Coalition focuses on paid leave veto

ANNAPOLIS — The National Federation of Independent Business is participating in a coalition focused on safeguarding Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of House Bill 1, mandatory paid leave.

Entitled “Save Maryland Jobs,” the group includes business leaders throughout the state, according to a news release from the federation.

“Our goal is to ensure that the public is aware the potential still exists for mandatory paid leave to become law. We are not completely out of the woods yet, and the Save Maryland Jobs coalition will do everything we can to increase awareness regarding the legislature’s ability to override Governor Hogan’s veto,” Mike O’Halloran, NFIB Maryland state director, said in the release.

The coalition is comprised of NFIB, Maryland Retailers Association, Associated Builders and Contractors, Mid-Atlantic Petroleum Distributors Association, Restaurant Association of Maryland, Maryland Motor Truck Association, Maryland SHRM State Council, Service Stations Association, and DavCo Restaurants.

It recently launched a website, SaveMDJobs.com.

First Data reports revenue growth in second quarter

NEW YORK — First Data Corp. recently reported growth in consolidated revenue and net income for the second quarter ended June 30.

Consolidated revenue was $3 billion, up 3 percent from the prior year period, or up 4 percent excluding currency impacts. Total segment revenue was $1.8 billion for the quarter, up 3 percent from the prior year period, or up 5 percent excluding the impacts from currency and the divestiture of the Australian ATM business that occurred at the end of the third quarter of 2016.

Net income was $185 million, or 20 cents per diluted share. This represents a 22 percent increase from the second quarter of 2016 net income of $152 million, or an 18 percent increase in net income per diluted share from 17 cents.
Adjusted net income, which modifies net income for items such as debt extinguishment charges, stock-based compensation, amortization of acquisition intangibles, restructuring costs and other items, was $378 million, or 40 cents per diluted share.

This represents a 17 percent increase from the second quarter of 2016 adjusted net income of $323 million, or a 14 percent increase in adjusted net income per diluted share from 35 cents in the prior year period.

“As we enter the latter half of 2017, we are focused on initiatives to continue the momentum across our global businesses, maintaining an appropriate balance between investing and managing costs, while also driving improved cash flow,” First Data Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frank Bisignano said in a news release. “We reiterate our full-year 2017 and medium-term financial guidance.”

 

Management 101 workshop set

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The basics of management will be covered in a workshop Sept. 21 at the Holiday Inn on Foxcroft Avenue in Martinsburg.

Chuck Stump, founder of The Performance Group, will cover several topics, ranging from behavioral styles and team dynamics to managing chaos.

The event is being organized by the West Virginia Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

For more information or to register, contact Candace Hixenbaugh at Candace.Hixenbaugh@mail.wvu.edu, 304-376-3346, or David Carrick at david.carrick@mail.wvu.edu, 412-327-9119.

Volvo Group sales, profitability up in Q2

GOTHENBURG, Sweden — The Volvo Group saw increased sales and profitability during the second quarter compared with the same time period one year ago, the company reported.

The company produces engines and transmissions at its powertrain plant off Interstate 81 just north of Hagerstown.

Martin Lundstedt, president and CEO, said in a news release that net sales increased by 12 percent. The company reported an operating margin of 9.7 percent, he said.

“All our business areas improved their operating income,” he said.

In comments included with the company’s quarterly report, Lundstedt said recent trends in truck markets continue with “good demand in Europe, including a distinct recovery in Russia and a gradual improvement in North and South America, with increased order intake.”

He said total truck deliveries were down 1 percent in the quarter, driven by lower deliveries in North America. But he added that the company “took a very important step” in North America in July with the announcement of the new Volvo VNL series long-haul tractor. The truck has “cutting-edge innovations in fuel efficiency, driver productivity, safety and connectivity solutions to maximize uptime,” he wrote.

Volvo Buses’ profitability was stable, with an adjusted operating margin of 4.6 percent.

