Home Archived Articles Business Briefs

Business Briefs

16
0

Chesapeake Lodging Trust Acquires theAce Hotel, Theater in L.A.

Annapolis-based Chesapeake Lodging Trust has closed on the acquisition of the Ace Hotel Downtown and The Theater at Ace Hotel, located in Los Angeles, for $103 million (or approximately $566,000 per key). The trust entered into a new management agreement with Ace Hotel Group to continue to brand and operate the hotel.

After a nearly two-year comprehensive renovation and restoration of the historic 1920s building, the Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles opened to the public in January 2014. The property contains the 182-room hotel and the meticulously restored 1,600-seat theater, offering the most unique meeting, function and entertainment venue of any hotel in Los Angeles.

“The theater booking pace is up considerably from its first year and will host over 100 events in 2015,” said James Francis, the trust’s president and CEO. “We estimate that the theater alone will generate revenues in excess of $4.4 million and net operating profit of over $2 million.”

SC&H Capital Advises Sage Management Enterprises, on Sale to Xator Corp.

SC&H Capital, an investment banking and advisory firm focused on mid-market and growth companies, served as the exclusive financial adviser to the shareholders and board of directors of Sage Management Enterprises in its sale to Xator Corp.

Headquartered in Columbia, Sage is a leading provider of software engineering; cybersecurity solutions; and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) services to the federal government. Key customers include the intelligence community and various other agencies within the Department of Defense.

“We are excited about the acquisition by Xator and the opportunity for us to leverage our existing capabilities into additional federal customers. There are tremendous opportunities for synergies between the two companies that will result in a more fully developed security offering for all of our federal clients,” said Sean Keller, Sage president and CEO. “SC&H Capital’s steady hand and experience within the intelligence community was crucial to helping us navigate the process and successfully close this transaction.”

BTS Software Solutions Announces New Ownership Team

Columbia-based BTS Software Solutions has announced its new majority ownership team. The new owners assumed majority interest from OSTP LLC, an early stage venture capital firm that founds, accelerates and invests in startups. OSTP will retain a minority interest, along with co-founder Sean Lane.

The purchasing members are David Tohn, CEO; Daniel Cummings, COO; and Craig Cummings, chairman of the board and co-founder. All three are service-disabled veterans, and the new ownership structure allows BTS Software Solutions to become certified as a Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB).

The change in majority ownership marks the next phase of BTS’s evolution. Founded with the idea to develop and field a dedicated 3G cellular network in Afghanistan, providing critical force protection information to safeguard deployed service member and Afghan lives, the company is growing with a broader portfolio, including commercial and assistive technologies business lines.

CA Receives Aa1 Rating From Moody’s

Moody’s Investors Service has assigned Columbia Association (CA) an issuer rating of Aa1, CA’s best-ever rating from the agency.

“We are pleased that Moody’s has affirmed the security of Columbia Association’s annual charge, the favorable location of CA within the economically vibrant Howard County region and CA’s strong financial management,” said Susan Krabbe, vice president and chief financial officer of CA. “In general, being rated highly by Moody’s would allow Columbia Association to issue debt at lower interest rates and with more favorable terms, which would lower CA’s costs when borrowing.” Obligations rated Aa are judged to be of high quality and are subject to very low credit risk, according to Moody’s. An Aa1 rating is the best rating for that category, bettered only by Aaa ratings. “This is a rare and desirable position for a non-stock, nonprofit corporation such as Columbia Association,” said Milton Matthews, president and CEO of Columbia Association.

Northrop Team Garners Five Industry Awards

The Creig Northrop Team of Long & Foster Real Estate, of Clarksville, has received five Maryland Building Industry Association MAX Marketing Achievement Awards. The team was recognized for multimedia marketing, print and web advertising.

The Northrop Team’s marketing department received awards in the outstanding multimedia campaign, outstanding print ad–black and white campaign, outstanding print ad–color, outstanding use of new technology and outstanding web site categories.

The awards recognized Northrop’s redesigned, custom-built web site, which includes new search functionality, with 26 criteria in which to filter results and the capability for users to create their own account and save properties, as well as compare multiple properties. The new technology that garnered recognition included drone photography of properties that provides angles previously unavailable. Northrop utilized new Matterport technology that provides a 3-D interactive map of each home, allowing the viewer to experience a realistic walk-through.

Fort Meade Launches The Press Center

The Fort Meade Public Affairs Office has launched a new web page aimed at making it easier for newsmakers to stay informed about events and issues associated with the installation.

