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FMA to Analyze Report on Sept. 24

Join the Fort Meade Alliance (FMA) at the BWI Hilton on Sept. 24 for the Maryland Cyber Competitiveness Breakfast to learn more about the state of Maryland’s efforts to grow the economy, create jobs and strengthen the state’s economic competitiveness.

Earlier this year, the Maryland Economic Development and Business Climate Commission released a report outlining 32 recommendations to make Maryland more competitive. Several of the recommendations addressed areas of strength in the Fort Meade region, including cybersecurity. Many of the recommendations were bundled into a package of five bills that passed during the 2015 legislative session.

Speakers at the event will be Michael Gill, secretary of the state Department of Business and Economic Development; and Norm Augustine, chairman of the Maryland Economic Development and Business Climate Commission. For more information, call 410-850-4940 or visit www.ftmeadealliance.org.

Royal Australian Air Force Wedgetail Aircraft Visits NGC

Northrop Grumman Corp. (NGC) recently hosted the Royal Australian Air Force as its Wedgetail advanced early warning and control aircraft landed at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. In the U.S. for a joint military exercise, the Wedgetail’s first-ever visit to the facility provided employees the rare opportunity to view the signature Multi-Role Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) radar on a fully operational aircraft.

NGC designed and builds the MESA radar at its Baltimore campus. Easily recognized by its “top hat” configuration on the aircraft, MESA enables coalition warfighting at the next level by providing 360 degrees of air-to-air and maritime tracking capability. NGC also supplies electronic warfare and infrared countermeasure systems for the aircraft.

“The heart of Wedgetail is the Northrop Grumman MESA radar, and the system is performing to the highest standard,” said Group Captain Antony Martin, the officer commanding the No. 42 Wing. “For example, we have flown 1,500 combat hours in Iraq, and we are achieving greater than 95% system availability. So, the purpose of our visit is really to say ‘thank you’ to the team for their hard work and dedication.”

Direct Energy Solar Opens New Headquarters

Direct Energy Solar recently unveiled its new corporate headquarters in Columbia. The new, 42,000-square-foot facility is almost triple the size of its previous location in Annapolis Junction and can accommodate more than 200 employees.

“We have plans to create 800 new jobs across North America for our solar operations by the end of this year. As we expand and open in new markets, we need one central site where our team can work together to support this growth. We are pleased we were able to remain in Howard County, which has been home to our solar business since 2008,” said Scott Boose, president.

Direct Energy Solar acquired Annapolis Junction-based Astrum Solar in 2014 and renamed the company. The new facility includes a 10,000-square-foot operations warehouse. Teams of project managers, engineers, designers, sales and service agents all will work in a bright, open and collaborative environment.

Maryland Relay Introduces Maryland Relay Partner for Local Businesses

Maryland Relay, the free public service that allows people who are unable to use a standard telephone to both make and receive calls, has introduced a new program for local businesses. Maryland Relay Partner is a free program that is designed to connect Maryland businesses and Maryland Relay users through free training and promotion.

Each day, nearly 700 calls are placed through Maryland Relay by individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind (or have difficulty speaking), have limited mobility or have cognitive difficulty. If businesses are unfamiliar with Maryland Relay, they often accidentally hang up on Relay callers, so Maryland Relay Partner was created to educate businesses on how to identify, receive and place Relay calls.

Businesses that enroll in Maryland Relay Partner receive free training with an outreach coordinator on how to place and receive Relay calls, and free access to a digital library of training materials, among other support. To enroll, visit www.MDRelay.org to complete an online inquiry form or call 800-552-7724 or 410-767-6960 (voice/TTY) or 443-453-5970 (video phone).

Certis USA, Saul Borbolla Ibarra Address Mexico Agriculture Market Columbia-based Certis USA, the biopesticide company, has signed an agreement with Saul Borbolla Ibarra, a veteran of Mexico’s agrochemical companies, to manage the introduction and commercial development of Double Nickel 55 WG fungicide/bactericide in Mexico to control diseases in peppers, chiles, tomatoes, potatoes and cucurbits.

