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Howard Bancorp, Patapsco Bancorp to Merge; Commitments for $25M in New Capital

Howard Bancorp, the parent company of Howard Bank, and Dundalk-based Patapsco Bancorp Inc., the parent company of Patapsco Bank, have entered into an agreement to merge.

Under the agreement, Patapsco will merge into Howard in a part stock/part cash, transaction, having an aggregate fixed value of $10.053 million. Patapsco shareholders will receive $5.09 per share in cash (20% of total consideration) or shares of Howard common stock (80% of total consideration), at their election, subject to an allocation and proration process.

On Dec. 31, 2014, Howard, based in Ellicott City, had approximately $691 million in assets, $553 million in loans, $554 million in deposits, and operated 14 banking offices in Greater Baltimore; on Dec. 31, 2014, Patapsco had approximately $226 million in assets, $171 million in loans, $184 million in deposits, and operated three offices in Baltimore County and one in Baltimore City. Assuming the merger closes in 2015, Howard Bank, which opened in 2004, expects to end the year at, or near, $1 billion in assets.

Thomas O’Neill, Patapsco chairman, and Director Gary Bozel are expected to join the boards of both Howard Bancorp and Howard Bank. Phil Phillips, Patapsco’s president and CEO, has been invited to join Howard in an executive leadership position. The merger is expected to close in the third or early fourth quarter of 2015 and has been approved by the boards of both institutions.

“With the addition of Patapsco leadership, the combination of Howard and Patapsco is transformational and of exceptional strategic importance to us,” said Mary Ann Scully, Howard’s chairman and CEO. “The merger will result in an institution with pro forma assets of approximately $1 billion, loans of $810 million and $815 million of deposits at closing, resulting from our linked strategies of strong organic and acquired growth since we opened in 2004.”

Clear to Launch Soon at BWI Marshall

Clear, an identity platform, will launch at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport in late April. Clear members at BWI will gain access to separate expedited security lanes after a simple identity verification — using biometric technology — at a Clear kiosk.

On average, Clear members move through airport security checkpoints in less than five minutes. BWI Marshall becomes the 11th airport to join Clear’s expanding network and will be the first facility in the Baltimore-Washington area to offer travelers the service. Access and enrollment will be available at gates B and D, and customers also will be able to enroll in the program at gate A.

Travelers who sign up at Clear airport locations or at enroll.clearme.com (using code BWI2MTRY) may enroll for a two-month free trial. Clear membership costs less than $15 per month for unlimited use in all locations. Members may add their spouse or partner for an additional $50 per year. Children under 18 are always free, with no Clear card required; Clear also welcomes military personnel and corporations at preferred rates. Clear is integrated with the Transportation Security Administration and its pre-check system. The service is currently available at airports in San Francisco, San Jose, Las Vegas, Denver, Orlando, San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Westchester County, N.Y. In addition to BWI, Miami International Airport will join the Clear network this spring.

NGC Expands Focus on Airborne, Space ISR Business

Northrop Grumman Corp.’s (NGC) Electronic Systems sector has announced the realignment of its Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Targeting Systems division (ISR&TSD) to expand focus on its growing airborne and space ISR business.

The former ISR&TSD is being reorganized into two separate divisions: Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance Reconnaissance and Targeting Systems; and Space Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance Systems.

“This strategic realignment of our ISR business activities will better position the company for a broad and exciting portfolio of future growth opportunities in both the airborne and space domains,” said Gloria Flach, corporate vice president and president, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems. “Ensuring the success of our airborne and space ISR customers’ programs is of critical importance to the nation and the company. Both of these divisions will continue our imperative to enhance future performance, innovation and affordability for our customers.”

Last July, the company broke ground on a new $20 million Maryland Space Assembly and Test (M-SAT) facility at its engineering and manufacturing complex in Linthicum, which will allow for expanded space payload production to meet growth in the company’s space business. When completed later this year, the building will house engineers and technicians working on systems assembly, integration and test activities.

Joseph Ensor has been appointed vice president and general manager of the Space ISR Systems division, with executive responsibility for all division programs and operations in Maryland. California and Colorado. Michael Hinkey has been named vice president and general manager of the Airborne ISR & Targeting Systems division with executive responsibility for all division programs and operations in Maryland and Illinois.

