Kittleman Stops Use of Parking Meters in Ellicott City

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman has announced that the use of parking meters in Ellicott City has been discontinued. Meters on Main Street, Maryland Avenue and in Parking Lot B in Historic Ellicott City will be covered and a two hour parking limit will be enforced for parking spaces in those three areas. New signs will be installed to reflect the changes in parking enforcement.

In addition, the two-hour limit on parking on Main Street and Maryland Avenue will remain in effect from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. “I have heard complaints from business owners, residents and customers who have brought up issues regarding usability and dependability of the current meters and that they are driving away businesses,” Kittleman said. “Addressing the parking meters was a promise I made to the community.”

BPW Approves BWI Marshall D/E Connector Construction Contract

The Maryland Board of Public Works has unanimously approved a construction procurement for BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport that will lead to the major D/E Connector Program. The board approved a procurement report for the main construction package that will improve passenger services and accommodate growing international air service.

The multi-phase D/E Connector Program will support additional international service at BWI Marshall. The project will create a new security checkpoint to serve domestic and international travelers, construct a new secure connector between Concourse D and Concourse E and configure airline gates to support additional international flights. The main construction package for the D/E Connector Program is a $105 million contract and was awarded to the Whiting-Turner Contracting Co.

A number of airlines are working to add international routes in 2015 and international traffic is expected to expand in coming years. The D/E Connector Program will provide two additional gates for use by international carriers. The international gates are scheduled to be available for arriving passengers in 2016; the entire project is expected to be completed in 2017.

Kenjya Group, Trusant Technologies Merge, Expand National Security Services

Long-time business associates The Kenjya Group and Trusant Technologies have merged to form The Kenjya-Trusant Group — a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business delivering cyberprotection, information technology, engineering, construction management and acquisition-support services designed to protect the nation.

Both founded in 2002, Kenjya, headquartered in Columbia, and Trusant, headquartered in Ellicott City, have become go-to providers of key services to the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the intelligence community and other government and commercial clients.

Kenjya specialized in acquisition support, cybersolutions, systems engineering and strategic planning for national security; Trusant delivered engineering, information technology and construction management services, specializing in the design and construction of advanced technology systems and mission-critical facilities. The headquarters of the combined group will be at the former Kenjya Group’s Columbia offices.

Astrum Solar Plans Expansion, 240 New Jobs

Astrum Solar has announced its plans to expand and add 240 new jobs during the next three years. A residential solar power provider and part of the Direct Energy family of brands, the company will triple its footprint at its Howard County headquarters and bring its total number of employees to 315 by the end of 2017.

Astrum operates a 14,400-square-foot facility in Annapolis Junction and plans to add 28,000 square feet as part of the expansion. The company plans to invest approximately $750,000 in upgrades, including leasehold improvements and equipment.

To support the expansion and job creation goals, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development is providing a $500,000 conditional loan through its Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority and Fund (MEDAAF). The Howard County Economic Development Authority is providing the company with a reimbursable workforce training grant of up to $50,000.

KatzAbosch Debuts New Niche Web Site for Government Contractors

KatzAbosch has announced a new web site, KatzAboschGovCon.com, dedicated solely to government contracting. It displays the firm’s government contract consulting services introduced with the hiring of Government Contracting Adviser Linda Lang.

Accordingly, the firm has now broadened its expertise to holistic government contract consulting in addition to accounting proficiency. [The new web site] can handle all aspects of higher-level support in government contracting. It showcases staff, a comprehensive list of services, timely alerts, current news and events, industry affiliations and client testimonials.

“The acquisition of a new web site dedicated solely to our government contractor friends and clients differentiates us from the rest of the consulting industry. We now have additional online real estate, but also the ability to really hone in on what is essential in government contracting to better address our clients’ motivations and pain points,” said Kelly Ernest, marketing manager at KatzAbosch.

