Quality Health Strategies CEO Dr. Ron Forsythe, Jr. Named Savoy Magazine’s 2017 Most Influential Black Corporate Directors

Savoy Magazine is the premier listing of African-American executives, influencers and achievers contributing leadership to corporate boards.   The magazine has just announced their 2017 directory of the most influential black corporate directors across the nation, which includes the Eastern Shore’s Dr. Ron Forsythe, Jr.   Dr. Forsythe a member of the Chesapeake Utilities Board, and is also the CEO of Easton’s leading employer, Quality Health Strategies.

“Dr. Forsythe’s extensive leadership experience, financial, and operational expertise has enabled him to make terrific contributions to our company.  We are extremely proud to see him receive this prestigious and well-deserved recognition,” said Pat Boos, Director of Marketing at QHS. “As a company, we have a deep appreciation for the importance of experience combined with a natural entrepreneurial spirit — from our board of directors to our review teams, designers and data scientists, we value it highly across our organization.”

Ronald G. Forsythe, Jr. is a member of the Board of Directors of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, a diversified energy company headquartered in Dover, Delaware.  In 2017, he joined colleagues serving on other public boards, including Fortune 500 companies, as a recipient of the highest recognition for corporate directors – the NACD Board of Leadership Fellowship.  Forsythe is President and Chief Executive Officer of Quality Health Strategies and previously served as its Chief Operating Officer.  Prior to that, Forsythe served as Chief Information Officer and Vice President at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore where he led projects that made the Eastern Shore more eco-friendly in its energy use.  He is a member of the Regional Advisory Board of Branch Banking and Trust Company and previously served as a member of the Advisory Board for the Worcester County, Maryland School System STEM Initiative, and a member of the Boards of the Peninsula Regional Medical Center Foundation, Quality Health Foundation, and Horizons at the Salisbury School.

Forsythe holds a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Delaware and holds masters and doctoral degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maryland.

About Quality Health Strategies www.qualityhealthstrategies.org serves the entire nation in an effort to protect the fiscal and clinical integrity of healthcare systems. The company currently holds a number of federal contracts for detecting and combating health care fraud, waste, and abuse on a national and regional level. For More Information, Contact: Pat Boos, Director of Marketing   boosp@qhs-inc.org

Museum Appoints Murphy as Director of Finance

Patrick R. Murphy of Stevensville has been appointed as Director of Finance at the Academy Art Museum in Easton, MD. Murphy previously was Associate Executive Director, Finance and Administration at the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) before coming to the Museum. Murphy is accomplished in employee relations and streamlining administrative systems. While with NAESP, he performed contract negotiation with local unions, managed all human resource and benefit programs, and managed the membership processing team. Murphy has a bachelor’s of science degree of George Mason University in Fairfax, VA.

According to Ben Simons, Director of the Academy Art Museum, “Patrick has deep experience in non-profit finance and administration and a great interest in forwarding the mission of the Museum. We are excited that he has chosen to join our administrative team.”

Shore Leadership Meets in Dorchester County for Agriculture Session

The 2017 Shore Leadership Class traveled to Dorchester County to hear from 2007 alumni, Kelly Jackson owner and operator of Emily’s Produce who hosted the group for a farm to table luncheon where she spoke to the class about the valuable leadership skills she uses every day managing her family’s agri-tourism business.  The class also heard from Rachel Widmaier, 4-H council and vice president of the Trailblazers 4-H Club who shared her journey in 4-H and the leadership skills she is developing through her service.

2017 Shore Leadership Class Visits Emily’s Produce

The leadership focus for the day was Leading Change.  Leadership Facilitator, Carol Graser of the Annapolis Learning Center, who led the class through several exercises and discussions on leading change in your business or organization. “In leading change, I need to be less focused on problem-solving issues and more on the stories people bring with them and the emotions involved,” said a member of the current class.

Later that day the class went to Layton’s Chance Winery where they heard from 1999 alumni, Michael Thielke, Executive Director of the Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center.  Michael talked to the class about his role at the Center and explained his view point of agriculture and seafood looking through a lens of innovation and technology with a focus on farm, fish and food.