The Press Center, which can be accessed via www.ftmeade.army.mil, features upcoming events media are invited to cover, and an inquiry form that can be used by media to get answers or by community members who may have an event or story idea they would like promoted on the installation. It also makes it easier to find media advisories and press releases as well as downloadable photos and video footage.

Howard County-Raised Horse Scratched From Kentucky Derby

International Star, a horse that was foaled in New York and raised at Chanceland Farm, in West Friendship, was set to run in the Kentucky Derby. However, he was scratched that morning due to a probable abscess in his left front hoof.

Katy Voss, co-owner of the Chanceland Farm, said the horse was sold in fall 2013 to owners Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey. It was hoped that the 3-year-old colt would run in the recent Preakness Stakes, but International Star did not participate in the race.

Adler Exits Savage Mill After 19 Years

Steve Adler, who served as managing partner at Savage Mill since January 1996 — when he “quickly turned a 40% vacancy rate into nearly full occupancy within one year’s time” and cut its “debt in half,” according to a press release announcing his exit — has not been serving in that capacity as of earlier this year and is divesting his holdings in the historic center.

Adler was recognized by the Howard County Chamber of Commerce as the Business Person of the Year in 2000. Today, he is working to develop a Capital Campaign Committee and Capital Campaign for the benefit of Doctors Community Hospital, in Lanham, which is in the process of completing phase one of a $30 million, three-phase expansion.

CarneyKelehan Opens Law Office in Westminster

Carney, Kelehan, Bresler, Bennett & Scherr, which provides a range of legal services, has opened an office in downtown Westminster. The firm is headquartered in Columbia, with additional offices in Annapolis and Salisbury.

“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to serve clients throughout a large portion of Maryland, including north to Westminster, in addition to Howard and Montgomery counties, as well as areas east to Maryland’s Eastern Shore,” said CarneyKelehan Partner Tom Meachum, who will manage the Westminster office. He specializes in zoning and development law, general real estate, employment law, estate litigation and alcohol beverage licensing.

AACC Signs Agreement With the University of Phoenix

Anne Arundel Community College recently signed an agreement with the University of Phoenix that will provide more options for employees to continue their education.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding between AACC and the University of Phoenix, the University of Phoenix will provide a 10% tuition reduction for AACC’s full-time and part-time employees who enter bachelor-, master- or doctoral-level programs, including certificate programs and single courses. The agreement also provides for the university to pick up the cost of assessing AACC employees’ prior learning and training.

Cybersecurity Firm Moves From Northern Virginia to Maryland

Bricata LLC, one of four companies to receive a $100,000 top prize from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) as the Defense & Security Grand Prize Winner in DBED’s third InvestMaryland Challenge, has signed a lease to move from Northern Virginia to bwtech@UMBC.

Bricata, a cloud infrastructure platform that provides scalable systems to isolate and process suspected cyberthreat data, plans to hire 16 sales, pre-sales engineers, BTX engineers and code developers as full-time employees by the end of the year.

ICAT Logistics Provides Support to Rendez-Vous: Haiti Initiative

Elkridge-based ICAT Logistics, an agency-based freight forwarder in the U.S., has announced the success of a recent philanthropic effort with its partner, Rendez-vous: Haiti, to provide transportation to a Haitian orphanage in need. The partners combined their efforts to assist the nonprofit Rendez-vous: Haiti initiative, whose mission is to empower and enable Haitians to develop concrete ways to improve and sustain their own community.

Founded by Loyola University Maryland French professor Dr. Catherine Savell in the wake of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Rendez-vous: Haiti has helped build a new facility, the Village Notre Dame de Lourdes in Santo, a suburb of Port Au Prince. This home to 96 destitute children and its elementary school were in need of a vehicle for transportation and to haul goods. With the help of generous friends such as Isabelle and Andy Robinson, and William and Dana Bain, the orphanage is making progress.

SBDC to Host Tech Event Every Fourth Tuesday

The Anne Arundel Economic Development Corp.’s (AAEDC) Small Business Development Center’s Technology Support Center is set to host SBDC Tech 4.5 on the fourth Tuesday of every month, from 10 a.m. to noon, at the Chesapeake Innovation Center’s Training Center. The center is located at 2288 Blue Water Boulevard, Odenton.

The SBDC Tech 4.5 program was created to assist high tech entrepreneurs in navigating the journey from “mind to market.” Users will have access to free ongoing business consulting, legal, banking and accounting support, whether their company is at the seed, startup or early stage of development.