MPT’s Next Season Chesapeake Collectibles to Shoot in Howard County

Maryland Public Television (MPT) will tape the sixth season of its popular series “Chesapeake Collectibles” in Howard County, as the show’s producers have announced that Turf Valley will be the site of two full days of taping in August. The Ellicott City resort was also the location for the program’s fifth season taping in June 2014, which marked the first time that the series was filmed outside of MPT’s Owings Mills studios.

The show, hosted by on-air personality Rhea Feikin, spotlights viewers who bring antiques, heirlooms and other treasures for evaluation by appraisers in specialties ranging from furniture, jewelry and art to antique firearms, textiles and books.

“Chesapeake Collectibles” airs on MPT-HD Thursdays at 8 p.m., with repeats on Fridays at 1:30 a.m. and Saturdays at 10 p.m. The program also broadcasts on MPT2 each Sunday at 6 p.m. Interested collectors must register to attend the taping. Registration information will be posted at mpt.org/cheseapeakecollectibles.

JetBlue Grows Its Service at BWI Marshall, Fort Lauderdale

JetBlue Airways has announced that it will add service between BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The twice-daily round-trip flights are scheduled to begin in November 2015. JetBlue first launched service at BWI Marshall in September 2009, with flights to Boston Logan International Airport.

“JetBlue is an outstanding airline, widely recognized for its customer service and travel value,” said Paul Wiedefeld, CEO of BWI Marshall. “This added service is great news for travelers in Maryland and the entire National Capital market. JetBlue is adding more choices and convenience for our travelers.”

Clapp Communications Signs Howard Bank as Newest Client

Baltimore-based marketing and public relations firm Clapp Communications has announced Howard Bank as its newest client. The firm will create and manage public relations campaigns for the institution as it continues its expansion in the Maryland marketplace.

Howard Bank is one of the largest locally-owned and -managed, growth-focused community banks for small and mid-sized businesses, owners and employees, serving the Greater Baltimore area through 13 full-service branches. It recently announced intentions to acquire Patapsco Bancorp, of Dundalk.

Town Center Community Association Announces Changes in Leadership

Patricia Laidig, village manager of the Columbia Town Center Community Association, has announced her retirement, effective April 17, after 16 years of service. Its board of directors has announced Jeryl Baker as the new village manager.

Baker brings 20 years of experience in Howard County to her new position, including stints as marketing director at the Howard County Economic Development Authority and Base Realignment and Closure Community Coordinator at the Howard County Office of Workforce Development, as well as entrepreneur and co-owner of Terrapin Adventures.

Navy Federal Opens Two Bowie Branches

Navy Federal Credit Union recently held a grand opening for two locations in Bowie, the latest openings within the expanding financial institution. One branch is located in the Bowie Town Center Safeway on Northview Drive; the second branch is also located in a Safeway in the Bowie Fairwood Green Shopping Center. LaShon Trusty manages both branches.

While the new branches are just a short distance apart, each branch plays a role in serving more than 86,000 members living in the area.

TEKsystems Makes Fortune ‘100 Best’ List Again

For the third year in a row, Hanover-based TEKsystems, provider of information technology (IT) staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services, has been named to Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. The company is ranked No. 43, up six positions from 2014.

TEKsystems was selected from among hundreds of companies. Applicant companies opt to participate in the selection process, which includes an employee survey and an in-depth questionnaire about its programs and company practices. Great Place to Work then evaluates each application using its unique methodology based on five dimensions: credibility, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie.

NSA Tech Transfer Program Wins National Award

The National Security Agency (NSA) was selected from more than 100 nominees for a 2015 Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology. NSA’s transfer of a wireless intrusion-detection system to the commercial marketplace — the impetus for the award — reflects the agency’s commitment to advancing the state of the art in cybersecurity.

The system was created in 2006 by Kristen Matlock, who then worked in NSA’s Research Directorate. The solution she developed continuously protects government systems from potential threats that could come from WiFi channels. Traditional wireless intrusion-detection systems hop channels, leaving networks periodically exposed to undetected attacks. The agency’s Technology Transfer Program (TTP) released the solution in September 2013 through an exclusive patent license agreement with Integrata Security, which went on to develop an application for high-risk industries, such as banking.

