Rothstein Added to HCCC Team

The Howard County Chamber of Commerce (HCCC) has announced that Col. Ed Rothstein (Ret.) has joined its team to advance its government contracting program, GovConnects. Rothstein served as the former garrison commander at Fort Meade and as president and CEO of the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corp.

Since leaving the military and public service, Rothstein has run ERA Advisory, a business development, government contracting and leadership development consulting firm, whose clients have included Bay Bank and the Howard County Economic Development Authority, among others.

Rothstein’s intent is to build on the foundation GovConnects has had during the past four years and take it to the next level, stating, “I Look forward to working with Leonardo and his team on strengthening our community through the existing partnerships and forming new relationships with key players in the region. Our strength is through combining government, commercial industry and academia.”

Sandy Spring Acquires The Advantage Group

Sandy Spring Insurance Corp., a company of Sandy Spring Bancorp, has acquired The Advantage Group, of Westminster. Sandy Spring Insurance is a full-service, independent agency that offers all lines of personal, business and life insurance to clients across Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.

With a more than 25-year history of serving clients throughout Maryland, The Advantage Group offers comprehensive auto, home, health, business and life insurance protection. The agency brings particular strength and expertise in the area of contractor insurance, as well as a broader reach into Western Maryland.

There will be no changes to the insurance policies of The Advantage Group clients, and their insurance agents will remain the same. The Advantage Group office in Westminster also will operate as usual. The Advantage Group will continue to operate under its current name, but it ultimately will rebrand to Sandy Spring Insurance. The agency was founded in 1990 by Bruce Talbot and Fred Hilderbrand.

Insurance Commissioner Acts to Help Consumers Affected by Flood

In light of Gov. Larry Hogan’s Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency in Howard County as a result of the late July flood in Ellicott City, Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer, Jr., encouraged property and casualty insurers to provide reasonable accommodations or grace periods for payment to policyholders living in affected areas.

Redmer also temporarily lifted insurance restrictions on when prescription medications can be refilled at pharmacies within the state for impacted Ellicott City residents and on the replacement of durable medical equipment or supplies, eyeglasses and dentures for policyholders in the Howard County zip codes of 21041, 21042 and 21043.

The Maryland Insurance Administration’s Rapid Response team is available to assist individuals impacted by the storm. The team can be reached at 410-468-2340 or 1-800-492-6116. Staff will also be at the Disaster Assistance Center set up for this weather-related event.

HCGH Recognized for Improving Patient Care, Reducing Infections

Howard County General Hospital (HCGH) has received the VHQC Quality Innovation Award for 2015, which recognizes hospitals that are reducing hospital-acquired infections (HAI) and creating a culture of patient safety. The award was granted to the top 10% of hospitals in Maryland and Virginia, based on patient safety and service scores.

All hospitals enrolled in the VHQC Maryland-Virginia HAI Improvement Network were eligible based on 2015 calendar year performance. Hospitals were evaluated using data from two sources: the Targeted Assessment for Prevention, developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems. Only four awards were granted in Maryland.

USAA Partners With Merkle

Columbia-based Merkle has partnered with USAA and Facebook to implement a branding campaign that inspires meaningful appreciation for the men and women who serve our nation. USAA, a financial services and insurance group serving military members and families, selected Merkle as its strategic adviser to develop a digital strategy and media execution across Facebook and Instagram platforms to communicate USAA’s creative assets.

Building on the core Veterans Day concept reflected in USAA’s TV spots, the Facebook and Instagram platforms enabled USAA to extend the experience to target audience segments in a way that optimized media, creative, and reach-frequency objectives. The collaboration, expertise and partnership across teams drove 70 million impressions to 40 million people, a 75% incremental reach to TV overall, and more than 250% incremental reach to TV for the 18–24-year-old demographic.

Alonso Law Firm Opens in Ellicott City

The Law Office of Jennifer M. Alonso has relocated to Howard County. The firm, which specializes in immigration and nationality law, is located in the Dorsey Hall Office Park at 5034 Dorsey Hall Drive, Suite 102, Ellicott City.

The firm’s focus is family-based petitions, employment based, detention and bond, removal proceedings, entry without inspection, violence against women act, asylum, U visas, SIJS and processing times and visa wait times. Alonso is a graduate of the University of Colorado and the Rutgers University School of Law. She has been practicing since 2002.

Princeton Sports Among Best Bike Shops in U.S.

Princeton Sports, of Columbia, a family-owned and operated bike, ski, swim shop celebrating 80 years, has again been named one of America’s Best Bike Shops by the National Bicycle Dealers Association (NBDA). 2016 is the third consecutive year that the company has earned that recognition.

The NBDA’s America’s Best Bike Shops program is designed to identify and reward bicycle stores in North America against the highest performance standards in the industry. Applicants are awarded points based on their application and mystery shopper results, with only the highest performers being selected.

