Rodanthe Hanrahan Sworn in as New Easton Utilities Commissioner

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Mayor Robert C. Willey swore in Rodanthe Hanrahan as a new commissioner of the Easton Utilities Commission on May 7, 2015. Ms. Hanrahan earned a BS in Energy Studies from Brown University and a MBA from Georgetown University. Ms. Hanrahan enjoyed a career in energy development in the U.S. and China with the AES Corporation.

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 2.01.32 PMAn active volunteer in the community, Ms. Hanrahan has served a number of organizations including The Country School, YMCA of the Chesapeake and The Women & Girls Fund. She currently serves on the board of the Academy Art Museum and is a member of the Talbot County Garden Club and Parents Advisory Council of Davidson College.

As a member of the Easton Utilities Commission, Ms. Hanrahan is charged with governance responsibilities for Easton Utilities. She succeeds Timothy Wyman who retired April 21 after serving for 12 years, including two years as Chairman of the Commission.

“Tim’s tenure has affirmed our approach to recruit and retain bright people with demonstrated business acumen inuring to the benefit of this organization,” said Hugh Grunden, President & CEO of Easton Utilities. “Our company, customers and community have benefited from his leadership.”

RAR Brewing to Expand Production and Market

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The Pascal Group and RAR Brewing have entered into a strategic partnership that will enable the Cambridge-based microbrewery to expand production, making its beers more widely available.

“RAR is a dynamic young company that is doing all the right things and growing rapidly,” said Robert A. W. Pascal, who owns the Pascal Group along with his wife Caroline. “Interest in craft-brewed beer is at an all time high and they are already maxed out in terms of their brewing capacity. So when I heard that the owners were open to a strategic partnership that would help them expand, I decided to invest in the company.”

RAR Brewing opened its doors in Cambridge in 2013, selling brews that were produced for the company at a microbrewery in Westminster. The company began brewing its beers on-site in March of 2014 and, within a year, was at a level of production they did not expect to achieve until the third year in operation.

“This is a really an exciting time for RAR and we are looking forward to working with Rob and his team,” said Chris Brohawn, who co-owns the microbrewery with J.T. Merryweather. “With Rob’s support, we are now on the verge of an expansion that will enable us to distribute our beer in more places.

As part of the agreement, St. Michaels’s Harbour Inn, Marina and Spa, one of the Pascal Group’s holdings, will be featuring the company’s brews on tap. RAR’s brews will also be offered at Bistro St. Michaels and Mason’s in Easton, two other holdings of the Pascal Group.

RAR currently offers four mainline brews—Bucktown Brown Ale, Nanticoke Nector IPA, Bottom Feeder Blonde, and a Saison called Minelayer—as well as seasonal ales and one-offs. The beers are offered on tap at RAR’s site in Cambridge and are distributed in kegs to restaurants and bars throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. With the expanded production facility, RAR will also start canning its beer so it can be sold in package stores.

SpiderWeb Connections Hosts Ribbon-Cutting Celebration at New Location

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SpiderWeb Connections is hosting a ribbon-cutting celebration on May 28 from 4 to 6 p.m. with a ribbon cutting at 5:15 p.m., at their new location at 125 N. Washington Street in Easton.  The public is invited to see their sleek new digs, meet the team, draw on the walls and win cool prizes!

Prizes like flash drives and portable power banks along with food tastings from Olivins and other great gifts from Crabi Gras, Chef & Shower, Crackerjacks, Kustomscapes and the Town Dock Food & Spirits will be given away throughout the evening. Grand prizes include a Toshiba laptop from Jason’s Computer Services, a complete set of new tires from Mid-Atlantic Tire Pros, and a Small Business Swag Bag from the Easton Business Alliance.

SpiderWeb Connections is an Internet marketing firm that specializes in online search.  Head Honcho, Susan Schauer John has taught and written about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) long before it became popular. It is this foresight that has propelled her company to be a growth engine.  Susan and her talented team help clients with all of their marketing issues from website coding to graphic social media engagement.

“Every client has a unique need.  It is our job to understand that need and develop a strategy that will be of maximum effect online,” says Susan.


Easton Utilities names Steve Ochs as new Chief Financial Officer

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Easton Utilities named Steven “Steve” Ochse as its Chief Financial Officer. In this position, Mr. Ochse oversees all aspects of Easton Utilities’ financial management in an increasingly challenging financial and regulatory environment. Mr. Ochse previously held management positions with CBIZ and Mayer Hoffman McCann, one of the largest accounting services firms in the country. Mr. Ochse has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Baltimore and is a CPA. Mr. Ochse resides in Easton with his wife Shari and daughter Isabel.

