Qlarant Wins 2018 ‘Top Workplace’ Award by the Baltimore Sun

Qlarant, the nation’s leading Program Integrity and Fraud Prevention firm, has been named to The Baltimore Sun’s 2018 list of “Top Workplaces” for the second consecutive year. The Top Workplaces recognition is based solely on employee surveys conducted by a national consulting firm, Energage. Qlarant employees evaluated the company on several factors including engagement, work/life balance, pay and benefits, and company leadership.

“The Top Workplaces award is more than just recognition, and isn’t something organizations can buy,” said Dave Morrell, a Qlarant associate. “We strive to attract better talent and experience lower turnover which means we are better equipped to deliver bottom-line results. Our leadership puts a high priority on a healthy, balanced workplace culture that supports employee engagement.”

“We are proud to be recognized by The Baltimore Sun as a Top Workplace for a second year in a row,” said Qlarant CEO Dr. Ron Forsythe, Jr. “We pride ourselves on having a culture that rewards a strong work ethic and teamwork, coupled with a healthy respect for work-life balance and sharing the rewards of success.”

Jonathan Haag, Dr. Ron Forsythe Jr., and Bonnie Horvath accept the Top Workplaces Award.

Qlarant touts nine offices nationwide, and has stayed true to its core values over its 45-year history. “We strive to help our clients make the most of opportunities and improve the quality of life for the people they serve,” continued Dr. Forsythe. “We have the same goals for our own Qlarant team members. By fostering a culture of excellence and commitment, we help ensure that the best people want to be a part of Qlarant, today and tomorrow.”

Part of Qlarant’s value tenants include:

Diverse expertise: By creating a diverse team with a wide range of experience and backgrounds, we are stronger and better prepared to face challenges and find success.

Leadership and promotion: We are dedicated to recognizing, rewarding, and developing associates in all areas—as well as identifying leaders and equipping them for growth.

Support and investment: We offer comprehensive training, professional development opportunities, management engagement, and timely feedback. Our goal: the best person in every position.

Commitment to excellence: Associates enjoy a welcoming and inclusive environment founded on excellence. Associates can be proud to be a part of the Qlarant team.

Work/life balance: We promote a healthy work/life balance through flexible scheduling, remote work opportunities, socializing, and celebrations.

Giving and giving back: We support our associates and their families through excellent benefits and encourage community involvement through volunteerism and local giving.

About Qlarant

Qlarant is a not-for-profit, nationally respected leader in fighting fraud, waste, and abuse—improving program quality, and optimizing performance. The company uses subject matter experts and innovative data science and technology to help organizations see risks, solve problems, and seize opportunities. Solutions are customized for state and federal agencies as well as industries across the nation. The Qlarant Foundation— the mission arm of the organization—provides grants to services provided in underserved communities. Qlarant employs nearly 500 people and has a 45-year record of accomplishment improving the performance of some of the Nation’s most important programs. Qlarant is a licensed AgileCxO Transformation Partner. www.qlarant.com

ESLC Hit It Out of the Ballpark on Giving Tuesday

 On Tuesday, November 27th, otherwise known as Giving Tuesday – the international day of giving that follows Cyber Monday – Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) received a total of $22,177 on its website and through Facebook from donors supporting the organization’s conservation-based programs and initiatives.

“We’re incredibly thankful for the support and love the community showed us on this year’s Giving Tuesday,” said ESLC’s Director of Communications David Ferraris. “We started participating with this ‘holiday’ in 2016 and have had a lot of success with it, but hit a new level of support this year, especially in terms of involvement from new donors.”

ESLC was fortunate enough to have also had the support of seven local businesses that shared the group’s messaging leading up to and throughout the day via social media. Those businesses are Lyon Distilling Co., Eat Sprout, Solar Energy Services, Ebbtide Wellness Studio, Pop’s Old Place, Washington Street Pub, and Hair O’ The Dog Wine & Spirits.

Since 1990, ESLC has permanently protected more than 60,000 acres of land on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The organization also provides planning consultation for land use and community design projects, environmental education, and climate adaptation planning for county governments.

Hogan Administration Announces Tax Credits to be Awarded to Restore Historic Structures

The Hogan Administration announced today that the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT), a division of the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning), has awarded five projects more than $9 million in tax credits to leverage more than $58 million in related project costs.

“The Heritage Structure Rehabilitation Tax Credit is one of the most effective investment tools for strengthening Maryland’s local economies,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “The five projects awarded this year will bring new housing, commercial, and arts opportunities through redevelopment across Maryland.”

