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R&R Taqueria Reveals Expansion, Cookbook, Food Network Spot

Chef and Owner Rodrigo Albarran has announced that R&R Taqueria is moving from its celebrated gas station digs to a larger location next door that seats 126 guests and has a room for private events. The move also will enable R&R Taqueria to expand its menu.

Albarran said he plans to start a new venture in the old R&R space beginning in February called Chef Rod’s Outrageous Burgers. “The menu includes burgers with different types of sauces and meats, french fries, ribs and wings,” he said. “To drink, we’re going to have various milkshakes.” Also planned for 2016 is his first cookbook, titled 25 Recipes I Grew Up With, in which he will share family recipes that are part of the R&R menu.

R&R also welcomed the Food Network back to its Jessup restaurant on Dec. 1, when a film crew was on hand to record a segment for a future episode of “Top 5 Restaurants.” “We and our tacos were featured and selected for the Top 5 Authentic Mexican Restaurants in the country,” Albarran said. The episode is scheduled to air in April.

Another Record Month for BWI Marshall

Officials at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport announced that 2,114,532 people flew in and out of the airport in October, marking its fourth-straight record-setting month for passenger traffic. This number represents a 9.7% increase over the figures for October 2014.

For the past four months, BWI Marshall has exceeded previous years’ passenger traffic numbers. July saw an increase of 9.1% over July 2014, for a new all-time monthly record. In August and September, passenger traffic rose 5% and 6.8%, respectively, when compared to the same months last year. Increases in international traffic continue to drive the record-setting growth. International passengers rose 29.6% in October, and total cargo shipments rose 11.2%, to 23.6 million pounds, for the month.

Bright Minds, HCPSS Sponsor Business Programs

Bright Minds is working with the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) to sponsor a program entitled, “The Business and Economic Impact of the Howard County Public School System Locally and Globally,” which is scheduled for Jan. 7, at 6 p.m., at Turf Valley, Ellicott City. The event will feature speakers Freeman Hrabowski, III, president of UMBC; Anirban Basu, Sage Policy Group; and Renee Foose, superintendent, HCPSS.

Tickets for the event are $65. For more information, call Pat Sasse at 410-740-0707 or visit www.brightmindsfoundation.org.

Maryland Live! Cited by Strictly Slots

Cordish’s Maryland Live! Casino has been named the Best Casino in Maryland by Strictly Slots Magazine, a gaming publication dedicated exclusively to slots players.

The magazine’s annual “Best of Slots Awards” survey asks readers to vote for the casinos that offer the best selection of slot machines and promotions in the country. Maryland Live! swept the majority of categories among Maryland casinos, taking 1st Place honors for Best Overall Casino, Best Variety of Slots and Best Slot Club Promotions, led by the popularity of the new Giant Jackpots program. Since launching in May 2015, six Giant Jackpots have hit for a total of $550,171, with each player betting less than $3 on the winning spin.

Maryland Live! also took top honors for Best Video Poker, Best Reel Slots, Best Progressive Slots, Best Nickel Slots, Best Dollar Slots, Best High-End Slot Area and Best Slot Club.

Merritt Properties to Construct First of Three Office Buildings in Hanover

Merritt Properties has started construction on the first of three office buildings at its Buckingham office park in Hanover. Chesapeake Urology Associates has signed on as the building’s first tenant, leasing 17,000 square feet on the first floor. This will be Chesapeake Urology’s 23rd location, and the second in Anne Arundel County.

Located at 7580 Buckingham Boulevard, the two-story Class A office building will be 52,800 square feet and is slated for LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Merritt has plans to build two additional office buildings as part of this park; two retail buildings have already been completed, one of which houses a 24-hour Merritt Athletic Club.

NAI KLNB Brokers Sale of Two Elkridge Buildings for $21M-Plus

NAI KLNB has brokered the sale of two industrial buildings in Elkridge in separate transactions totaling approximately $21.6 million.

FRP Port Capital purchased 7700 Port Capital Drive, a 120,758-square-foot building that is fully leased to Model Home Interiors, which provides design services for single-family homes, townhomes and multi-family homes. Featuring direct frontage on Route 1, the project is surrounded by several mixed-use developments and is positioned for future re-development to achieve a higher and better use. The former owner was 6601 Little River Turnpike LLC.

HSRE Fund V Holding Co. purchased 6685 Santa Barbara Court, a 168,000-square-foot warehouse building that is fully leased to five regional tenants. The former owner, Santa Barbara Court, completed a number of capital upgrades and renovation projects. It is located in the Route 100 Industrial Park.