Borbolla also will focus on extending markets for the copper fungicide Kocide 2000, Certis USA’s newest product recently acquired by its parent company, Mitsui & Co.

Borbolla will oversee business development in Mexico for all other Certis USA insecticides, IGR, fungicides, bactericides and acaricides used in vegetable crops in Mexico. Borbolla, who has more than 10 years of experience with biocontrols, will work closely with Summit Agro Mexico S.A. de C.V. (SAM), a distributor of Certis USA products in Mexico.

AACC’s HCAT Institute Programs Earn Accreditation

Two hotel/restaurant management programs offered by the Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism Institute at Anne Arundel Community College have been accredited by the Accrediting Commission of American Culinary Federation Education Foundation (ACFEF).

The Culinary Arts Option Associate of Applied Science degree has been identified as “Exemplary” by the ACFEF Accrediting Commission. The team determined that the degree met the required nine standards and received a grant of accreditation and the Exemplary status for seven years, from 2014–21.

Also, the Baking and Pastry Arts Option Associate of Applied Science degree received an initial accreditation by the ACFEF for the maximum five-year accreditation, from 2015–2020.

Transwestern Brokers Three-Building Portfolio at Troy Hill for $34M

Transwestern represented ASB Real Estate Investments in the sale of three properties at Troy Hill Tech Center, in Elkridge. Totaling 175,003 square feet, the portfolio was acquired by two separate investors in two transactions totaling $34.15 million. Managing Director Mark Glagola and Senior Vice President Tom Gentner of Transwestern’s Mid-Atlantic Investment Services Group brokered the deals.

Boyd Watterson Asset Management LLC purchased 7145 and 7175 Troy Hill Drive, consisting of 51,361and 80,369 square feet, respectively. Merritt Properties acquired the 43,273-square-foot building at 7195 Troy Hill Drive. “With Comcast as a strong anchor tenant on a long-term lease, these properties were an attractive investment opportunity for Boyd Watterson and Merritt Properties,” said Glagola.

TCR Selects Ciena to Support Brazil’s ‘Porto Maravilha’ Telecom Project

TCR Telecom, of Rio de Janeiro, has deployed a new municipal network with packet networking platforms from Hanover-based Ciena. The network supports the revitalization of Rio’s port region, which seeks to reintegrate into the city by revitalizing more than 1,200 acres in the downtown neighborhoods of Gamboa, Santo Cristo and Saúde by providing high-speed connectivity that increases the attractiveness of commercial space and supports residential growth and the opening of new tourist attractions.

It will provide greater access to a high-capacity network that is capable of delivering carrier-grade services, such as premium Gigabit Ethernet services, to businesses and data centers in “Porto Maravilha.”

Finmarc Management Acquires Columbia Office Portfolio

Finmarc Management, of Bethesda, has acquired a four-building flex/office portfolio in Columbia comprising approximately 135,000 square feet of space for $15.75 million. Located at Rumsey Road and formerly owned by First Potomac Realty Trust, the project is nearly 100% leased.

Constructed in 1980 with an all-brick exterior, the single-story buildings consist of 9150 to 9180 Rumsey Road. The current tenant roster is primarily composed of “service flex/office” uses that are attracted to the proximity of a mature highway network, strong labor market and flexible, open floor plans. With the purchase of this asset, over the past two years, Finmarc, along with its partners, has acquired or disposed of more than $400 million worth of properties.

Annapolis Makes It Easier to Track Permits

Annapolis Mayor Michael Pantelides announced that the city has launched an updated version of its online permitting system called ETrakIt. The new version, made available by the Department of Environmental and Neighborhood Programs, offers a fresh look to the old system by offering new options on the city’s web site. It also offers a more user-friendly iPhone version.

ETrakIt also will help individuals find information about construction projects and licensed rental housing, along with contractor and property management enforcement cases. Contractors also may schedule inspections through the ETrakIt system. Individuals can find ETrakIt at etrakit.annapolis.gov.

