Banking 101: Worton Gradeschoolers Visit Chesapeake Bank and Trust

Worton Elementary School summer program (13 students going into third grade) came to Chesapeake  Bank and Trust for a tour and to learn about the role of the bank on our community.
Senior Branch Manager Mary Clark and Meagan Symes began the tour by introducing themselves  and their job descriptions.
They toured the Board Room and listened to the history of the bank including the fact that it was built not too long after Lincoln’s presidency. The groups, split into two, were given the tour, along with talks about the bank’s function. Acting as tour guides, and mentors were:
 Rob Thompson (Vice President) spoke about lending and why people borrow money.
Kim Alvarez (CSR) and Holly Johnson (CSR) told them how to open accounts for new customers and withdraw/deposit money.
Rick Coffman (Board Member) explained how the bank earns money in interest from lending, and the role of board members.
Pat Stanley (CFO) described how her position required a lot of math and accounting skills.
Morgan Baker (Operations Manager) explained how her job is like being a detective, problem-solving when accounting issues need to be resolved.
Of course everyone wanted to the see the vault!
 When explaining the protocol for opening the safe, one student questioned, “there’s a code so the bandits don’t get in, right?”
 They were also shown safety deposit boxes and how they hold important belongings and documentation for our customers, and were excited about the original vault downstairs filled with antique ledgers.
Each of the students were  given activity books from the FDIC that had examples of banking terminology/education in the form of word hunts and puzzles. President Wilson introduced himself and explained his position —like a school principal!— and the importance of saving money. The even filled out a template of a withdrawal slip and they copied their name, signature, the date, $1 and went out to the CSR’s with their CBT gift wallet.
After they handed them their slip they received a Susan B. Anthony gold dollar. Exciting stuff for 3rd graders!
It was heard later that they treasured their coins and some kept them in their pocket every day that week. A beautiful hand-printed thank-you note now adorns the CBT lobby.
Thanks to Meagan Symes at CBT for the narrative and photos!

Benchworks Names Vujanic Executive Vice President


Benchworks is pleased to announce that Brenda Vujanic has been promoted to the position of Executive Vice President. She will be responsible for managing the corporate marketing and communication strategy, providing strategic guidance for key clients, and serving as an experienced resource for Benchworks’ expanding team as the marketing services firm continues to grow.

Brenda Vujanic

Brenda Vujanic

Brenda has extensive marketing experience and most recently served as a Vice President/Account Director at Benchworks. In that role, she implemented a variety of marketing initiatives for pharmaceutical clients including Noven and Otsuka. She has also served as an instrumental member of the Benchworks leadership team, providing insights and recommendations for process improvement and corporate growth.

Benchworks President Melissa Johnston said, “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Brenda for more than 7 years. She provides exceptional strategic marketing guidance to clients and serves as a valued leader of the Benchworks team. Brenda works tirelessly to ensure that her clients and colleagues are achieving their goals. I’m honored to work with her and look forward to our continued collaboration in helping Benchworks achieve its objectives.”

Benchworks, a comprehensive marketing services firm headquartered in Chestertown, Maryland, was founded in 1991. The company specializes in the design, production, and launch of complete marketing and branding services. Clients include a wide variety of companies in the pharmaceutical, beverage, manufacturing, and education industries in North America and Europe. Additional Benchworks operating units include a product launch center, Benchworks Consulting, and a licensed products division. For additional information, please visit or call 800-536-4670.

Mid-Shore Community Foundation Elects Three New Directors


The Mid-Shore Community Foundation announces the election of three new directors that include Susan (Suze) Chaffinch, Kenneth (Ken) Kozel, and Richard Scobey.

“We are pleased to welcome Suze, Ken and Richard to our Board of Directors,” says Foundation Chairman, W. Moorhead Vermilye. “The new directors bring a wealth of experience and their collective knowledge will be an invaluable asset to the Foundation.”

President Buck Duncan and Suze Chaffinch

President Buck Duncan and Suze Chaffinch

Suze Chaffinch was born and raised on the Eastern Shore and has lived most of her life in Caroline County. Since her retirement from teaching, she has enjoyed her involvement with various volunteer organizations. She has been a volunteer with Rebuilding Together Caroline County, The Children’s Home Foundation, and has served as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate). Suze lives in Denton and is a member of Christ Episcopal Church.