Potomac Marketplace

RANSON, W.Va. — A joint venture partnership between Heidenberg Properties Group and Strategic Real Estate Partners announces the $35.9 million acquisition of The Potomac Marketplace in Ranson, W.Va.

The 370,000 square-foot shopping center is anchored by a 61,000 square-foot Weis Supermarket, a 122,000 square-foot Home Depot, an 88,000 square-foot Kohl’s and a 15,000 square-foot Petco, according to a news release. The center is 92 percent occupied and has approximately 51,000 square feet of inline store space and outlots, which offer an array of popular restaurants including Panera Bread, Dunkin’ Donuts, Glory Days Grill, California Tortilla, Roy Rogers and John’s Café.

“In acquiring The Potomac Marketplace, we obtained yet another grocery-anchored shopping center in the best location in the market,” Robert Heidenberg, president and chief executive officer of Heidenberg Properties, said in the news release. “The presence of Home Depot and superior performing restaurants enhances the tenant mix and provides shoppers additional reasons to visit this center. We believe that we are adding The Potomac Marketplace to the portfolio at the right time, as the trade area is poised to take advantage of catalysts for housing growth.”

The population in the trade area grown 35.6 percent since 2000, reaching 31,700.

The acquisition marks the joint-venture partners’ sixth acquisition overall and the third since November 2016.

Pa. environmental services firm makes moves

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Baxter Group Inc. recently announced that it acquired the basement waterproofing company Steven E. Jaymes Contracting, expanded its radon division and joined forces with a local HVAC company.

As a result of incorporating the Steven E. Jaymes Contracting, Baxter Group Inc. will now offer waterproofing, wall stabilization, renovations and home and building improvements.

Baxter also recently partnered with building performance analyst Patrick Aaron of Total Comfort Inc. Adding Aaron gives Baxter’s residential and commercial clients a free consultation that includes in-depth environmental investigations, testing and remediation services, recommended changes to existing HVAC systems, and recommending products for improving indoor air quality.

With its growth, Baxter Group has added staff to its radon division. Jarret Rine and Alex Cox are now a part of the field crew, while Mark Delaney manages the administration of the division.

RoosterBio Inc. graduates from incubator

RoosterBio Inc. has announced that it will graduate from the bioscience and technology incubator, the Frederick Innovative Technology Center Inc., according to the Frederick County (Md.) Office of Economic Development.

The company will expand into 14,000 square feet at 5295 Westview Drive in the Offices at Westview at Frederick. The company has 25 employees and plans to double that number within the next few years, according to a news release.

“We are thrilled for RoosterBio’s success and pleased to have the facility and environment for technology and biotech businesses to grow,” Kathie Callahan Brady, FITCI director, said in the news release. “RoosterBio is a perfect example and model for future biotech companies to learn and aspire to.”

RoosterBio was founded in 2013 and occupies approximately 4,000 square feet at FITCI, according to the release. The new space on Westview Drive will be built out for offices, research and development laboratories, stem-cell manufacturing and warehouse space.

The new facility will have a lab operation, performing manufacturing research and process development, as well as product manufacturing and distribution.

“RoosterBio has been able to flourish in the Frederick biotechnology ecosystem,” RoosterBio Chief Executive Officer Margot Connor said in the release. “FITCI gave us the platform to launch our company, prove our business model and secure funding. As our business continues to thrive, we’re excited to continue on our aggressive growth trajectory and significantly expand our stem cell biomanufacturing operations in Frederick.”

Bob Wrightson, senior vice president of Avison Young, said his firm is pleased to welcome RoosterBio to the Offices at Westview.

“RoosterBio wanted to find a location that would maximize creativity and provide a positive work environment for their employees,” he said. “The Offices at Westview provides a beautiful campus setting, strategic location with ample amenities and newly renovated buildings. The campus is not a traditional office park in that it appeals to a variety of tenants including office, medical, technology and now biotech.”

RoosterBio has been working closely with Frederick County Frederick County Office of Economic Development on the expansion.

