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
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Starting and Managing Your Small Business
Monday, October 22, 2018 from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM EDT
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Quickbooks (Desktop Version) – Basic and Intermediate Applications
Tuesday, November 6, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM EST
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Effective Marketing- Crucial Tips for the Small Business Entrepreneur
Tuesday, November 13, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM EST
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Financing Your Business
Monday, December 3, 2018 from 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM EST
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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

Easton Business Alliance Announces Jeff Lankford as New Coordinator

The Easton Business Alliance is proud to announce and welcome Jeff Lankford as its new Marketing and Events Coordinator. In this role, Jeff will provide aid in the planning and execution of new and recurring marketing campaigns as well as events in the Town of Easton. He will collaborate with business owners, volunteers, and community stakeholders in an effort to enhance and promote the culture and business community in the Town.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Jeff in as our new Marketing & Events Coordinator,” Easton Business Alliance manager Ross Benincasa said. “Jeff’s background in events management will be key to working with our businesses and residents to bring new, exciting events into our downtown.”

Lankford has accepted the new position after working in the hospitality industry for over 15 years. Most recently he held a number of management positions at the Aspen Wye River Conference Center with Marriott and Wyndham International. During his time at the Aspen Institute he oversaw numerous events, fundraising efforts, social gatherings, and high-profile conferences. Lankford led a number of committees developing promotional materials and advertising campaigns for the conference center. He helped to establish them as one of the premiere destinations for Mid-Shore weddings as well as worked on many expansion and renovation projects with the Aspen Institute.

Lankford is eager to begin collaborating with small business owners on new events for the Town of Easton. “I was excited to learn about the position of Marketing & Events Coordinator, and thrilled to be offered the job,” Lankford said. “It is exciting to be a part of my hometown’s growth while supporting local businesses. I cannot wait to collaborate with our community members to see what new ideas and fun events we can bring to Easton.”

Easton’s Qlarant Named a Top Predictive Analytics Solution Provider

Easton’s Qlarant, a nationally recognized program integrity and quality company, has been named a Top Ten predictive analytics solution provider for 2018.  CIO Applications Magazine interviewed 3 executives from Qlarant:  Dr. Ron Forsythe, Jr. CEO; Sandy Love, President; and Holly Pu, VP of Product Development.   The article provides insight into the culture of Qlarant, and highlights the predictive modeling capabilities the company provides to some of the nation’s most important organizations.

“Receiving this award is so gratifying,” said Holly Pu, VP of Product Development for Qlarant. “Predictive Analytics provide an important role in fighting fraud and saves the nation millions of dollars each year. Being recognized as one of the best in the industry means we did what we set out to do. “

CIO Applications magazine provides a network for CIOs to discuss their innovative enterprise solutions.  It also enables IT Vendors to learn about trending technologies, news and solutions that can help to grow their business.  Qlarant’s PLATO™ program is a powerful self-learning analytics engine that is able to sift through billions of pieces of data to detect aberrant trends.   Qlarant also offers RIViR, which provides risk identification, risk visualization and risk resolution services.

“We’ve known that we have the best people and solutions to provide the best results for our customers and this award demonstrates those facets of our business,” said Ron Forsythe, Qlarant CEO.

Maryland 3.0: The Long View from Main Street Cambridge

From a variety of perspectives, the growing awareness on the Mid-Shore that Cambridge has become a hot foodie destination should make anyone involved in improving town’s economic development pretty happy.

From the urban sophistication of Poplar Bistro to chef Patrick Fleming’s growing collection of eateries, Cambridge’s downtown is slowly but surely working its way out of the dark days of economic recession.

That change of events has undoubtedly made many in that town feel a sense of optimism that a robust and thriving downtown is just around the corner for a community that has taken some pretty hard knocks for many years.

But as Katie Clendaniel, director of Downtown Cambridge noted in her interview with the Spy at Bullitt House a few weeks ago, the road back to full recovery is a long and complex one.

While the hospitality sector is a critical factor in making that happen, the less noticeable work of improving walkability, adding traffic calming infrastructure and the expansion of high-quality residential housing all are part of a much larger plan that may take many more years to achieve the maximum impact of the economic life of downtown Cambridge.

For Clendaniel, who was part of the original team of Easton’s successful Main Street program several years ago, this kind of incremental change is the reality of almost any serious revitalization program. While frustrating for those seeking easy and quick answers, this slow process requires equal amounts of long-range strategic planning and the collective patience of the community.

This video is approximately seven minutes in length. For more information about Downtown Cambridge please go here

 

Qlarant Foundation Grants $385,000 to Area Health Projects

Qlarant Foundation, the mission arm of Qlarant, recently awarded grants totaling $385,000 to 14 organizations in Maryland and Washington, DC supporting local healthcare-related quality improvement efforts.


Girls in the Game is committed to promoting the health and wellness of girls, educating them about alternatives to violence and strengthening underserved communities.