The day ended with a panel discussion about the challenges of farming and agriculture led by Emily Zobel, Maryland Extension Agriculture Educator.  Afterwards, Mr. Joe Layton and Mr. William Layton talked about their Lazy Day Farm and the Layton’s Chance Winery.  Lazy Day Farm was inducted into the Maryland Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2011.

For more information on Shore Leadership or to apply to join the class of 2018, go to www.shoreleadership.org or contact info@shoreleadership.org.

Governor Hogan Names Rolle to Talbot County Board of License Commissioners

Maryland Governor Laurence J. Hogan recently named St. Michaels resident William C. Rolle, Jr. (Bill) to the Talbot County Board of License Commissioners. The appointment is to fill a vacancy created, in the six-year term, by the recent death of Commissioner Gretchen Panuzio.

Rolle has been active in the Talbot County community, recently finishing a six-year term on the Talbot Hospice Board, where he served on the executive committee and chaired the communications and development committees. He continues to serve on the communications committee.

Rolle also serves on the Easton Airport Board, The Londonderry on the Tred Avon Board, the Talbot SPY Advisory Board and the Institute for Religion, Politics & Culture at Washington College.

He understands the small business environment, having worked as a marketing communications consultant for 50 years in the Washington Metropolitan area. He founded and managed his own communications firm there for 20 years, prior to selling it to a major New York advertising firm to manage its Washington office.

He has a BS degree from Georgetown University and a MA Degree from American University. He taught Branding, as an Adjunct Professor, at Georgetown University and Advertising and Marketing at Washington College.

Rolle and his wife Carol have lived in St. Michaels for 15-years, moving there after living in Bethesda, Maryland, for more than 50 years. They celebrated 60 years of marriage in February this year. They have four children, one daughter and three sons, ten grandchildren and one great grandson.

Labor Day Cheat Sheet: The History behind the Holiday

One of our Spies was able to locate this recent online interview with Linda Stinson, a former U.S. Department of Labor’s historian, provided us with some answers about the history of Labor Day.

Q: What’s the history of Labor Day? How did it all begin?

A: The Labor Day holiday is interesting because it evolved over a period of years. In 19th century America, there was already a tradition of having parades, picnics and various other celebrations in support of labor issues, such as shorter hours or to rally strikers. But most historians emphasize one specific event in the development of today’s modern Labor Day. That pivotal event was the parade of unions and a massive picnic that took place in New York City on Sept. 5, 1882.

At that time, the labor movement was growing stronger. Many of the unions in New York prospered by joining together into one Central Labor Union made up of members from many local unions. On May 14, 1882, a proposal was made at the Central Labor Union meeting that all workers should join together for a “monster labor festival” in early September. A committee of five people was appointed to find a park for the celebration. They chose Wendel’s Elm Park at 92nd Street and 9th Avenue, the largest park in New York City at that time; the date was set for Tuesday, September 5. By June, they had sold 20,000 tickets with the proceeds going to each local union selling them. In August, the Central Labor Union passed a resolution “that the 5th of September be proclaimed a general holiday for the workingmen in this city.”

At first they were afraid that the celebration was going to be a failure. Many of the workers in the parade had to lose a day’s pay in order to participate. When the parade began only a handful of workers were in it, while hundreds of people stood on the sidewalk jeering at them. But then slowly they came – 200 workers and a band from the Jewelers’ Union showed up and joined the parade. Then came a group of bricklayers with another band. By the time they reached the park, it was estimated that there were 10,000 marchers in the parade in support of workers.

The park was decorated with flags of many nations. Everyone picnicked, drank beer and listened to speeches from the union leadership. In the evening, even more people came to the park to watch fireworks and dance. The newspapers of the day declared it a huge success and “a day of the people.”

After that major event in New York City, other localities began to pick up the idea for a fall festival of parades and picnics celebrating workers.

Q: Can you clear up some confusion: who is the father of Labor Day?

A: When studying the history of Labor Day, two names stand out, and the funny thing is that they sound just alike. One is Peter J. McGuire, a leading official in the American Federation of Labor and organizer of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners. The other is Matthew Maguire, a machinist from the Knights of Labor. The problem with declaring a single “founder” of Labor Day is that, at the time, no one realized that a new national holiday was being born. It was only after the fact that people tried to pinpoint a single founding father.

