Entrepreneurship Center Launches Free Startup Business Program

The Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center (ESEC) will launch a new online training program April 3 to identify ideas and early stage business concepts for products and services that improve farming, fishing and the environment. The free six-week F³ Tech Pre-Accelerator runs through May 10 and is open to individuals and small groups looking to validate a business concept and potentially join a four-month accelerator.

“The F³ Tech Pre-Accelerator program is a specially-designed proof-of-concept process for startups and entrepreneurs looking to develop an idea or product to commercialization,” said Mike Thielke, Executive Director of the ESEC. “We’re targeting very early-stage startups to offer them an opportunity to validate their ideas, acquire valuable feedback from industry experts, and position themselves to take advantage of a more aggressive, traditional multi-month accelerator program such as the F³ Tech program beginning September 2018.”

Eight entrepreneur teams have already been accepted into the inaugural program from across Maryland including Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Kent, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. Based in all F³ Tech sectors – agri, aqua and enviro – their business ideas call for recycling fruits and vegetables into high-protein edible spice mix, reversing the loss of bee hives, and creating hydroponic farms in urban areas.

In addition to Thielke, the training includes industry subject matter experts and mentors like Charles White, Founder and CEO of PaverGuide. White benefited from the innovation ecosystem supported by ESEC to create an enviro-tech company in Queen Anne’s county. White commercialized PaverGuide, a structural base for paving systems that is manufactured from recycled plastic and replaces impermeable stone surfaces with a massive reservoir to prevent nutrient runoff.

“As an entrepreneur and environmentalist, I’ve dedicated my career to improving storm water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the world. Thanks to the support of the ESEC and seed funding from multiple sources including ESEC’s Revolving Loan Fund Portfolio, I proved that our innovative technology could be profitable and sustainable. I look forward to sharing lessons learned and best practices with the pre-accelerator participants.”

The online program features two, one-hour interactive webinar sessions each week as well as a one-hour mentoring session with a designated mentor/coach. Topics include: Assessing an idea; validating the market; evaluating customer acquisition; business model preparation; handling intellectual property; branding and marketing strategies; and finances and raising capital

To learn more or to apply to the F³ Tech Pre-Accelerator visit f3tech.org or call (410) 770-9330.

About F3Tech

F³ Tech includes three sectors: Agritech, Aquatech and Envirotech. Agritech products improve farming yield, efficiency and profitability. Aquatech creates innovations to improve fish farming, aquatic plants, algae and aquatic organisms in controlled freshwater and saltwater conditions. Envirotech applies science, green chemistry, electronic devices and technologies to monitor, model and conserve environmental resources.

About ESEC

The Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created in 2004 to help advance an entrepreneurship ecosystem on Maryland’s Eastern Shore including Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester counties.

WC President Kurt Landgraf to Speak at Jones Seminar in American Business Lecture

Washington College President Kurt Landgraf, whose deep experience in financial accountability, information technology, and integrated business strategies helped place him in the top echelons of corporate America, will give the J.C. Jones Seminar in American Business lecture on March 29.

Hosted by the Department of Business Management and the Sigma Beta Delta Business Honor Society, the free, public lecture begins at 4 p.m. in Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts, and will be followed by a reception in the Underwood Lobby.

Landgraf, a former senior executive who was named president of Washington College in May of 2017, discusses his “situational” approach to the diverse leadership positions that he’s held throughout his career. Whether driving sales at DuPont Merck or resuscitating the failing Educational Testing Service, Landgraf has adopted different leadership approaches to achieve the desired outcome while operating consistently within a framework of corporate or institutional social responsibility. Whatever environment he’s in, Landgraf abides by three core values: 1. On performance, no excuses; 2. Everybody deserves special treatment; and 3. businesses are social institutions. Distilled to its essence, it simply means doing the right thing.

Landgraf has a decades-long resume as a senior executive with DuPont, including serving as Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chairman of DuPont Europe Middle East and Africa, Chairman and CEO of DuPont Pharmaceutical Company and CEO of DuPont Merck Company. His 13-year tenure as President and CEO of Educational Testing Service (ETS), helped revive the world’s largest private educational testing and measurement organization and leader in educational research.

