‘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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‘Personnel is the biggest challenge’

Laura M. Sherman is a member of the fourth generation to take a leadership role at family-owned Fayetteville Contractors Inc. By Mike Lewismlewis@crossroadsbizjournal.com Some years ago, Laura M. Sherman’s plans didn’t include the family business. “It wasn’t my intention to go to school and come back here,” she said during an interview in the offices of Fayetteville Contractors Inc. “It was sort of an opportunity at the time.” That opportunity has worked out pretty well. Sherman has been president of the company since late 2018. FCI is a comprehensive contracting service for commercial and residential asphalt paving; asphalt manufacturing; commercial […]

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Making it after ‘make-or-break’ moment

Baxter Group CEO talks about coming back from financial crisis. By Mike Lewis mlewis@crossroadsbizjournal.com Jocelyne Melton refers to a 2015 audit as a “make-or-break” moment for her company, Baxter Group Inc. And now, the company is making it. The company, based in Chambersburg, Pa., has fought back from a financial crisis to have its biggest year ever. That comeback is one reason the U.S. Small Business Administration recognized the company and Melton, its president and CEO, as Eastern Pennsylvania Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year. Melton, who said she was surprised and honored to receive the award, gave credit to […]

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‘The world’s always changing’

Kristian Adams Johnson of Chambersburg Waste Paper talks about what she sees, from being an executive, a wife and mom. By Mike Lewis mlewis@herald-mail.com CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Kristian Adams Johnson knows a thing or two about balancing her work and family responsibilities. She’s vice president of the family-owned Chambersburg Waste Paper business in Chambersburg, Pa. She’s married to Rob Johnson. She’s mother of 3-year-old Cambrey. And in the time since this interview was conducted and photograph was taken, she’s given birth to a second daughter, Charleigh. Johnson said it’s important to be resilient and flexible at home and at work. “The […]

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‘We haven’t stopped opening’

‘Experience of fun and community’ at Town Run Tap House By Mike Lewis mlewis@crossroadsbizjournal.com SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. — For the husband-and-wife team of Todd Cotgreave and Jessie Shanholtz, the goal was to live and work in Shepherdstown, a community they love. The result is Town Run Tap House and Community Pub. The business not only serves up food and drink, it also showcases art, hosts live music and trivia nights, offers an arcade for children and welcomes nonprofit events. The business is in the old Southern States farm supply warehouse. The decor showcases modern art as well as historic parts of the […]

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Tony Pananes: New generation runs a sweet business

By Mike Lewis mlewis@crossroadsbizjournal.com Tony Pananes spends his days surrounded by candy, but he still brings his wife, Sarah, chocolates for Valentine’s Day. “Of course,” he said with a laugh. “I have to. I get a little discount, though. … We are all chocoholics, including our son (Oliver, age 5).” Pananes is the third-generation of his family to own Olympia Candy Kitchen, which is based in downtown Chambersburg, Pa., and has a store just north of Hagerstown, Md. For more than a century, the business has made and sold chocolates and other sweet treats. The candy kitchen opened on South […]

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Minghini’s owners ‘optimistic’ about growth

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — During the past 30 years, Craig and Berniece Collis have built buildings and a successful company.

“I started off as a laborer, then a carpenter. … I’ve been here since I was 21,” said Collis, who owns Minghini’s General Contractors Inc. of Martinsburg, W.Va., with his wife, Berniece. He is the president and she’s the vice-president of the firm, which dates to 1860.

Minghini’s has won a host of awards in recent years. Most recently, it was named small business of the year by the Martinsburg-Berkeley Counrty Chamber of Commerce. […]

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Curt Spicher: ‘Optimistic about the next decade’

Curt Spicher, president of his family’s appliance, electronics and security store, talks about life in retail By Mike Lewis mlewis@crossroadsbizjournal.com On his way home from the hospital after a heart attack, Curt Spicher had a stop to make — at Spicher’s Appliances, Electronics and Security. “It’s been my life,” he said of the family business. Spicher’s father and grandfather, Carl and Charles Spicher, started the business in 1955. The original store was across the street from the current location on Pennsylvania Avenue in Hagerstown, Md. “They sold every appliance GE made — one refrigerator, one washer, one drier … ,” […]

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‘I’m lucky that I have a really good team’

Weiss Bros. near Hagerstown marks its 80th anniversary. President Michael Weiss talks about the past, present and future. By MIKE LEWIS mlewis@crossroadsbizjournal.com A list labeled “2018 goals” hangs in Michael Weiss’s office, with entries that range from “new website” to “run a marathon.” Weiss smiled when he talked about it, describing himself as a “check-the-box kind of guy.” “If it’s on the list, it’ll get done. It drives me crazy sometimes,” he said. For the past several years, Weiss, 41, has been getting things done for Weiss Bros. near Hagerstown, Md. He’s president of the family business, which is celebrating […]

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David H. Martin Excavating celebrates its 50th year

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Kirk Martin smiles a lot as he walks through the offices of David H. Martin Excavating near Chambersburg, Pa. “I really enjoy this,” he said of the business, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Martin, 46, is the company president. He is the third generation of his family to lead the company. It was founded by his grandfather, David, in 1968 and later led by his father. “I’ve worked here all my life, coming up through the family. … It’s basically shaped who I am,” Kirk Martin said. He’s served a variety of roles in […]

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