Mid-Shore Pro Bono Receives $10,000 Grant to Support Debtor Assistance Programs

Mid-Shore Pro Bono is pleased to announce the award of a $10,000 grant from the American College of Bankruptcy Foundation to support their Debtor Assistance Project (DAP).  Since 2010, the DAP has provided free legal advice to more than 700 individuals and families facing bankruptcy or other consumer debt issues on the Eastern Shore.

This grant will fund Mid-Shore Pro-Bono’s monthly DAP clinics providing debtors with opportunities to meet with specially trained volunteer attorneys for cost-free half-hour consultations. Clinics are hosted in Easton and Centreville with plans to expand to other counties in 2018. Mid-Shore Pro Bono sustains this program independently with the support of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court who established this program.

In addition, the grant will support outreach efforts to reach potential clients facing consumer debt.

“The continued support of the American College of Bankruptcy will allow us to reach individuals and families struggling with consumer debt,” said Sandy Brown, Mid-Shore Pro Bono Executive Director. “The earlier we can reach clients and begin working with them, the easier it is to keep them in their homes and avoid bankruptcy. Many clients don’t know their rights and are reluctant to confront these issues, but we can help.”

Monthly DAP clinics are held in the Mid-Shore Pro Bono offices in Centreville at 108 Broadway and Easton at 8 South West Street. For more information about the DAP program, please call the office at 410-690-8128.

About Mid-Shore Pro Bono
Mid-Shore Pro Bono Mid-Shore Pro Bono connects low-income individuals and families who need civil legal services with volunteer attorneys and community resources. The organization serves citizens of Kent, Queen Anne’s, Caroline, Talbot and Dorchester counties. For more information or to make a donation, call Mid-Shore Pro Bono at 410-690-8128 or visit www.midshoreprobono.org.

Shore United Bank Welcomes Heather L. Bacher, Market Manager

Shore United Bank, a member of Shore Bancshares community of companies, is pleased to announce that Heather Bacher has joined the company as a Market Manager of our Queen Anne’s and Kent County branches.

Heather will be responsible for promoting and growing business while leading her team of commercial bankers and working with the branches within the northern region. Her office will be located at our Commerce Street branch in Centreville, Maryland.

Ms. Bacher is a graduate of Salisbury University earning a bachelor’s degree in communications.

Prior to joining Shore United Bank, Ms. Bacher spent the past twenty years working in both retail and commercial banking.

“We are very excited that Heather has joined our team. Her experience in banking will help us deliver products and services to the communities we serve”, says Michael Cavey, Senior Lending Officer of Shore United Bank.

“I am looking forward to serving our customers and being able to work in the same community where I live. Ensuring the success of our branches through a team of professionals will assist us in growing our local economy while meeting our customers financial needs,” says Ms. Bacher.

Heather is the Treasurer of United Way of Queen Anne’s County, a Board Member of Chesapeake College Foundation Board, a Board Member of the Chesapeake Women’s Network QAC and a Committee Member of the Bosom Buddies Ball.

Ms. Bacher resides in Stevensville, Maryland with her son, Ryan.

Easton Utilities Branches Out

In keeping with a tradition started in 2008, the employees at Easton Utilities participated in the annual tree planting initiative known as “Branching Out”. This year, the team planted 24 trees along Bay Street using a variety of cherry, crepe myrtle and pin oak trees.

The “Branching Out” program is part of Easton Utilities commitment to environmental stewardship. “Planting trees in our community is an effective way to add natural beauty, prevent pollution and directly benefit our environment,” said Hugh E. Grunden, President and CEO of Easton Utilities. Following the initial planting of trees, Easton Utilities maintains them until they take root and can thrive.

Trees offer a variety of benefits in addition to their beauty. Trees are natural air filters by consuming carbon dioxide and provide shade in the summer reducing the need to use air conditioning. Tree roots help to anchor soil in place and prevent erosion. Soil erosion into storm drains contributes to sedimentation in rivers, creeks and the Chesapeake Bay that clouds waters and kills aquatic plant and animal life. Easton Utilities is a member of the Maryland Green Registry, which recognizes sustainable practices aimed at solid waste reduction, recycling, energy efficiency, and renewable energy utilization.

Learn more about Easton Utilities at www.eastonutilities.com.

Freestate and Son Insurance Welcomes Vicki Wood Dean, Account Executive

Freestate and Son Insurance, a division of Avon-Dixon Insurance Agency and a member of Shore Bancshares community of companies, is excited to welcome Vicki Wood Dean to their insurance team as an Account Executive. Mrs. Dean started her new career with Freestate and Son Insurance on October 9, 2017.