Ken Kozel is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Shore Regional Health System. He is active in civic and community service. He has been a Board Member of the Maryland Association of Healthcare Executives and has served on the Council on Clinical and Quality Issues for the Maryland Hospital Association. Ken is a Maryland native and has two children.

Richard Scobey is the Deputy Director General of the Independent Evaluation Group at the World Bank. He currently serves on the Boards of the

Richard Scobey

Richard Scobey

Academy Art Museum, Pickering Creek Audubon Center, and Frederick Douglass Honor Society Scholarship Committee, and has been active with Building African American Minds, Chesapeake Conservancy, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Save the Elephants in Kenya, and Alliance of Religions and Conservation in UK.

Effective July 1, 2015, the new directors will serve two-year terms and will serve on a variety of committees that include Investment, Grants and Scholarships.

The Mid-Shore Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity that is dedicated to serving the Mid-Shore Region. Together with its donors, the Foundation makes grants, awards scholarships and leads community efforts to improve the lives and opportunities of residents – both now and in the future. For more information, visit

Bottling Infrastructure for the Eastern Shore Wine Industry


Bottleing2For many wineries on the Eastern Shore bottling has meant using manual equipment or calling in a mobile bottling company based in other states such as neighboring Virginia. As the industry and number of full time wineries on the shore grows the need for more available bottling infrastructure is growing.

Recognizing that need? – Crow Vineyard & Winery. The Crows began producing wines in 2010 and quickly earned their status from wine experts afar as a premiere wine making operation on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. At the 2015 annual International Eastern Wine Competition held in Sonoma, California, Crow Vineyard received a gold medal for their 2013 Vidal Blanc and silver for their first ever white blend. In June, the International Women’s Wine Competition awarded Crow a double gold for their sparkling Vidal Blanc.

It has always been the dream of owner Roy Crow, growing up on a dairy farm to own his own bottling line. Roy’s dream came true albeit for wine not milk. This past spring, the Crows installed a state of the art bottling line in their winery facility. For Roy, owner of an insurance company, working farm, and successful winery, quality control and security are keys to success. Bottling is the last and one of the most important stop in the winemaking process, its where efficiency and quality care come together and where the product is carefully packaged with bottle shape, cork and sealants’ for the wine drinker. Bottling can be easily compromised by such things as humid weather conditions and unique packaging elements such as bottle shape, so it requires the utmost attention and respect. Bringing control of both equipment and timing is an important step toward premium wine production. Crow’s bottling line is Italian made by way of a Canadian winery company. It can bottle about 60 cases per hour which includes; filling, corking or screw-capping, labeling and foiling to a finished product.

The bottling line will allow Crow Vineyard & Winery to bottle when the wine is truly ready, rather than having to adhere to a 3rd party calendar and this improves quality immensely. Just finished bottling were about 1200 cases in May and June. In mid-August, the Crows will bottle their dessert wine and oak aged Chardonnay.

The Crows welcome opportunities to assist regional wineries with their bottling and for the public to view the bottling line in process. If you would like to learn more about Crow Vineyard & Winery bottling, or would like to volunteer during the bottling process, contact follow Crow Vineyard Facebook or call 302.304.0551.



Commerce Update: 1880 Bank and Easton Bank Officially Merge


Delmarva Bancshare, the parent company of 1880 Bank, announced that the acquisition of Easton Bancorp (Easton Bank & Trust Company) through the merger of Easton Bank with and into 1880 Bank, became effective July 15, 2015.

Kim Liddell & David Hill

As a result of the merger, 1880 Bank — with approximately $330 million in assets, $225 million in loans and $280 million in deposits – becomes the sixth largest community bank on the Delmarva Peninsula. 1880 Bank will have six full service banking offices in Talbot and Dorchester counties focused on building long-term relationships with businesses, professionals and individuals.

“Together, we now offer clients six branch locations in Dorchester & Talbot counties, a higher borrowing capacity, more electronic banking services and added financial planning resources,” said Kim Liddell, Chairman, President and CEO. “Most importantly, we are extending the personal, hometown customer service that clients have enjoyed at both banks for so many years. We welcome Dr. Hill and the team of Easton Bank professionals to our combined company.”