The James C. Jones, Jr. Seminar in American Business was endowed in 1978 by the George W. King Printing Company in memory of its former company president who was a graduate of Washington College and served on its Board of Visitors and Governors.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

CMS Selects Qlarant as a Unified Program Integrity Contractor

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has selected Qlarant (formerly Health Integrity, LLC) as a Unified Program Integrity Contractor (UPIC) to detect, prevent, and proactively deter fraud, waste, and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid Programs. This designation will allow Qlarant to perform functions to reduce fraud, waste, and abuse (FWA) in the Western and the Southwestern geographic area or “jurisdiction.”

Sandy Love, President, Qlarant Integrity Solutions

“We are extremely excited to have this opportunity,” said Sandy Love, President of Qlarant Integrity Solutions. “We have a dedicated team of professionals comprised of investigators, nurses, auditors, and data analysts who bring extensive experience and subject matter expertise to the work at hand. We are ready and prepared to do this important work.”

Under CMS direction, Qlarant will perform various functions to detect, prevent, and deter specific risks to the integrity of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. These vulnerabilities may be a result of billing approaches, program changes, or innovations (e.g., use of electronic medical records). The UPICs are required to perform their work in compliance with all federal and state laws and regulations, CMS requirements, and Medicare and Medicaid manuals.

Qlarant, headquartered in Easton, Maryland, has been a national leader in battling FWA and has offices and home-based associates across the country. “We look forward to first task the opportunity to continue working to ensure Medicare and Medicaid funds are properly protected,” continued Love.

CMS’ goals are to achieve enhanced FWA detection and prevention across the Medicare and Medicaid programs, ultimately saving millions of dollars annually.  The Western jurisdiction includes the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska and Hawaii. The Southwestern jurisdiction includes 7 states:  Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arizona, and Missouri.

Qlarant uses a combination of advanced technology, data analytics, and expert evaluation to provide a powerful process consistent with CMS’s goals and expectations, which will ultimately benefit Medicare beneficiaries and Medicaid recipients.

About Qlarant

Qlarant is a not-for-profit nationally respected leader in fighting fraud, waste & abuse, improving program quality, and optimizing performance.  The company uses subject matter experts and innovative data sciences and technology to help organizations see risks, solve problems, and seize opportunities. Solutions are customized for health and human services organizations, government agencies, and financial and insurance companies. The Qlarant Foundation is the mission arm of the organization and provides grants to services provided in underserved communities.  Qlarant employs nearly 500 people and has a 45-year record of accomplishment improving the performance of some of the Nation’s most important programs. www.qlarant.com

Higgins Yacht Yard Under New Ownership

Higgins Yacht Yard in St. Michaels is under new ownership. Jon Clarke, an Eastern Shore native with a background in marine services and yacht design, took over ownership of the full-service boat yard in September from longtime owner Tad duPont.

Clarke graduated from The Landing School in Arundel, Maine and Southhampton Solent University in Southhampton, England, in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in engineering in yacht and powercraft design. He returned to the Eastern Shore following graduation and formed the yacht design company Thermocline Yachts. He also served as a contractor for Composite Yacht in Trappe.

Jon Clarke (right) and Tad duPont.

“Jon, being in his mid-20s, has a whole new energy and a whole new way of thinking about things,” said duPont, who owned and operated Higgins Yacht Yard for the past 38 years. “He’s much more diversified in fiber glass and composite and he’s got this great ability to adapt to technological changes.”

Under Clarke’s ownership, Higgins Yacht Yard will continue to offer the same slip rental and marine services it’s offered for more than 50 years, including transient docking, winter storage, haul outs, power washing, bottom painting, fiber glass repair, varnishing and rigging, among others. Clarke plans to expand the boat yard’s service to include outboard and mechanical work and eventually offer yacht design services.

“The goal is to expand our design capacity to bring some of my degree to the yacht yard,” Clarke said. “I have a passion for boats, being around boats, and designing boats.”

Clarke currently resides in St. Michaels, where he enjoys racing the family’s log canoe Magic during the summer season.  Higgins Yacht Yard has been the hub of log canoe racing in the Miles River for more than 65 years. Unique to this area, log canoe racing preserves the heritage of these historical vessels that are handed down from generation to generation.

Higgins Yacht Yard is located at 203 Carpenter St. in St. Michaels. For more information, visit higginsyachtyard.com or call 410-745-9303.

