Maryland honors Frederick entrepreneur

Submitted photo
From left are Martha Sprow, director of the Frederick County Department of Social Services; Steve Benden, director of the Office of Strategy and Performance at the Maryland Department of Human Services; and Alice Mbuyi, honoree and entrepreneur.

FREDERICK, MD — The Maryland and Frederick County departments of social services recently honored a Frederick, Md., entrepreneur for her business achievements nine months after completing the Public Assistance to Entrepreneurship Program.

The program provides public assistance customers with resources and training to pursue their dreams of owning a small business.

Alice Mbuyi, the owner of Passion Events Design, participated in the program in Frederick County last October after struggling to establish a clientele and sustain her event planning business since 2012.

“I felt discouraged because of my lack of resources to run the business, but I always wanted to pursue my happiness,” Mbuyi said in a news release. “I had forgotten the fundamental skills. From the classes that I attended … I was able to gather all the missing pieces that I needed for the business to take off, and I am so grateful today.”

The program offers participants eight business courses over a six-week period, ongoing consulting and other support by the Maryland Department of Human Services in partnership with the Maryland Small Business Development Center. Courses include topics ranging from the fundamentals of entrepreneurship, creating a business plan, marketing research, social media engagement and applying for a business loan.

ACDi adds equipment, personnel

FREDERICK, Md. — ACDi has broadened its manufacturing capabilities by investing in new equipment for its Frederick, Md., headquarters.

ACDi is a leading electronics manufacturing and printed-circuit-board design company. It has added two Mycronic MY300DX pick-and-place machines to meet increasing demand for electronics manufacturing services and to complement other new equipment purchases previously announced.

The new MY300 provides a 40% smaller footprint than previous models.

It also achieves higher speeds due to automatic job selection and rolling changeovers, as well as faster board transfer and tool changes.

In addition to the new equipment, the company hired six additional personnel to support the increased capacity.

BCT named a ‘Best Bank To Work For’

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — BCT-Bank of Charles Town has been named one of the Best Banks to Work For in 2019.

The Best Banks To Work For program was initiated in 2013 by American Banker and Best Companies Group. It identifies, recognizes and honors U.S. banks for outstanding employee satisfaction. Full results of this year’s program are available at American Banker and in the September issue of American Banker Magazine.

Determining the Best Banks To Work For is a two-step process. The first step involves an evaluation of participating companies’ workplace policies, practices, and demographics. In the second step, employee surveys are conducted to directly assess the experiences and attitudes of individual employees with respect to their workplace. The combined scores determine the top banks and the final ranking.

Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process and also analyzed the data and used their expertise to determine the final ranking.

The program is open to commercial banks, thrifts, savings banks and other chartered retail financial institutions with at least 50 employees in the United States.

Manufacturing conference set for Oct. 4

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Hagerstown Community College will host a one-day conference, “Manufacturing 4.0: Celebrating a Skilled Workforce,” from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 4.

The session will be in the Career Programs Building on the HCC campus east of Hagerstown.

The conference, an outreach of the Regional Manufacturing Roundtable, is intended for regional industry professionals, educators and students, according to a news release from HCC.

Speakers, panel discussions and vendors will address trends and opportunities in manufacturing.

The registration fee is $48 per person. The fee for students and educators is $8 (with valid ID), supported by conference sponsorships.

To register for more information, contact HCC’s Continuing Education and Workforce Development Division at 240-500-2236 or visit turing.

WMHS breaks ground on Center for Hope and Healing

CUMBERLAND, Md. — Western Maryland Health System recently broke ground on the Center for Hope and Healing, a 24-hour residential treatment facility that will house patients with substance abuse and behavioral health issues.

Approximately 40 guests attended the groundbreaking, including State Sen. George Edwards; Mark Widmyer representing Gov. Larry Hogan; Cumberland Mayor Ray Morriss and James Pyles, Allegany County Emergency Services director.

Several of the dignitaries and partners joined WMHS President and CEO Barry Ronan to ceremoniously lift the first shovel of dirt on the project.

The center will be adjacent to the WMHS main campus, and will be built on land gifted to WMHS from the state.

Funding for the project is largely attributed to a $1 million pledge from the WMHS Auxiliary, including an initial gift of $400,000 made in May.

Auxiliary President Julie Davis, who works as the fire administration officer for the Cumberland Fire Department, said at the time of the initial gift, “I see the impact this crisis has on a daily basis. I see how it taxes our emergency service providers. We were all unanimously in favor of facing this challenge and supporting a valuable asset that will effectively address the need.”

Speaking at the groundbreaking, Ronan told guests how appreciative WMHS is of the contributions that were made, and Foundation Executive Director Karen Johnson called the center a huge gift to the community that will make an impact well worth the investment.

Ronan said he anticipates the project to be completed in late spring 2020. Patients will stay roughly 10 days, and approximately 10 employees will staff the center.

