Commerce: Rise Partners Purchase Easton Marketplace

Rise Partners, an investment group focused on shopping center acquisitions, redevelopments and ground-up development, today announced its purchase of Easton Marketplace, a 126,650 square foot shopping center located in Easton, Maryland. This is Rise Partners second acquisition and is a solid fit to its strategy of buying premium location redevelopment opportunities.

“Easton Marketplace provided us with an excellent chance to enter a market with high barriers to entry, that has the added benefit of serving a large second home market, with additional drive-through traffic from the Washington D.C. metro en route to the Atlantic beaches,” said Greg Wilson, a Rise partner. “We are excited about working with retailers and the city of Easton to take this center to the next level.”

A redevelopment beginning this fall will subdivide a now-vacant 33,000 square foot former JCPenney building to create two new tenant spaces, which will be occupied by well-known national retailers. The project will complement the existing tenants, which include Weis Markets and shadow anchors Lowes and Kohls.

“Easton is such a beautiful and historic community with easy access to Washington DC and Baltimore. We are all excited to spend time there working to enhance Easton Marketplaces’ longstanding position within the market,” said Rise partner Geoff Smith. “

Andy Stape and Vito Lupo, of KLNB Retail Investment Sales Group, represented the seller.

The Power of Being Agile: Qlarant Embraces the Agile Manifesto

There’s a good chance that most people, even those running major businesses on the Mid-Shore, have never heard of the Agile Manifesto nor its twelve principles of project management but there is an equally good chance they will soon.

This project planning strategy, which was created in 1983 by software developers in a remote ski lodge over a long weekend, has been the go-to system for complex product development but rarely used beyond its intended silo. In most cases, upper management was pleased to get their products to market but didn’t pay too much attention to what system was used to create those products.

But in the last decade, all of that has changed dramatically. Hundreds of companies have now adopted this unique methodology and applied it to other functions like marketing, business administration, human resources, employee education, and countless other areas of a business.

The Agile approach has become so effective that companies are not only using it but in some cases will not even be able to bid on projects unless they are officially certified as an Agile-based business.

Easton-based Qlarant had been one of those companies who adopted the Agile principles early on in the development of their sophisticated software to uncover health insurance fraud and waste. So impressed with those results, management took the Agile model and has now used it in almost every part of the company’s mission. But more recently, the company took it to another level; they applied for and received approval to train and implement these techniques with their clients.

The reason is quite simple; the Agile method works exceptionally well. While a few large corporations have had some trouble in developing the cultural shift needed to successfully deploy the twelve principles, the vast majority of companies using Agile have shown remarkable success.

In fact, the enthusiasm for this simple approach has been so great that advocates demand that nonprofit organizations and schools to integrate its use while others have promoted its use to manage their family life

Needless to say, the Spy was intrigued by this new development and what it may mean for Qlarant  to be one of the first in the country to offer this as an important part of their tool chest. We sat down with Qlarant’s Ellen Evans and Andrew Welsh a few weeks ago to learn more. 

This video is approximately five minutes in length. For more information about Qlarant please go here.

Bartlett, Griffin & Vermilye Joins Fleetwood Insurance

Pictured from left to right: Scott Bramble, Bill Griffin, Josh Johnson and Creg Fleetwood

Bartlett, Griffin & Vermilye, one of Talbot County’s oldest and best-established insurance agencies, has joined forces with Fleetwood Insurance Group, another prominent Eastern Shore agency based in Chestertown.

Effective January 2, 2019, the two Mid-Shore insurance agencies are uniting their resources to offer expanded services along with added convenience. According to Creg Fleetwood, president of Fleetwood Insurance Group, customers of both agencies will benefit from this in several important ways.

“This partnership of equals will allow us to offer our customers expanded services from more insurance carriers, along with accessibility to industry leaders,” Fleetwood states. “We’re also planning to introduce improved technology, including mobile apps and online account access.”

By acquiring BG&V, Fleetwood Insurance gains a desired presence in the Talbot market. Established in 1967, over the past half-century Bartlett Griffin & Vermilye has built a strong reputation for outstanding customer service and support. Fleetwood Insurance Group (formerly known as FAM&M), has a heritage of providing insurance services to the Eastern Shore region since 1946, going back more than 70 years. According to Fleetwood, those well-established relationships will continue, with services being provided by the same friendly and professional team members at both entities many of whom have 25 years or more of insurance industry experience in supporting their local customers.

Bill Griffin of Bartlett, Griffin & Vermilye commented, “Bartlett, Griffin & Vermilye will continue to provide the level of service our clients are accustomed to and remain locally owned and operated”.