The project was approved for Fast Track Permitting, and a pre-submittal meeting was held with key economic development partners including the Planning and Permitting Department, Avison Young, Bates Architects, Berkshire Hathaway, OED and RoosterBio.

Fast Track Permitting is an economic development tool used to expedite projects through the development process while adhering to all established standards.

Meritus Medical Center’s critical care staff earns national award

Submitted photo
The members of the critical care staff at Meritus Medical Center pose with their notification of the award for excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Meritus Medical Center was one of four Maryland hospitals recently given a silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

The AACN recognized successful improvement of patient outcomes and work standards and practices from the critical care staff, moving them from the bronze designation the unit received in 2013, to the new, three-year silver designation.

The Beacon Award for Excellence is a significant milestone for the mix-model hospital unit employing 54 registered nurses in its staff of 72. Primary critical care services for patients admitted by an intensivist or through trauma services are provided, and since July 2010, services began for intermediate care patients with similar diagnoses, but in a different stage of their disease.

The award nomination highlighted the unit’s teamwork approach to create great patient experiences; focused bedside handoff between nurses as a standard process; and improved outcomes and effective communication through nurses’ participation in multidisciplinary committees, a unit task force to identify areas for improvement, job shadowing, regular rounding on the unit, team building activities and the use of forums, staff meetings, huddles and mass communication for messaging.

Callas awarded projects at Saint James School

Submitted photo
This artist’s rendering depicts the expanded Alumni Hall gym at Saint James School in Washington County, Md. Callas Contractors has received the contract for construction management of the project. Scott Bowen of MSB Architects is the lead designer.
Submitted photo
An artist rendering of the Pohanka Fine Arts Building to be built at St. James School in Washington County, Md. Callas Contractors has received the contract for construction management of the project. Scott Bowen of MSB Architects is the lead designer.

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Callas Contractors has been awarded the contract for construction management of two projects at Saint James School near Hagerstown, Md.
The work includes construction of the 22,000-square-foot Pohanka Fine Arts Building and the 29,700-square-foot addition/expansion to the Alumni Hall gym.
Scott Bowen of MSB Architects is the lead designer for the buildings.
The Pohanka Fine Arts Building will include a recital hall (stone building); gallery/student commons; new classrooms and studios for music, ceramics and fine art painting; and a media area for digital arts such as graphic design.
Construction will begin in the summer with plans to open for the 2018 fall semester.
The project was named after Geoff Pohanka (Saint James Class of 1976) of Pohanka Auto Group, as he is a major donor for both The Fine Arts Building and Alumni Hall.
Plans for the Alumni Hall gym expansion will include multiple courts for wrestling and basketball athletes and an expanded locker room area for Saint James sports teams and guest teams during tournament play.
This addition will help in accommodating teams and guests for the popular Saint James invitational tournaments.
Both projects will run concurrently with an estimated total cost of approximately $12 million.
The renovation is also planned for current locker rooms in the basement of Cotton Hall.
Based in Washington County, Md., near Hagerstown, Callas has been a longtime supporter of Saint James and will continue to help guide the school in future endeavors.
Callas President Tim Campbell is a 1976 graduate of Saint James.

 

Shenandoah University

WINCHESTER, Va. — Shenandoah University and Wesley Theological Seminary, both affiliated with the United Methodist Church, have again partnered to benefit the church and young leadership coming through their ranks. An agreement between Shenandoah and Wesley offers a streamlined approach for those who feel a call to leading the church and faith-based nonprofits from both a clergy and lay perspective.

A 3+3 fast-track agreement will allow Shenandoah University undergraduate students to forgo their senior year and take classes at Wesley Theological Seminary instead. The credits will then transfer back to Shenandoah as electives. The program will begin in Fall 2018.

Shenandoah already offers fast-track approaches from undergraduate to graduate programs as evidenced in several pre-health to professional degree programs. For example, qualified students who seek to become physical therapists or pharmacists can come to Shenandoah to do their undergraduate work and then matriculate into graduate programs after their junior years, before four years of undergraduate work have been completed.