The Heritage Structure Rehabilitation Tax Credit, administered by MHT, has invested more than $401 million in Maryland revitalization projects since it began in 1996. The investments have helped restore more than 4,709 homeowner and 693 commercial historic structures, preserving buildings that contribute to the distinct character of Maryland’s towns, cities and rural areas.

According to a study by the Abell Foundation, the program has helped to create an estimated 29,101 jobs through construction and new or expanded occupation of these significant historic resources.

“Planning supports historic rehabilitation while advancing community revitalization and economic development,” said Planning Secretary Rob McCord. “This funding helps encourage preservation and adaptive re-use of historic buildings and enhances the enjoyment of our state’s history, culture and scenic beauty.”

Seventeen applicants had sought $27 million in tax credits for construction projects totaling more than $233 million in estimated costs.

The five applications selected for the 2019 tax credits were based on an established set of criteria, including those outlined by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior for historic building rehabilitations.

The five award winners are:

Emerson Mansion – North Eutaw Place, Baltimore City
Seventh Metro Church – East North Avenue, Baltimore City
Visitation Frederick – East Second Street, Frederick, Frederick County
American Ice Company – West Franklin Street, Baltimore City
Ox Fibre Brush Company – East Church Street, Frederick, Frederick County.

Emerson Mansion – North Eutaw Place, Baltimore City
$1,000,000.00 in tax credits awarded
Estimated Total Cost – $5 Million

This large and exuberantly detailed Queen Anne styled, brick and brownstone mansion was built circa 1895 in the fashionable Eutaw Place neighborhood. The house was constructed for Captain Isaac Emerson who made his fortune with the invention of a headache powder known as Bromo-Seltzer. The structure was converted to office and institutional uses followed by vacancy which resulted in loss or obstruction of many of the building’s highly decorative finishes and features as well as deferred maintenance and vandalism that have significantly endangered the site. The rehabilitation of the mansion will reactivate this significant property to serve the neighborhood as a community resource center with an early childhood education center, community rooms and apartments on the upper floors.

Seventh Metro Church – East North Avenue, Baltimore City
$2,000,000.00 in tax credits awarded
Estimated Total Cost – $10 Million

Standing prominently on the corner of East North Avenue and Saint Paul Street is the Seventh Metro Church. This imposing Gothic Revival, stone masonry building, was constructed in two major phases. The rear section of the building, now called the Chapel (formerly the Immanuel Baptist Church) was constructed in 1882 and still contains significant Victorian features, such as decorative wood and plaster work. In 1905, a new building was constructed on North Avenue and became the main sanctuary space for the congregation. This part of the building is in keeping with the earlier chapel’s Gothic Revival Style and features lancet stained-glass windows, buttresses, and stone spires. The interior of this section dates to 1919 and is largely intact. This rehabilitation project will focus on preserving the structure, restoring the stained-glass windows and plasterwork, while also converting it into a concert venue and marketplace.

Visitation Frederick – East Second Street, Frederick, Frederick County
$3,000,000.00 in tax credits awarded
Estimated Total Cost – $15 Million

The Visitation Frederick campus includes several buildings that total approximately 55,000 square feet. The main building was constructed in 1824 as a monastery for the Sisters of Charity, who established one of Frederick’s first schools for young girls. Throughout the mid-19th century, several additions to the main building were added. The campus centers around an interior courtyard overlooked by covered balconies. Visitation was run by cloistered women in the Order of the Visitation, a Roman Catholic sisterhood, from 1847-2005 and then as a Catholic girl’s elementary school until 2016. The campus was also impacted by the Civil War when a portion of the monastery and school building was used by the Union Army as a hospital following the Battle of Antietam. This project will convert the school and monastery into a boutique hotel, restaurant, and wedding venue that will also feature apartments and the construction of new townhomes.

American Ice Company – West Franklin Street, Baltimore City
$2,449,260.78 in tax credit awarded, Note partial credit due to jurisdictional allocation limit
Estimated Total Cost – $13 Million

The American Ice Company building was constructed in 1911 as an ice plant to replace the supply of natural ice with a manufactured product. At the time of its construction, the building was one of the largest and most modern plants of its kind in Maryland. The company operated the building until the 1960s when they sold it to the Baltimore American Ice Company. The building continually operated as an ice manufacturing plant from 1911 to 2004, when a fire significantly damaged the warehouse and loading areas at the rear of the historic building. The building reflects the adaptation of a large industrial enterprise to a changing technological and social landscape, and over the course of the 20th century, the site saw several phases of additions to adapt to the ever-changing ice industry. Abandonment of the building along with the fire have left the ice plant damaged and endangered. This project will embrace the historic unique industrial character of the ice plant buildings while adapting its spaces to multiple new uses as an art gallery, restaurant and event space.