David Hill, who joins the Board of Directors of Delmarva and 1880 Bank commented, “As the 1880 Bank name implies, we bring more than 135 years of service to businesses and families not only in Talbot and Dorchester but in all the other counties of the middle and lower Eastern Shore. We’re two like-minded organizations, entrenched in the community, that now offer a more robust team of professionals and capabilities.”

Immediately prior to the consummation of the acquisition, Delmarva closed its previously announced private placement of $14 million in equity, which was used, in part, to fund the cash purchase price for Easton and to redeem Easton’s subordinated debt.

Delmarva was advised by Raymond James & Associates, Inc. and the law firm of BuckleySandler LLP. Raymond James also served as sole placement agent in connection with the private placement of equity, and Alston & Bird LLP served as legal counsel to Raymond James.

Peoples Bank’s Make Payment to Support the Alex Rasin Learning Center


Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 2.33.20 PMRalph Dowling, President/CEO, Stefan Skipp, Board of Directors, and Tad Wheatley, Executive Vice President of The Peoples Bank presented a check for $5,000 to Robert Bryan, President of the Board of the Kent County Historical Society and Steve Frohock, Vice President, representing the second installment in a $25,000 commitment to the Alex Parks Rasin, III Learning Center.

The Alex Rasin Learning Center will be located on the first floor of the historical society’s Bordley History Center in downtown Chestertown. It will be an interactive site that also will be used as an education area for local schools and heritage tourism.

The Peoples Bank Larry Lyons at CBG July 16


Larry Lyons, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Peoples Bank will explain mobile banking at the July 16th breakfast meeting of the Kent Community Breakfast Group (CBG). Join us to learn if you should learn to take advantage of this latest improvement in the banking services provided by People’s Bank.

Mobile Banking refers to the use of mobile phones to obtain banking and financial services. The scope of such services may include providing the ability to conduct bank and stock market transactions, to administer accounts and to access customized information.

Mobile phones are becoming an increasingly important way for banking customers to conduct banking transactions. One no longer has to go into a bank during banking hours. According the Federal Reserve, in 2014 51 percent of smartphone users had used mobile banking in the previous 12 months.

CBG meets for breakfast every Thursday at 7:30AM at the Holiday Inn Express in Chestertown. Our meetings start promptly at 7:30AM, so you may want to come at 7:15AM to get your breakfast before the meeting. Our web site is If you have any suggestions for a program you would like to see, please send us an email message at

Important Moment for The Peoples Bank: Regulators’ Terminate 2012 Consent Order


The Board of Directors and Management of The Peoples Bank, the wholly owned subsidiary of Peoples Bancorp, Inc., are pleased to announce that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation have terminated the consent order the Bank entered into November 9, 2012.

“From hour one, day one, our Board and staff have been committed to achieving this milestone. The termination of this order is reflective of the efforts of the staff and the quality of the organization. We will continue to build on the traditions of the past while providing the best in customer service to our community,” said Ralph Dowling, President and CEO.

The 105 year old Financial Institution, headquartered in Chestertown, Maryland recently completed its second year of profitability and has increased its capital to meet the “well-capitalized” criteria of the FDIC. In addition, the Bank received the “Community Service Award” from the Kent County Chamber of Commerce and the Maryland General Assembly.

The lifting of the consent order comes at a time when The Bank is well positioned to move forward with its introduction of Mobile Banking-Mobile Deposit and new loan products. An environment of stability, growth and continued commitment to its communities provide the foundation for The Peoples Bank and its plans for the future.

Greater Chestertown Initiative Revolving Loan Application Open for Business in Chestertown


The Greater Chestertown Initiative (GCI) Revolving Loan Fund was established by the Greater Chestertown Initiative and SFW Foundation to aid economic development in Chestertown by providing financial assistance through loans to eligible businesses.

The loan is offered to individuals/businesses looking to start a new business, expand or relocate operations to Chestertown. Residency in the town is not required of the business owner(s); however, the business must be physically located in Chestertown.

Download application material here. The application is in pdf form and must be printed to complete.

Application Packet