Howard County Housing Offers Assistance Via SDLP

Howard County Housing has announced that funds are available to help families who qualify to buy homes in Howard County through the Department’s Settlement Downpayment Loan Program (SDLP). The department has committed $400,000 toward the deferred second mortgage loans, which can be used by pre-approved homebuyers for settlement costs and down payments.

The program offers homebuyers a choice of five different loan products, depending on the homebuyer’s income and assets, with loan amounts up to $40,000. SDLP funds may be used to purchase homes up to $429,620, and buyers must agree to occupy the home as their primary residence. Interest rates are set at 2% below the first mortgage interest rate, and repayment of the loans is deferred until resale, refinance or default.

For more information and for lenders who are interested in participating, call 410-313-6318 (select option 4), e-mail SDLP administrator Linda Phillips at [email protected] or visit

Startup Maryland Supports Collaborate

Startup Maryland was on hand to invite the community to Collaborate, an innovation conference that was held at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center in Washington, D.C., in late January.

“Startup Maryland [was] delighted to be in the Resource Expo, showcasing our initiatives around celebration, connections, coaching and capital,” said Mike Binko, founder and president of Startup Maryland. “[We highlighted] the results of the third-annual Pitch Across Maryland, our upcoming Raise Your Game boot camp for entrepreneurs and our plans to engage sideline angel investors across the region.”

At Collaborate, Startup Maryland was joined by an assembly of hundreds of innovators and entrepreneurs from organizations like Google X, Twitter, Github, Facebook, Alibaba, Makerbot, NASA, GSA, the White House and more for the two days of conversation and hands-on learning.

Colliers Leases Waterloo Crossing to Full Capacity

Colliers International | Baltimore brokered a long-term lease on behalf of the University of Maryland Faculty Physicians (FPI) for comprehensive medical office space at Waterloo Crossing, a two-building medical office complex under construction that is now 100% leased, in Columbia.

FPI will lease the entirety of 5890 Waterloo Road, a build-to-suit building designed to accommodate the group’s immediate care practice. Next door at 5900 Waterloo Road, FPI will lease 34,500 square feet for an ophthalmology practice, an Ambulatory Surgery Center and a psychiatric research program.

Colliers also brokered a long-term lease for NuSmile Orthodontics, which will occupy 2,000 square feet at 5900 Waterloo Road, joining previously announced ClearChoice Dental Implant Centers and The Pediatric Center.

Constellation to Acquire Seven Midwestern Fueling Stations

Constellation, a subsidiary of Exelon Corp., has announced an agreement with CNG Fuel to acquire seven compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations in Indiana and Ohio. Constellation will own and operate the stations as public/private-access fueling sites for regional and interstate transportation fleets.

The purchase leverages the company’s scale and core expertise as a natural gas supplier and marks Constellation’s expansion into the CNG market. Constellation is working with a number of its customers to develop, build, own and operate CNG fueling stations in locations to serve customer-owned and third-party contracted fleets.

“Our customers and business partners see CNG and electric vehicle charging as key opportunities to address their long-term sustainability and cost management objectives,” said Gary Fromer, senior vice president of distributed energy for Constellation. “The addition of CNG to Constellation’s retail offerings will help our customers accelerate fleet conversions while allowing Constellation to address their CNG infrastructure and gas supply management requirements.”

TPG, PAG Complete Acquisition of Cassidy Turley

DTZ, a commercial real estate services company, has announced that Cassidy Turley and DTZ are now operating as a single global firm following the completion of the acquisition of Cassidy Turley. The purchase was made by a private equity investment consortium backed by TPG Capital, PAG Asia Capital and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

DTZ now provides clients additional integrated capabilities across more than 30 major U.S. markets in addition to its already established capabilities throughout Europe and Asia. The unified company represents $2.9 billion in annual revenues and more than 28,000 employees and now manages 3.3 billion square feet globally on behalf of institutional, government, corporate and private clients.

MEDEX Spot Joins CIC as Hub Member

The Odenton-based Chesapeake Innovation Center (CIC) has announced that MEDEX Spot has joined as a new Collaboration Hub member. MEDEX Spot is the founder of the Unmanned Micro Clinic (UMC), a self-service outpatient booth that offers quality primary health care with little-to-no wait time.

The UMC conducts medical tests and connects patients to quality hospital-based medical call centers via the use of private, broadband-enabled video technology throughout the United States. MEDEX Spot is taking advantage of the new wave of consumerism in health care delivery, patient engagement and patient choice.

Local Banking Exec Karfonta to Retire

Del Karfonta, a long-time bank executive and a constant presence on the area business scene, has announced his retirement from The Columbia Bank effective Feb. 13. Karfonta has worked for The Columbia Bank for nearly 20 years “and has contributed so much to our success during that period,” said CEO John Scaldara.