Ox Fibre Brush Company – East Church Street, Frederick, Frederick County
$632,840.52 in tax credits awarded, Note partial credit due to jurisdictional allocation limit
Estimated Total Cost – $15 Million

The original portion of the Ox Fibre Brush Company factory was constructed in 1892 to house a growing brush making firm that continued to expand and grow with new additions being added into the 1930’s. This company is a good example of the changes in manufacturing brought on by the introduction of railroad connections that allowed small industrial enterprises to rapidly expand into large scale manufacturing firms. At the peak of its operations in the 1930’s and 1940’s the factory produced more than 24 million brushes for sale annually. The plant was closed in 1966 when the company relocated out of state and the complex has since served as the home of Goodwill Industries. Rehabilitation of the complex will preserve the historic industrial character of the brick factory buildings while converting the spaces for use as loft apartments.

Delmarva Power Crews Assist in Restoration Efforts Following Winter Storm Bruce

Delmarva Power is answering the call for help to assist its sister company, ComEd, in power restoration efforts in the Chicago area following Winter Storm Bruce. More than 200 line crews and other resources from Delmarva Power and the other Pepco Holdings companies, which include Atlantic City Electric in southern New Jersey and Pepco in Maryland and the District of Columbia, have begun the trek toward the ComEd service area, which has experienced power outages due to Winter Storm Bruce.

Delmarva Power is committed to providing safe and reliable service to our customers. With the number of crews being dispatched, the company will ensure adequate resources are available in its Delaware and Maryland service area to continue the level of service its customers have come to expect.

Delmarva Power trucks and equipment prepare to depart to assist power restoration efforts in the Midwest.

Over the years, Delmarva Power has sent thousands of crews and support personnel to assist utilities, locally and across the country, as part of mutual assistance networks. Delmarva Power most recently provided restoration assistance in Puerto Rico and to areas of Florida and Georgia that were affected by Hurricane Irma last year.

Together, Exelon’s East Coast utilities – Atlantic City Electric, BGE, Delmarva Power, PECO and Pepco – are sending nearly 350 line crews and other resources to support power restoration efforts in the Midwest. Each year, these companies participate in collaborative emergency response training exercises to ensure they can provide seamless support and resources to one another during a storm or emergency restoration effort, like Winter Storm Bruce. This coordination was on display last March with responses to winter storms Riley, Quinn and Toby when line crews and other resources from ComEd quickly responded to support power restoration efforts in the hardest hit parts of the East Coast.

About Delmarva Power: Delmarva Power, a public utility owned by Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), provides safe and reliable energy to more than 520,000 electric delivery customers in Delaware and Maryland and approximately 132,000 natural gas delivery customers in northern Delaware.

Delmarva Power Provides Customers to Give Energy this Holiday Season

This holiday season, Delmarva Power hopes to bring out the spirit of giving in local communities through its Good Neighbor Energy Fund and Gift of Energy programs. Whether you would like to help someone in need or give energy directly to a neighbor, friend, or relative, these programs have you covered.

Good Neighbor Energy Fund

Through the Good Neighbor Energy Fund, customers can donate to local organizations to provide payment assistance to low-income customers struggling to pay their winter energy bills. Donations are made to The Salvation Army and other non-profits in the service area and disbursed to qualified recipients, with much of the funds dispersed to those in need during the winter. In addition to the donations received by customers, Delmarva Power matches $1 for every $3 received, up to $70,000 annually. Since partnering with local non-profits, Delmarva Power has donated more than $367,000 toward the effort. For more information, or to make a contribution, Delaware customers can learn more online at delmarva.com/DEgnef or delmarva.com/MDgnef for Maryland customers.

Gift of Energy

The Gift of Energy provides customers an out-of-the-box way of beating the Black Friday lines and the stress that comes with holiday shopping by giving that friend or family member a credit for their energy bill – all from the comfort of your home, couch, or personal winter wonderland. All that is needed is the customer’s name and address or phone number associated with the account. The gift will appear on the recipient’s future energy bill as a credit. Gifts can be initiated at Delmarva Power’s in-person payment locations or online.

