Thursday, May 27, 2010

1st Frederick County Survey of Businesses Now Underway – Participation Needed


May 27, 2010 – The Frederick County Office of Economic Development (OED) released a comprehensive Business Survey today for all Frederick County businesses. In an effort to gauge wants, needs and perceptions of the business community, the survey was formed to establish a baseline understanding of the business community. Results from this survey will provide a direct link between the business community and local leaders.

After the initial 2010 survey, the Office of Economic Development plans to conduct the survey annually to track growth and changes. Research Coordinator for OED Sandy Wagerman said, “This survey covers many areas for which there is currently no cohesive method to gather, like general sales trends, workforce changes, and international business development.” Laurie Boyer, the Director of the Office of Economic Development stated, “We would like to use this as another tool to provide economic development resources to what our businesses need and to help fill any gaps that we find as a result of the survey.”

The deadline for survey responses is July 6th. Responses will remain confidential (results will be presented as aggregate data). To take the survey, please visit Please call the Office of Economic Development at 301-600-1058 for any questions.

Future Link Conference

The 2010 Future Link conference at Frederick Community College is underway today. The event, sponsored by the Frederick County Business Roundtable for Education, will address local work-force needs and collaborative efforts to ensure an adequately trained labor force is established to meet growing demands in the community.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Groundbreaking - Banner Life

Natelli Communities is pleased to announce that construction on Banner Life Insurance Company’s new headquarters facility in Urbana, Maryland is underway. The two‐story, 115,000 square foot, class A office structure will be comprised of two buildings with a center courtyard, designed so that it can be expanded.

Tom Natelli, CEO of Natelli Communities and Developer of Villages of Urbana and Urbana Corporate Park, said Banner began looking for a new location two years ago. “Banner wanted to be sure that the building would be ready for them. They needed certainty and we could provide that.” The fabric of the community has become a reality over the last decade. “First you have the homes, then the retail and finally the office buildings. This is a great place to live and work,” said Natelli.

Banner Life will relocate 400 employees from its Rockville offices to the planned $33 million center in Urbana. Frank Gencarelli, Senior Vice President of Distribution & Marketing for Banner Life said more than half of his employees live closer to Urbana than Rockville. “We are not a household name, but are the largest writer of term life insurance. Our name is well known in the industry.” Gencarelli went on to say, “It will give us a better place for our customers as well. They can come here for education and to deepen the relationships that are so important to us in the insurance industry.”

Jan Gardner, President of the Frederick Board of County Commissioners spoke highly of Tom Natelli’s commitment to Urbana and Frederick County. Gardner stressed, “Tom has consistently shown a commitment to Frederick County. He works well not only with businesses, but with the community. All that is reflected in what has been done in Urbana.
Banner Life Headquarters in Urbana Corporate Center is designed by Davis, Carter, Scott. Construction Management efforts are at the direction of Akridge. The tenant, Banner Life, was represented by Jones Lang LaSalle and the landlord, Natelli, was represented by McShea & Company, Inc.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

OED holds “Taste of Frederick” Commercial Realtor Bus Tour

Frederick, Maryland – May 20, 2010 - The Frederick County Office of Economic Development (OED) and the City of Frederick Department of Economic Development (DED) held a Commercial Realtor Bus Tour on May 12, 2010.

Approximately 42 commercial realtors and developers in the Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia region attended the event. This year’s theme was a “Taste of Frederick” where OED and DED served up information on available sites, quality of life, workforce and business community.

The bus tour commenced at Harry Grove Stadium. Richard Griffin and Heather Gramm from the City of Frederick’s Department of Economic Development were tour guides and highlighted opportunities that exist in the City. Laurie Boyer, Helen Riddle and Jodie Bollinger from the Frederick County Office of Economic Development were also tour guides for the day and highlighted Frederick County’s expanding business climate and the advantages of locating and expanding to the county.

The tour concluded at Alexander’s (Auction House) located in Buckeystown for a mini tradeshow and networking event with the bus tour sponsors. There was a brief presentation that included guest speaker, Father Leo Patalinghug from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary. Father Leo Patalinghug competed with Bobby Flay on Food Network’s Throwdown and won for his award-winning fajitas. He spoke to the attendees about Frederick’s enviable quality of life and the importance quality of life factors have on businesses looking to locate or expand.

Frederick County sponsors displayed their materials regarding their projects in Frederick County. The participants were able to meet with the sponsors and talk to them about their sites as well as network with the group. Sponsors of the event included: St. John Properties, Heritage Properties, Inc., Matan Companies, NAI The Michael Companies, Inc., Corporate Office Properties Trust, First Potomac Realty Trust and Saul Centers, Inc.

For more information regarding this event, please contact the Frederick County Office of Economic Development at (301)600-1058 or visit our website at

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


On June 22nd, Frederick area business leaders will gather at Dutch’s Daughter to honor 16 local businesses nominated for recognition by the Entrepreneur Council of Frederick County, along with its media partner, 270 Inc. magazine.

The dinner is one of the area’s premier business networking events. It is regularly attended by leaders of the business and business support communities, as well as public officials. The event will feature a networking social hour, dinner and an awards program that includes a keynote address and a short video profile of each nominee.