Turf Valley Receives WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Award

WeddingWire, the nation’s leading online wedding marketplace, named Turf Valley as a winner of the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards for Best Ceremony and Reception Venue.

The 2015 WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards recognizes the top 5% of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. The awards are given to the top local wedding vendors in more than 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, based on their professional achievements from the previous year.

Vision Technologies Honored With 2015 Channel Partners 360° Award

Channel Partners magazine, a resource for indirect sales channels offering information technology (IT) and telecom systems and services, has announced that Vision Technologies, of Glen Burnie, has been selected as a winner of the 2015 Channel Partners 360° Business Value Awards.

To determine the winner of Channel Partners 360°, Vision completed an application demonstrating how it is addressing the convergence of IT and telecom services and how it is creating business value for its customers. Vision presented a server and storage virtualization project that decreased the amount of physical servers from 241 to 124, resulting in an energy savings of $89,000 per year and a reduction in the carbon footprint by 55 metric tons.

NGC Licenses Patented Technology to Improve Cooling of Electronic Modules

Northrop Grumman Corp. (NGC) has licensed its air-flow-through (AFT) cooling technology, used to improve the cooling of high-power electronics, to GE Intelligent Platforms. AFT technology improves the air cooling of advanced electronic modules by incorporating a novel heat exchanger design that helps protect the modules.

“This innovation opens the door to developing more powerful, rugged electronic systems across the military and commercial electronics fields,” said Tom Jones, vice president and general manager, Advanced Concepts and Technologies, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems. “This improvement is a key method of cooling electronic modules that can serve a wide variety of applications.”

Advanced electronic devices generate heat, which can lead to damage or failure if not managed properly. AFT utilizes a central channel with heat fins to isolate electronic components from the cooling air. Air is forced past the heat fins to remove heat without the risk of exposing the electronics to contaminants in the air, a potential problem in other systems.

Explore the World With CA’s New World Food Passport

The variety of restaurants in Howard County includes options from all over the globe and Columbia Association (CA) is encouraging people to enjoy these cuisines through its new World Food Passport program. Locals can pick up their free passports from CA Headquarters, any of Columbia’s 10 village community associations, the Howard County Tourism office in Historic Ellicott City and any of the six Howard County Library System branches.

Diners eat at participating restaurants and ask their server (or the manager) to stamp their passports and fill in the name of the restaurant and the date of service. Once a passport holder has stamps in each of six categories — Asia; South Asia and Afghanistan; Mediterranean and Africa; Europe; Latin America and the Caribbean; and North America — they can enter a drawing for a $25 gift certificate. For more information, call 410-715-3162 or e-mail International@ColumbiaAssociation.org.

Howard County Celebrates 24th Business Appreciation Week

More than 100 businesses will be visited during the week of May 4 as part of Howard County’s annual Business Appreciation Week — a week set aside to directly engage area businesses. The visits will include the full range of businesses from startups to large companies.

Business visits are expected to take approximately one hour and will run each day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Teams of ambassadors will meet with the company’s leadership and employees and tour the business. Businesses interested in participating in Business Appreciation Week can register at www.baw15.eventbrite.com. Interested companies are encouraged to sign up early as the slots are expected to fill quickly.

IMPACT Marketing Moving to Bigger Space

To help accommodate its growing staff and increasingly large-scale campaigns, IMPACT Marketing & Public Relations has moved from 6011 University Blvd. in Ellicott City to a larger office location at 6310 Stevens Forest Rd., Suite 110, Columbia.

The company has doubled its staff since last year and plans to continue that expansion in 2015. Recent awards include the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) “Best in Maryland” Website Award for 2013 and 2014 and the Howard County Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 Business Person of the Year Award for IMPACT President Duane Carey, who noted that the firm will soon reach its 10th anniversary.