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DTS Acquires Columbia Partners-Backed iBiquity for $172M

DTS Inc., a high-definition (HD) audio solutions and audio enhancement technologies company headquartered in Calabasas, Ca., has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire iBiquity Digital Corp., of Columbia, the developer of digital HD radio technology for AM/FM audio and data broadcasting, for approximately $172 million. DTS expects to finance the transaction through a combination of cash on hand and debt.

iBiquity is the exclusive developer and licensor of HD radio technology, the sole FCC-approved method for upgrading AM/FM broadcasting from analog to digital. It provides benefits that include improved audio quality, expanded content choices and new digital data services, such as album cover art and real-time traffic updates.

The 36 major auto brands serving the U.S. market offer HD radio technology on some of their vehicles, many as standard equipment. It was built into approximately 35% of cars sold in the U.S. in 2014, and DTS expects the majority of North American vehicles to come equipped with the technology over time.

Ribbon Cut at UL’s Firefighter Safety Research Institute

Leaders from Underwriters Laboratory’s (UL) Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of fire safety science, and local politicians and county department heads, recently cut the ribbon to the organization’s new headquarters in Columbia.

The office, which is located at 6200 Old Dobbin Lane, will serve as the hub from which all FSRI research, training and communication will be overseen. Columbia was specifically chosen as the new headquarters location to better allow FSRI to collaborate with other key organizations in the fire service community that are located in the area.

“UL is a great example of a global industry leader recognizing Howard County as an optimal location for business,” said Larry Twele, CEO of the Howard County Economic Development Authority. “We are pleased that they are here and believe that there is the potential for partnerships among many other local companies and organizations.”

AACC Expands Cyber, IT Training With Partnership

Students interested in updating their information technology (IT), technology applications and cybersecurity knowledge, skills and abilities have a new way to access those courses through a partnership between Anne Arundel Community College’s (AACC) School of Continuing Education and Workforce Development and New Horizons Computer Learning Centers.

Most courses are geared toward professionals either in or hoping to enter the IT industry. New Horizons was chosen because it offers an extensive selection of technology-based training and certifications, such as Adobe, Cisco, Citrix, CompTIA, IBM, Linux, Microsoft, Project Management, Red Hat, Six Sigma and VMware.

In addition, students can learn a variety of topics such as Microsoft Office applications, Adobe products, Google AdWords, Crystal Reports and Quickbooks. Courses are also offered in web design and development, database administration and programming.

BWI Marshall Sets New Monthly Record of 2.36M Passengers

BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport has announced that 2,364,872 passengers traveled through the facility in July 2015. Passenger traffic for July, which increased 9.1% from the July 2014 tally, represented a new all-time record for any month at BWI Marshall.

International passengers climbed 52.5% to 137,791, a new monthly record. So far in 2015, airlines have started service to or announced seven new international destinations for the airport. A major capital improvement, the D/E Connector program, is now underway in order to increase international capacity and to add new passenger amenities.

July 2015 was the first time that more than 2.3 million passengers traveled through BWI Marshall in one month. The previous monthly record for passenger traffic was set in July 2012 with 2.22 million passengers. July’s passenger traffic increased for a number of airlines, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, United Airlines, Air Canada, British Airways and Condor.

Four Howard Schools Rank With Newsweek

Following an earlier erroneous omission, Newsweek has added four Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) schools to its America’s Top High Schools 2015 list. Centennial, Marriotts Ridge, Mt. Hebron and River Hill high schools should have been included in the magazine’s original rankings.

The survey data from HCPSS was submitted to Newsweek on time, but was mistakenly excluded from the ranking analysis. The schools, and the placements they earned on the national and state lists, are listed below:

  • Centennial High School, U.S. Ranking No. 271, Maryland Ranking No. 5
  • Marriotts Ridge High School, U.S. Ranking No. 333, Maryland Ranking No. 6
  • River Hill High School, U.S. Ranking No. 356, Maryland Ranking No. 8
  • Mt. Hebron High School, U.S. Ranking No. 405, Maryland Ranking No. 10

The Newsweek information can be found at www.newsweek.com/high-schools/americas-top-high-schools-2015.

SHA Resurfacing Route 175 Between I-95, Gateway Drive

The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) has started a $2 million resurfacing project on more than one mile of Route 175 (Waterloo Road) in Howard County, between I-95 and Columbia Gateway Drive. The project should be complete by late fall, weather permitting.