To learn more about Delmarva Power, visit The Source, Delmarva Power’s online news room. Find additional information by visiting delmarva.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/delmarvapower and on Twitter at twitter.com/delmarvaconnect. Delmarva Power’s mobile app is available at delmarva.com/mobileapp.

About Delmarva Power: Delmarva Power, a public utility owned by Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), provides safe and reliable energy to more than 520,000 electric delivery customers in Delaware and Maryland and approximately 132,000 natural gas delivery customers in northern Delaware.

Easton Walmart Provides Grant for Talbot Interfaith Shelter

Talbot Interfaith Shelter (TIS) is excited to announce that they have received a $1,000 community grant from the Easton Walmart in support of their S4 Program (Shelter, Stability, Support, Success).

Walmart’s Community Grant website states that “Walmart believes in operating globally and giving back locally – creating an impact in the neighborhoods where we live and work.”  The program is distinctive in that it empowers the local Walmart manager to decide where the grant funding is awarded.   Easton’s store manager Doug Avery visited TIS’ shelter facility at Easton’s Promise to learn more about their mission.  In addition to the grant funding, he asked about other shelter needs that Walmart may be able to help with in the future.

Pictured L-R: Doug Avery – Easton Walmart Store Manager, Fran Doran – TIS Operations Manager, Julie Lowe – TIS Executive Director

“We were so pleased by how receptive and hands-on Doug was,” says TIS Executive Director Julie Lowe.  “One of the beautiful things about our community is that even the leaders of branches of major corporations make the time to learn about our mission and how they can help lift up our neighbors in need.  Doug was genuinely interested in our program and how Walmart could be of service.”

When asked about his role in the grant process, Avery says, “Talbot Interfaith Shelter does amazing things for our community and it’s an honor to be able to help support them.”

Talbot Interfaith Shelter (TIS) is a 501(c)3 organization based in Easton and serving Talbot County and the surrounding areas.  The organization has developed a program that they call S4 (Shelter, Stability, Support, Success), which is designed to give guests access to a stable homelike environment, services, and tools that can help them break the cycle of poverty and homelessness and regain their independence.  Once guests are accepted into Easton’s Promise, they receive case management as they move through an individualized plan, eventually transitioning into one of the shelter’s eight subsidized off-site apartments, where they incrementally take over expenses until they are fully self-sufficient.

Their vision is that no one in Talbot County will ever have to spend a night on the streets, in a car or in the woods because he or she cannot find housing.  To learn more about how you can help, visit www.talbotinterfaithshelter.org or contact Julie Lowe at 410-310-2316 or julielowe@atlanticbb.net.

Delmarva Power Joins Energy Companies in Fight Against Scammers

Delmarva Power is joining more than 100 energy companies across the United States and Canada in the effort to protect customers from scams targeting customers of electric, natural gas, water, and other utilities. Delmarva Power and its sister Exelon companies, Atlantic City Electric, BGE, ComEd, PECO, and Pepco, are committed to educating customers and putting a stop to scamming.

Collaborating energy companies have joined together for a third year and designated Nov. 14 as “Utilities United Against Scams Day.” This day is supported by a week-long campaign, including social media and online content, focused on exposing the tricks scammers use to steal money from customers, and how customers can protect themselves. The effort, which includes industry member organizations such as Edison Electric Institute and American Gas Association, encourages companies to share these messages to help guard against scam and imposter activity.

“This type of coordinated teamwork is vital for the safety and well-being of our customers and the communities we serve,” said Mike Poncia, vice president of Customer Operations for Pepco Holdings, which includes Delmarva Power. “We can help provide our customers with the tools they need to guard against scammers and imposters who may be on the other end of the line or other side of the door by sharing these essential tips and information throughout the region.”

When being scammed, a customer typically receives an unsolicited phone call from an individual who falsely claims to be a company representative. The scammer warns that the customer’s service will be shut off if they fail to make a payment – usually within a short timeframe through a prepaid debit card.

Scammers have even duplicated the upfront Interactive Voice Response system of some companies, so when customers call the number provided by the scammer, it sounds like a legitimate business. Some scammers also use caller ID “spoofing” to replicate a utility’s phone number.

Red flags for scam activity

– The scammer often becomes angry and tells a customer his or her account is past due and service will be shut off if a large payment isn’t made – usually within less than an hour.
– The scammer instructs the customer to purchase a prepaid debit or credit card – widely available at most retail stores – then call him or her back to make a payment.
– The scammer asks the customer for the prepaid card’s receipt number and PIN number, which grants instant access to the funds loaded to the card.