Local Doctor Featured on PBS News Hour

Dr. Brian Morrison of Morrison Chiropractic, in Ellicott City, was recently featured on PBS News Hour due to his involvement with University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) and how it is addressing the opioid epidemic — by treating the whole patient, rather than treating each symptom with opioids.

The elective, which is known as Alternative to Medicine to Treat Pain, is offered at UM SOM to educate students on how to treat patients using a holistic approach, rather than immediately treating the condition with medication. UM SOM encourages its students to guide their patients to chiropractic care, guided imagery or meditation, and tai chi for pain management.

Annapolis Businesses Make This Year’s Inc. 5000 List

Six Annapolis businesses made Inc.’s annual 5000 list. The list ranks companies based on three-year revenue growth, in this case from 2012 through 2015; the highest-ranking of the companies, at No. 24, is Furniture Solutions Group, a large-scale furniture supplier (three-year growth: 7,800%).

The remaining five include No. 721: DATUM, a software provider (three-year growth: 545%); No. 1,427: TRACE International, anti-bribery compliance support (three-year growth: 268%); No. 1,686: Capital Teas, specialty beverages (three-year growth: 220%); No. 1,688: Mavenspire, data center services (three-year growth: 220%); and No. 2,259: SailTime, sailboat rental (three-year growth: 161%).

More Record-Setting Growth for BWI Marshall

BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport announced that 2,347,077 passengers flew through the facility in June 2016, with traffic increasing 7.6% from the same month last year for a new June record. June also marked 12 straight monthly passenger records for BWI Marshall.

During the past 12 months, total passenger traffic at the airport has climbed 8.4% to 24.7 million, a new fiscal year record; international passenger traffic also increased about 15% last month. 2015 was a new all-time annual record for total passenger traffic at BWI Marshall, with nearly 24 million passengers. Strong growth has continued in 2016.

iFOS Awarded Contract by UMCP

Columbia-based Intelligent Fiscal Optimal Solutions (iFOS) recently received an award to provide accounting services for the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP). This two-year contract includes options to renew for two additional years.

The deal calls for iFOS to provide the facilities management departments at UMCP with general accounting services to include accounts payable, budget preparation, financial reporting, account analysis and reconciliation support.

Rep Stage Opens 2016–17 With ‘The Other Place’

Rep Stage, the regional theater in residence at Howard Community College (HCC) will soon open its 24th season with Sharr White’s “The Other Place,” directed by Joseph Ritsch. The play tells the story of Juliana Smithton, a successful neurologist whose life seems to be coming unhinged.

“The Other Place” opens Sept. 7, with a limited run through Sept. 25 in the Studio Theatre of the Horowitz Visual & Performing Arts Center on the campus of HCC, which is located at 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. For more information, visit or call the box office at 443-518-1500.

CRI Garners Contract From CDC

COLA Resources Inc. (CRI), the educational subsidiary of COLA, of Columbia, was awarded a $1.5 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to improve waived testing performance and outcomes at Certificate of Waiver (CW) sites nationwide.

The five-year project is intended to support and expand the efforts of stakeholder partners, such as the CDC, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and others, to instill quality practices and recommendations at CW sites.

New Rankings Name HCC as One of America’s Best for Adult Learners

Washington Monthly magazine recently ranked Howard Community College (HCC) as one of the nation’s best two-year colleges for adult learners. This marks the first year that the Washington, D.C.-based magazine has measured four- and two-year colleges by their service to adult students. HCC ranked fourth on the two-year college list, with high scores for ease of transfer, flexibility of programs and services to students.

To develop its rankings, Washington Monthly used data from the Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) survey and the new College Scorecard database, as well as the College Board’s Annual Survey of Colleges. The publication also looked at the percentage of students age 25 and older, loan repayment rate, earnings after attending college, and tuition and fees.

APL Begins Construction on New Warehouse Facility

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) has started construction of a new warehouse facility on its main campus in North Laurel. The 27,000-square-foot building, set for completion in May 2017, will be used primarily for long-term storage.

Lewis Contractors, of Owings Mills, is the lead contractor on the $7.5-million project. It also includes demolition of older buildings and relocation of utilities.

Two-Person Exhibit at Kish Gallery

The Bernice Kish Gallery at Slayton House, located at 10400 Cross Fox Lane, Columbia, has announced the opening exhibit in the galleries for the 2016–17 gallery season. Diana Ulman will exhibit her paintings and drawings, titled “Evolving Art — Unconstrained” in the Lobby Gallery, and Ellen Corddry will have an exhibit of watercolors and woodcuts, titled “Wood and Water — Landscapes in Woodcut and Watercolors” in the Bill White Room Gallery. The exhibits will run from Sept. 8–Oct. 15.

There will be a reception on Sunday, Sept. 18, from 3–5 p.m. and the public is invited to attend. For more information, call 410-730-3987 or 301-596-4883.