Pictured left to right are Patti Tibbett of WCEI/WINX Radio, Marilyn Neal of the Neighborhood Service Center, Georgia Eichelman of Admiral Cleaners, and Linda Laramy of Crackerjacks, all partners in the 2015 Arlene M. John Koats fo Kids Drive.

Easton’s Mid-Atlantic TirePros Collects over 400 “Koats for Kids”

Pictured left to right are Patti Tibbett of WCEI/WINX Radio, Marilyn Neal of the Neighborhood Service Center, Georgia Eichelman of Admiral Cleaners, and Linda Laramy of Crackerjacks, all partners in the 2015 Arlene M. John Koats fo Kids Drive.
 Pictured left to right are Patti Tibbett of WCEI/WINX Radio, Marilyn Neal of the Neighborhood Service Center, Georgia Eichelman of Admiral Cleaners, and Linda Laramy of Crackerjacks, all partners in the 2015 Arlene M. John Koats fo Kids Drive.

Pictured left to right are Patti Tibbett of WCEI/WINX Radio, Marilyn Neal of the Neighborhood Service Center, Georgia Eichelman of Admiral Cleaners, and Linda Laramy of Crackerjacks, all partners in the 2015 Arlene M. John Koats fo Kids Drive.

Mid-Atlantic TirePros in Easton recently concluded its 9th Annual Arlene M. John Koats for Kids Drive. Partners in this year’s event include Kohls, WCEI/WINX, the Star-Democrat, Crackerjacks, and Pixel Print and Post, and Admiral Cleaners in Easton.

According to Terry John, owner of Mid-Atlantic TirePros, they have collected nearly 4500 coats since the drive began in 2007 in honor of his late wife Arlene who was dedicated to children’s causes. This year, St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Easton collected children’s scarves, hats, and gloves for the drive as well.

While the geographic focus of the coat drive has been Talbot County, the business has expanded its efforts outside the county this year. To date, coats have been donated to children through the Neighborhood Service Center, Operation Christmas Spirit, the Easton Volunteer Fire Department, and Easton Middle School.

New Name for Law Firm Serving the Mid-Shore

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As of January 1st, established Mid-Shore law firm, Parker Counts Melton & Goodman, PC will operate under the name Parker Counts.

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 8.31.06 AMThe new name follows several significant changes at the firm, most notably the addition of two new partners, Jesse B. Hammock and C. Lee Gordon, and the departure of former partner, Leigh R. Melton, who has since moved to Virginia. Willard C. Parker, II (“Burry”) and Ann Karwacki Goodman remain as partners of the firm and Richard L. Counts, III continues to serve as “of counsel” with the firm.

With ties dating back to 1954, Parker Counts is a general practice law firm that concentrates in estate planning, real estate, business, and litigation. In 2015, the firm opened a new office in downtown Cambridge to extend services and better serve its Dorchester County and Lower Shore clients.

“We are excited about this new chapter as our firm builds on its sixty-year history and continues to provide individual, business and non-profit clients with exceptional legal advice and representation,” said Ann Goodman, Partner.

Partner Jesse B. Hammock is a litigator that focuses his practice on counseling businesses and individuals on conflict resolution. He is a Fellow of the Maryland Bar Foundation and serves on the Maryland Judicial Nominating Commission.

C. Lee Gordon became a partner in 2014 and focuses her practice in the areas of estate planning, estate administration and assists clients with the preparation of Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, and Advance Medical Directives. In 2015, Gordon was named a Super Lawyers’ Rising Star.

Having joined the firm as a Partner in 2011, Ann Karwacki Goodman advises clients with estate planning, tax planning and estate administration, with special concentration in elder law, asset protection and planning for individuals with disabilities. Goodman frequently lectures on estate planning and wealth preservation, and rejoined the Elder Law Section Council of the Maryland State Bar Association last year. She also serves on several local non-profit boards.