Of the 76 applications, 14 organizations received grants. “Again this year the Board was challenged with our grant selection,” said Dr. Molly Burgoyne-Brian, Qlarant Foundation Board of Directors chair. “The Board received many deserving applications, covering a variety of medical and social issues. It’s reassuring to know there are so many programs designed to improve the health of our most vulnerable populations. Ultimately, we chose a stellar group of programs covering a wide geographic area with diverse health and social concerns.”  Dr. Catherine Smoot-Haselnus, Qlarant Board chair, added “The work these organizations do is outstanding and often goes unnoticed.  We are proud to provide both funding and encouragement to the many volunteers and staff members who serve the community so well.”

Qlarant Foundation funded the following programs for 2018-19:

Access Carroll, Inc. – The Integrated Pharmaceutical Program helps low-income and at-risk residents of Carroll County achieve good health through access to free-of-charge medications and management of their chronic diseases and acute illnesses.

Breast Care for Washington, DC – Increasing Access to High Quality Breast Imaging for Medically Underserved Womenprovides mammograms, diagnostics and treatment to uninsured women at no cost to them.

Channel Marker, Inc. – Through the Health Home Program support is provided for clients in Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot counties who suffer with pre-existing severe and persistent mental illness who also have other medical diagnoses.

Community Ministries of Rockville, Inc. – The Mansfield Kaseman Health Clinic provides quality healthcare and healthcare education to Montgomery County’s low-income uninsured and underinsured residents.

Eastern Shore Wellness Solutions, Inc. – The Health Outreach Workers Program provides care coordination for program participants and their primary care provider. It also is resource for the the social determinants of health, including housing, food and transportation.

Girls in the Game – The Baltimore After School Program addresses girls’ physical, mental and emotional health by exposing girls to a variety of sports and fitness activities in combination with nutrition, health education and leadership development.

Help and Outreach Point of Entry, Inc. – Homeless and poor clients on the Lower Eastern Shore receive medical assessments, health education and screening and referrals for treatment, with a focus on dental health, through the Tri-County Dental Health Outreach Program.

La Clinica del Pueblo, Inc. – Mi Refugio Community Mental Health and Support Program provides behavioral health services for unaccompanied and recently arrived immigrant youth at the Northwestern High School in Prince Georges County.

Maryland Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped, Inc. – The Donated Dental Program recruits dentists and dental laboratories to provide services free of charge to low-income adults who are also disabled.

Miriam’s Kitchen, Inc. –The Social Services Program reduces barriers to medical and behavioral healthcare for District of Columbia residents who are experiencing prolonged homelessness and related complex health issues.

Mission of Mercy, Inc. – Expansion of the Shared Patient/Hospital Partner Program reduces hospital readmissions and improves health outcomes for uninsured or underinsured patients in Baltimore and Carroll counties as well as Baltimore City.

Shirley Grace Pregnancy Center, Inc. – The Holistic Opportunities for Prevention and Education Program addresses the gap in services offered to high-risk pregnant women on the Lower Eastern Shore.

University Legal Services, Inc. – The Jail and Prison Advocacy Program advocates for access to health care, mental health care, and comprehensive reentry support for currently incarcerated District of Columbia adults with mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders.

University of Maryland Medical System Foundation – The University of Maryland Children’s Hospital Breathmobile Program provides free treatment and preventive care to Baltimore City underserved children with asthma.For more information on the recipients and their grants, go to  http://www.qlarant.com/about/qlarant-foundation/  Link

 

Bountiful Flooring’s Debbie Mohr now Store Manager

Bountiful Flooring is pleased to announce that Debbie Mohr has been promoted to the position of Store Manager. Mohr is well known by Bountiful Flooring customers. She had previously served as a Flooring Specialist with the company for several years. She has a total of 33 years of industry experience and brings many qualifications to her new position. Mohr is a certified Hunter Douglas installer and regularly attends workshops and classes on various flooring products and installation techniques.

In her new role, Mohr will be responsible for overseeing the service and quality of Bountiful Flooring’s products and installers. She will also manage the store’s extensive vendor relationships to ensure access to the best product selections. “We carry so many unique products, and I love how creative that allows us to be with design,” Mohr said. “I especially love working with tile. The design possibilities are endless, and we can come up with something that truly ‘wows’ the customer.”

Mohr will be leading an upcoming expansion of Bountiful Flooring to a larger location later this year. The move will enable the store to further expand its selections and provide more space for design consultations with customers. “I’m thrilled to have Debbie leading this important strategic initiative for the store,” said Jamie Merida, owner of Bountiful Flooring and its sister-store Bountiful Interiors. “She has a great vision for how the new location will better serve our customers.”

Bountiful Flooring is also pleased to announce that Carol Smith has joined its staff as a Flooring Specialist. Smith worked as an upholsterer for many years and is well known by Bountiful customers. Her experience working with different materials and textures has prepared her well to assist customers with flooring designs and selections.