Integrace Bayleigh Chase to Hold Job Fair March 13

Integrace Bayleigh Chase, a forward-thinking life plan community based in Easton, is holding a job fair on Tuesday, March 13 from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. at 501 Dutchman’s Lane in Easton. Community representatives will be interviewing candidates for a variety of full- and part-time positions, including:

– Certified Geriatric Nursing Assistants (CGNAs) for all shifts; full-time night-shift CGNA hires with be eligible for $1,000 sign-on bonuses
– Concierge/Recreation Engagement, preferably with a commercial driver’s license (CDL)
– Full-time Registered Nurses (RNs)
– Full-time Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs)
– On-call Geriatric Nursing Assistants/Certified Medical Technicians (GNA/CMT)
– Part-time resident assessment (MDS) coordinator

Integrace offers competitive wages and benefits packages. Interested applicants must visit www.integrace.org and complete an online application prior to the event.

About Integrace Bayleigh Chase

Located on a 35-acre campus in historic Easton, Bayleigh Chase is a not-for-profit life plan community that affords residents a lifestyle of flexibility and choice to live life on their own terms. Bayleigh Chase offers independent living options in its villas, cottages and apartment homes, as well as a continuum of supportive living services, including assisted living, neurocognitive support, outpatient and short-term rehabilitation, skilled nursing and diagnostic and treatment support through the Samuel and Alexia Bratton Neurocognitive Clinic. For more information, please call 410-763-7167 or visit www.bayleighchase.org.

About Integrace
Integrace is a forward-thinking non-profit organization that strives to ignite in all people the passion for meaningful living. Integrace oversees a family of vibrant senior living communities in Maryland, including Bayleigh Chase in Easton, Buckingham’s Choice in Adamstown, and Fairhaven in Sykesville. Integrace is also a nationally-recognized leader in the art of neurocognitive support, with the Sykesville-based Copper Ridge community and Integrace Institute, as well as two neurocognitive clinics in Easton and Sykesville, serving as catalysts to a profound shift in how we perceive, and relate to, those living with Alzheimer’s, dementia and many other forms of cognitive change. Integrace communities provide a continuum of services to support both residents and the greater community, including assisted living, skilled nursing, short-term rehabilitation and more. Each of these innovative programs focuses on person-centered living, honoring the abilities, possibilities and authenticity of each individual. For more information, please visit Integrace.org.

Parker Spurry of Shore United Bank Visited St. Michael’s Elementary School

Parker Spurry of Shore United Bank, a member of Shore Bancshares community of companies, visited 2nd grade students at St. Michael’s Elementary School to talk with them about the importance of savings for things that they want and need and the difference between the two. Following the school visit, the St. Michael’s branch of Shore United Bank opened their doors to the 2nd graders for a field trip for students to see behind the scenes of how a bank works and learn more about saving money.

For more information about Shore United Bank, visit ShoreUnitedBank.com.

Avon-Dixon and Shore United Bank are Sponsors at Talbot Hospice Outreach

Pictured L-R: Rich Trippe, President & CEO of Avon-Dixon Agency; Seth Beatty, Senior VP & Agent at Avon-Dixon Agency; Vivian Dodge, Executive Director of Talbot Hospice; Kate Cox, Director of Development at Talbot Hospice; Pat Bilbrough, President & CEO of Shore United Bank.

Avon-Dixon Insurance Agency and Shore United Bank, both members of Shore Bancshares community of companies, are proud to again be presenting sponsors of the Talbot Hospice 3rd Annual Outreach event. Both companies have sponsored the affair since the inaugural year and the event is free of charge and open to the public.  Deborah Grassman, a leading expert on Veteran care at end of life and author of The Hero Within and Peace at Last, will offer advice on how to cope with soul injury due to trauma, abuse, self-neglect or serious illness as a Veteran, family member or agency professional. The event will be held at the Easton High School on March 15th at 6 p.m. Visit TalbotHospice.org/events.

For more information about Avon-Dixon Agency, visit AvonDixon.com and for Shore United Bank, visit ShoreUnitedBank.com.

QHS and Delmarva Foundation Become Qlarant – Starting Today

Quality Health Strategies Inc. announced the comprehensive rebranding and new name of its subsidiaries. The rebranding program unifies the companies of Health Integrity, Quality Health Foundation and Delmarva Foundation under one brand umbrella: QLARANT. (Pronounced Clair-Ent) The new moniker comes a new logo, style, and website (www.Qlarant.com).

