Jingle all the Way?

Mall continues to evolve through another holiday season By Mike Lewismlewis@crossroadsbizjournal.com Shoppers will ring up a larger share of their holiday gifts online this year, according to national forecasts, bringing more change to brick-and-mortar-based stores. But retail change is nothing new, according to Julie Rohm, property manager of the Valley Mall near Hagerstown, Md. In fact, she said the mall has been changing practically from the day it opened 45 years ago. And it’s still evolving, with more changes, such as renovations to Regal Cinemas and a new Dick’s Sporting Goods store, slated to open in 2020. “You have to […]

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Quad/Graphics plans to sell $200M book business

By Mike Lewismlewis@crossroadsbizjournal.com MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Quad/Graphics plans to sell its U.S. book business, including a facility in Martinsburg, as the company continues to implement its transformation plan. “In reviewing our product portfolio, we made the recent decision to divest of two businesses,” Joel Quadracci, chairman, president and CEO, said in a conference call about the earnings report. “The first was Transpak, our industrial wood crating business, which we divested in the third quarter.” He called Transpak “a great niche business,” but said it was “non-core to Quad 3.0,” referring to the company’s transformation plan. “Now we are divesting of […]

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‘A high-level, more rigorous and relevant experience’

M. Cody Pine, supervisor of career and technology education and enrichment, Washington County Public Schools By Mike Lewismlewis@crossroadsbizjournal.com M. Cody Pine said he spends a lot of time listening to business leaders, teachers and students to “move career and technology education into the 21st century.” As proof, he points to the evolving curriculum at Washington County (Md.) Public Schools as well as two new programs, one in applied manufacturing engineering and the other in artificial intelligence and cloud computing engineering. Pine, 41, is supervisor of career and technology education and enrichment for WCPS. To get there, he’s done a bit […]

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On the Books for December 2019

Several large commercial real estate transactions have been closed in the Crossroads Business Journal area in recent weeks. The map shows some of the details about those deals. The information was taken from records maintained by the Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation as well as deed records held by county clerk’s offices in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The available details about property transactions vary from state to state.  ­— Compiled by Mike Lewis […]

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Leadership

‘It’s about turning on the light bulb for people’ By Mike Lewismlewis@crossroadsbizjournal.com Tara Sargent pitches what she calls “three levels of benefit” people get by participating in Leadership Washington County. Each person can benefit by learning about various segments of the community and building relationships with classmates, she said. The sponsoring organization benefits by having an employee who has a deeper understanding of the area. And the community benefits by having more leaders in more places throughout the region. “It’s about turning the light bulb on for people,” Sargent said. Sargent is executive director of Leadership Washington County. There are […]

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On the books for November 2019

Several large commercial real estate transactions have been closed in the Crossroads Business Journal area in recent weeks. The map shows some of the details about those deals. The information was taken from records maintained by the Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation as well as deed records held by county clerk’s offices in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The available details about property transactions vary from state to state. ­— Compiled by Mike Lewis […]

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‘We hope to be a hub’

Jessica Green, executive director of The Maryland Theatre, talks about the role the newly renovated venue will play in Hagerstown. By Mike Lewismlewis@herald-mail.com The Maryland Theatre is a performing arts center, a nonprofit organization and a key economic driver in downtown Hagerstown, Md. Jessica Green, the theater’s executive director, understands the connection. She hopes the theater can be “a hub of all things arts, entertainment, education and business happenings for Western Maryland.” The main theater auditorium was built in 1915 and can seat 1,300. It draws people downtown for stage shows and concerts. Thanks to some major construction, the facility […]

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Notes and quotes for November 2019

Things seen and overheard around the region last month, compiled by reporter Mike Lewis: Holiday spending up WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation expects holiday retail sales during November and December to increase between 3.8% and 4.2% over 2018 to a total of between $727.9 billion and $730.7 billion. The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants. They compare with an average holiday sales increase of 3.7 percent over the previous five years. “The U.S. economy is continuing to grow, and consumer spending is still the primary engine behind that growth,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said in […]

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‘We gather, we grow and we grant’

Michael Whalton, executive director of the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation By Mike Lewismlewis@herald-mail.com MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — In one way or another, Michael Whalton has been helping charitable organizations raise money for decades. Since May 2012, he been doing it as executive director of the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation. “I have just always loved working with nonprofit organizations,” said Whalton, 64. Whalton is originally from Key West, Fla. In the 1980s, he was the general manager of Sloppy Joe’s Bar. He also found a fondness for events. He founded the Hemingway Days Festival and worked on Fantasy Fest, which […]

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Cybersecurity courses changing with times

Businesses in the Crossroads area looking to find cybersecurity expertise have several options By Mike Lewismlewis@crossroadsbizjournal.com Cybersecurity threats keep evolving, and cybersecurity training keeps changing, too. “I tell students it’s a really good job, because it’s different each day,” said Brad Rinard, chairman of the department of computer science and information technology at Frostburg State University in Maryland. Businesses looking to find or develop cybersecurity expertise have several options. Some cybersecurity companies offer training programs as part of their services. And colleges and universities throughout the Crossroads Business Journal region offer various cybersecurity courses and programs. Those range from Blue […]

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