Route 32 Resurfacing in Howard County Set to Begin

The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) is resurfacing more than three miles of southbound Route 32, from Route 108 to the Middle Patuxent River Bridge. Weather permitting, the $3 million project will be complete late this fall.

SHA’s contractor, C.J. Miller LLC, of Hampstead, will patch, grind (remove the top layer of pavement), resurface and restripe the pavement, as well as clean and repair outlets to ensure proper drainage in the area. Drivers should expect single-lane overnight closures between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. Approximately 55,000 vehicles use that section of Route 32 every day, so motorists should plan extra travel time during the work. The SHA will use barrels, dynamic message signs and arrow boards to guide motorists through the work zone. This section of the highway was last resurfaced in 1996.

Travelers who have questions about SHA projects in Howard County may call the SHA District 7 Office at 301-624-8100 or email shadistrict7@sha.state.md.us.

NSA Selects Next Century as Custodian for Ozone Software Suite

Columbia-based Next Century Corp. will partner with the NSA Technology Transfer Program as the custodian of the Ozone suite of tools, including the congressionally mandated Ozone Widget Framework (OWF), Ozone Marketplace and Ozone Platform (OZP). Next Century won a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), which designates the company as the Ozone technology steward.

The company will shepherd the advancement of the free and open-source software (FOSS) to meet the needs of its extensive user base. The Ozone Widget Framework (OWF) provides a secure, customizable platform to build and use visual workflows for analyzing data. It allows a user to display a single data-set with multiple widget views or display multiple data-sets in a single dashboard.

In this role, Next Century will work closely with all Ozone users — both at the strategic enterprise level and in support of deployed sea, air, cyber and land-based tactical environments — to improve their Ozone experience and enhance performance in their missions.

New Concepts Deliver Regional Tastes to AIRMALL at BWI Marshall

AIRMALL at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport offers travelers more dining options with regional flavor with the additions of Harbor Grille and SPAGnVOLA. Harbor Grille, located in Concourse C, features a wide menu of American classics, from crab cake BLTs and harbor shrimp tacos to district cocktails like the Baltimore Crush and the Capital Smoothie. The full-service restaurant/bar seats 86 and offers soups of the day, fresh salads, starters, flatbreads, burgers and sandwiches, and more.

Maryland’s gourmet chocolatier, SPAGnVOLA, offers an array of handcrafted chocolate bars, bonbons and truffles in its new boutique in Concourse A. Eric and Crisoire Reid hand-pick cacao beans from their farm in the Dominican Republic, then roast and refine them in the company’s Gaithersburg facility. In July 2016, SPAGnVOLA was named one of the top 10 chocolate shops in the world by National Geographic.

DCCA Awarded $13.8M Contract by CMS

Data Computer Corporation of America (DCCA), of Ellicott City, has been awarded a five-year contract by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) with a value of approximately $13.8 million. The core of the contract is geared towards the expansion and enhancement of CMS’s Automated Plan Payment System (APPS) program.

Under the contract, DCCA will provide business intelligence services that will drive the data analytics needs of the APPS program, to include automated data interface analysis and smart reporting capabilities. The company will enable multiple funding sources for plan payments, journal entry capability, and reporting and payment scheduling capabilities through new, complex accounting functions.

Additionally, the company will maintain and enhance the CMS security posture to meet cyberthreats and support the ongoing security risk management program.

Bay Bank Expands Lending Options to Small Businesses With RapidAdvance

Columbia-based Bay Bank has partnered with RapidAdvance, a small business lender, to offer business financing alternatives to its entrepreneur and small-business customers. With the agreement, Bay Bank is able to expand its business lending solutions, supporting the growth of more of its business clients.

The partnership offers a streamlined, simple and efficient process to Bay Bank’s clients through a RapidAdvance dedicated business adviser who will review their needs and provide customized solutions to help them accomplish their goals. The lender’s approval process is based on a business’s financial health and overall performance, not solely on credit; and approval is not dependent on collateral.

Give Back Program Media Collection Bins Placed on Fort Meade

A ceremonial ribbon-cutting on Fort Meade on July 18 kicked off the placement of collection bins across the installation to directly benefit the Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR). The Give Back Program, in partnership with Columbia-based Far Corner Inc., will accept used books and media in the bins and will use Far Corner’s global e-commerce network, technology and logistics capabilities to sell the books through online venues around the world and share the proceeds with DFMWR to generate sustainable revenue.

“What began as a question on how to help support military families has grown into a strategically focused program which will provide sustainable revenue over the long haul,” Myers said. “It has taken us over four years to make sure we built processes and a foundation that will provide tangible benefit for years to come.”

In addition, books will be donated to literacy programs and other causes.

The Give Back Program has already garnered attention beyond Fort Meade and will be used in the future to help other groups leverage unwanted books and other materials to support worthy efforts.

PharmAthene Receives $20M Payment From SIGA

PharmAthene, an Annapolis-based biodefense company developing medical countermeasures against anthrax, has received a $20 million payment from SIGA Technologies, to extend by 90 days, until Oct. 19, the date by which SIGA must satisfy the PharmAthene judgment.