Seven years after that first New York Labor Day parade, the union journal for the United Brotherhood of Carpenters published an article claiming that their union brother, McGuire, made the original proposal to have the Labor Day event in New York and called for one day a year to be set aside as Labor Day. This article was reprinted yearly, and it became the common assumption that these were the facts.

However, in 1967, a retired machinist from Maguire’s union stepped up and claimed that his union brother was, in fact, the true originator of the movement for a national Labor Day. He pointed to an old newspaper article written nine years after the New York Labor Day parade titled “Labor Day: Its History and Development in the Land.” This article claimed that the first Secretary of the Central Labor Union, Maguire, was the one who arranged the parade. This claim was supported six years later when the grand marshal of the New York parade of 1882 himself reminisced about how Maguire from the Knights of Labor had first suggested that the Central Labor Union call upon the unions of New York City to join together in a labor parade.

So the historical conundrum seems to hinge on the fact that the two names sound alike and were probably mixed up in the common consciousness. Toss in the years of bitter rivalry between the American Federation of Labor and the Knights of Labor and, of course, you’re going to have multiple heroes emerging in the legend of Labor Day.

I don’t really know if there is only one true parent of Labor Day. But when former Secretary of Labor W. Willard Wirtz spoke at the convention of the International Association of Machinists in 1968, he said: “My decision…is that there is no question as to who is the father of Labor Day in this country. Officially, as of this moment, insofar as the Department of Labor is concerned, it is Matt Maguire, machinist!” So in the question of McGuire versus Maguire, I don’t really know. But my money backs Bill Wirtz every time!

Q: When did it become a national holiday and why?

A: Labor Day as a national, legal holiday had an interesting evolution. The legalized celebration of Labor Day began as individual state celebrations. In 1887, New York, New Jersey and Colorado were among the first states to approve state legal holidays. Then other states joined in to create their own state Labor Days. Finally, in response to a groundswell of support for a national holiday celebrating the nation’s workers, Sen. James Henderson Kyle of South Dakota introduced S. 730 to the 53rd Congress to make Labor Day a legal holiday on the first Monday of September each year. It was approved on June 28, 1894.

New SunX Wet Lab Opens at Eastern Shore Innovation Center

The Eastern Shore Innovation Center (ESIC) at the Dorchester Regional Technology Park has added a 1,100-square foot commercial wet laboratory.  It is the first facility of its kind on the Delmarva Peninsula available for co-op use by businesses and researchers.

The new lab is operated by SunX Analytical, an Innovation Center licensee, that together with a $77,500 grant from the Rural Maryland Council and $125,000 of its own funds,built out the facility.

SunX is seeking to engage businesses in the region needing lab space, including those in the agriceutical, environmental and food industries.

Common uses for wet labs include chemical analysis of well water and residential lead contamination; agriceutical product development; chemical/biological quality assurance and life science research and product development

SunX is one of the original start-up businesses leasing space at the ESIC. The company is working on new product technology to extract oil from agricultural hemp.

“We conducted a thorough search and were unable to find any commercial or higher education-based wet labs on the Eastern Shore for our own product development research,” said Barry Pritchard, an analytical chemist and managing member of SunX.  “The Innovation Center has given us unparalleled support, so we proposed the idea of developing shared lab space that our company and others could use for testing and research at no cost to Dorchester County.”

Jeff Trice, Dorchester County Economic Development Director, said the new addition supports the mission of the Innovation Center to build a vibrant economic base for the region.

“The wet lab fosters a spirit of innovation among our tenants and improves their technical capabilities so new ideas can be developed and commercialized locally,” he said. “Through tours and demonstrations, it also creates opportunities to expose our middle and high school students to STEM-related research.”

Rob Figliozzi

Rob Figliozzi, a Salisbury PhD student at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, is SunX’s first co-op tenant at the lab. Figliozzi is developing a concept for a new medical research tool that will increase lab productivity and contribute to quicker discoveries of life saving techniques and products.