Chaney Enterprises Opens Sand, Gravel Plant in Loveville

Gambrills-based Chaney Enterprises has opened its newest sand and gravel plant in Loveville, Md., in St. Mary’s County. The state-of-the-art facility produces five grades of high quality material for spec work and can produce more than a half-million tons of aggregate per year.

The plant, Chaney’s fourth aggregates facility, produces pea and other size gravel, as well as concrete and masonry sands. “With our brand new plant, we now have increased production capabilities and improved controls on quality, so that our customers get the right material the first time and every time,” said Steven Tripp, marketing manager.

Howard Atop Maryland’s List for Mortgage Approval

Howard County sits atop of the list when it comes to mortgage approval rating in Maryland, according to a new survey by Smart Asset. Howard’s ranking of 67.68% was ahead of second place Frederick County at 67.20%, with Carroll County third at 67.10%. Anne Arundel County ranked sixth, at 65.35%.

The rankings were part of SmartAsset’s study on the best mortgage markets in the U.S. For an overview of the methodology and an interactive map showing the top mortgage markets in the country, go to https://smartasset.com/mortgage/mortgage-rates#us.

HCCC Joins U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has welcomed members of the Howard County Chamber of Commerce (HCCC) through a new partnership that allows HCCC members to enjoy the benefits of membership in both organizations at no additional cost. The U.S. Chamber is the world’s largest business federation, with 96% of its members consisting of small businesses.

For HCCC members, the U.S. Chamber membership number is 2619855. It can be used to create a new account and sign into www.uschamber.com for members to start taking advantage of tools, resources, news updates and service discounts, including small business tool kits; discounts to affinity partners, such as FedEx and Sam’s Club; and access to the Action Center.

Annapolis Will Host 2017 Young Republicans National Convention

The City of Annapolis has been chosen to host the 2017 Young Republicans National Convention. “The convention will not only highlight our many attributes on the national stage, but it will also create a boost to our economy, due to the hundreds of people expected to travel here to participate,” said Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides.

“We are delighted to bring the 2017 Young Republican National Convention to Annapolis,” said Connie Del Signore, president and CEO of the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Conference and Visitors Bureau. “We have a mayor who is well respected in the Young Republican community, and we will do everything we can to ensure a stellar experience in 2017.”

TEDCO 2015 Entrepreneur Expo Registration Open

The Maryland Technology Development Corp. (TEDCO) will host the fifth annual Entrepreneur Expo on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at the BWI Marriott, in Linthicum. The event brings Maryland’s entrepreneurship community together “for a day to network, educate and inspire.”

Register before Sept. 11 for $99 and save $51 on the fee. For more information, call 800-305-5556 or 410-740-9442 or e-mail Fulya Gursel at fgursel@tedco.md.

Two Local Companies Lead Opioid-Awareness Campaign

Marketing Solutions Unlimited (MSU) and Bonnie Heneson Communications (BHC) were selected to lead public information campaigns warning county residents of the dangers of misusing prescription pain medication, which can lead to opiate abuse.

Becky Mangus, president of MSU, a marketing communications firm, will lead the Howard County public information campaign in cooperation with HC DrugFree. HC DrugFree is contracted by the Howard County Health Dept. to provide substance misuse prevention services in Howard County.

The Howard County campaign, “In the Know … The Face of Prescription Medication Misuse,” will include a campaign web site, original videos, pharmacy and medical facility posters, social and print media and video press releases, among other messaging formats.

BHC, a full-service marketing communications firm that specializes in health care marketing, will use original billboard, radio, cable and movie theater advertising, fliers and posters, social media and media editorial to present campaign messages. BHC was selected by the Calvert County Health Department’s Division of Behavioral Health.

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene provided funding for the effort for both campaigns.

Howard County NAACP to Hold 2nd Annual Job Fair

The Howard County Maryland Branch of the NAACP has announced its 2nd Annual Job Fair on Tuesday, Sept. 22, from 10 a.m.– 2 p.m., at the Savage Volunteer Fire Station Community Room, at 8521 Corridor Road, Savage.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration cost for employer exhibitors is $100. To register, contact Tryphenia Ellis-Johnson at 410-533-0523 or tryphenia1023@comcast.net. Registration deadline is Sept. 15.