“Steve’s broad background and deep commitment to our community makes him an excellent addition to our team,” said Hugh E. Grunden, President and CEO of Easton Utilities.

Mr. Ochse is an active volunteer in the community having served a number of organizations including, MACPA, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, YMCA, Rotary Club of Easton and Talbot County Chamber of Commerce. He currently chairs the Chesapeake College Community Foundation and is a board member of the Memorial Hospital Foundation and Easton Economic Development Corporation.

Elizabeth Claire Salon Adds New Staff and Services

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A year after moving to its new location next to Easton’s Tidewater Inn, Elizabeth Claire Salon has expanded its services and hired two additional hair stylists, an aesthetician, and a nail technician. Elizabeth Claire, which is owned and operated by Dana Mangasarian, is the only salon in the Mid-Atlantic region to offer Milbon and Eugene Parma hair products and is also the exclusive provider of Pevonia International skincare products on the Mid-Shore.

“Although renovating a building in the heart of town to create a salon that was both purpose driven and aesthetically pleasing was a challenge, it turned out to be exactly the right decision for my business,” Mangasarian says. “Our client list has grown dramatically and now regularly includes many Tidewater Inn guests.”

Stylist Morgan Carusa comes to Elizabeth Claire after working at salons in New Jersey for eight years. She specializes in soft looks for long hair and in wedding hair.

Jessica Nanndorf previously worked as a stylist at the J. C. Penny’s. Her specialties include hair coloring and styling. She specializes in up-do’s.

All stylists at Elizabeth Claire are licensed cosmeticians. They are certified in all chemical services, Mangasarian says, and regularly attend continuing education programs in both hair styling and coloring.

She adds: “We are very proud to be the region’s only Eugene Parma salon outside of Washington DC and the Eastern Shore’s exclusive Milbon salon. We believe that both of these high end hair lines of hair care products provide benefits to our clients that can’t be found elsewhere.” Milbon is a hair care line that offers a variety of formulations that target specific types of hair. Eugene Parma is a hair color company based in Paris, France.

Mangasarian says: “Parma is a research-driven company that creates its products from natural pigments. They are very low in ammonia and cover grey beautifully.”

“We are also proud to be a Pevonia Skin Care Salon,” Mangasarian adds. “These high-end products are results-oriented and effective for all types of skin. The company itself is known for its science-driven use of natural ingredients and its commitment to environmental sensitivity.”

The salon’s new esthetician, Melissa Foxwell, uses the products in all of customized facials she offers. She also provides waxing services, including Brazilian waxing.

Foxwell attended the Von Lee International School of Aesthetics and has been a licensed aesthetician for eight years. She sees clients on Monday’s and Thursday’s at Elizabeth Claire. She also works four days a week at a local high-end resort.

Mangasarian has also added Dawn Sterling to her staff. Sterling is a nail technician who specializes in spa manicures and pedicures using both shellac and traditional polishes.

Elizabeth Claire Salon is located at 22 N. Harrison Street in Easton. To find out more about the salon please visit or salon.

Easton’s Henker Group Wins Platinum Award for Work with Baltimore Metropolitan Council

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Easton-based Henker Group was recently honored as a Platinum winner in the 2014 Summit Marketing Effectiveness Award competition for their broadcast advertising work with Baltimore Metropolitan Council’ program.

The Summit Marketing Effectiveness Award (Summit MEA) responds to a common need in the advertising sector, which is to acknowledge the contribution of advertising and the achievement of the advertiser’s business goals. The Summit MEA is unique because it reinforces that the goal of marketing communications is to change, influence or reinforce a target audience’s knowledge, attitudes, or beliefs. Using this premise as a basis for its judging criteria, the competition has become a true arbiter of marketing communication effectiveness. Judges analyzed submissions and selected only eight percent to receive the top spots. A truly international competition, the Summit MEA received almost 900 submissions from the following twelve countries: Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Poland, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and the United States.

“Distinguishing between creativity and effectiveness is a difficult task so winning a Summit MEA is a significant achievement,” said Jocelyn Luciano, executive director for the Summit International Awards. “The combination of experienced judges and our tough criteria ensures that only deserving submissions receive Summit MEA recognition.” Additional information about the Summit International Awards and its programs is available at

Founded in 2005 by Mary Ann Henker, The Henker Group LLC is an award-winning, full-service integrated marketing communications (IMC) firm specializing in marketing, public relations, business development and event planning. Located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in Easton, The Henker Group serves local, national, and international markets and provides a unique and proven approach to support businesses growing to the next level or maintaining a premier position in the marketplace.