The senior member of Parker Counts, Burry Parker began his law practice in 1973 with the firm’s predecessor, Miller, Wheeler, Thompson & Thompson. Parker’s practice concentrates on civil litigation, real estate, zoning and land use, as well as corporations and business acquisitions. His litigation practice has taken him to the Appellate Courts of Maryland on numerous occasions.

Last year, Parker Counts welcomed a new associate, Peter R. Cotter. Peter supports Parker and Hammock in litigation matters. Peter has extensive experience handling divorce, child custody, and landlord tenant matters. In 2011, Peter was named the Mid Shore Pro Bono Young Attorney of the Year.

Fellow associate, Sarah A. Baugh, has a growing practice assisting clients with estate, trust and business planning. A Dorchester County resident, Baugh anchors the new Cambridge office and recently joined the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce board.

There have been several transitions at the firm in the last five years and Parker states, “I have had the pleasure of being associated with some of the most capable and caring lawyers in our community, and I must say that the attorneys in the firm now fit the mold of those who came before. I am extremely proud of where we have been and where we are going as we continue to serve the needs of our many clients.”
About Parker Counts: With ties dating back to 1954, Parker Counts is an established Mid-Shore law firm with offices in Easton and Cambridge, Maryland. The attorneys of Parker Counts offer advice and representation on a multitude of legal matters with special emphasis and expertise in estate and tax planning, trusts, elder law, guardianships, will contests, real estate, zoning and land use, general civil litigation, personal injury, traffic, divorce, corporate and business matters and appeals. To learn more visit www.parkercountslaw.com or call 410-822-1122 (Easton and Cambridge).

Carol Wheeler Joins Bountiful Design Staff

Carol Wheeler

Carol Wheeler has joined the design staff at Bountiful Interiors, Easton’s award winning home furnishings store and design firm. Wheeler comes to Bountiful after spending over 25 years as a successful designer in New England and on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Prior to joining Bountiful, she worked at Jean McHale Design and Wright’s Interiors in Easton.

Carol Wheeler

Carol Wheeler

Bountiful’s owner, Jamie Merida says: “We are delighted to add Carol to our design team, which has now grown to be the largest on the Eastern Shore. She is an accomplished designer who is comfortable working collaboratively with clients in residential, commercial and nonprofit environments.”

“Collaboration is key and I really listen to my clients so I can design around their needs,” Wheeler explains. “Interior design is like a jigsaw puzzle where all of the pieces—style, color, function and budget—need to fit together perfectly.”

Wheeler joins a versatile team that includes Merida, Amanda Friend, and Denise Perkins. All three have had their work published in national and regional magazines and online design sites. “I’m very proud of the recognition that our team has received and am pleased to add Carol’s expertise to their accomplishments,” Jamie Merida says.
Bountiful and its separate sister store, Bountiful Flooring, are located in the TalbotTown Shopping Center, 11 N. Washington Street in Easton.

To find out more about Bountiful Interiors, please visit its website, www.bountifuldecor.com or Facebook page, www.facebook.com/bountifuldecor. To reach Bountiful Interiors by phone call (410) 763-8500. To reach Bountiful Flooring call (410) 822-2622.

Tred Avon Family Wealth Opens Doors

Vicki Lane of Easton, a principal of the new Tred Avon Family Wealth.

Tred Avon Family Wealth in Easton, MD recently opened its doors, offering boutique family office services to help individuals and families preserve and manage family wealth. Natives of the Eastern Shore and having a combined experience of over 50 years in financial planning and private family office services, principals Elizabeth Spurry and Vicki Higgins Lane, provide personalized and discrete services in the areas of wealth management, personal financial support and intergenerational planning.