Homewood Suites by Hilton Opens New Hotel in Laurel

Homewood Suites by Hilton, Hilton Worldwide’s international brand of upscale, all-suite, extended-stay hotels, has announced its newest property, Homewood Suites by Hilton Columbia/Laurel, at 7531 Montpelier Road.

Developed and owned by Star Global Ventures, Homewood Suites Columbia/Laurel is helping to meet traveler demand in the D.C. metro area, as visitor volume is expected to increase by 2%–3% per year through 2017. The new hotel will feature 114 rooms, which will be a combination of studio, and one- and two-bedroom suites.

Smyth Jewelers to Relocate Within Annapolis Towne Centre

Greenberg Gibbons has announced that Smyth Jewelers will relocate to a new, more prominent location on the main circle of Annapolis Towne Centre. The regional jewelry store, which is currently located on the second floor of the mixed-use development, will move to the prime 8,541-square-foot, street-level location on the corner of Towne Centre Boulevard and Harker Place.

Smyth is a family-owned, Baltimore-based jeweler that carries a variety of fine jewelry and giftware, including the largest selection of bridal sets, engagement rings and loose diamonds on the East Coast. The relocation of Smyth allows for the conversion of its former, second level location into Class A office space, meeting the high demand from office and professional tenants.

KBE to Build Fourth Harris Teeter

Bethesda residents will enjoy a new Harris Teeter store in summer 2016, thanks to Columbia-based general contractor KBE Building Corp., which has been chosen to lead its fourth project with the national grocery chain.

Highlights of the $5.7 million, 52,963-square-foot construction project at 4805 Battery Lane, designed by Bondurant Associates, will include a basement parking garage and below residential units. Construction is scheduled to start in fall 2015 and commence in late spring 2016.

NGC Receives Maryland Green Registry Leadership Award

Northrop Grumman Corp.’s (NGC) Electronic Systems sector’s ongoing commitment to environmental performance and sustainability has earned the company the Maryland Green Registry award from the Maryland Department of the Environment.

NGC was one of five Maryland organizations to receive the honor based on its commitment to continuous improvement and the environmental results achieved this past year. The free program offers tips and resources to help organizations set and meet their own goals on the path to sustainability.

Heneson Recognized for Health Care Marketing

Bonnie Heneson Communications (BHC), a marketing communications firm in Baltimore and Columbia, received gold and bronze Aster Awards and a Superior Award recognizing publications the agency created for Howard County General Hospital (HCGH).

Wellness Matters, a community magazine BHC writes and designs that is distributed to more than 200,000 residents of Howard County and surrounding areas, was recognized with two of the three awards. The publication earned the Bronze Aster Award and the Superior Award from the Mid-Atlantic Society of Healthcare Strategy and Market Development; BHC also produces HCGH’s physicians’ directory, which was recognized with the gold Aster Award.

BWI Marshall Airport Sets All-Time Fiscal Year Passenger Record

BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport has announced that passenger traffic continues to climb with 22,761,893 passengers recorded in fiscal 2015. That figure, an increase of 2.4% from the previous fiscal year, represents an all-time record for passenger traffic at BWI Marshall.

International passenger traffic for BWI Marshall rose 55.4% in June 2015 to 116,155 — the highest total for any one month in airport history. International passengers have grown steadily in recent years at BWI Marshall. So far in 2015, airlines have started service to or announced seven new international destinations for BWI Marshall.

For June, a total of 2,181,039 passengers flew through BWI Marshall, an increase of 5.2% from June 2014. It was the second busiest June in the airport’s history. Passenger traffic grew for a number of BWI Marshall airlines, including American, Delta, Southwest, United, Air Canada and Condor airlines.

BTS Software Solutions Among BBJ’s Top Veteran-Owned Businesses

Columbia-based BTS Software Solutions has been recognized as a top performer by its inclusion in the Baltimore Business Journal’s (BBJ) top Veteran-Owned Businesses list, ranking 17th out of the top 49 Veteran Owned Businesses in the region (based on number of employees) for 2015-16. The list was released in the BBJ’s July 31–Aug. 6 weekly edition.