BYTEGRID Expands With Acquisition of Sidus BioData

Silver Spring-based BYTEGRID Holdings LLC, a provider of multi-tenant data centers and information technology (IT) infrastructure services, has announced the acquisition of Sidus BioData, a provider of compliant hosting solutions and compliance services for FDA and HIPAA-HITECH regulated companies.

Headquartered in Annapolis, Sidus’s offerings in cloud hosting, managed hosting and IT regulatory consulting services provide a comprehensive solution for international pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and health care companies that are required to comply with U.S., Canadian and European IT GMP regulations and HIPAA HITECH.

The company’s turn-key set of solutions meet privacy laws, security concerns and audit transparency requirements. In addition, Sidus offers hosting solutions to federal, state and local government agencies. The company currently operates out of three locations, including two in Maryland and one in Boston.

The acquisition significantly accelerates BYTEGRID’s product roadmap by enhancing its managed services offering and providing it with a differentiated compliant hosting solution focused on the life sciences and health care sectors. Additionally, the Sidus acquisition adds sales, product and technical resources and adds the three data centers to BYTEGRID’s national mission critical facilities portfolio.

KEYW Acquires Ponte Technologies, Milestone Intelligence Group

The KEYW Holding Corp. has acquired Ponte Technologies and Milestone Intelligence Group, significantly increasing its cyber capabilities for government and commercial customers.

PonteTec adds capabilities focused on cybersecurity engineering and research with skills in network, host and application security; cryptography; security automation; vulnerability assessment; penetration testing; and malware analysis. PonteTec’s customers include both government organizations and commercial enterprises with a concentration in financial services.

Milestone supports national-level intelligence community customers with core competencies in cybersecurity, cloud computing, software engineering and test and evaluation engineering.

As a result of these acquisitions, KEYW has formed a new sector, called Emerging Technologies and Markets (ETM) to focus on opportunities that leverage KEYW technologies into new markets, identify emerging technologies with the potential to promote organic growth, and identify and shape opportunities for new technology solutions. As part of the formation of ETM, KEYW has hired Dick Schaeffer, Jr., former director of information assurance at the National Security Agency, to run the new sector.

Spending Affordability Advisory Committee Reports to Kittleman

The Spending Affordability Advisory Committee appointed by Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman has presented its blueprint for comprehensive and responsible budgeting for fiscal years 2016–20. The 16-page report includes a menu of suggestions to ensure that the county will maintain its fiscal integrity.

“The intent of our report is to spark a community conversation about the best ways to make sure the government is able to maintain the high quality of life for its residents for many years to come,” said Steve Sachs, a business executive who chaired the 29-member panel. “We know we are facing new economic challenges, and we suggest local government operate like a family runs its household. You shouldn’t spend money that you don’t have.”

The report projects that revenues for fiscal 2016 will increase 1.5%, or $15.2 million, above the approved fiscal 2015 budget. Additionally, the committee recommends the county limit the next fiscal year’s bond authorization to $90 million. For fiscal years 2017–20, the panel projects General Fund revenues will grow an average of 3.6% a year.

The report states that while personal income is growing and property taxes are continuing to show signs of recovery, reduction in state aid and the unknowns surrounding federal government spending, as well as a $15.8 million downward adjustment in fiscal 2015 revenues, may result in moderate growth for General Fund revenues for the near future.

The complete Spending Affordability Advisory Committee Report is available online at www.howardcountymd.gov/DisplayPrimary.aspx?id=499.

RTA Proposes Route Changes to Improve Reliability and Performance

In order to improve the reliability of its public transit service, the Regional Transportation Agency of Central Maryland (RTA) has changed the scheduled running times on four of its routes. These changes will enable customers to anticipate that the buses will operate on time, even though the service changes will result in extended frequency on a few of the routes.

The service changes will impact the 503/E, 301/A, 302/G and 501/Silver routes. Two of these, the 301/A and the 503/E, have had serious running time challenges since the routes were last changed prior to the RTA commencing operation on July 1, 2014. The running time issues have negatively impacted thousands of customers daily. The modifications due to take effect on April 5 will significantly improve the predictability of service.