Prior to joining Freestate and Son, Mrs. Dean worked with Shore United Bank for over ten years. She has served her community in multiple positions within the bank as a teller, customer service representative, assistant branch manager and manager of the Commerce Street, Centreville, Maryland branch.

Mrs. Dean earned an Associate’s Degree from Chesapeake College and a Bachelor’s Degree from Salisbury University. She is continuing to further her education by currently attending the Maryland Banking School and the Hartford School of Insurance.

Vicki Wood Dean serves on the board for the Centreville Rotary Club and the United Way of Queen Anne’s County. She also serves on the Queen Anne’s County 4-H Fair committee and the Claws for a Cause committee to raise funds for the University of Maryland Medical Center in Queenstown, Maryland.

“I am very excited about this new opportunity. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job has been the relationships I have built within our community. I look forward to expanding those and creating new ones as I take on a new role, serving their insurance needs with Avon Dixon”, said, Mrs. Dean.

“Vicki is a great addition to our team and we are thrilled to have her. Her knowledge of the community and its people will be a tremendous asset to the insurance division,” said Rich Trippe, President & CEO of Avon-Dixon Insurance Agency.

Mrs. Dean resides in Queen Anne with her husband, Brad and their two children, Victor and Barley.

For more information about Freestate and Son Insurance visit www.avondixon.com.

Wye Financial & Trust Manager Earns Advanced Trust Certificate

Wye Financial & Trust, a division of Shore United Bank and a member of Shore Bancshares community of companies, is proud to recognize Talli Oxnam on her recent achievement through the American Bankers Association. This September, Ms. Oxnam completed her third year of course work in Atlanta and received an Advanced Trust Certification. ABA Trust Certificates show a recognizable level of achievement and knowledge in trust and wealth management.

For more information about Wye Financial & Trust visit www.wyefinancialandtrust.com.

Shore United Bank Celebrated Opening of New Loan Production Office

Ribbon cutting ceremony for the Shore United Bank Loan Production Office in Ocean City, MD.

Shore United Bank, a member of Shore Bancshares community of companies, celebrated the opening of their new Loan Production Office in Ocean City, Maryland, with the assistance of the Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce during their ribbon cutting ceremony on September 7, 2017. They are now open to serve the Ocean City business community and its surrounding area.

“We are excited to expand our presence and lending capabilities to the lower Delmarva Peninsula market”, said W. Thomas Mears, Market Executive of Shore United Bank. “We are pleased to offer small business lending and deposit solutions for the Ocean City business community. We have an experienced and professional staff to help our clients achieve their personal and business financial goals”.

For more information about Shore United Bank visit www.shoreunitedbank.com

Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore Announces its 2018 Talbot Board of Directors

Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore (JAES) is pleased to announce its 2018 Talbot County Board of Directors. This panel of dedicated, local professionals are committed to carrying on Junior Achievements’ mission of providing financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and work readiness education to Talbot County students.

The JA of Talbot County board of directors is chaired by Laura Heikes of Shore United Bank, and includes:

Teri Overington, CBIZ; Dr. Kelly Griffith, Talbot County Public Schools; Talli Oxnam, Wye Financial & Trust; The Honorable Megan Cook, Easton Town Council; Pamela Clay, Talbot County Public Schools; Sandra Hale, Merrill Lynch; Renee Stephens, Delmarva Power; Gregory Frankos, Pioneer Financial Services; Ron McDonald, Community Leader; George Koste, Maryland Capital Enterprises; Devon Hainey, SunTrust Bank; Len Foxwell; Comptroller of Maryland; Jim Malena, Morgan Stanley.

Photo: (L-R) The Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore 2018 Board of Directors: Jayme Hayes, President; Teri Overington, CBIZ; Dr. Kelly Griffith, Talbot County Public Schools; Laura Heikes, Shore United Bank; Talli Oxnam, Wye Financial & Trust; The Honorable Megan Cook, Easton Town Council; Pamela Clay, Talbot County Public Schools; Sandra Hale, Merrill Lynch; Renee Stephens, Delmarva Power; Gregory Frankos, Pioneer Financial Services. (Not pictured- George Koste, Maryland Capital Enterprises; Devon Hainey, SunTrust Bank; Ron McDonald, Community Leader; Len Foxwell; Comptroller of Maryland; Jim Malena, Morgan Stanley).