How to protect yourself

– Utility representatives will never ask or require a customer with a past due balance to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid disconnection.
– Customers can make payments online, by phone, automatic bank withdrawal, mail, or in person.
– Customers with a past due balance will receive multiple shut off notifications – never a single notification one hour before disconnection.
– If a customer ever questions the legitimacy of the call, hang up and call Delmarva Power at 1-800-375-7117.

Don’t Get Scammed: Customers can avoid being scammed by taking a few precautions:

– Never provide your social security number or personal information to anyone initiating contact with you claiming to be a utility representative or requesting you to send money to another person or entity other than your local utility providers.
– Always ask to see a company photo ID before allowing any utility worker into your home or business.
– Never make a payment for services to anyone coming to your door.

Any Delmarva Power customer who believes he or she has been a target of a scam is urged to contact their local police and call the company immediately at 1-800-375-7117 to report the situation.

To learn more about Delmarva Power, visit The Source, Delmarva Power’s online news room. Find additional information by visiting delmarva.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/delmarvapower and on Twitter at twitter.com/delmarvaconnect. Delmarva Power’s mobile app is available at delmarva.com/mobileapp.

About Delmarva Power: Delmarva Power, a public utility owned by Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), provides safe and reliable energy to more than 520,000 electric delivery customers in Delaware and Maryland and approximately 132,000 natural gas delivery customers in northern Delaware.

Maryland Bankers Association Emerging Leaders Champion Program Graduates

Employees of Shore Bancshares and Shore United Bank graduate from Maryland Bankers Association Emerging Leaders Champion Program. Pictured left to right: Ralph “Buddy” Emerson, Senior VP of M&T Bank; Danielle Hurd, Enterprise Risk & Special Projects Manager of Shore Bancshares; Philip O’Neil, Financial Reporting Officer of Shore Bancshares; Matthew Marino, Branch Manager of Shore United Bank; Ed Allen, Chief Financial Officer of Shore Bancshares; Kathleen Murphy, President & CEO of Maryland Bankers Association.

Shore Bancshares, Inc. and Shore United Bank are proud to recognize Danielle Hurd, Philip O’Neil and Matthew Marino for graduating from the Maryland Bankers Association Emerging Leaders Champion Program. The Emerging Leaders Champion Program is a one-year program for bankers who were recognized by their institution as being individuals interested in furthering their knowledge of the banking industry and the Association. Through the Champion Program, Danielle, Philip and Matthew enhanced their expertise on what the Association has to offer, became more involved through leadership opportunities and networked with peers and industry leaders.

For more information on Shore Bancshares and its community of companies, visit ShoreUnitedBank.com.

Lights, Camera, Save! Teen Video Contest Underway at Shore United Bank

Shore United Bank is accepting submissions for its Lights, Camera, Save! video contest.  The contest, organized by the American Bankers Association Foundation, is a national competition that encourages teens to use video to communicate the value of saving money and inspire their peers to become lifelong savers.

“Lights, Camera, Save! gives Delmarva students an opportunity to harness their creativity, learn about using money wisely and communicate those lessons with their peers,” said Pat Bilbrough, President & CEO of Shore United Bank. “A strong financial education is critical to a successful future and we are thrilled to participate in a contest that reinforces that message.”

To participate, students (ages 13-18) must create a video, 90-seconds or less, on saving and using money wisely and submit a link to the video along with a completed entry form to the bank by Dec. 3.

Shore United Bank will host the first round of judging and select a winner to compete on the national level for a prize up to $5,000, plus a scholarship for a teacher at their school to attend the annual Jump$tart National Educator Conference.

Videos will be judged on their quality, message, content and the criteria set forth by the contest’s official rules.

To learn more about Lights, Camera, Save!, visit www.ShoreUnitedBank.com/Lights-Camera-Save

Easton Utilities to Begin Annual Survey on November 1

Easton Utilities annual Customer Satisfaction Survey is set to begin on November 1, 2018.  This year, an independent, third-party survey firm, GreatBlue Research, Inc., will conduct the traditional telephone surveys and an online survey as well.

Easton Utilities customers may be called to complete a series of questions by the firm or sent an email containing a link for a brief online survey. The firm will not ask for any confidential or personal information such as account numbers, addresses, or social security numbers. They will also not handle any payment issues.

This survey will take approximately 7 minutes to complete and helps Easton Utilities measure the level of customer satisfaction. If you are asked to participate, we appreciate your time and input so we can improve our service.

If you have any questions or are uncertain about the call, please call 410-822-6110.