Howard County Announces Latest Purchasing Accreditation by NIGP

Howard County has been reaccredited for the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) Outstanding Agency Accreditation Award: OA4. The Office of Purchasing has maintained this status since 2006 for its high level of professionalism and quality procurement standards, and is one of 136 governments with this designation among the 2,600 member agencies in the U.S. and Canada.

The Office of Purchasing further directs the procurement of professional services and construction for capital projects, as well as the use of county-issued purchasing cards, the Equal Business Opportunity Program, living wage requirements and environmentally preferred products.

NIGP is an international, not-for-profit educational and technical organization of public purchasing agencies. The award formally recognizes agencies that lead the public procurement profession by demonstrating a body of standards for solid purchasing operations.

Old Line Bancshares Completes Regal Bancorp Acquisition

Old Line Bancshares, the parent company of Old Line Bank, announced the completion of its acquisition of Regal Bancorp Inc., the parent company of Regal Bank & Trust. The combination of the banks strengthens Old Line’s status as the third largest independent commercial bank based in Maryland, with assets of more than $1.4 billion and 23 full-service branches serving eight Maryland counties.

The combination facilitates Old Line’s entry into the markets of Baltimore and Carroll counties where Regal’s banking team will have access to an enhanced lending capacity and product set to serve larger commercial customers in the market. Old Line also will bring its residential lending capabilities to the markets currently served by Regal. The aggregate merger consideration was approximately $7 million.

SECU Opens New Location in Ellicott City

SECU, Maryland’s largest credit union, has opened its newest, state-of-the-art Financial Center at 10025 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City. The location has a number of features designed to make banking more convenient, including a 24-hour drive-up ATM and extended weekday and Saturday hours. Members also will find new processes in place to make their transactions faster and easier.

Like other SECU Financial Centers in Maryland, the office features interactive teller machines (ITMs) that combine the speed and efficiency of a regular ATM with the added convenience of a live teller who can deliver personal, face-to-face assistance for each transaction.

Two Floors of AYC Gutted by Fire, Rebuild to Come

Leaders of the Annapolis Yacht Club (AYC) have vowed to rebuild the structure on Compromise Street after a fire on Dec. 12 gutted its second and third floors. The city of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County promised to help the club rebuild, and all parties were to have met by early in the week to coordinate the effort.

Gov. Larry Hogan joined Mayor Mike Pantelides and Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh for a tour of the building on Dec. 13, and the governor has pledged that the state will be part of the rebuilding effort. The cause of the fire was reported to be an electrical malfunction with an artificial, pre-lit Christmas tree. The bulk of the two floors of the building were gutted during the blaze, which took 90 firefighters about an hour and 45 minutes to control. The fire also caused the cancellation of the annual Parade of Lights.

Anne Arundel County Welcomes Giant Food to Odenton

Anne Arundel County officials, along with citizens and community leaders, welcomed a new Giant Food Store to the Odenton Shopping Center. The 63,000-square-foot store will feature the latest amenities, including a Market Place produce department, Starbucks cafe with a seating area, a full-service pharmacy and a PNC bank branch.

The Giant supermarket is the beginning phase of a larger West County development strategy as Anne Arundel begins implementing the new 2015 Odenton Town Center Master Plan. The plan establishes goals, policies and requirements for development in the town center with an overall mission of creating a vibrant, transit-oriented, mixed-use community located around the Odenton MARC Station.

Another International Carrier Selects BWI Marshall

The latest addition to BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport’s international air service is Norwegian Air Shuttle, which has begun service to and from the French Caribbean destinations of Martinique and Guadeloupe. These locales are the fifth and sixth international destinations added at BWI Marshall this year; Norwegian is the third international airline added in 2015.

Norwegian will operate its seasonal service to Martinique and Guadeloupe with two round-trip flights per week between BWI Marshall and each market. The Norwegian service between BWI Marshall and Martinique will operate on Mondays and Fridays, and the service between BWI Marshall and Guadeloupe will operate on Tuesdays and Saturdays, beginning this week. The airline will use its 737-800 aircraft for the new routes.

AACC First Community College in Maryland to Offer CSX Training

Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) recently became the first community college in Maryland designated as an ISACA authorized training organization to deliver Cybersecurity Nexus (CSX) training.