“It’s quite a challenge for one word to encapsulate everything that these unified groups stand for,” said Qlarant CEO Ron Forsythe. “The name Qlarant pulls it all together. It’s a strong name that represents our core values and emphasizes the quality and clarity our company brings to our clients.”

Quality Health Strategies has provided 45 years of quality service to a variety of industries through its subsidiaries. Delmarva Foundation is well respected for being a trustworthy quality and peer review organization. Health Integrity, LLC, has earned a reputation for excellence in program integrity, auditing and investigations. Both companies hold numerous contracts with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Quality Health Foundation has worked to improve the health status of underserved communities by providing charitable grants to organizations in Maryland and the District of Columbia. It has provided over $4.5 million in grants.

“The work we have done as Health Integrity, Delmarva Foundation, and Quality Health Foundation is remarkable,” commented Deborah Keller, Vice President of Human Resources. “By bringing our groups under one brand umbrella, we have the opportunity to really benefit our clients and unify our team in a way we’ve never seen before.”

Qlarant’s Solutions suite includes Quality Improvement; Fraud Waste and Abuse; and Data Sciences/Technology. These combined skills will benefit clients by focusing the wisdom of decades of experience under one brand.

A Good Recovery Sign: Lundberg is Hiring

Lundberg Builders, Inc., the leading full-service custom design and build firm serving Anne Arundel County and the Eastern Shore of Maryland has announced they are seeking site supervisors, carpenters and carpenters’ helpers to support the company’s growth a midst residential construction trade labor pool shortages.

The great economic downturn in 2007 hit the housing industry the hardest. As a result, many of the skilled construction tradesman who suffered catastrophic economic losses and bankruptcies left the building industry never to return. It was a loss that despite today’s housing industry rebound is still felt among homebuilders who rely on skilled tradespeople to support their growth.

Reuters reports a rise in new homes being built with a 13.7% surge in housing starts the highest level since October 2016 and the second-best reading in 10 years. Despite the leading economic indicators continuing to report rising and robust housing market numbers, the lack of skilled workers in the construction trades continues.  In fact, the trend has only worsened year-over-year with builders recording serious shortages in the labor pool from a low of 21% in 2012, to a rate of 56% in 2016, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Founder and President, Brad Lundberg who has led Lundberg Builders to survive and thrive for over 40 years (even during the housing crisis)​ says the time has come to build the next generation of skilled craftsman to rebuild the residential construction labor pool. To address this shortfall, Lundberg Builders is providing an unprecedented opportunity for interested and motivated job seekers to learn a trade alongside its highly trained staff of industry professionals.

“With the current state of the economy strong and unemployment down, we need to begin the good work in our community and in our industry to identify, hire and train residential construction tradespeople. As such, we are launching a proactive and progressive response to the skilled labor shortfall with an announcement of jobs we are offering to support our growth. We are looking for motivated people to fill Site Supervisor, Carpenter and Carpenters’ Helper positions who want an opportunity to learn that will provide them with a lifelong highly-skilled vocational trade and economic empowerment.”

Employees typically work within a one-hour radius of our office on Kent Island. All applicants for Site Supervisor, Carpenter and Helper positions must have reliable transportation.


Interested parties can download an employment application here

Shore United Bank Welcomes Ed Dillon, Branch Manager

Shore United Bank, a member of Shore Bancshares community of companies, is pleased to announce that Ed Dillon has joined the company as Branch Manager at our location in Ridgely, Maryland. Ed joins Shore United Bank with previous banking experience as an assistant branch manager.

Mr. Dillon graduated from York College of Pennsylvania where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing.

“Ed is a wonderful addition to the team in Ridgely. His knowledge and experience in banking goes a long way in strengthening the relationships with employees and customers.” said Jennifer Joseph, Chief Retail Banking Officer of Shore United Bank.

“I’m very excited to get to know our customers and to help them with their financial needs and goals” said Mr. Dillon.

Ed resides in Chestertown, Maryland with his wife, Leigh and their new baby, Charlie.

For more information about Shore United Bank, visit ShoreUnitedBank.com


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