The Veteran-Owned Businesses list will be included in the BBJ’s 2015–16 Book of Lists, which is slated for release at the end of the year. The publication is a compilation of all the lists individually released throughout the year.

Seven Straight: HCC Again Wins ‘Great College to Work For’

Howard Community College (HCC) has won the 2015 “Great College to Work For” award for the seventh consecutive year from the Chronicle of Higher Education, a national higher education publication. The honor makes HCC one of only four community colleges in the country to have achieved this record status.

The recognition program is based on the results of a survey completed by employees at 281 colleges and universities nationwide, including a sample of HCC faculty and staff.

Colleges and universities that stand out in comparison to their peers are selected for the Honor Roll, and HCC is the only Maryland community college to have earned a spot on the list for 2015.

Allergy Free Child Care Center Opens in Dayton

Olesya Rudin, owner of Allergy Free Family Child Care, in Dayton, has launched a specialized child care service for children up to five years of age. “We’re prepared to accept children with food and environmental allergies, asthma, environmental and chemical sensitivities or any child that could benefit from my program,” said Rudin.

As the mother of two children with food allergies, Rudin said she began the business to provide a better option for families with food allergy concerns. The home-based, full-day program provides nutritious meals designed to accommodate each child’s needs. “Young children have been alienated from many things for too long,” Rudin said. “I just want to see if I can make a difference for them and their parents.”

Document Essentials Acquires Columbia’s Laserscript

Baltimore County-based Document Essentials, an office equipment and repair center for copiers, faxes and laser printers, has acquired Laserscript, which is located on Dobbin Road in Columbia. Founded in 1988, Laserscript services all brands of laser printers and copiers, along with marketing new compatible and refurbished toner and ink cartridges.

“We believe that Laserscript’s strong customer base will fortify Document Essentials’ long-term growth strategy. The infusion of Laserscript’s contracts, technicians and administrative staff also expands our business footprint in the mid-Atlantic,” said Brian McMearty, founder and president of Document Essentials.

Ruth’s Chris to Open at The Village at Odenton Station

Klein Enterprises has announced that Ruth’s Chris Steak House is coming to The Village at Odenton Station, the transit-oriented development located opposite the Odenton MARC Rail Station. Ruth’s Chris, ranked first among the nation’s fine dining concepts for three consecutive years by Nation’s Restaurant News magazine, plans to open in spring 2016.

The Village at Odenton Station was selected for the new Ruth’s Chris Steak House location for its opportunity to capture a fast-growing, professional population, with strong income levels due to ongoing growth at Fort Meade, the National Security Agency and The National Business Park, and the expansion of health-related services. It will be situated to welcome more than 2,600 daily MARC commuters every weekday.

HCEDA Gears Up for Second Ignite Event

The Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA) has announced the second Ignite Howard County scheduled for Sept. 11. The event will take place at the Horowitz Visual & Performing Arts Center at Howard Community College, in Columbia.

Ignite Howard County is a high-energy evening where the community comes together to share their passions. The goal is to create conversations and collaborations between people in the artistic, entrepreneurial, creative, technical and innovative communities. Ignite events are currently held in more than 100 cities worldwide. Ignite presenters share their personal and professional passions, using 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds for a total of five minutes.

Tee It Up for The Arc on Oct. 12

Wegmans will present the “Tee It Up for The Arc” annual golf tournament on Monday, Oct. 12. Golfer registration and lunch open at 11 a.m. followed by a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start, at Cattail Creek Golf Course in Glenwood. The tournament honors the memory of the late Gary J. Arthur, who was Howard County Director of Recreation and Parks.

Sponsorships, from $1,000 to $5,000, are available with recognition and other benefits. Tee signs are $250. Individuals can register to pay for $250; foursomes are $800. Breakfast, lunch, beverages, green fees and cart are included. Prizes will be awarded after the lunch buffet. Registration is available at www.archoward.org/events/golf. For information, contact Missy Berger, 410-730-0638, ext. 232, or e-mail mberger@archoward.org.