In addition, the changes will allow customers to travel from The Mall in Columbia to South Laurel without changing buses. “Our goal is to provide our riders with reliable and dependable service. These routes are in critical need of modification to provide a level of quality service that our customers deserve,” said Phil Pumphrey, RTA general manager.

For more information regarding proposed route changes or to comment, visit www.transitRTA.com or call the RTA at 800-270-9553. You may also e-mail your comments to consumer@transitRTA.com with the subject heading “Route/Schedule Proposal” or mail comments to 8510 Corridor Road, Suite 110, Savage, MD 20763.

CA’s Electricity Use Now 100% Offset With Green Power

Columbia Association (CA) has reached a milestone in reducing its carbon footprint after committing to the annual purchase of renewable energy certificates that are the equivalent of 7.7 million kilowatt-hours of green power. That amount equates to about 75% of CA’s electricity use for each of the next three years. When combined with CA’s purchase of electricity generated from a new solar farm in western Howard County, CA will be credited with essentially being 100% powered with green energy and will have reduced its carbon footprint by nearly half.

CA’s agreement with Renewable Choice Energy helps fund the costs associated with wind turbines in other parts of the country. The power produced by those turbines is sold elsewhere, and CA receives American Wind renewable energy certificates for the production of renewable energy.

In 2014, CA announced a partnership with BITHENERGY and SunEdison to purchase 2.5 million kilowatt-hours per year through 2035 from approximately two megawatts of a 10-megawatt solar farm at Nixon’s Farm off Route 32, near Interstate 70. That project produces clean, renewable power equivalent to 25% of CA’s total electricity consumption.

“The purchase of these American Wind renewable energy certificates augments our existing Nixon Farm solar power purchase agreement. CA’s electricity consumption will effectively be completely offset by renewable resources by mid-2015 and will reduce our overall carbon footprint by almost 50%,” said Jeremy Scharfenberg, CA’s energy manager.

MedStar to Sponsor Fellowship for Innovative Health Solutions

Columbia-based MedStar Health is sponsoring an entrepreneurially focused health care fellowship, Health for America, that will bring emerging leaders from diverse backgrounds to work among MedStar providers and partners to find innovative, sustainable solutions for more effectively managing chronic disease.

Health for America, headquartered in Washington, D.C., has opened its highly competitive applications process to select four fellows for the 2015–16 program that begins in September. The fellowship seeks candidates with diverse academic backgrounds and professional experience.

Led by the MedStar Institute for Innovation (MI2), the fellows will work under the guidance of providers, entrepreneurs and other experts throughout MedStar. MI2 is working to create a vibrant innovation ecosystem across MedStar and also serves as a portal for the exchange of transformational ideas and solutions, both internally and from the outside world.

“As part of our journey to help create health care of the future, we welcome the opportunity to collaborate with these Health for America fellows. MI2 is founded on the principle that, for health care to be transformed, we must also look outside our own walls,” said Mark Smith, director of MI2 and MedStar’s chief innovation officer, “and those of our traditional collaborators.”

Long Term Care Management System Joins the CIC

The Chesapeake Innovation Center (CIC), Anne Arundel County’s technology business incubator, has announced that Long Term Care Management System Inc. (LTCMS) has joined as a Collaboration Hub member. LTCMS Inc. is an information technology company that develops innovative applications for the health care industry focusing on the long-term care (LTC) market.

CEO and Founder Kaz Parker established LTCMS in 2013 to address the high cost of third-party referrals and lack of real-time information for long-term care facilities and their potential clients. He developed the LTC Referral Service Exchange (LTC-RS) application, the first referral service exchange in the market, to integrate subscribers, customers and clients on a common platform to communicate, in real-time, client placement and demographic information.

“Today, most long-term care facilities go through third-party referral companies to get new clients,” said Parker. “These companies charge between 80–120% of the first month’s rent and are a huge burden on the facilities. With the LTC Referral Service Exchange (LTC-RS) application, commissions will be less and potential clients will have access to extensive, real-time information that will help them make a decision.”

Parker has secured the patent for technology to manage bed availability and capacity data and plans to implement a pilot project with hospitals this spring. LTCMS’s software also will be accessible as a mobile application on tablets and smartphones. He has owned several assisted living facilities and has worked on systems, applications and products (or SAP) legacy systems and middleware solutions as an enterprise resource planning systems architect.