Karfonta has overseen both retail and commercial units and has always been an ambassador of the bank. In addition, he has been active with many community organizations and involved in business opportunities of his own, and will continue to pursue those in his retirement.

QAI Awarded Contract by Government Printing Office

Quality Associates Inc. (QAI), a provider of enterprise-class services and solutions for content management, document imaging and ECM, has received a Multiple Award Task Order Contract (MATOC) from the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO). Under this umbrella contract, QAI will compete for individual task orders to perform services and operations for a variety of government agencies.

Specifically, QAI will offer its expertise in scanning and document conversion, electronic document management and digital asset management, equipment maintenance and other services as indicated by individual task orders. This indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract has a two-year term from the date of the award, with up to three optional 12-month extension periods.

Protech, Higher Logic Extend Partnership

Protech Associates, of Columbia, and Higher Logic, a provider of cloud-based community platforms, have announced an elevated partnership to develop a seamless integration between Higher Logic’s community platform and Protech Cloud Business Solutions, Protech’s cloud-based association management software (AMS), powered by Microsoft Dynamics CRM. With this new agreement, Protech Cloud Business Solutions customers that are using Higher Logic will have out-of-the-box managed and supported product integration with future upgrades.

“Our partnership with Protech provides great opportunities for associations to implement effective and long-lasting member management and engagement strategies,” said Mark Lowry, CRO at Higher Logic. “Both Higher Logic and Protech are cloud-based platforms that together offer a centralized and comprehensive software package for any organization looking to improve the overall member experience.”

Startup Hippocampus Analytics Joins CIC

Anne Arundel County’s technology business incubator, the Chesapeake Innovation Center (CIC), has announced Hippocampus Analytics is a new Collaboration Hub member. Hippocampus Analytics is building tools that will help scientists manage data and content; hold private, data-driven discussions; and communicate and share their discoveries faster and more easily.

“As a scientist I had no business training, and as a Collaboration Hub member, I have been able to tap into the network of resources and people that surround the incubator to increase my business acumen, as well as get to product launch,” said Diana Ma, CEO, who founded Hippocampus Analytics after a 15-year career as a neurophysiologist. “I am really looking forward to continuing to build my platform and help move science forward with our new, innovative approach to scientific communication.”

Network 2000 Requests 2015 Grant Proposals

Network 2000 has announced a call for grant proposals from eligible 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations in Maryland that align with its mission of promoting the advancement of women. Network 2000 will award $10,000 in grants in the amounts of either $5,000 or $10,000. The deadline for applications is March 6 at 5 p.m. Winners will be announced in May.

Among former awardees are Associated Black Charities, The Path Forward Center, The Emerging Women Leaders Scholarship Fund, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland and Notre Dame of Maryland University. For more information and to download the guidelines and grant application, visit

MET Laboratories Choses LED Tubes by GableLighting

MET Laboratories, a lighting concern based in Baltimore, recently completed a large energy and efficiency upgrade at its headquarters that was led by GableLighting, replacing more than 1,110 32-watt fluorescent tubes with 18-watt LED tubes. Along with the reduction of MET’s carbon footprint by 54,000 pounds per year (the equivalent of planting 20.4 acres of forest), wattage consumption was reduced by 45%.

GableLighting, of Pasadena, provides core general lighting products and retrofitting services for commercial and industrial applications, including new fixtures and retro-fit kits for parking lot, area lighting, high bay, office lighting and specialty fixtures.

Polar Bear Plunge, Related Events, Raise $1.7M for Special Olympics Maryland

Special Olympics Maryland (SOMD) raised $1.7 million through its 2015 winter water series, including the Freeze Your Buns Run, Super Plunge, Corporate Plunge Challenge and the 19th Annual Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge. More than 5,720 individuals and plungers supported the plunge and related events this year.

During the past 19 years, the Polar Bear Plunge has raised more than $26 million for Special Olympics Maryland, which provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sporting events for more than 6,973 children and adults with intellectual disabilities in the state of Maryland.

GovConnects Lines Up Spring Offerings

GovConnects will roll out its spring 2015 Government Contracting Academy with offerings on Tuesday, March 3, and Tuesday, March 31, featuring a small classroom environment with subject area specialists and experienced contractors who can share their lessons learned. Topics include: “Attracting and Maintaining the Best Workforce” and “Demystifying the DCAA and DCAA Audits.” This is the third semester of the series, hosted at the Loyola University Maryland Graduate Center Columbia campus.

Also, GovConnects is hosting the first annual Women in Government Contracting Leadership Forum on Friday, March 20, at the Sheraton Columbia. This all-day event will feature an afternoon panel covering topics related to growing your business and your career. Workshops will be eligible for continuing education credits (CPE). For additional information or to register, visit or search for GovConnects events on Eventbrite.