Shore Leadership Visits the NASA Wallops Flight Facility

The 2018 Shore Leadership Class toured the NASA Wallops Flight Facility as part of their two-day leadership training in October.  Mr. Keith Koehler, News Chief for the Office of Communications at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, led the class on a “behind the gates tour” of the facility.  During the visit the class visited the control room and launch pad to understand the many facets of the NASA facility.

Later that afternoon, the class visited the NASA Wallops Education Center where Dr. Joyce Winterton, Senior Advisor for Education and Leadership Development, and Linda Sherman, Educational Directorate, shared information about the educational programs and student internships available through NASA.  Dr. Winterton then took the group through a Decision-Making Exercise to simulate NASA launches allowing them to make decisions about each mission.

Immediately following the tour, Dr. Memo Diriker, Executive Director and founder of BEACON (Business Economic and Community Outreach Network at Salisbury University), Dan McDermott, Executive Director of the Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board, and Mike Pennington, Executive Director of the Tri-County Council for the Lower Shore of Maryland, discussed the current and future workforce development and training needs for the Eastern Shore.  Concerns were raised about the expanded use of robotics and the need for services to assist the aging population. The discussion was a great overview of the issues impacting the Shore and more importantly the need for regional collaboration and communication.

Day-two of the program session focused on Leadership Development led by Facilitator, Carol Graser where the class created and then discussed their Personal Mission Statements.

The final Shore Leadership Session will be held in Kent County on November 15th where the program session will focus on Manufacturing.

For more information on Shore Leadership or to apply to join the 2018 Shore Leadership Class, go to www.shoreleadership.or or email  The 2018 Shore Leadership Class begins with a two- day retreat on April 25-26, a $200 discount will be applied to applicants who apply by November 15, 2017.  Tuition assistance is also available upon request and approval.

Ekedahl Joins CBMM Board

Duane H. Ekedahl recently joined the Board of Governors of the Chesapeake Maritime Museumin St. Michaels, Md.

Ekedahl began his career with marketing positions at Shell Chemical Corp. and FMC Corp. Retiring in 2015, he worked for many years with Smith Bucklin & Associates, the nation’s leading association management company. With Smith Bucklin, he was executive director of the Pet Food Institute, and president of the Regional Airline Association. For 15 years, Ekedahl was vice chair and head of Smith Bucklin’s Washington office, and later served as chair of the firm for three years.

​Ekedahl’s community ​service includes nine years as chair of the board for the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind​, as a member of the steering committee for the George Washington University School of Business & Public Policy, and as a member of the Library Board of American University​. He served in the United States Air Force​ for two​years​, and holds a MBA​ from Harvard University​, and a Bachelor of Science in chemistry​ from​ Rutgers University​.

He and his wife, Sharon, have homes in both Washington, D.C., and Bozman. Sharon Ekedahl previously worked as an executive for an international staffing company, and will serve on CBMM’s 2018 Boating Party Committee.

Established in 1965, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a world-class maritime museum dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment and people of the entire Chesapeake Bay, with the values of relevancy, authenticity, and stewardship guiding its mission. Serving nearly 80,000 guests each year, CBMM’s campus includes a floating fleet of historic boats and 12 exhibition buildings, situated along the Miles River and St. Michaels’ harbor. For more information, visit

Mid-Shore Pro Bono Executive Director to Receive William L. Marbury Outstanding Advocate Award

Mid-Shore Pro Bono Executive, Director, Sandy Brown, is a 2017 recipient of the William L. Marbury Outstanding Advocate Award from the Maryland Legal Services Corporation. The annual award is presented to a “non-attorney who has demonstrated outstanding service representing the civil legal needs of low-income Marylanders or by expanding access to justice.”

“I am honored and deeply touched to have been selected for this award,” Brown said. “It is a reflection of the progress our staff, volunteer attorney network and community partners are making to improve access to justice for the most vulnerable populations of the Eastern Shore. Mid-Shore Pro Bono is often overlooked simply because we aren’t in the mainstream. I feel the most important part of my job is to be an advocate for residents of this great community.”

Brown has served as the Executive Director of Mid-Shore Pro-Bono since 2008, and has grown the organization and its impact during her tenure. Under her leadership, Mid-Shore Pro Bono was awarded Non-Profit of the Year in 2014 by the Talbot County Chamber Commerce, and in 2015 received the same recognition by the Caroline County Chamber of Commerce. In 2012, she was selected to participate in the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Fellows Program. Brown has been nationally recognized by the American Bar Association and serves as a trainer to assist new Legal Services Pro Bono Program Managers for Rural Areas.

Brown will receive the award on Monday, December 4th at the Lord Baltimore Hotel in Baltimore, Md. For more information about the award and the Maryland Legal Services Corporation, visit 

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 across 2,000 square miles in 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

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 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

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.”

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

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

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

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 or contact

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