Nominees are listed in five categories. They are: Small Emerging: Aspire, BridgePath Scientific and Source Radio Network; Large Emerging: Café Nola, Default Resources and Widearea Systems; Small Established: Dublin Roasters, Imagination Center and Wood Street; Medium Established: East Coast Millwork, Imquest and Orases; Large Established: The Crowley Company, James Allen Jewelers and The Wormald Companies. Mary Jane Tabler, owner of Thomas Scott Salon, will be honored as this year’s Master Entrepreneur.

The ceremony’s keynote speaker will be George Wunderlich, Executive Director of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, who will provide historical lessons for today’s entrepreneurs in his presentation,“Adapt and Thrive…Just What the Doctor Ordered.”

For more information about the event, contact Chris Olson at 301-600-1967 or visit To purchase tickets, contact Mike Zimmerman at .

Monday, May 17, 2010

FEMA Applicant Briefing for February Snow Storms

Local municipalities, county divisions and private non-profits (PNP’s) located in Frederick County that sustained damages or incurred costs related to the February 2010 winter storms may be eligible to seek reimbursement through FEMA.

A briefing for Frederick County based agencies will be held on May 26, 2010 at 9:00 a.m. in the first floor hearing room, Winchester Hall, 12 East Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701. Eligible applicants will be able to meet one-on-one with FEMA project officers to discuss expenses related to the February 2010 winter storms and gather information on the reimbursement process.

PNP’s that are recognized by Internal Revenue Service designation Section 501(c), (d), or (e) or by state certification that the organization is a non-revenue producing nonprofit entity organized or doing business under state law, and provide one of the following activities may be eligible:

Community Centers
Custodial Care
Homeless Shelters
Rehabilitation Facilities
Community Arts Centers
Senior Citizen Centers
Shelter Workshops
Health and Safety Services of a Governmental Nature
Performing Arts Facilities

To pre-register for the briefing or for further information, please contact the Frederick County Department of Emergency Preparedness at or 301-600-1746.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Frederick Named to List of Top Art Cities

American Style Magazine has named Frederick as one of the Top 25 Small Art Cities in the United States. Each year, American Style, a national publication that promotes the significance of handmade objects of art, has an annual competition to select the top 25 arts destinations in the United States, based on population.

American Style magazine showcases the eclectic lifestyles of artists, the elegant homes of craft collectors and "the art of creative living," making Frederick a perfect fit to be chosen as one of its arts destinations. Their 2010 Arts Destination poll marks the 13th year for such a list, which recognizes a total of 75 cities, the top 25 in each of three categories: big cities (populations of 500,000 or greater), mid-size cities (populations of 100,000 to 499,999), and small cities (populations of less than 100,000).

Frederick is in great company on the list of small cities, which includes the likes of Asheville, North Carolina and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Top large size cities include Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. This may result in increased tourism and recognition that Frederick is an arts destination.

Frederick County Transportation Blog

The Frederick Area Committee for Transportation (FACT) is now hosting a web blog. Please check in from time to time for news updates and information on pertinent transportation issues.

The website is:

FACT is a volunteer group that advocates for transportation needs in Frederick County, Md.

Exploring New Markets

The Frederick County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to present a conference titled "Exploring New Markets," at Mount St. Mary’s University Frederick Campus on Friday, June 4, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

This event is modeled after the Chamber’s June 2009 Social Media Conference and February 2010 New Media & Technology Conference, and is part of the “Emerging Ideas” series.

Interactive seminars on procurement, positioning, diversity and other business development topics will help area businesses find opportunities for growth in regional, generational, cultural and niche markets.The day begins with a kick-off presentation by Michael Boyd, president of MBAssociates, who will invite the audience to consider an answer to the question: “Does your customer retention need an intervention?” After various breakout sessions and a networking lunch, the day concludes with a closing keynote by economist Anirban Basu, chairman and CEO of Sage Policy Group, Inc. Mr. Basu will provide an engaging overview of Frederick’s position in regional, national and international markets, and will share ideas with local companies that want to grow and thrive.

Three concurrent breakout sessions will cover topics such as accessibility, generational differences, eco-friendly business practices, hiring bilingual employees, responding to government proposals, solution-based selling and more. To encourage discussion and create an optimal networking environment, registration will be limited to 120 participants for general sessions, and 40 participants in each breakout session. Lunch will be provided. The cost to attend is $125 for Chamber members and members of partner organizations, and $195 for non-members. Discounts and other benefits are available to event sponsors and Chamber Trustees. Participants must register in advance by calling 301-662-4164 x 201 or visiting before May 25.

Comcast Spotlight and Comcast Business Services are the Diamond Sponsors of the Exploring New Markets Conference. Miles & Stockbridge, P.C. is the Ruby Sponsor. Additional premier sponsorships are available to Chamber member companies who wish to support the conference and gain additional marketing exposure. Interested companies should call Jessica Hibbard at 301.662.0745.