Pritchard said SunX is interested in consulting with local businesses to help them commercialize new ideas and technology.The company is also working on a STEM-focused workforce development initiative that, with the input of local industry partners, would provide career training and certifications.

“So much of today’s research focus is Internet based, but facilities like this dedicated to the hard sciences remain vital to many businesses looking to advance new ideas,” he said.

The lab is fully equipped and includes a fume hood, water purification system, spectrophotometer, glassware, furniture and chemical resistant counter tops.  The facility is also readied for specialty gases and a bio hood may be added in the future.

Fixed monthly co-op fees to use the lab will be determined for each tenant based on needs, according to Pritchard. The space can also be used at an hourly rate.

Businesses and researchers looking to access the lab must first become a co-working member at the Innovation Center.  Memberships range from $150 a month for full-time businesses to $12.50 a month for student researchers and a one-time setup fee of $25.

“We offer a fully supportive environment to accelerate business growth and help entrepreneurs develop the next generation of technologies,” said Steve Dolbow, Innovation Center manager. “In addition to providing individual office space, our shared services at the Innovation Center include conference rooms, a lunch/snack room,fiber access with free high speed WIFI, web casting and conferencing, secure 24 x 7 access with video and badge security, copier/scanner and white boards.”

Every business in the ESIC is provided an experienced business mentor who has been certified by SCORE, a Small Business Administration organization, according to Dolbow.  In addition, through a partnership with hotDesks, members have access to office facilities throughout the mid-Atlantic region.

Joseph T. Dashiell Builders, Inc. joined in the efforts to support business development at the ESIC by providing construction services for the wet lab “at cost.”

The ESIC opened in February 2016 with $1.2 million in funding from the Maryland Department of Commerce and $1 million from the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO).

Bayleigh Chase Promotes Fountain to Director of Marketing & Community Partnerships

Integrace Bayleigh Chase, a forward-thinking life plan community based in Easton, announced that Amy Fountain has been promoted to Director of Marketing and Community Partnerships. In this position, she will be responsible for introducing prospective families to the amenities, services and lifestyle that make Bayleigh Chase a leading retirement destination in Maryland, as well as identifying and developing strategic partnerships to continue to grow and strengthen Bayleigh Chase’s ties in the local community.

Fountain is a licensed social worker, and has worked for Bayleigh Chase since 2011, helping to guide residents and their families on their journeys through the community’s levels of supportive living. Prior to joining Bayleigh Chase, she served as a social worker at both Medical Management and Rehabilitation Services and the Caroline County Health Department. She holds a degree in social work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Born and raised in Centreville in Queen Anne’s County, Fountain is a life-long resident of Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

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, memory support, outpatient and short-term rehabilitation, skilled nursing and diagnostic and treatment support through the Samuel and Alexia Bratton Memory 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 retirement communities throughout 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 dementia care, with the Sykesville-based Copper Ridge community and Integrace Institute, as well as two memory clinics in Easton and Sykesville, serving as catalysts to a profound shift in how we perceive, and relate to, those living with dementia. 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.

Easton and Its Business Alliance Receives 2017 Main Street Accreditation

The Easton Business Alliance and the Town of Easton have been designated as an accredited Main Street America program for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its Coordinating Program partners announce the list of accredited Main Street America programs in recognition of their exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach.

“It is a great honor to recognize this year’s nationally Accredited Main Street America programs for their outstanding work to transform downtown and neighborhood commercial districts,” says Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center. “Main Streets are the heart of our communities, and the work they do to create quality public spaces, catalyze local entrepreneurship, and support downtown housing is more important than ever. Across the county, Main Street America programs truly strengthen the economic, social, and cultural fabric of their entire communities.”

The Easton Business Alliance’s performance is annually evaluated by Main Street Maryland which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet ten performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings.

“The Easton Business Alliance and the Town of Easton are ecstatic to reach this milestone of National Main Street accreditation,” Easton Business Alliance manager Ross Benincasa said. “Not only does it solidify the Town’s long-term commitment to invest in our vibrant downtown, but it also entrusts us to follow the best practices and standards laid out to overcome the difficulties facing all small businesses, including those in Easton.”