In addition, as part of the new partnership, Spencer McAllister, Fleetwood’s agent in Easton, will join the staff at the Bartlett, Griffin & Vermilye office.

For more information about the new partnership and the expanded services being offered by Bartlett, Griffin & Vermilye, please call 410-822-2400.

Hopkins Original Art opens Vinyl Record and CD store in St Michaels

Hopkins Original Art combines music and art in St Michaels by opening a record store of 3000+ vinyl records and CDs as a welcomed addition to their art gallery.It is a handpicked collection ranging in genres of rock, alternative, new wave, jazz and more.

Visitors enjoy the listening station with headphones and also turntables with speakers to listen and add to the experience. Singing and dancing is a regular
occurance.

This opportunity will be available while the supply lasts. No additions will be added to the collection. The hours are Thursday thru Sunday 10am to 5pm all
year. 310 S. Talbot 410-610-5785

Another Kind of Financial Crisis: Junior Achievement Combats Shore Student Financial Illiteracy

Little did Junior Achievement know when it started nearly one hundred years ago that the financial education organization would be as timely in 2018 as it was when founded in 1919. J.A., as it’s known to millions of students and volunteers, continues a tradition of engaging young people in the fundamental basics of work readiness, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship at a time when those skill sets are in extremely high demand.

It should be a relief to many on the Mid-Shore that the J.A. has played an educational leadership role in the school districts of Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot County for decades now, as close to 450 volunteers descend on Eastern Shore public schools each year to teach its students such essential life skills as opening a bank account, balancing a checkbook, applying for loans, the dangers of credit card debt,  the importance of savings, or understanding what stocks and bonds are.

With the internet and smartphones now allowing a new generation to simply push a button or scan a thumbprint to almost instantaneously bring anything to one’s door, children of all ages are faced with unprecedented consumer choices, dishonest lenders, and scam artists as they plot their way into adulthood.

Given this under the radar crisis, the Spy sat down with Jayme Hayes, Jim Malena, and Talli Oxnam, three local leaders of Junior Achievement, to catch up on these very real challenges facing the youth in our community and what J.A. is doing locally to address them.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information on Junior Achievement on the Eastern Shore please go here.

Mid-Shore Careers: Mental Health Careers Found at Channel Marker

While the demand on the Mid-Shore to fill skilled job openings has never been higher, especially in such fields as cyber-security, healthcare, or a range of traditional trades from welding to culinary management, it was interesting for the Spy to note that there are still career openings for what is known as generalists. These well-educated, “jacks of all trades, masters of none” young people have demonstrated their ability to achieve in their coursework in education, but sometimes not with a clear vocation in mind when it’s completed.

But one option open to many that fall into this category is in the growing field of mental health, and that is indeed the case with Channel Marker, Inc. which serves the Mid-Shore region helping those suffering from a variety of these conditions.

The Spy sat down with two of Channel Marker’s staff who have found themselves in a profession they have not only grown to love but offers significant opportunities for career advancement. Heather Chance, a residential coordinator with the organization, and Kelly Holden, its HR and training director, to talk about their rewarding careers helping those with these afflictions navigate back into being productive citizens in the community, their professional growth, and the opportunities that await other to follow in their footsteps.

This video is approximately five minutes in length. For more information about Channel Marker and review the list of job openings go here

.

Mid-Shore Commerce: Engineer and Developer Bob Rauch on Almost Everything

It is pretty rare for a Spy interview to stray too far from a specific topic but that was virtually impossible when we talked to Bob Rauch the other day.

While our intention was to have a short chat about Bob’s engineering firm at their new office on Harrison Street, it didn’t stop there. In fact, it covered an almost endless range of subjects, including his roots in Talbot County, a passion for sound and creative design, his investment in developing long-term careers for young professionals on the Mid-Shore, the challenges and benefits of working in a rural environment with a family business, his ties to the Easton Club, his plans for housing in Trappe, a “tiny house development” in Federalsburg,  revolutionary chicken waste management projects in Princess Anne’s, and, oh yes, the likelihood of working on two new projects with Tesla in Nevada.

In short, it was impossible for the Spy to edit this conversation to any significant degree since almost everything Bob said, and how he said it, was too rich and enjoyable to cut.  Instead, we offer this extended interview which gives our readers a unique opportunity to hear from one of the Eastern Shore’s great entrepreneurs but also from one of its finest people.