In addition to grinding (removing the top layer of asphalt), resurfacing and restriping, the SHA will update highway signage and upgrade the guardrail. The road was last resurfaced nearly 10 years ago.

Crews will work primarily at night to minimize delays for the more than 70,000 vehicles that travel this section of Route 175 each day. Motorists should expect weeknight single and double lane closures between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. SHA will use cones, barrels and arrow boards to guide motorists through the work zone. There may also be a flagging operation at the intersections in the project limits.

WellCare, Inovalon Ink Deal for Data Analysis Platform

WellCare Health Plans, a provider of managed care services for government-sponsored health care programs based in Tampa, Fla., and Bowie-based Inovalon, a technology company providing advanced, cloud-based data analytics and data-driven intervention platforms, have announced a five-year agreement to improve member health utilizing Inovalon’s sophisticated quality analytics platform.

As the size of insured populations grow, the number and complexity of clinical outcomes analyses expand and require better data integration, management and analytics to help improve care delivery and efficiencies.

Inovalon’s Quality Spectrum Insight is a cloud-based, big-data environment that is able to process hundreds of discrete quality measurement analyses across millions of patients at an unprecedented speed that nears real-time processing. This enables Inovalon to uniquely identify gaps in care, quality, data integrity and financial performance, while also identifying potential solutions.

Keller North America Acquires GeoConstruction Group

Hanover-based Keller North America announced its acquisition of the GeoConstruction (a.k.a. Bencor) Group, of the Layne Christensen Co., a company that operates internationally from its headquarters in Frisco, Texas. This acquisition will strengthen Keller’s product range and its ability to offer complete packaged solutions in North America and beyond.

Bencor will operate as a separate business unit of Keller North America and will retain its original name. Bencor brings decades of experience and the drive for innovation that made it a respected leader in the diaphragm wall (D-wall) and deep cutoff wall industry.

In addition, the acquisition includes a team of specialists that is highly experienced in specialty geotechnical grouting and has completed complex jet grouting projects in North America and overseas. Bencor complements Keller’s existing product lines in North America and abroad in providing clients turn-key, cost-effective geotechnical solutions and design-build services. Keller will take on Bencor’s management team and all 150 employees.

AAACCC Announces 2015 Hall of Fame Inductees

The Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce (AAACCC) has announced the 2015 Severn Savings Bank Business Hall of Fame Inductees. They were recognized and inducted at the Severn Savings Bank Business Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet on Sept. 16.

This year’s inductees include Lisa Hillman, former president of the Anne Arundel Medical Center Foundation and senior vice president and chief development officer for Anne Arundel Health System; Mike Phennicie, who founded Professional Consulting Services in 1989, a construction management and inspection services firm, and is currently employed in business development at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport; Richard Franyo, who has spent 30 years as an investment banker and is now proprietor of the Boatyard Bar & Grill, Annapolis; and Jane Snider, an educator who specializes in special education and is founder and executive director of the Summit School and a consultant to nonprofits and school leaders.

WebMechanix Again Named to Inc. 5000 List

Inc. magazine ranked WebMechanix, of Elkridge, on its 34th annual Inc. 5000 list for the second straight year. WebMechanix, a digital marketing agency located in the Baltimore-Washington corridor, recorded revenue growth of 170% during the past three years. Led by Arsham Mirshah and Chris Mechanic, WebMechanix has evolved from a boutique marketing firm specializing in search engine optimization to become a leading provider of web site usability solutions for clients in the education, Software as a Service and finance industries.

The Inc. 5000 is a ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies and represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy — America’s independent entrepreneurs. Companies such as Yelp, Pandora, Timberland, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, LinkedIn, Zillow and many other well-known names gained early exposure as members of the Inc. 5000.

The 2015 Inc. 5000, unveiled online at Inc.com and with the top 500 companies featured in the September issue of Inc., is the most competitive crop in the list’s history. The average company on the list achieved a three-year growth of 490%. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue is $205 billion, generating 647,000 jobs during the past three years.

CarneyKelehan Partners Listed in Best Lawyers

Kevin Kelehan and Thomas Meachum, partners with Carney, Kelehan, Bresler, Bennett & Scherr, were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2016, the oldest peer-review publication in the legal profession.

