Workplace rules changing in 2019

By Mike Lewis mlewis@crossroadsbizjournal.com As a new year dawns, Walt Lachenmayr said it’s time to dust off those employee handbooks. Lachenmayr is a human resources consultant based in Hagerstown, Md. He and attorneys from Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia recently provided insights and advice for employers as 2019 begins. For example, Lachenmayr said the National Labor Relations Board’s view of several matters has changed in the transition from former President Barack Obama to President Donald Trump. As a result, he said, some workplace rules are “more realistic” from an employer’s point of view. Those range through “a whole host of […]

Read More…

On the books for January 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 […]

Read More…

‘Their success is our success’

Shane Heizer, portfolio manager at Middletown Valley Bank By Mike Lewis mlewis@crossroadsbizjournal.com An extra question in class led to the beginning of a banking career for Shane Heizer. Heizer, a graduate of Smithsburg (Md.) High School, remembers that he was enrolled in a business course at Hagerstown Community College. The course was being taught by Jim Pierne, who retired as CEO of Susquehanna Bank and executive vice president of Susquehanna Bancshares Inc. Pierne also happens to be on the board of directors of Middletown Valley Bank. “I took his classes and asked if he had any internship opportunities. … For […]

Read More…

Minghini’s owners ‘optimistic’ about growth

By Mike Lewis mlewis@crossroadsbizjournal.com 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. There’s a decades-long […]

Read More…

Watching the lawmakers on wage, tax, workplace issues

By Mike Lewis mlewis@crossroadsbizjournal.com Some business leaders are going to be watching lawmakers as 2019 begins. Among states in the Crossroads Business Journal region, potential issues could range from the minimum wage in Maryland to taxes in West Virginia to infrastructure funding across the nation. Chambers of commerce and other business organizations are preparing to meet issues that affect them as the topics arise in statehouses and Washington, D.C. “Our (priorities) are very broad” and generally support job growth, said Paul Frey, president and CEO of the Washington County (Md.) Chamber of Commerce. “When a specific piece of legislation comes […]

Read More…

Notes and quotes for December 2018

Things seen and overheard around the region last month, compiled by reporter Mike Lewis: Nice ride in Spain FREDERICK, Md. — Carey International Inc., which provides chauffeured service, customer-centric travel technology and ground transportation logistics management, has named a new franchise operation in Madrid, Spain. The Carey Madrid banner was bestowed upon Blai Limousines, which will operate as a Carey-branded, independently owned franchise, Carey announced in a news release. Founded in 1965, Blai Limousines began supplying premium ground transportation solutions in Barcelona, including chauffeured services for Catalan painter Salvador Dali, before expanding into additional service territories throughout Spain. Blai Limousines […]

Read More…

‘Coffee gets cold quick around our office’

Lori Barnes and Melinda Cordell, owners of Greencastle Notary Service By Mike Lewis mlewis@crossroadsbizjournal.com Lori Barnes and Melinda Cordell own and operate Greencastle Notary Service in Greencastle, Pa. The little storefront almost closed before it got started. Barnes said they were planning to open more than a decade ago in a building across the street. The landlord had “made everything beautiful,” and had asked the duo to move their items out of the space so the floors could be refinished before they opened. “The place burned down that night,” she recalled. “The next day, we rented this space.” And they’ve […]

Read More…

Experts see a merry 2019

But much depends on Congress passing a new infrastructure bill By Mike Lewis mlewis@crossroadsbizjournal.com Some economists and business leaders see a mostly rosy 2019 for the Crossroads Business Journal region. At various presentations in Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, those tasked with peering into economic crystal balls have forecast continued growth for the region, driven largely by commerce along Interstate 81 and I-70 and a strong national economy. A few of them said the picture could be even brighter if Congress passes an infrastructure bill. “It doesn’t appear that the new Congress is going to agree on a lot with […]

Read More…

Frederick annexes land for industrial use

FREDERICK, Md. — One of the largest contiguous industrial-zoned properties in the region is on the market. The city of Frederick has annexed 327 acres of former farmland, known as the Renn Farm, and rezoned it M-1 for light industrial use. The property has water and sewer service and access to Interstate 70 and U.S. 15. It is near the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, an Aldi distribution center and the Riverside Corporate Park. “Having available zoned land with appropriate infrastructure is critical to attracting quality employers and investment,” said Richard Griffin, director of the city’s Department of Economic […]

Read More…

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 … ,” […]

Read More…