Family office services include investment and portfolio oversight, risk management, advisor coordination, asset allocation management, insurance oversight, tax strategies, retirement planning, and philanthropic stewardship.

is Elizabeth Spurry of Trappe, a principal of the new Tred Avon Family Wealth

Elizabeth Spurry of Trappe, a principal of the new Tred Avon Family Wealth

Elizabeth Spurry of Trappe, previously Senior Vice President of Wye Financial & Trust, started a boutique Family Office and Financial Planning firm in 2014 to meet the unique needs of select high net worth clients. Spurry also was a past Vice President of Mercantile Trust. She has a bachelor’s degree from John Hopkins University and a master’s degree from Washington College. She is a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor and Certified Financial Planner. She is currently active on the boards of The Harbor Club, The May Foundation, and the Sultana Education Foundation.

Vicki Lane of Easton, a principal of the new Tred Avon Family Wealth.

Vicki Lane of Easton, a principal of the new Tred Avon Family Wealth.

Vicki Higgins Lane of Easton has been a CPA for over 30 years, holding various progressive positions in public accounting and CFO roles in businesses of various sizes, including Celeste Industries Corporation. Additionally, for many years, Lane has provided family office services exclusively for one family. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Goldey Beacom College.

Tred Avon Family Wealth clients can choose a range of concierge services that best meet their family’s individual financial needs. According to Vicki Lane, “In general, the family office services we provide can encompass all parts of a person’s financial life extending well beyond traditional wealth management. By centralizing the management of a client’s assets in one place and coordinating with all the client’s advisors, our customized services can provide time savings, cost efficiencies, and peace of mind.”

Elizabeth Spurry adds, “Boutique private family offices are one of the fastest growing segments of the wealth management world because significant family wealth creates a unique set of circumstances and issues not yet well addressed by the retail investment management client service model. This includes meeting all of the significant ancillary needs like helping to educate the next generation (children and grandchildren) about the family’s wealth management plan, managing philanthropic requests, estate planning, and a myriad of other needs unique to each family.”

For further information about Tred Avon Family Wealth, call them at 410-690-3268.
#1: Pictured is Elizabeth Spurry of Trappe, a principal of the new Tred Avon Family Wealth, boutique family office to help individuals and families preserve and manage family wealth.
#2: Pictured is Vicki Lane of Easton, a principal of the new Tred Avon Family Wealth.

Howard Parks joins CBMM as controller

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Howard Parks

Howard Parks

has relocated to Easton, Md. from Silver Spring, Md. to join the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum as Controller, responsible for oversight of all finance, accounting and reporting activities, including capital project and endowment accounting, and supervising accounting staff for the 50-year old non-profit institution.

Parks brings 17 years non-profit accounting experience with the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. He has also held positions with SUSTAIN, a USAID-funded project within the National Cooperative Business Association, and the American Petroleum Institute.

Parks will work closely with CBMM Vice President of Finance Jean Brooks and President Kristen Greenaway during a five-year fundraising campaign that will provide a stable foundation for the museum’s future. Goals of the campaign include a new guest orientation center and library, facility and boatyard upgrades, enhanced exhibitions, more on-the-water activities, and an increased endowment.

“Howard is a great addition to our team at a critical time in the museum’s history,” said Greenaway. “His non-profit accounting experience is very important to the museum, and as we move into the museum’s next 50 years, Howard will be instrumental in helping to strengthen the institution as we meet our aspirations.”

Parks is an associate member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, completing accounting coursework at University of Maryland University College in College Park, Md. He earned a BA in English with honors from Western Maryland College in Westminster, Md.

Parks’ volunteer work includes performing as a musician for residents of the Hillhaven Assisted Living Nursing Rehabilitation Center in Adelphi, Md. and mentoring youth through an exchange program in connection with the Bokamosa Youth Centre in Winterveld, South Africa.

Parks first became connected to the Chesapeake Bay dipping his toes into the water at Sandy Point State Park. His fondest memory of the Bay is joining a group of harmonica players on a sailboat, an event dubbed the “Sail and Wail.”

CBMM is the only museum in the world preserving and exploring the history, environment, and people of the entire Chesapeake Bay. For more information, call 410-745-2916 or visit www.cbmm.org.