Kelehan was listed in the publication’s real estate law practice area. His real estate practice focuses on representing lenders and borrowers throughout the acquisition, development and lending process. Meachum was also listed in Best Lawyers’ real estate law practice area. He focuses on zoning and development law, general real estate, employment law, estate administration and litigation and alcohol beverage licensing.

Best Lawyers, which is based on a peer-review survey, analyzed 6.7 million votes and listed more than 55,000 lawyers in the 2016 edition. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed. Corporate Counsel magazine called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”

GableVision Installs Signage for M&T Bank Stadium

GableVision recently installed a new digital signature piece at M&T Bank Stadium, the home of the Baltimore Ravens. The bank recently launched its new brand (logo), and the Anne Arundel-based company was asked to provide a larger and brighter signage display.

In time for the Ravens’ 2015 home opener, GableVision installed two new 5-foot by 67-foot LED digital displays identifying M&T Bank Stadium above the two large end zone videoboards. The new displays replaces older letters that have identified the financial institution since it purchased the naming rights to the facility in 2003 — when Gable Signs produced the four primary identity signs for the exterior of the stadium.

Ciena Unveils New DCI System With Enhancements to Waveserver

Hanover-based Ciena has extended the capability of its Waveserver data center interconnect (DCI) platform into long-haul applications with increased reach and capacity options. The industry’s first stackable DCI system for any distance, Waveserver maximizes transport capacity on the fly and meets greater demand for cloud and content-on-demand requirements.

Waveserver’s new technology can equip today’s networks to provide 200 Gb/s wavelengths at greater than 1,000 km distances, and 100 Gb/s wavelengths in excess of 10,000 km. The web-scale effect is driving network providers to invest heavily in interconnecting data centers, not only within metropolitan areas, but across long distances between cities, as well.

Mulrenin Attorneys to Join Yumkas, Vidmar & Sweeney

Thomas “T.J.” Mulrenin, from Mulrenin & Associates, of Annapolis, has joined Yumkas, Vidmar & Sweeney, a law firm in Columbia. With a total of 10 attorneys, the expanded firm — Yumkas, Vidmar, Sweeney & Mulrenin — will offer clients a fuller set of services, ranging from commercial real estate to complex business transactions and disputes, including bankruptcy. The firm will be one of the area’s largest law firms to have a combined presence in both Annapolis and Columbia.

Mulrenin & Associates’ Carrie Fazzolari also will be joining the new firm as an associate. She has extensive experience as counsel to the telecom industry, with a strong focus on cell tower-related transactions. While Mulrenin and Fazzolari will continue to be based in the firm’s Annapolis office, both expect to spend weekly time in Columbia. The firm’s locations are 10211 Wincopin Circle, Suite 500, in Columbia; and 1919 West Street, Suite 200, in Annapolis.

Merkle Cited as Leader in Industry Guide

Columbia-based Merkle has been recognized by The Relevancy Group as a leader in “The Relevancy Ring: Email Agency Buyer’s Guide – 2015.” The Relevancy Group, an e-mail marketing research and consulting organization, released its first ever buyer’s guide, which analyzes seven vendors and sheds light on which agencies improve the return on investment of current e-mail marketing technologies.

According to The Relevancy Group report, “As the only independent e-mail agency that could possibly compete with the ESP agencies as well, Merkle did a good job of differentiating themselves with a relentless focus on analytics and creative.” The report also states, “For marketers looking for the agency size of an in-house shop combined with the platform flexibility of an independent e-mail agency, Merkle just might be the answer.”

Sandy Spring Announces Stock Repurchase Program

Sandy Spring Bancorp Inc., the parent company of Sandy Spring Bank, has announced that the company’s board of directors has authorized the repurchase of up to 1.2 million shares of the company’s common stock, or approximately 5% of currently outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization replaces the company’s existing repurchase program that expired Aug. 31.

“This repurchase program is similar to other plans we have had in place over the years as part of our overall capital management strategy,” said Daniel Schrider, president and CEO. “We have been in the market at various times during 2015 and will continue when we believe it to be advantageous.” The bancorp purchased 575,472 shares of its common stock in the first two quarters of 2015 at an average cost of $25.92 per share or a total of $14.9 million.

Firkin & Flyer Adds British Flavor at BWI Marshall

The Firkin & Flyer, a new dining option open for travelers at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, is modeled after a traditional neighborhood British pub. Located on the B/C Connector near Concourse C, the restaurant includes a l3,700-square-foot dining area and bar, along with a separate, 1,075-square-foot lounge.