The CSX | Practitioner training is designed for professionals either in or hoping to enter a cybersecurity position where they are expected to perform first-responder tasks. It consists of three skills-based courses that increase in complexity. The courses map to the Protect-and-Defend category of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Cybersecurity Workforce Framework. Participants apply their knowledge and practice in skills-based lab environments that span the five National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cybersecurity framework domains.

Medical Concern Latest Business to Choose The Village at Odenton Station

Klein Enterprises announced that Physiotherapy Associates, a national provider of outpatient physical and occupational rehabilitation and prosthetic and orthotic services, with more than 550 clinics in 26 states, is relocating to The Village at Odenton Station, opposite the Odenton MARC Rail Station. Physio, an outpatient physical rehabilitation clinic, plans to open in January.

Physio, which offers physical therapy, sports medicine, orthopedic services, concussion management, vestibular therapy, and pediatric and women’s health services, was located formerly at 1132 Annapolis Road, Odenton. The new site was selected due to its central location and access to public transportation. The clinic will share space with Advanced Spine & Pain (ASAP), founded by Dr. Thomas Raley. ASAP specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery, and orthopaedics and pain management.

Howard Fire and Rescue Services, HCC Partner to Offer Degree Program

The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) and Howard Community College (HCC) have partnered to offer firefighters and paramedics a new academic program that provides an affordable, accessible path to an associate degree in fire science and leadership. This will help these first responders to achieve compliance with the department’s recently implemented leadership, education, assessment and development requirements for career advancement.

Starting in 2016, firefighters and paramedics will need to earn 45 college credits for promotion to the rank of lieutenant and an associate degree for promotion to captain. Through the new partnership, participants can receive up to 40 college credits for many of the training courses that they already take as part of their departmental certification, and 20 additional credits can be earned by taking core academic courses taught at HCC.

Arundel Budget Office Wins Budget Award

County Executive Steve Schuh announced that the Anne Arundel County Budget Office has been awarded the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for the fiscal 2016 budget.

The award reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. To receive the budget award, the entity had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for an effective budget presentation.

BTS Software Solutions Wins at Washington SmartCEO’s 2015 GovStar Awards

Columbia-based BTS Software Solutions, a leading software development company that uses technology to create impactful solutions for our community, has been selected by Washington SmartCEO magazine as the emerging business winner of its 2015 GovStar Awards for the Star Workplace category.

The annual GovStar Award program honors government contractors headquartered in the Greater Washington metro region for their achievements in an extremely competitive and complex industry. Forty-five companies of all sizes were selected as finalists, based on their workplace environment, veteran support, growth, technology innovation and contributions to the contracting industry as a whole. The GovStar Star Workplace award category honors government contractors that offer a dynamic, engaging workplace for their employees.

Crosby Takes Top Honors at ‘Best in Maryland’ Awards Gala

Crosby Marketing Communications, of Annapolis, has won four awards in the 2015 Best in Maryland awards competition of the Maryland Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

The firm won First Place in Public Service Announcements for DAV’s (Disabled American Veterans) “Keep the Promise,” a multimedia PSA campaign; First Place in Out-of-the-Box for “Helping America Thank Those Who Served,” created for DAV; First Place in Social Media/Viral Marketing for “Empowering Facebook Users to Sign Up as Organ Donors,” created for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA); and an Award of Excellence in Integrated Marketing Communications for DAV’s “Helping Keep the Promise to America’s Veterans,” a campaign of earned, shared, owned and paid media.

Hampshire Companies Sells Fully-Leased Pasadena Crossroads

The Hampshire Companies, a private real estate investment firm with equity in assets valued at more than $2.5 billion, has announced the sale of a 319,519-square-foot retail center known as the Pasadena Crossroads, located at 8070 Governor Ritchie Highway in Pasadena, to The Sterling Organization. The fully-leased, highly visible retail center is anchored by Shoppers Food Warehouse, Kmart and LA Fitness.

The 28-acre property that was built as Jumpers Mall in the 1970s was renovated in 2008. The Pasadena Crossroads boasts prominent frontage on Ritchie Highway and Jumper’s Hole Road and is a community fixture in a market with strong overall demographics. “The sale of Pasadena Crossroads was driven by extremely competitive market conditions and recent favorable sales,” said Igor Derbaremdiker, transactions manager at The Hampshire Companies.

VOR to Expand Around Post

VOR Technology, a veteran-owned cybersecurity firm based in Columbia, plans to expand its workforce after receiving multiple contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense. To meet the growing demand for its services and cybersecurity expertise, the company anticipates creating more than 60 new jobs in the Fort Meade area.