Rural Maryland Council Elects 2016 Leadership

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The Rural Maryland Council met on Wednesday December 2, 2015 in Annapolis and elected officers for the 2016 calendar year. The Council elected the following officers:

Chair: Ms. Doris Mason

First Vice Chair: Mr. Josh Hastings

Second Vice Chair: Mr. Matt Teffeau

Ms. Doris Mason currently serves as the Executive Director of the Upper Shore Regional Council where she provides leadership on key projects for the USRC as it partners with public and private entities to optimize the physical, economic and social well-being of the residents of Cecil, Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties. “I am looking forward to serving the residents of rural Maryland and am excited for this opportunity,” said Ms. Mason. “We plan to focus our leadership towards enhancing our state’s investments in our rural areas through the Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund, so that our rural regions can grow economically to be the prosperous places we know they can be.”

Mr. Josh Hastings currently serves as Policy Director for the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy where he monitors land use policies at the local, state, and federal government levels. “With the 2016 Legislative Session of the Maryland General Assembly fast approaching, we look forward to continuing our conversation regarding rural economic development, protection of agricultural lands and encouraging the development of renewable energy.”

Mr. Matt Teffeau serves as Assistant Government Relations Director for the Maryland Farm Bureau where he is responsible for issues in transportation, wildlife, energy and poultry. “Agriculture is an essential part of our rural economy. We want to ensure its continued viability while protecting our rural communities and cultural heritage.”

Mr. Scott Warner of the Mid-Shore Regional Council serves on the RMC Executive Committee as the Immediate Past President.

Since its inception in 1994, the Rural Maryland council is the only state-wide entity working to advance the interests of rural Marylanders across the State. The 40-member Board represents each rural region including the rural for-profit and nonprofit communities, elected officials from the State and local levels and federal, state and local agencies. The RMC represents approximately 1.6 million Marylanders. Since 2001, the RMC has awarded almost $3.3 million in small grants to rural areas serving nonprofit organizations that undertake statewide and regional planning, economic and community development and forestry education projects. For Fiscal Year 2016, the Council will focus on broadband, agriculture, youth, energy, workforce and economic development and health care.

The Henker Group Turns Ten Years Old

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The Henker Group LLC, an international award-winning, full service integrated marketing communications (IMC) agency celebrates its ten year anniversary this year.

Founded in 2005, The Henker Group was started by President Mary Ann Henker as a one-person agency working out of her home. Since then, The Henker Group has grown into a full-service agency with almost 10 staff to include a highly-reputable internship program and significant strategic partners. The agency has served almost 100 businesses and organizations all over Delmarva, Maryland’s Western Shore and throughout the US.

The Henker Group staff is known for its unique and proven approach to support businesses and non-profits growing to the next level or maintaining a premier position in the marketplace. Currently, The Henker Group specializes in branding, marketing, public relations, digital media, and business development.

As a graduate of George Mason with a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business, a Minor in Management, and a focus on employment law, Mary Ann Henker founded The Henker Group in 2005. Henker has over 20 years of experience in organizational management and international business to include tenure at the State Justice Institute and the American Pharmacists Association in Washington, D.C., the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association and American Mensa in Texas, and as executive director of the Giant Screen Theater Association, the association for the worldwide IMAX industry. She has completed business and contract negotiations both in and with individuals and companies of 22 countries. She is recognized repeatedly for her talent, experience and exceptional work. In 2015, Henker was a judge for the corporate communications/public relations section for the International Business Awards. In 2015, she was a judge for the marketing section and in 2013 and 2014 she was a judge for the corporate communications/public relations section for the American Business Awards. In 2012, Henker was invited by Billion + Change to participate in a forum at the White House. In 2011, she received Maryland’s The Daily Record’s “Successful by 40 Award” which recognized her professional success by the age of 40 and her commitment to community service. She also appeared in Shore Life magazine’s October/November 2011 issue’s “Women of Achievement.” She was honored as the 2010 Business Woman of the Year by the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce and won a national Stevie Award for Women in Business in 2010. Currently, Henker sits on the boards of Junior Achievement of Talbot County and The Cause Agency (based in Fort Worth, TX).