This video is approximately seventeen minutes in length. For more information about RAUCH, Inc. please go here

Inaugural SED Talks: Shore Economic Development Conference

SVN Miller, KRM Development, and Bob Rauch, RAUCH inc. are pleased to announce the inaugural SED Talks – Shore Economic Development conference to be headlined by Secretary Mike Gill, Maryland Department of Commerce, during Maryland Economic Development Week. The event will be held at Chesapeake College Todd Performing Arts Center on Friday, October 26th. Continental Breakfast will begin at 8:30 a.m. with the program to follow at 9-11:30 a.m.

SED Talks will focus on economic development on the Eastern Shore and will feature interesting, dynamic speakers offering insights, trends, success stories and business strategies in “TED” Talks style format. Speakers and topics include: Secretary Mike Gill, Growing Maryland’s Economy; Ken Kozel, President & CEO, UMD Shore Regional Health, New Regional Health Care Facility Impacts; Chad Nagel, Nagel Farm Service, Agricultural Sector Impacts; Brett Summers, NOVO Development Corporation, Cambridge Success Stories; Sam Shog, Talbot County Economic Development, The Millennial Influence; Robert Caret, Chancellor, University System of Maryland, Higher Education Impacts on the Local Economy; and Bob Greenlee, SVN, Miller, The Chesapeake Triangle.

The public is invited and there is no cost for the event. Attendees are encouraged to invite colleagues, clients or others who may be interested. Please RSVP to Liz Connelly at Rauch Engineering, 410-770-9081 or liz@raucheng.com.

Jonathan Clarke Takes Over Higgins Yacht Yard

Just over a year ago, Jonathan Clarke took the helm of one of St. Michaels’ oldest businesses with the purchase of Higgins Yacht Yard; the only working boat yard on St. Michaels Harbor.  With continued support from previous owners, Tad duPont and Bryon Reilly, Clarke has continued to offer boatyard services as well as seasonal and transient slip rentals.

Jonathan Clarke

With an expanded staff, a new computer reservation system and a fresh, exciting outlook, Clarke strives to not only provide top-notch service to existing customers but  to increase his customer base. When you speak with him, you can tell that his first priority is honoring the integrity and reputation of Higgins Yacht Yard. “In any business, reputation is everything.  I try to be fair and upfront with my customers because I want my reputation and the reputation of Higgins to be something I can be proud of” states Clarke. “I understand the amazing opportunity I have before me and I’m in it for the long-haul”.

Clarke’s passion for boats began long before he attended The Landing School and Southampton Solent University earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering – Yacht and Powercraft Design.  His family has been deeply involved in Chesapeake Bay Log Canoe racing since his great grandfather organized the first race in 1927. Since George H. Wilson, Sr. purchased Magic in 1923, a family member has been at the helm, with Clarke taking over when he was just 16. “It wasn’t really a choice. It was expected and I love it.”

As he heads into another winter, he reflects on his first summer season at Higgins with renewed enthusiasm.  “We did most things well, but some things can be improved.” It’s this drive to constantly improve that will bring him success.  He is a hands-on owner that is often mistaken for a dockhand or mechanic. “He’s not one to sit in the office and give orders. He likes to be involved from start to finish with every project from major mechanical overhauls to overnight docking” says an employee.  “He wants to know that his customers are being treated well and that they know he is overseeing the work they have entrusted to him.”

 

Mid-Shore SCORE Offering Business Workshops in Classroom or Online

Mid-Shore SCORE is our local resource for starting a new business, business advice, help with your business plan, business education, and more. These services are provided at no cost and with complete confidentiality by experienced business executives volunteering their time. Mid-Shore SCORE is located in Easton, Maryland and we serve the Mid-Shore (Talbot County, Caroline County, and Dorchester County) and the Lower-Shore (Wicomico County, Somerset County, and Worcester County). Learn about us.

Learn from the experts with SCORE’s small business training workshops. On this page you’ll find instructor-led training offered in a SCORE office. You can also find interactive courses to help you learn new business strategies.

Get Your Small Business Found Online
Tuesday, October 16, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM EDT
*
Starting and Managing Your Small Business
Monday, October 22, 2018 from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM EDT
*
Quickbooks (Desktop Version) – Basic and Intermediate Applications
Tuesday, November 6, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM EST
*
Effective Marketing- Crucial Tips for the Small Business Entrepreneur
Tuesday, November 13, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM EST
*
Financing Your Business
Monday, December 3, 2018 from 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM EST
*
Quickbooks (Online Version) – Basic and Intermediate Applications
Tuesday, December 11, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM EST
For more information please go here
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