To provide the company with the working capital necessary to fulfill their government contracts, the Maryland Department of Commerce is providing a $50,000 loan through the Military Personnel and Veteran-Owned Small Business No-Interest Loan Program. The funding will help the company finance equipment upgrades, including computer hardware and software, which will be used to train new employees.

Howard County Farm-To-Fork Launches Online Farmers Market

A new farmer’s market web site, “Howard County Farm-To-Fork” (www.hcfarmtofork.com), recently launched. It serves as a one-stop shop where customers can purchase farm products from their favorite local farms and have the products delivered to their homes, free of charge. The site is being provided by the owners of Carroll Farm-To-Table, a local farm that markets free-range beef, chicken and pork in Ellicott City.

Howard County Farm-To-Fork markets products from Carroll Farm-To-Table, Sugarloaf Sustainable Farms, Roseda Black Angus Farm and Shenandoah Valley Lamb, and hopes to add other local farms to its roster in the near future. Howard County Farm-To-Fork is offering free delivery to make it as convenient as possible for residents to shop locally.

HCGH Recognized as Top Performer

Howard County General Hospital (HCGH) was recognized as a 2014 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures by The Joint Commission, which accredits health care organizations in the United States.

The Top Performer program recognizes accredited hospitals that attain excellence in measurable performance, based on data reported about evidence-based care processes. The program recognized HCGH in the areas of heart attacks, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, children’s asthma and perinatal care.

Convergence: Sun’s Top Workplace for the Third Time

Columbia-based Convergence Technology Consulting has been named one of the Top Places to Work in 2015 by the Baltimore Sun for the third time in four years.

The Sun’s Top Workplaces program is evaluated on the basis of a confidential employee survey conducted by WorkplaceDynamics, a research firm that focuses on organizational health and employee engagement. The survey uses employee opinions to measure two parts of the workplace: whether the company is likely to succeed in the long term and how employees feel about their day-to-day jobs.

Evergreen Works With TLK Group

Evergreen Advisors Capital, a middle-market investment banking and corporate advisory firm that has an office on Bendix Road, Columbia, served as the exclusive financial adviser to TLK Group in connection with its recapitalization with One Equity Partners (OEP) and simultaneous merger with The Results Companies.

OEP is a private equity firm that invests in multiple industries including technology, media, telecom, business services, health care, consumer products, chemicals and manufacturing.

Corenic Opens New Office in Columbia

Corenic Construction Group recently opened a new branch office in the Columbia Town Center. The expansion is part of a customer-focused move to make Corenic more accessible to its growing number of clients in the Baltimore-Washington corridor.

Corenic is full-service general contractor that specializes in commercial construction for the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore metropolitan area. Corenic holds an SBA 8(a) Certification, MDOT MBE/DBE Certification and National Minority Supplier Diversity Council Certification.

SES to Relocate to Howard

Standard Energy Solutions (SES), a solar energy contractor and provider of home energy management solutions, is relocating its corporate headquarters to Columbia. The company, which is currently headquartered in Rockville, recently signed a lease for 18,000 square feet at 9520 Gerwig Lane.

“The need for a more central location was vital to our decision to move; not only will we be able to better serve our current client base, we will also be better positioned to grow our market reach,” said Steve Welsh, president of SES.

Elite Tournaments Forecasts Lacrosse Expansion for 2016

Columbia-based Elite Tournaments has expanded to include a lacrosse division. This branch of the company has been in the research and development stages, with three trial events that took place in 2014. After working with multiple lacrosse organizations and learning more about the logistical differences between lacrosse and the company’s specialized soccer sector, Vice President of Business Development Matthew Libber knew that expansion into the growing sport of lacrosse was a natural progression for Elite.

“Soccer and lacrosse events operate in similar fashion, so expanding into lacrosse will be a seamless transition for Elite Tournaments,” said Libber.

BGH Among Best Firms to Work For

The certified public accounting firm of Bormel, Grice & Huyett (BGH), of Laurel, has been named one of the 2015 Best Accounting Firms to Work For in the annual list of “Best Accounting Firms to Work For” from Accounting Today Magazine and Best Companies Group. BGH was one of six Maryland firms to earn a top 50 ranking.

This survey and award program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in the accounting industry, benefiting the nation’s economy, its workforce and businesses. The Best Accounting Firms to Work for list is composed of 100 CPA firms nationwide.