“It is such an honor to have won such a prestigious award. We are so proud of the work we have done in partnership with the BMC and the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) to create an effective campaign targeted to both employers and employees in the Greater Baltimore region. BMC’s staff is highly committed to the purpose of the program,” said Mary Ann Henker, president of The Henker Group.

The BMC is a private nonprofit organization committed to identifying regional interests and developing collaborative strategies through plans and programs to improve the quality of life and economic vitality throughout the region. is a partnership between the BMC and the MDOT with a goal of reducing traffic congestion and air pollution in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties by helping employers realize the benefits of a formal telework program.

“Formal telework programs can be so beneficial to businesses and they help improve air quality due to the reduced vehicle traffic. It was necessary to generate awareness about the program through a professional and effective marketing campaign. By working with The Henker Group, we have done just that.” Russ Ulrich, outreach coordinator for Air Quality & Traffic Safety Programs said.

Academy Art Museum Adds Staff to Development Team

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Julia Marlowe

The Academy Art Museum has announced two appointments to its Development Office. Julia Marlowe of Overland Park, KS has been appointed as Director of Development and Damika Baker of Cambridge, MD, has been appointed as Assistant Director of Development and Membership.

Marlowe was previously the principal of Marlowe Leadership Coaching in Overland Park, Kansas, a leadership coaching and fundraising training practice. As a certified leadership coach, she provided individual coaching to decision-making management in a variety of industries ranging from nonprofits to Fortune 500 companies. Prior to owning her own business, Marlowe was the Vice President, Philanthropy for the University of Maryland Shore Regional Health (formerly Shore Health System) in Easton and Executive Director of the Lewis and Clark College Foundation at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, IL.

Marlowe completed a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Fontbonne University in St. Louis, MO, and has completed some coursework toward a master’s degree in Management at Webster University in St. Louis. She also has completed coursework at the Coaches Training Institute in San Rafael, CA. She holds a certification in Leadership Coaching from the School for Professional Studies and Education at Georgetown University in Washington, DC and Certificates of Completion from BoardSource in Washington DC.

Damika Baker

Damika Baker

Damika Baker, the Museum’s new Assistant Director of Development and Membership, previously worked on special events and donor relations with the Smithsonian’s Institution-Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, MD. She attended the University of Maryland-College Park, receiving a bachelor’s degree in Afro-American Studies. She also completed some graduate coursework, specializing in Non-Profit and Association Management. Previously, she has held positions at the Edward H. Nabb Research Center at Salisbury University, Coastal Hospice, Inc., and Adkins Arboretum.

Dennis McFadden, director of the Academy Art Museum, comments about Marlowe and Baker, “We are thrilled to be welcoming both of these employees to our team. Julia is an experienced development professional with a deep personal interest in the arts and an understanding of and an appreciation for the role our organization can play in the cultural life of the community. Damika brings extensive knowledge about organizational membership, development practices and visitor services and will be invaluable as we move forward with our efforts in improving accessibility and expanding our offerings to the community.”


Small-Business Initiatives Advance in Maryland Senate


In his first State of the State address nearly two months ago, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan repeatedly referred to small businesses as a barometer for Maryland’s health, advocating for a focus on business-friendly policies to boost the state’s economy.

The state Senate agreed Tuesday, passing a bill that would create a small-business advisory panel in the Department of Business and Economic Development and advancing a tax-relief measure Hogan has said will benefit more than 70,000 small-business owners.

The advisory panel echoes Hogan’s promise to consider how each decision he makes will affect small businesses. The six-member council, which would include small-business owners, would review bills and help inform lawmakers about the legislation’s potential consequences for businesses.

“It gives the small-business community a voice in the regulatory process that they haven’t had before,” said Senator Thomas Middleton, D-Charles, the chair of the Finance Committee.

Meanwhile, the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee on Friday approved Hogan’s Small Business Personal Property Tax Relief Act of 2015. The bill would excuse a business from paying a tax on $10,000 or less in personal property, which includes work-related property such as office equipment.

The bill should save eligible businesses an average of $72 in taxes per year, according to the bill’s fiscal note.