Detailed descriptions of each session, list of presenters, complete schedule of events, and instructions for online registration are available at

For more information about this and other Chamber events, contact Jessica Hibbard, Communications Director, at 301.662.0745 or visit

Thursday, May 6, 2010

New Frederick County Visitor Center

Renovation continues on a 110 year old building on East Street that will eventually be home to the Tourism Council of Frederick County and the Frederick County Visitor's Center. A "topping off" celebration is planned for next Tuesday, May 11, 2010.

The structural insulated panels (SIPs) are now being installed. One plane of the roof has been completed and another is being prepared to receive the SIPs, which consist of foam insulation sandwiched between oriented strand board (OSB) panels. The exterior will be covered by a standing seam metal roof. The interior will be covered by tongue & groove boards over the Visitor Center exhibit area, where the underside of the roof structure will be visible. The schedule currently calls for the final SIP panels to be installed on Tuesday May 11.

Free Assistance Workshop

Transportation Secretary Beverley K. Swaim-Staley today announced that the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will be conducting a free MBE/DBE Application Assistance Workshop on Thursday, May 27, 2010, at the C. Burr Artz Library in Frederick beginning at 10 a.m. The mobile workshop series is part of Governor Martin O’Malley’s new certification outreach program to fully explain the certification process. This free program includes a comprehensive overview of the certification process and provides participants with the opportunity to have a one-on-one meeting with a certification expert.

“Maryland is committed to ensuring that all small, minority- and women-owned firms have the opportunity to participate fully and fairly in State contracting,” said Transportation Secretary Beverley K. Swaim-Staley. “The workshops are another step forward in the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s efforts to expand opportunities to more Marylanders. MBE/DBE programs are an essential component of the State’s minority business inclusion efforts.”

The workshop will be conducted by MDOT’s Office of Minority Business Enterprise, the official certification agency for the State, and will provide valuable information to firms interested in becoming certified as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and/or Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE). Maryland maintains one of the most aggressive minority participation goals in the country at 25% overall with subgoals of 10% for women-owned firms and 7% for African American-owned firms.

This workshop helps firms determine if they meet the program’s requirements and offers valuable tips for completing the application process. It covers the five key requirements for certification and the four steps in the certification process. Participants will get an in-depth look at the application and have an opportunity to meet with certification experts one-on-one to ask questions that relate specifically to his/her business.

“Certification is very attainable for qualified firms and it can open new doors of opportunity,” said Zenita Wickham Hurley, Director of MDOT’s Office of Minority Business Enterprise. “We are excited to be partnering with SBDC in Western Maryland to demystify the certification program.”

To register for the free MBE/DBE Application Assistance Workshop on May 27, 2010, in Frederick, contact the SBDC at 301-600-1967 or

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

News from the Frederick County Workforce Development Board...

For the second year in a row, the Frederick County Workforce Development Board (WDB) has partnered with Johns Hopkins University and Frederick County Public Schools to offer a unique college-level Engineering course to a select number of Frederick County high school students.

The partnership was first established last year in support of the WDB’s initiative to develop science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills among Frederick County’s current and future workforce.

The Engineering Innovation program enables rising high school juniors and seniors and incoming college freshmen to earn three college credits from Johns Hopkins University while exploring cutting-edge educational and career options.

Engineering Innovation will be held at Tuscarora High School from July 6 through July 30. A limited number of spaces remain, and the registration deadline is May 12. Generous contributions from Frederick County businesses have resulted in reduced tuition costs for prospective participants. To learn more about this program, including how to register, please visit:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

2010 BIO International Convention

The 2010 BIO International Convention is underway in Chicago. The conference, considered the largest global event for the biotechnology industry, features keynote sessions from policy-makers such as former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. The Frederick County Office of Economic Development has representatives in attendance who are promoting Frederick to hundreds of companies in the bioscience field.

We'll provide updates throughout the week...stay tuned!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Business Visit to Staffing Dynamics

Staffing Dynamics International, L.P. hosted a business visit by the Frederick County Office of Economic Development today. OED coordinates monthly business visits throughout the year to tour and learn more about the county’s business community.

Staffing Dynamics International, L.P. specializes in offering medical staffing in the recruitment of physicians and allied health, credentialing (full service), full pay rolling capability, malpractice insurance and worker’s compensation. The company was created in 2004 by its Founder and President Ms. Nedra Stennis. She currently presides over two locations in the Metro Washington, D.C. area, and one location in Dallas, Texas. She has five employees at her Frederick location, two employees at the D.C. location and five employees at the Dallas location. The company has been at its Frederick location since August 2009.

When asked by Jan Gardner, President of the Board of Frederick County Commissioners, “What led to your decision to move to Frederick County?,” Ms. Stennis responded, that “Frederick provided the visibility they were looking for, along with the proximity of large Fortune 500 companies that they could possibly develop relationships with, plus the added value of Frederick County being a very friendly family community.

Ms. Stennis, who is a single mom of a 16 year son, also commented how confident she was in the Frederick County school system.
SERVICE, DEDICATION, and INTEGRITY are the basis for SDI’s success thus far, landing them several government contracts with the Army and NIH.
Photo (top) caption: Commissioner Gardner, Ms. Stennis, County Commissioner Blaine Young, Veronica Mozzano (BDAC), Mike Kidder (BDAC).