Economist to deliver forecast for Eastern Panhandle

By Mike Lewis mlewis@herald-mail.com MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — West Virginia economic leaders will take part in next week’s Eastern Panhandle Economic Outlook Conference in Martinsburg. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 14, from 8 to 10:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn at 301 Foxcroft Ave. John Deskins, director of the West Virginia University Bureau of Business and Economic Research, will deliver an economic-performance report and forecast for the Eastern Panhandle region. Deskins, who received a doctorate in economics from the University of Tennessee, is an associate professor of economics at West Virginia University. He leads the bureau’s efforts to serve […]

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Medical marijuana business growing in Maryland

By MIKE LEWIS mlewis@crossroadsbizjournal.com Maryland is proving to be fertile ground for at least some medical marijuana operations. Medical cannabis dispensary sales have risen each of the past 10 months, from $1.8 million in December, when the state launched the program, to $11.6 million in September. Sales totaled $68.8 million for that time period, according to the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. The number of medical marijuana transactions jumped from 26,504 in December to 265,297 in September, again showing an increase every month. At Kind Therapeutics, a growing and processing operation in Hagerstown, Director of Operations Timothy Shaw said Maryland “did […]

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Sowing different revenue streams

Saving the farm has meant diversifying By MIKE LEWIS mlewis@crossroadsbizjournal.com These days, farm work can mean anything from milking cows and raising crops to hosting hunters and celebrating weddings. Some of those latter options are also known as diversifying revenue streams. “There are lots of different avenues folks are taking for income generation,” said Jeff Semler, University of Maryland extension educator in Washington County. “… They’re trying to take some of the eggs out of one basket and put them into some other baskets. “The old standby was one person on the farm getting a job off the farm,” he said. That […]

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‘You have to be on their farms to understand their lives’

Leslie Hart, agricultural business specialist, Washington County Department of Business Development By MIKE LEWIS mlewis@crossroadsbizjournal.com Leslie Hart conducts a lot of business in barns and across kitchen tables. “I try to do everything face-to-face. I don’t like emails. I don’t like phones,” Hart said. As the agricultural business specialist within the Washington County (Md.) Department of Business Development, she works with farmers and farm-related ventures. Those duties, and her temperament, get her out of her Hagerstown office. Doing business in person is “the first part of building a relationship. … I still believe in the power of a handshake,” Hart […]

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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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Former DuPont land on Potomac in W.Va. sold

By MATTHEW UMSTEAD news@crossroadsbizjournal.com MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The DuPont Potomac River Works property in Falling Waters, W.Va., recently was purchased by a Winchester, Va.-based company for $4,050,000. Potomac River Works L.C., a newly created corporate entity related to Howard Shockey & Sons Inc., completed the purchase of about 1,248 acres from Chemours Co. FC LLC, according to Berkeley County, W.Va., property deed records. John P. Good Jr. of Potomac River Works said the company has no immediate plans for the property, which is accessed from U.S. 11 less than a half-mile north of W.Va. 901. “We don’t have any formal […]

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Orrstown, First Community banks complete merger

By JENNIFER FITCH news@crossroadsbizjournal.com SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. — A $32.4 million merger between the holding companies for Orrs- town Bank and First Community Bank of Mercersburg (Pa.) announced in late May is now complete. Orrstown Financial Services Inc. acquired Mercersburg Financial Corp. as part of the agreement. First Community Bank of Mercersburg locations now will be branded as Orrstown Bank. “We are pleased to welcome Mercersburg’s customers, employees and shareholders to the Orrstown family. As one community bank, we will be able to enhance our customer experience by providing a wider range of products and services through additional locations and digital […]

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On the Books

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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‘Work on the fundamentals’

Rick Weldon, president and CEO of the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce By MIKE LEWIS mlewis@crossroadsbizjournal.com With a work background that ranges from rural Maryland to Washington, D.C., to the depths of the ocean, Rick Weldon reasons that “a little patience, compassion, creativity and focus” can overcome just about any obstacle. Weldon was recently named president and CEO of the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce. He follows Elizabeth Cromwell, who resigned to take the helm of the Charlottesville (Va.) Regional Chamber of Commerce. Weldon brings a diverse background to his latest role. He served four years in the U.S. Navy submarine service then […]

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Charting a course

Experts agree planning needn’t be painful. By MIKE LEWIS mlewis@crossroadsbizjournal.com Strategic plans are necessary, but they don’t have to be long, complicated or painful to produce, according to some experts in the field. “I look at it as a very energizing, challenging and fun process,” said Mary Ellen Waltemire of One Step Closer Coaching, a consulting company in Hagerstown, Md. Crossroads Business Journal recently interviewed four people with experience in planning. The aim was to glean advice, tips and ideas. For example, according to some experts, you might consider tossing those three-ring binders and cases of sticky notes in favor of […]

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