Shore Leadership Class Meets in Caroline County

Shore Leadership held their June session at the Chesapeake Culinary Center in Caroline County on Wednesday, June 21st . The 2017 Shore Leadership class began their morning learning about Transformational Leadership with the guidance of Leadership Facilitator, Dr. Joe Thomas. The class studied the differences between transactional, laissez faire’ and transformational leadership and reviewed the application of each leadership style through various case studies.

In the afternoon, regional topics covered included Health Care and the Heroin Epidemic. Susan Johnson, RN, BSN, MPH, the Vice President of Quality and Population Health at Choptank Community Health emphasized the need for sustainable, affordable rural health care especially in areas that are not geographically located near a hospital or emergency center. Patti Willis, Senior Vice President for Strategy and Communications for University of Maryland Shore Regional Health then reviewed the transition of the Mid-Shore’s hospital and health system from the Memorial Hospital of Easton to University of Maryland Shore Regional Health and the value of the transition to the communities on the Mid-Shore.

Caroline County Sheriff, Randy Bounds, and Caroline County Warden, Ruth Colbourne, later introduced members of the Local Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council who meet monthly with representatives from multiple agencies, including education and social services, to help address the heroin epidemic in Caroline County. Each county in Maryland has a similar committee as part of Governor Larry Hogan’s fight against heroin and opioid addiction. The class watched a video entitled, “Hope after Heroin” and then heard from a recovering heroin addict who is now a member of the Local Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council. The presentations were met with lots of questions from the Shore Leadership class with a reoccurring concern to determine, “How can we help?”

This is the first time that Shore Leadership has covered heroin and opioid addiction concerns as part of their 10-month program. Several of the 2017 class members recommended duplicating this session next year for the class of 2018.

Easton Utilities enters Phase III of Sustainability Campus

To continue moving toward resource conservation and protecting the environment, Easton Utilities is pleased to announce the third phase of the Easton Sustainability Campus with the installment of a two megawatt photo voltaic solar array. The solar component of the overall project is being partially funded by a $3 million grant from the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). “The investment by MDE will enable Easton Utilities to create a unique facility highlighting Easton and Maryland as leading innovators in sustainability and the use of renewable energy,” said Hugh E. Grunden, President and CEO of Easton Utilities. “It is a perfect example of state and local governments working together to protect our environment and serve our community.”

The addition of a solar array to the current renewable energy sources located at the Enhanced Nutrient Removal Wastewater Treatment Facility brings significant benefits to Easton Utilities customers, as well as the Easton community. Utilizing alternative forms of energy helps offset costs allowing Easton Utilities to generate locally instead of purchasing energy off the grid. “With new standards for Maryland energy companies, we are required to provide a significant percentage of our overall portfolio from renewable energy sources annually,” said John J. Horner, VP of Operations for Easton Utilities.

The solar array portion of the project allows everyone to benefit from shared renewable energy and alleviates a national issue on a local level. Regardless of housing situation, location and whether one is a homeowner or renter, anyone can participate without any incurred costs. “The Sustainability Campus is a significant step to demonstrate Easton Utilities commitment to environmental stewardship in our community benefiting all citizens,” stated Grunden.

Prior to the solar array installment, Easton Utilities recently completed the installation of a generator to convert methane gas from the Mid-Shore Regional Landfill to electricity. It is notable, by capturing methane gas and converting it a fuel source, Easton Utilities is removing this greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere. Methane gas is estimated to have a global warming impact 25 times greater than CO2.

Co-located at the ENR Wastewater Treatment Facility, these projects create a system of multiple, diverse, renewable energy sources within our own community. And there is more on the horizon – Easton Utilities is currently collecting wind data to determine the feasibility of adding a wind turbine to the Campus. The possibility of incorporating battery storage is also being considered.

Easton Utilities is a community-owned, not-for-profit utility and telecommunications company operating the Electric, Natural Gas, Water, Wastewater, Cable Television, and Internet services for the Town of Easton and portions of the surrounding area. Please visit www.eastonutilities.com or call 410-822-6110 to learn more.