The Henker Group has worked with notable clients nationally, regionally and locally. Some of their area clients have included The Talbot Bank, CNB, Avery Hall Insurance Group, Tidewater Physical Therapy, Chesapeake Bay Beach Club, Tidewater Inn, Easton Utilities, Environmental Concern, LEAD Maryland Foundation, TGM Group, Baltimore Metropolitan Council, Talbot and Dorchester Health Departments, Willow Construction, and The Verdant Gryphon. Additionally, The Henker Group is a dedicated community partner and supports worthy non-profits in the achievement of their missions. The Henker Group is a two-time American Business Award Finalist and has been awarded silver and bronze Stevie Awards for its marketing and public relations work. Most recently, they were a Platinum winner in the 2014 Summit Marketing Effectiveness Award competition for their broadcast advertising work. They were one of eight percent of award winners from over 900 submissions from 12 countries.

In honor of its ten year anniversary, The Henker Group has launched a yearlong rebranding initiative. The rebranding will produce a new look that better represents the sleek and professional creativity seen in the agency’s work.

Year in Review: Talbot County Economic Development Director Paige Bethke


While many in Talbot County are eager to hear the annual reports of many different government divisions as 2015 comes to an end, very few can compete in interest with the analysis of the county’s economic development gains or losses done by the Talbot County Office of Economic Development.

As the Mid-Shore crawls its way back from the great recession, the year results for the County either bringing new businesses to the area or, more importantly, keeping the ones already here, is one of the most important metrics in determining the economic health of the entire region.

Seeing this data up close and personal throughout the year is the county’s director of economic development, Paige Bethke. In her Spy interview, Paige talks about the impact of Easton as regional hub, the overall condition of Talbot’s economy, the scorecard in bringing or keeping businesses to the Mid-Shore, and the challenges facing the County in 2016.

This video is approximately nine minutes in length

Coldwell Banker Chesapeake Adds Five New Associates

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Coldwell Banker Chesapeake Real Estate announced today the affiliation of five new and experienced associates. The company services the residential real estate markets of the six counties of the upper eastern shore from regional real estate centers in Chestertown and Easton.

“The real estate brokerage business model has fundamentally changed”, says Hugh Smith, Broker and Managing Partner. “We call it ‘The Great Inversion’. Five years ago Buyers found a real estate agent and started looking for property on the eastern shore. Today, the buyers look for the property first and then look for a real estate agent to guide them through the increasingly complex transaction.”

“Finding success in the new real estate market requires a whole new skill set,” says Smith, “Some traditional agents make the effort to learn these skills and prosper. For the most part, however, we as an industry need to hire and train digital natives to guide Buyers and Sellers into the long recovery from 2008. I am excited by the new additions to our team”.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 10.26.58 AMWilliam (“Billy”) Blessing joins the team as a new agent but no stranger to information technology. Billy is a digital native who has worked since 2005 as an electronic Fraud specialist for Hebron Savings Bank. A native of Easton, Billy is a graduate of Easton High School and attended Salisbury University. He, his wife, and two children are residents of Trappe. “I look forward to making home ownership on the eastern shore accessible to young families like ourselves”, says Blessing, “I love the quality of life here.” Blessing will operate from Coldwell Banker’s regional real estate center on Dover Street in Easton and plans to list and sell real estate primarily in Dorchester, Caroline and Talbot Counties.


Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 10.26.51 AMJessica English comes to real estate from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and a career in Human Services. A graduate of Washington College, Jessica never went home. She has been a resident of Cecil County for the past 15 years and is active in the community. ”My two children give me a window into the community”, says Jessica,” I see things on a daily basis that are useful to buyers and sellers of eastern shore real estate. The internet puts a lot of information in the consumer’s hands. I can help people put that information in a local and human perspective.” English, who plans to list and sell real estate primarily in northern Kent and all of Cecil County, will operate from Coldwell Banker Chesapeake Real Estate’s Regional Real Estate Center in Chestertown.