Ciena Selected to Connect New Data Centers’ Chicago Facility

Hanover-based Ciena will provide its converged packet optical solutions to Forsythe Data Centers for the dual, diverse metro fiber network connecting its new Retail+ managed hosting facility, a high-density data center in Elk Grove Village, Ill., to 350 East Cermak, Chicago.

With Ciena, Forsythe provides secure, low-latency connectivity, as well as access to the various carriers its clients require. This high-capacity, wire-speed encrypted connectivity allows Forsythe’s enterprise and other clients the performance and strong culture of security they require in their data centers.

NGC Names Maryland Winners in 13th Engineering Scholars Competition

Northrop Grumman Corp. (NGC) has announced the 24 winners of its 13th annual Engineering Scholars program, which will provide $240,000 in college scholarships to high school seniors across Maryland interested in studying engineering, computer science, physics or math. This year’s local winners were Catherine Storch of Severna Park High School in Anne Arundel County and Ashi Agrawal of Centennial High School, Howard County.

The Northrop Grumman Engineering Scholars program is aimed at supporting promising high school seniors who intend to pursue a career in an engineering-related field. Candidates must plan to attend an accredited college or university school of engineering as a full-time student in an approved engineering program. An awards reception and dinner hosted by NGC at the Marriott Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel will be held on June 18.

Ciena’s New Waveserver Platform Tackles Scalability, Other Challenges

Hanover-based Ciena is introducing a new data center interconnect (DCI) platform that allows cloud, Internet content providers and data center providers to quickly scale bandwidth and support high-speed data transfer, virtual machine migration and disaster recovery/backup between data centers.

With an extremely compact design that helps reduce real estate costs, Ciena’s new Waveserver stackable interconnect platform also provides 60% more capacity per rack unit and nearly 20 terabits per fiber versus competing available platforms, to support surging bandwidth demands of web-scale data centers.

Days End Farm Receives 4-Star Rating for Financial Health

Days End Farm Horse Rescue (DEFHR), of Lisbon, received a 4– (out of 4) star rating for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency. It is the 10th year in a row the organization has been awarded this coveted rating from Charity Navigator, a charity evaluator, providing donors with information that helps them choose where to place their hard-earned dollars.

In an award letter to DEFHR, John Dugan, Charity Navigator founder and chairman of the board, wrote, “Only 1% of the charities we rate have received at least 10 consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that Days End Farm Horse Rescue outperforms most other charities in America. This ‘exceptional’ designation from Charity Navigator differentiates Days End Farm Horse Rescue from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust.”

New Hobbit’s Glen Golf Club Clubhouse, COHO Grill Open

Columbia Association (CA) has celebrated the official opening of the new Hobbit’s Glen Golf Club Clubhouse and COHO Grill. Construction began in late 2013. The new clubhouse brings an improved layout and updated amenities, significantly upgrading the former facility and helping Hobbit’s Glen Golf Club heighten its stature in the golf community in Howard County and beyond.

The reopened building includes locker rooms and a pro shop. A new turn house is also part of the renovations.

Volunteer for AA County’s First Sunday Arts Festival

Volunteer positions are available through the Anne Arundel County Volunteer Center for the First Sunday Arts Festival.

The streets and parks on West and Calvert streets in the downtown historic area will be filled with more than 100 unique artists and crafters, live bands, dance, street performers and international outdoor cafes for the 13th annual festival. The remaining dates for 2015 are the first Sunday in the months of June through October: June 7, July 5, Aug. 2, Sept. 6 and Oct. 4, each from 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Admission is free to all First Sunday events.

Contact Erik Evans at erik@firstsundayarts.com for more information and to volunteer. See the web site at: www.firstsundayarts.com.

McBride Gallery Hosts 35th Anniversary Show

McBride Gallery will host its 35th Anniversary Show from June 7–21.
The gallery is located at 215 Main Street, Annapolis. The anniversary show will feature works by all 70 artists and celebrate their and the Annapolis community’s role over the past 35 years. For more information, call 410-267-7077 or visit www.mcbridegallery.com.

Two- Person Exhibit at the Bernice Kish Gallery

The Bernice Kish Gallery at Slayton House, 10400 Cross Fox Lane, Columbia, is hosting a two-person exhibit in the galleries for June, July and August.

Jane Byers and Mara Marchand will exhibit their watercolors, acrylics and paintings in an exhibit titled “Friends Painting Contrasts.” The exhibit will run from June 15–Aug. 8.

There will be a reception, with refreshments and music, on Sunday, June 28, from 3–5 p.m. The public is invited to attend. For more information, call 410-730-3987 or 301-596-4883.