The two measures advanced with strong support in the Senate chamber, though a few senators were concerned the advisory panel was a “feel-good bill” that would not make state regulations more business-friendly.

The proposed panel “makes the regulatory process in the state so bureaucratic as to slow down any effort to help improve working conditions,” said Senator Richard Madaleno Jr., D-Montgomery, vice-chair of the Budget and Taxation Committee.

But Madaleno described himself as the “floor leader” in the discussion of Hogan’s tax-relief bill.

“It’s more of a headache elimination for the smallest businesses,” he said. “To me, that had a real impact on reducing a burden on small businesses.”

Cambridge’s 1880 Bank to Merge with Easton Bank & Trust

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The Baltimore Sun is reporting today that the parent of Cambridge-based 1880 Bank has announced a plan to buy the Easton Bank & Trust Company for $8 million cash.

Parent Delmarva Bancshares expects to close on the deal later this year, after the approval of banking regulators and the shareholders of Easton Bank. 1880 Bank, which was known as National Bank of Cambridge until it was renamed in October, serves the Eastern Shore and has about $192 million in assets and $166 million in deposits.

Read the full story here

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to Make Address at Washington College

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Over the past month, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has been making almost daily headlines with his agency’s groundbreaking policy on net neutrality. Wheeler, who stands at the center of a stormy dialogue on the issue, recently announced a set of strong, sustainable rules to protect the open Internet as a platform for innovation, free expression and economic growth. In the face of opposition from Republican lawmakers and some business leaders, Wheeler argued that the open Internet was at risk without federal regulations to ensure that America’s broadband networks will remain open, fast, and fair.

Wheeler will appear at Washington College on Thursday, April 2, for the Spring 2015 Richard Harwood Lecture in American Journalism, hosted by the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience. His talk, “On the Front Lines of the Digital Revolution,” will take place at 5:30 p.m. in Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall. Cosponsored by the Department of Business Management and the Louis L. Goldstein Program in Public Affairs, the program is free and open to the general public.

“We’re exceptionally honored to welcome Tom Wheeler as a lecturer in the Harwood Series at such a historic moment,” said Adam Goodheart, the Starr Center’s Hodson Trust-Griswold Director, who will lead an onstage conversation with Wheeler following the speaker’s formal remarks. “It’s a rare opportunity to hear from a leading policymaker right in the midst of the most critical chapter of his public life. Moreover, Wheeler is a distinguished historian who will also offer the ‘long view’ of how the ongoing digital revolution relates to past moments of epochal change in how human beings communicate.”

After the FCC’s vote on February 25, the Los Angeles Times called it “a landmark decision for the future of the Internet,” while the New York Times hailed “the longest, most sustained campaign of Internet activism in history, one that the little guys appear to have won.” Meanwhile, telecommunications giant Verizon issued a statement – in Morse code, no less – accusing Wheeler of trying to roll back telecommunications to the 1930s.

Appointed FCC chairman in 2013 by President Barack Obama, Wheeler brings to his position vast experience in the fast-paced and ever-evolving communications field. For more than three decades he has been one of the nation’s leading communications policy experts, advocates and entrepreneurs in both the public and private sector, and has been hailed as a top ten innovator in the history of wireless communications.

In addition his role in Washington at the helm of the agency tasked with communications law, regulation and technological innovation, Wheeler is also a historian of technology. His books, Take Command: Leadership Lessons of the Civil War (Doubleday, 2000) and Mr. Lincoln’s T-Mails: The Untold Story of How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War (HarperCollins, 2006), connect the current Digital Revolution to past eras of technological upheaval. Wheeler’s commentaries have been published in the Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, and other publications. Wheeler has also served as a Trustee of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Foundation for the National Archives, and the Public Broadcasting Service.

Washington College’s Harwood Lecture Series in American Journalism was established to honor the distinguished career of the late Washington Post columnist and ombudsman Richard Harwood, who served as a trustee of the College, as well as a teacher and mentor of undergraduate journalists. Speakers in the series have included many leading figures in politics and the press. The journalistic tradition has also continued in Harwood’s own family; his son, John Harwood, has had a distinguished career as a political correspondent and columnist for CNBC, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

Founded in 1782 under the patronage of George Washington, Washington College is a private, independent college of liberal arts and sciences located in colonial Chestertown on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The College’s C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience is dedicated to fostering innovative approaches to the American past and present. Through educational programs, scholarship and public outreach, and a special focus on written history, the Starr Center seeks to bridge the divide between the academic world and the public at large.