Junior Achievement (JA), is a national organization dedicated to educating students about managing money, the world of work, and what it means to build a business. JA has been active in Talbot County since 2011 and has been growing steadily. In the 2017 fiscal year the organization reached 762 students. For the 2018 school year, the Talbot board—along with Salisbury-based Junior Achievement president, Jayme Hayes, and her staff—have planned to provide JA programming to all 3rd, 4th, and 8th grade classrooms in Talbot County, as well as expanding the program, JA Finance Park® through Talbot County junior high school classrooms. The JA Finance Park program is composed of thirteen required, teacher-taught, in-class lessons. It culminates in a hands-on, virtual simulation in which students immerse themselves in a reality-based decision-making process that addresses aspects of individual and family budgeting—including housing, transportation, food, utilities, health care, investments, philanthropy, and banking. The computer-simulated activities, which are housed in virtual “storefronts” sponsored by local businesses, are designed to allow students the opportunity to utilize the skills they have learned throughout their JA lessons and to understand the basic steps of maintaining a realistic personal budget.

“We are very excited to have such a strong board to continue the success and growth of Junior Achievement in Talbot County,” says Heikes. “The passion each of our members have for the JA mission makes them invaluable ambassadors in the community, as well as dedicated volunteers in the classroom.”

In addition to providing oversight and support to JA’s programming in Talbot County, the Talbot Board also plans and participates in networking and fundraising events on behalf of the organization, including the FAs for JA luncheon and the Financial Literacy Summit.

Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that provides financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship education to K-12 students throughout public and private school classrooms in six counties across Maryland’s Eastern Shore. With the help of respected local volunteers, Junior Achievement delivers to young people in all communities the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. Through its hands-on, age-appropriate programs Junior Achievement inspires our youth to live within their means, prepare for the world of work, and understand the free enterprise system. In its 2017 fiscal year, Junior Achievement reached over 7,000 students across the Shore. To learn more about Junior Achievement, or to volunteer or donate, log on to www.easternshoreja.org, or email information@easternshoreja.org.

Hanna, Walpole Hired at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

Joe-Ann Hanna and Karen Walpole, both of Easton, have recently joined the staff of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md.

Hanna has been hired as a Staff Accountant and Guest Services System Manager, making her responsible for financials needs across CBMM’s departments and primary oversight of the Guest Services System (GSS) used for admissions, store inventory management and sales, group tour processing, advance ticket sales, education and marina reservation system linkages, store gift cards, and linkage to online store processing.

From Utica, Mich., Hanna moved to the Eastern Shore in 2001. She has attended both Howard Community College, with a focus in applications programming, and Chesapeake College, with a focus in accounting.

Joe-Ann Hanna (left) and Karen Walpole.

Hanna brings with her vast work experience. Her first job after moving to Maryland was with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington D.C., and her most recent position before coming to CBMM was as the office manager for Rathell Farm Equipment.

She has also volunteered extensively at local soup kitchens and with her church, both serving as its bookkeeper and participating in a mission trip.

Walpole is joining the CBMM team as the Administrative Assistant for the Charity Boat Donation Program. CBMM’s Charity Boat Donation Program accepts and sells all manner of craft year-round to support the non-profit’s education, curatorial, and boatbuilding programs.

“Working around boats and the water is a dream come true,” Walpole said of joining CBMM.

Walpole has previously worked at The Star Democrat, sold promotional products, owned her own marketing company, and been a marketing administrator at a yacht brokerage. Originally from Baldwin, N.Y., she earned a Bachelor of Science in journalism, with a concentration in advertising, from the University of Maryland.

After falling in love with the region during college, she decided to stay in Maryland, and has volunteered with Phillips Wharf Environmental Center, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Easton, Benedictine School, Integrace Bayleigh Chase and at CBMM, singing carols at the annual Christmas event.

Carolyn D. Spicher Celebrates 25 Years with Shore United Bank

Shore United Bank is proud to recognize Carolyn Spicher for 25 years of dedicated service.  Ms. Spicher joined Shore United Bank, a member of Shore Bancshares community of companies, in 1992 and currently serves as Commercial Banking Officer for Caroline County. “We appreciate and celebrate her 25 years of experience, professionalism and contribution to the company and our community” says Pat Bilbrough, President and CEO.

Before coming to Shore United Bank (formerly CNB), Carolyn gained 28 years of banking experience with the former Denton National Bank and with First National Bank of Maryland.  Ms. Spicher continued her education at Chesapeake College where she took several accounting and finance classes to complete the Robert Morris Associates Credit Course Program. 

Ms. Spicher has served on many boards over the years such as Shore Gourmet, the Town of Denton Loan Committee, and the Caroline County Historical Society, Inc.  Ms. Spicher is an active member of Mid Shore Regional Council, Caroline County Farm Bureau and Caroline County Chamber of Commerce. She is also a past chairman for the Caroline County Farm Bureau Women Leadership. Carolyn also supports multiple fundraising events for local charities.

Ms. Spicher resides on a farm near Denton, Maryland with her husband, Wayne.

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).