Illumine8 wins gold, silver creative awards

FREDERICK, Md.​ — ​Illumine8 Marketing & PR, a marketing consultancy in Frederick, recently received gold and silver 2019 Summit Creative Awards for its social media and package design submissions.

Illumine8 received a gold SCA for its ​holiday prep social media campaign​ for Warner Service, a Frederick HVAC and plumbing company.

The company also won a ​silver SCA in the package design category for its Lion & Dove wine label design.

The 2019 SCA competition received more than 4,500 project submissions from companies across 27 countries.

The Summit Awards recognize outstanding work in the communications and marketing fields. The annual Summit Awards, which is comprised of three categories — the Summit Creative Award (SCA), the Summit Marketing Effectiveness Award, and the Summit Emerging Media Award — is administered by the Summit International Awards. The program is focused on companies with less than $30 million in annual billings.

On the Books for September 2019

By Chad Trovinger/Graphic designer

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

HCC, Shepherd sign agreement for graphic design technology

Submitted photo
Pictured at the signing ceremony are, seated from left, HCC President Jim Klauber and Shepherd Provost Scott Beard. Standing, from left, are Chris Coltrin, associate professor and department chair at Shepherd; Carol Rothstein, dean of instruction at HCC; Bradford Hamann, assistant professor at Shepherd; David Warner, vice president of academic affairs and student services at HCC; Rob Tudor, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Shepherd; Kristin Kaineg, associate professor and coordinator of graphic design at Shepherd; Audra Haddock-Martenot, assistant professor at HCC; Nancy Arnone, director of technology and computer studies at HCC; and Virginia Hicks, assistant provost for academic community outreach at Shepherd.

Hagerstown Community College and Shepherd University signed a new two-plus-two articulation agreement.

The pact applies to students who earn an associate degree in graphic design technology from HCC and want to transfer to Shepherd University to complete a bachelor’s degree in graphic design.

“We are excited to add yet another articulation agreement for our students who want to transfer to Shepherd University,” HCC President Jim Klauber said in a news release. “We know from experience that our students leave HCC well prepared to continue their studies at Shepherd University, and now those with an interest in graphic design will be able to pursue a quality bachelor’s degree close to home.”

“Shepherd University is grateful for the continued expansion of our relationship with Hagerstown Community College,” Shepherd University Provost Scott Beard said in the release. “The recent articulation pathway in graphic design will allow students to seamlessly progress from their program at HCC to completion of a four-year degree at Shepherd. We look forward to additional collaborative opportunities with students and faculty at both institutions.”

HCC and Shepherd now have 11 different agreements to benefit students who wish to attend both institutions.

The other agreements include degrees in engineering science (with chemical, environmental, electrical, and computer pathways), environmental studies, mathematics, biology (with chemistry and ecological science minors), and human services/social work.

Notes and quotes

Things seen and overheard around the region last month, compiled by reporter Mike Lewis:

Martin’s hits Canadian shelves

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Martin’s Famous Potato Rolls and Bread, based in Chambersburg, has expanded its retail footprint into Canada.

Martin’s started servicing international food service customers in 2011. But Martin’s retail distribution remained focused mainly on the domestic market, specifically on the East Coast of the United States and Chicago.

But that changed recently when Canada became the first international market where significant retail sales distribution has been established, according to a news release from the company.

Martin’s retail sales have expanded to more than 30 independent grocery and specialty stores with over 50 locations in Ontario, as well as a small region of Manitoba.

Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe Inc. is a family-owned and family -operated consumer goods company.

‘Biggest long-term challenge’

“Everyone agrees our biggest long-term challenge is the expansion of I-81. Hands-down that’s the No. 1 economic development issue for everyone doing business along our section of the I-81 corridor.”

— Stephen Christian, president of the Greater Chambersburg (Pa.) Chamber of Commerce and the Chambersburg Area Development Corp.

Rampf’s new strategic setup

Rampf, an industrial mold-making company, recently announced the layoffs of up to 33 people at its facility in Hagerstown, Md.

At about the same time the German-based company posted a statement to its website saying it was time “to change the strategic set-up” and, with a new management team, focus on “success factors that have made us strong.”

“The markets in North America are of high importance to the Rampf Group,” the statement read.

“In order to better serve our customers, it was decided to change the strategic setup.

“As in the past, our experienced local sales team will take care of all needs and questions related to your mold. In addition, we will build a local Repair Shop and strengthen our Service Team in North America. The production of all new molds has been shifted to our plant in Allmendingen (Germany).”

WMRMC receives cardiac intervention center designation

CUMBERLAND, Md. — Western Maryland Regional Medical Center received the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems full designation as a Cardiac Intervention Center for a period of the next five years.

WMRMC first received this designation in 2011.

“We are a very innovative program and are very proud of the success shared with our EMS for our Field Activation STEMIs (ST elevation myocardial infarction),” said Tim Abrell, director of perioperative services and interventional labs. “Our EMS have a field activation success rate of 94 percent, which is very crucial in a rural setting as we strive to achieve a door to balloon/device of less than 90 minutes.”