The payment, made pursuant to the SIGA Bankruptcy Reorganization Plan approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, effective April 12, 2016, is creditable against final satisfaction of the judgment in favor of PharmAthene of approximately $205 million plus interest and is not refundable.

Schuh Nationally Recognized for Government Reform Efforts

The National Association of Counties (NACo) has awarded County Executive Steve Schuh and Anne Arundel County a 2016 Achievement Award for a government reform initiative titled “Improving Communication With Core Groups” in the category of County Administration Management.

Immediately upon coming to office, Schuh reorganized county government executive departments into six core groups that meet regularly to discuss issues of shared interest. Through these core group meetings, problems are addressed swiftly and reforms can be implemented more effectively. The different core groups are directly managed by Schuh, Chief of Staff Diane Croghan and Chief Administrative Officer Mark Hartzell.

BGE Launches New Responsive Website for Customers

BGE has launched a new website to enhance the online experience for customers from any mobile device, tablet or desktop, based on feedback provided by customers. Upgraded navigation improves access to services, making it easier for customers to report and check the status of outages, view their energy usage and make more informed decisions.

BGE also recently expanded the digital notification tools and options. Customers can elect to receive notifications via text, email or phone about outages, billing, payment, usage and more.

COPT Completes Data Center Joint Venture

Columbia-based Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) has announced the formation of GI-COPT DC Partnership, a 50/50 joint venture with an affiliate of GI Partners, a leading private investment firm. The venture acquired six of COPT’s existing, single-tenant, data center properties that contain a total of 962,000 square feet. The unconsolidated venture raised $60 million of 10-year mortgages that bear interest at 3.4% to finance approximately 40% of the value of the properties. GI Partners’ affiliate purchased its interest in the venture for approximately $44 million. COPT realized $104 million in proceeds from these transactions.

“We are excited and honored to embark on this new relationship with GI Partners,” said COPT President and CEO Stephen Budorick. “This venture demonstrates the strength of demand for strategically located data center properties leased to high credit tenants, as well as the value creation inherent in our defense/[information technology] development business.”

Spirit Starting Two Daily Nonstops to Florida This Fall

Spirit Airlines is starting daily nonstop service between BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport and the Fort Myers Southwest Florida International Airport and the Tampa International Airport, starting Nov. 10. “Spirit customers love saving money on air travel, and these new routes give the Baltimore/Washington area even more ultra-low cost options,” said Mark Kopczak, Spirit Airlines’ vice president of network planning. “Spirit’s friendly service combined with our ultra-low Bare Fares with Frill Control makes that dream Florida vacation more affordable than ever before.”

Spirit continues to grow at BWI Marshall, bringing new daily nonstop service to/from the Orlando International Airport, Boston Logan International Airport and Detroit Metropolitan Airport earlier this year. With these additions, Spirit will operate nonstop service from Baltimore/Washington to 14 cities, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Myrtle Beach and Orlando, as well as Fort Myers and Tampa.

Real Estate Vets Launch Murn Management

Two real estate industry veterans — Keith Gillan and Megan Pugh — have joined with the president of Maryland-based Murn Development, Chris Murn, to form a new property management company in Columbia, Murn Management.

Gillan, Pugh and Murn previously worked with The Bozzuto Group. Murn’s focus will be on creating partnerships with property owners looking to maximize cash flow and long-term asset preservation. Its pipeline is composed of more than 1,000 units of new development and the team is aggressively pursuing acquisition opportunities.

Grace Completes Purchase of BASF Polyolefin Catalysts Business

W. R. Grace & Co., of Columbia, has completed the acquisition of the assets of the BASF Polyolefin Catalysts business. The acquisition includes LYNX high-activity polyethylene (PE) catalyst technologies that are used commercially in slurry processes for the production of high-density PE resins such as bimodal film and pipe.

LYNX polypropylene (PP) catalyst technologies are used commercially in all major PP process technologies, including slurry, bulk loop, stirred gas, fluid gas and stirred bulk. Grace acquired technologies, patents, trademarks and production plants in Pasadena, Texas; and Tarragona, Spain. Approximately 170 former BASF employees have joined Grace.

In addition to proprietary PE and PP catalysts products and technology, the BASF assets provide Grace with significant additional flexibility and capacity for its global polyolefin catalysts manufacturing network.

Long & Foster’s Creig Northrop Team Ranked Top in the Nation

Long & Foster Real Estate announced that The Creig Northrop Team, a Long & Foster team based in Clarksville, ranked third amongst real estate teams nationwide based on sales volume in 2015, as ranked by REAL Trends’ 2016 The Thousand list. Northrop’s team was also ranked fifth in the nation, based on the number of closed transaction sides in 2015.

The Northrop Team, which has offices in Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Carroll, Howard and Montgomery counties in Maryland, has consistently ranked No. 1 in Maryland for the past 10 years for the number of homes sold. The team is composed of more than 40 real estate sales professionals who work with both buyers and sellers.

