent association of life insurance and financial service professionals, and has achieved “Top of the Table” status, ranking him in the top 5 percent within the association.

He currently serves on the boards of Baltimore Medical Systems, the Washington College Planned Giving Advisory Council and the Washington College Presidents Leadership Council. In addition, he is a member of the boards of trustees for Garrison Forest School and the Parents’ Countil at Miami University of Ohio.

Maller holds CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Certification and Accredited Estate Planner designation. He received his MBA from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, and completed his undergraduate degree at Washington College.

Center for the Arts Announces 2015 “Celebrity” Dancers

2KarmenSlezakandTomRzepnickiActionShot800px July 23, 2015—This year’s “Dancing for the Arts” Gala, hosted by Harford County’s Center for the Arts, will be held on Saturday, November 21st from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. at the Maryland Golf and County Club. All proceeds will benefit the non-profit that is working to build a home for the arts in Harford County.

This 2015 Dancing for the Arts celebrity dancers include Katie Cole (Public Relations and Social Media Specialist, JigSaw Marketing Solutions); Barclay Gibbs (Artistic Director, MD School of Ballet & Modern Dance) and R. Anthony Gibbs (Board of Directors, MD School of Ballet & Modern Dance); Landri Taylor Hardriek (Patient Resource Navigator of Oncology Support Services, GBMC Cancer Institute); Kathy Heidelmaier (Senior Vice President, It’s Pay Day); Tony Lisuzzo (Booz Allen Hamilton); David Lockhart (Boeing Site Manager, Aberdeen Proving Ground); Chris Moore (Zayo Group, Manager, Large Project Fiber Engineering) and Lynn Moore (Creative Consultant); Pamela C. Overbay (Harford Community Action Agency); Brigitte Peters (City of Havre de Grace Office of Tourism); Linda Greco Rich (Exit Preferred Realty) and Bob Rich (Saxon’s Diamond Centers); Suzanne Zantop (Board Member, Deer Creek Chorale); and Abby Walsh and Evan Wozniak (both freshmen at C. Milton Wright High School and dancers at the Rage Box Contemporary Dance Center). Each dancer or couple has a fundraising goal and is hosting individual events to help reach that target.

1MaryAnnBogartyandTomRzepnickiTickets for the gala are $185 per person and attire is black tie optional. Tickets for the Friday preview and Saturday matinee are $25 or $13 for children age 11 and under. Guests are invited to vote for their favorite dancers at all three events—the preview, matinee, and gala).

Carolyn Evans of Sengstacke & Evans LLC is an event co-chair and previous dancer. She says, “I know exactly how the dancers feel right now. Being a dancer is a challenging ad slightly nerve-wracking role to take on! But every year ordinary people step up and volunteer their time and talents to supports this cause, and that shows how much all members of our community truly welcome the presence of the Center for the Arts.”

Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are still available. For additional information, to support a dancer, or to purchase tickets, visit

Maller Wealth Advisors Names Sean McComber Director of Financial Planning

Sean McComberMaller Wealth Advisors, a national wealth management firm, named Sean McComber director of financial planning. In his new position, McComber works with new clients to develop financial planning strategies that address their needs and goals.

McComber brings experience in developing financial planning strategies for individuals, families and business owners with a focus on retirement and family legacy planning for high-net-worth clients. He also specializes in helping clients achieve their philanthropic goals.

Prior to joining Maller Wealth Advisors, McComber was a financial solutions advisor and assistant vice present for Merrill Edge in Timonium. Among his community service activities, McComber serves on the Planned Giving Advisory Council for The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. He was a member of the New Windsor Heritage Committee.

McComber has earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL Planner™ certification and the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy designation which he earned from The American College of Financial Services. He holds Series 7, 6, 63 and 65 securities registrations as well as a life and health insurance license. He graduated from The George Washington University.

NMTC Fall Wine Tasting
NMTC, Northeastern Maryland Tech Council, will hold their fall wine tasting and networking event on Sept. 16, 5pm to 8pm, at the Harford Co. Equestrian Center. World of Wine will feature a themed pouring stations and hors d’oeuvres, with all proceeds to fund local STEM programs. Register at