“BuScreen Shot 2015-12-14 at 10.27.08 AMying and selling residential real estate has become a very complex process”, according to new associate Rick Parreco, “My experience in both real estate and construction can help buyers and sellers of eastern shore real estate navigate that process.” Parreco, who lives on Kent Island, is a real estate veteran who comes to Coldwell Banker from a small independent company. “I look forward to putting the international network and advanced technology of Coldwell Banker to work for my Sellers”. Parreco, plans to continue his real estate practice primarily on Kent Island and in Anne Arundel County from the Easton Regional Office.


DScreen Shot 2015-12-14 at 10.25.37 AMoug Megargee, another graduate of Washington College, is well known around Kent County. An avid sportsman, Megargee comes to Coldwell Banker Chesapeake following a long career in the marine trades industry and a short stint with a small independent real estate company. “The entire real estate market, such as it is, has moved on-line”, says Megargee. “I know the upper eastern shore like the back of my hand, but I am not a digital native. I need training to adapt to the new business model. Coldwell Banker has the tools and training I need to grow.” Megargee, who will operate from the Chestertown Sales Center, plans to focus his efforts on Kent County and northern Queen Anne’s.


Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 10.26.19 AMWilliam “Bill” Haddaway, a Talbot County native, is new to the real estate industry but no stranger to the mid-shore or sales. Anyone who has bought a car locally in the last thirty years has probably bought one from Haddaway. “I have always had an interest in real estate”, says Haddaway, “I think my local knowledge, customer service, and sales skills will match-up will with my customer’s needs. Haddaway, who will joi n the Easton Sales Center, intends to focus his efforts on Dorchester, Caroline, and Talbot Counties.

TGM Group LLC and Anthony Walter Duncan LLP Announce Merger

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Accounting firms TGM Group LLC based in Salisbury, Md. and Anthony Walter Duncan LLP (AWD) based in Easton, Md. announce the merger of their two firms effective November 1, 2015. The merger will form one of the larger accounting firms on Delmarva. The result of the merger will provide more resources and expanded audit, tax and accounting capabilities to current and future clients throughout the Eastern Shore. The merged firm will operate as TGM Group LLC.

AWD originated in 1973 as a division of Anthony Company. With the addition of Craig Walter in 1993 and Corey Duncan in 1999 as equity partners, the current firm was formed. With their office located in Easton, Md., AWD offers tax, accounting and consulting services. AWD’s professionals will remain on staff and continue with their current positions at the Easton office.

AWD Managing Partner Corey Duncan, CPA, said this news is a step forward for both firms. “The staff at AWD is extremely excited to be joining forces with such a reputable firm as TGM Group LLC. We have had a great working relationship for years and I’m excited to see what we can accomplish together,” Duncan continued. “Merging with TGM Group LLC will bring greater knowledge, resources and additional industry insight and experience for our associates and clients. We look forward to what the future holds.”

TGM Group LLC is a full service CPA firm that provides corporate and personal tax, auditing, accounting and financial consulting services. The firm will maintain its existing staff and its office in Salisbury, Md.

“Bringing our two firms together will enhance our mission to bring personalized, value-added services to all our clients,” said Herb Geary, CPA and managing partner of TGM Group LLC. “We are constantly growing as a firm bringing a new level of knowledge and expertise to the work we do. We feel AWD shares our dedication to an exceptional standard of service which is the priority at TGM Group LLC and I’m confident this combination will bring positive changes for both firms and our combined family of clients.” Tom Trice, one of the founding partners of TGM Group LLC, expressed his support for the merger, saying “this was a merger of like-minded cultures and complementary areas of expertise.”

For more information about TGM Group LLC, visit www.tgmgroupllc.com or call the Salisbury office at 410.742.1328 or the Easton office at 410.822.4008.