Bountiful Flooring is currently located in the Talbot Towne Shopping Center at 218 North Washington Street in Easton. The store is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For additional information, please call 410.822.2622 or visit bountifulflooring.com.

Mid-Shore History: Chestertown’s Black Entrepreneurs

Thanks to a small grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, volunteers Airlee Johnson and Lani Seikaly had the resources to move forward with an ambitious project to document, record, and display an extraordinary era of Chestertown’s black entrepreneurs during the 1960s and 1970s.

The exhibition, now being shown at Sumner Hall, the project tells the stories of twenty-four African-Americans who were either business owners, a member of their family, employees, or customers of the fifteen businesses that formed a very vibrant commercial sector of Chestertown.

The Spy sat down with Airlee and Lani to talk about these unique entrepreneurs and through the unique blend of Airlee’s memories and Lani’s video documentation (now on Youtube) resulted in a compelling story of independence, creativity, and self-sufficiency.

This video is approximately minutes in length. The Exhibit will run until the mid-August. For more information please go here. To watch the project’s video profiles please go here

 

 

Delmarva Power Expands Incentives for Electric Vehicle Shoppers

Nissan and BMW are offering Delmarva Power customers special incentives that can save them thousands of dollars on the cost of certain all-electric vehicle (EV) models. In addition to the manufacturer incentives, customers could also qualify for up to $7,500 in federal tax credits, as well of thousands of dollars in state rebates and tax incentives.

These offerings are part of Delmarva Power’s broader efforts to provide new and innovative services and options for customers across the company’s service area.

“We are seeing a growing interest from our customers in electric vehicles, clean technology and innovative transportation solutions,” said Gary Stockbridge, Delmarva Power region president. “As the electric company responsible for managing the energy grid across most of Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland, we play a critical role in supporting the growth of these new technologies to meet our customers’ evolving needs. These rebates and incentives are another step forward as we work with partners across the region to expand needed charging infrastructure, provide affordable energy services for electric vehicles, and position Delaware and Maryland as leaders in this rapidly growing market.”

Nissan is offering Delmarva Power customers a $3,000 rebate off the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) on the 2018 LEAF. This offer is available from Nissan North America Inc., through June 30, 2018, or while supplies last. To qualify for the savings, customers must bring a copy of this flyer and show their Delmarva Power bill to participating Nissan dealerships.

BMW is offering Delmarva Power customers $10,000 off the best negotiated purchase price of a new all-electric BMW i3 or BMW i3s through July 31, 2018. To redeem the offer, customers should bring their Delmarva Power bill and a completed Delmarva Power customer information form to their local dealership.

Delmarva Power is actively working to advance EV technology across Delaware and Maryland. In Delaware, the energy company has proposed an innovative program to the Delaware Public Service Commission that will help prepare Delaware for the growth of EVs and provide customers with reduced electric rates, credits, rebates, and other incentives to buy and own EVs.

In Maryland, Delmarva Power partnered with its Exelon sister companies Baltimore Gas and Electric and Pepco, as well as other energy companies and stakeholders, to file a proposal that would create the second largest EV charging network in the U.S. If approved, it would help energy companies meet customers’ needs in the state, where, according to a recent survey released this week by the Edison Electric Institute, an overwhelming majority of residents support expanding EV charging infrastructure.

Customers can learn more about EVs, available incentives, and the company’s ongoing efforts to support the growing interest in EVs here.

Taking Stock: The Cambridge Hyatt Economic Development Project at 16 Years Old

It seems like ancient history now, but in the early months of 2002, there was a dramatic addition to the city of Cambridge when the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay officially opened. A few visionary leaders in Dorchester County, DC developers, and most importantly, the Maryland Economic Development Corporation made good on their plans to construct a 400 room, 650 acres, hotel and resort on the shores of the Choptank with the goal of providing a long-term benefit for the then economically struggling center of the Eastern Shore.

At the time, this multimillion-dollar project was seen by some at the time as a remarkable risk. Cambridge was not known as a tourist or conference destination, even though it was located near some of the most remarkable natural resources on the East Coast. It also did not have the advantages of being in a major city, near a major amusement park, or benefiting from a tropical climate. Why stop in Cambridge, the story went, when you could drive another hour and arrive at the beachfront communities in Delaware and Ocean City.

But now that the Hyatt has been in place for sixteen years, The Spy thought it would be a good idea to check in with its general manager, Joel Bunde, who has a unique perspective on this economic development project. That is because Joel arrived in 2005 to be part of the executive management team to run the property for four years, and has now recently returned from another tour of duty to become its general manager. It is that arc of experience that made the Spy interested to hear Joel’s general observations about the Hyatt, the remarkable renaissance of downtown Cambridge, and the collateral soft and hard benefits that have come with the then $155 million investment in the Eastern Shore’s future.

This video is approximately five minutes in length. Additional aerial video content by Micah Berkley.  For more information about the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay please go here.