Howard County Printer Ranked No. 1 in the Nation

Columbia-based IronMark has been ranked the No. 1 printer in the country by The Printing News in its yearly ranking of the Top 100 Quick and Small Commercial Printers. IronMark employs 105 people and provides a broad array of services including offset, digital and large format printing, graphic design, web development, event promotions and products as well as e-comm services.

The Printing News Top 100 list was generated by ranking businesses according to their 2015 sales. Annapolis Junction based IronMark, who was ranked No. 2 in 2014, took the top spot this year after generating $19,646,500 in sales in 2015.

Monarch Global Academy Achieves IB Status

Monarch Global Academy, a public contract school in Laurel, has been authorized as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School providing the Primary Years Programme, which offers a curriculum designed to prepare students for future education and careers.

The school develops students’ academic, social and emotional well-being, focusing on international-mindedness and strong personal values. The program incorporates local and global issues into the curriculum, asking students to look at six related, transdisciplinary themes, including “who we are,” “where we are in place and time” and “how the world works.”

Cardin Calls for More Funding to Fight Opioid, Heroin Crisis

U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance Health Care Subcommittee, released the following statement on the passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015 (CARA), which was signed by President Barack Obama on July 22.

“Funding to combat public health crises, including the opioid and heroin addiction and abuse that has spread throughout every corner of our country, should not be held hostage to political posturing, but it has. Congress had to act. I voted for the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act [CARA] of 2015 conference report because it sets up a reasonable framework for stemming the current wave of use and abuse. The bill will streamline coordination between federal, state and local governments working to address this epidemic and allow better sharing of best practices. It expands the popular prescription drug take-back program and access to life-saving opioid overdose reversal drugs. CARA also requires a study on the collateral consequences for individuals with convictions for nonviolent drug-related offenses, with a focus on those who have completed recovery programs and are seeking to successfully re-enter the workforce. But this legislation should not be our final word on this issue. … [T]his bill fails to back up promised support with federal funding for state-led treatment, prevention and law enforcement programs.

Fort Meade Visitor Control Center Hours Change

The customer service hours for the Fort Meade Visitor Control Center (VCC) changed as of Mon., Aug. 1. The new VCC service hours will be from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. “We have found that traffic in the VCC drops off dramatically after 6 p.m.,” said. Lt. Col. Seamus Garrett, director of emergency services. “We will continue to monitor demand and make appropriate changes to the hours if warranted.”

With recent changes to Army Installation entrance procedures, longer hours at the VCC were instituted to accommodate the increased demand for installation day and long-term passes. That demand has eased off. “As in the past, when the VCC is closed in the evenings and weekends, visitors can still go directly to the Visitor Inspection Station to gain entrance to the installation,” said Garrett.

BHC Recognized for Health Care Marketing

Bonnie Heneson Communications (BHC), a full-service marketing communications firm, won a gold 2016 Aster Award for the physicians’ directory the agency created for Howard County General Hospital. The Directory of Physicians is a publication distributed to Howard County residents that BHC writes, coordinates and designs listing nearly 800 physicians who practice at Howard County General Hospital representing more than 90 specialties and subspecialties.

The Aster Awards program recognizes health care marketing professionals across the nation. Competition criteria include creativity, layout and design, functionality, message effectiveness, production quality and overall app.

Uber Chronicles Published by Local Author

Columbia-based author Jessie Newburn announced the publication of her book, Uber Chronicles: Field Notes from the Front Seat. The book chronicles her trips, adventures and even some rather ho-hum times driving for Uber in the Baltimore-Washington area. She shares a story about each and every passenger she has picked up: the exchange and the conversation. There is also a “key experience” gleaned from each of the 56 rides she describes.

“Driving for Uber has been an unexpected gift,” Newburn said. “I’ve been taken by the intimacy of shared space and time with my passengers. I think in some ways passengers are willing to reveal more information about their lives with me and other Uber drivers when they know that our time together is defined and (mostly) short. And sometimes they want a quiet ride with no conversation. The book covers each and every passenger.”

The book, currently on Kindle, is available at Amazon.com. A Facebook page for fans of the book can be found at facebook.com/uberchronicles.

Loyola’s Sellinger School Revises MBA Curriculum

Loyola University Maryland’s Sellinger School of Business and Management revised the curriculum for its Professional’s MBA program, increasing academic rigor and experiential learning. The revised curriculum, beginning fall 2016, strengthens the program’s emphasis on business communication, critical thinking, ethical leadership and global awareness in line with the university’s Jesuit values.

Changes include the following.

  • Addition of experiential learning: Students must meet a new experiential-learning requirement by completing a consulting practicum, international experience or department-specific experiential course.
  • Fewer course requirements: The revised program consists of a maximum of 16 courses at 48 credits, down from 20 courses at 53 credits. Some foundation-level courses were consolidated to reduce the total credits required.
  • Increased flexibility: Students have more options to enroll in courses with a hybrid/online delivery in addition to the
  • Greater integration: Communication skill-building has been integrated into functional-area courses covering topics such as marketing and business law.

Classes will continue to be offered at Loyola’s graduate centers in Timonium and Columbia.