It offers an extensive traditional British pub menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Recent improvements and growing air service on Concourse C have increased the demand for added concessions opportunities. The B/C Connector is open to BWI Marshall travelers on concourses A, B and C. Airlines that fly from gates near the Firkin & Flyer include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airways and USAirways.

KBE Building Corp. Awarded for Project in Annapolis

KBE Building Corp. (KBE), of Columbia, has been officially recognized with an award for its work on the Annapolis Joint Commissary and Navy Exchange from the Associated Builders and Contractors – Chesapeake Shores Chapter.

KBE received the 2015 Excellence in Construction Award (in the Federal Government/Military $10–$100 Million category) at the chapter’s 2015 Excellence in Construction dinner, held at the Westin Annapolis Hotel. KBE renovated the 51,000-square-foot commissary and added a 98,000-square-foot Navy Exchange with a 10,000-square-foot garden center. The LEED Silver certified project was completed in 2014.

EYA Strikes Agreement With Let’s Move

EYA, a developer of more than 30 urban and transit-oriented neighborhoods throughout the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, has signed an agreement with “right”-sizing and relocation specialist Let’s Move, of Fulton, to offer homebuyers the option of Move Concierge services, as part of EYA sales contracts.

Through the agreement, EYA luxury townhome buyers can receive help with right-sizing, personal organization, relocation activities and assistance with preparing an existing home for sale. EYA is currently selling townhomes in five Montgomery County communities: Chelsea Heights, Grosvenor Heights, Little Falls Place, Montgomery Row and Westside at Shady Grove Metro.

Loyola’s Sellinger School Cited for Undergrad Programs

U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges 2016” included Loyola University Maryland’s Sellinger School of Business and Management on the publication’s national list of “Best Undergraduate Business Programs.”

The publication recognized four of Sellinger’s business specialties nationally for individual excellence: accounting (No. 29), finance (No. 22), international business (No. 24) and marketing (No. 18). More information about U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges 2016” is available at www.usnews.com/best-colleges.

Among Sellinger’s other recent distinctions, the school’s undergraduate accounting program ranked 20th in the nation on LinkedIn’s list of “Best schools for accounting professionals.” In addition, Bloomberg Businessweek ranked Sellinger 47th in the nation in the publication’s “2014 Ranking of Best Undergraduate Business Schools.”

M&T Receives Approval for Hudson City Bancorp Merger

Hudson City Bancorp and M&T Bank Corp. have announced that M&T has received regulatory approval from the Federal Reserve to complete the merger with Hudson City. The transaction is expected to be completed on or about Nov. 1, pending approval by the New York State Department of Financial Services and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

Hudson City operates 135 branches, which are located in New Jersey (97 branches), downstate New York (29 branches) and Fairfield County, Conn. (nine branches), which will continue to operate under the Hudson City name until they are converted to M&T’s network, which is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2016.

“The merger with Hudson City strengthens our presence in the mid-Atlantic and the New York City and Philadelphia metro regions,” said Augie Chiasera, M&T Bank’s president of the Greater Baltimore and Chesapeake regions. “Our customers in Maryland will soon be able to bank with M&T at 135 branches in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. Our business clients with multiple locations or a large customer base will also benefit from the convenience and banking options that our expanded footprint will offer.”

Loyola’s Sellinger School to Hold Grad Info Sessions

Loyola University Maryland’s Sellinger School of Business and Management will hold information sessions for prospective students interested in Sellinger’s graduate business programs. The first session, about Graduate Business Programs, will be held Saturday, Oct. 10, from 10 to 11 a.m., at Loyola’s Columbia Graduate Center, which is located at 8890 McGaw Road.

The next two, Master of Accounting, on Monday, Oct. 19, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., and Emerging Leaders MBA, on Tuesday, Oct. 20, from 12 to 1 p.m., will be held at Loyola’s Evergreen Campus, at 4501 N. Charles Street, Room 118A, Baltimore; and the last, MBA and Master of Science in Finance, will be held on Thursday, Oct. 22, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., at Loyola’s Timonium Graduate Center, 2034 Greenspring Drive, Timonium.

Admissions advisers at the sessions will answer questions about the school’s full-time, weekend and evening graduate program formats as well as admission requirements and applications. Attendance to a session will waive the $60 program application fee. To learn more, visit www.loyola.edu/sellinger.