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Kristen Owen with Chesapeake Investment Services Earns Insurance License


CKristen 002hesapeake Bank and Trust Company is excited to announce that its Investment Adviser, Kristen Owen, has earned her Life, Health, Variable and Variable Annuity Products Producer’s License. This new license allows Owen to offer life insurance and annuity products to clients, as well as review existing policies and contracts.

“Kristen has the expertise, backed by robust resources, to provide clients with a wide array of personalized investment services, right here in Chestertown.” – Glenn L. Wilson, President & CEO of Chesapeake Bank and Trust Company

Chesapeake Investment Services also recently launched a new website, http://www.chesapeakeinvest.com/ . The site provides information about available products and services, features content on a variety of investment and financial planning topics, and contains helpful tools and calculators. Chesapeake Investment Services can also be accessed by visiting Chesapeake Bank and Trust Company’s website at https://www.chesapeaketrust.com/ under the Investment Services section.

“I’m pleased to be able to provide insurance and annuity solutions to our clients. At Chesapeake, we strive to offer a full range of products, services and conveniences to meet a wide variety of financial planning needs. Our new Chesapeake Investment Services website is full of relevant content that will be of interest to clients and prospective clients alike,” remarked Owen.

Owen began working at Chesapeake Bank and Trust Company in 2005, shortly after graduating from McDaniel College with a B.A. in History. She grew up in Kingstown and now lives in Fairlee with her husband, Chris. Owen is President of Downtown Chestertown Association and also serves on committees for Greater Chestertown Initiative and Garfield Center for the Arts.

The office of Chesapeake Investment Services is located inside Chesapeake Bank and Trust Company’s main branch at 245 High Street, Chestertown, Maryland. Founded in 1986, Chesapeake Bank and Trust Company has roots in Kent County dating back more than 100 years. Chesapeake Bank and Trust Company is a well-known pillar in the community, helping residents and businesses with their banking and investment needs. Chesapeake offers investment and insurance products through Cetera Investment Services. Owen can be reached at 410-778-1600 or kowen@chesapeaketrust.com .

About Cetera Financial Group

Cetera Investment Services (formerly PrimeVest Financial Services) is part of the Cetera Financial Group, one of the nation’s largest privately-held, independent broker-dealer and investment adviser families. It provides wealth management and advisory platforms, comprehensive broker-dealer and registered investment adviser services, and innovative technology.

Chesapeake Bank and Trust Announces Newest Board Director


Chesapeake Bank and Trust Company is pleased to announce its newest Board Director, Drew McMullen.

“Drew is a bright and younger professional, who is universally respected in our community. His background and non-profit experience will bring an added dimension to our excellent Board of Directors.” – Glenn L. Wilson, President & CEO

Drew McMullen - Semi FormalDrew McMullen is the President and co-founder of the Sultana Education Foundation, an award-winning nonprofit that provides state certified field programs in history and environmental science to more than 12,000 students each year. Prior to founding the Sultana Education Foundation, McMullen worked in the International Investment Advisory division of Bankers Trust Company/Deutsche Bank and for H.G. Welling Capital Management, both in New York City.

A graduate of Amherst College and St. Paul’s School, McMullen lives in Chestertown with his wife Claire and their two children. Since 1994 McMullen and his family have been residents of Kent County and look forward to many more years here.

“In 20 years running a small business in Kent County I’ve been consistently impressed by Chesapeake Bank and Trust’s professionalism, individualized customer service, and commitment to the community. Chesapeake has an exceptionally strong Board and staff and I look forward to working with them as the Bank continues to build on a very solid foundation.” – Drew McMullen

Founded in 1986, Chesapeake Bank and Trust Company, Chestertown’s Truly Local Banking Experience, has roots in Kent County dating back more than 100 years.

FTS Fiber Begins Construction of 110-Mile Fiber Network to Bring Gigabit Speed Internet to Maryland Residents


Left to right: Brett Hill, William Short, Mark Wagner, Steve Fisher, William Pickrum, Ronald Fithian

FTS today officially starts construction of a 110-mile fiber network in Kent County, Md., providing an infrastructure that will make high-speed Internet available to businesses and residents throughout the rural Eastern Shore county. Subcontractors contracted by Whiting-Turner will be installing the dark fiber optic cable over the next several months.

FTS Fiber is partnering with ThinkBig Networks, an ISP provider, to bring the first gigabit internet speeds to Kent County in August 2016, and work is scheduled to be completed by mid to late 2017. The state-of-the-art dark fiber network connecting 54 sites throughout the county will encourage economic growth and improve quality of life for residents and local businesses.

“We are very excited to be bringing this fiber infrastructure to Kent County,” says Brett Hill, FTS Fiber’s CEO. “The changes this county will encounter once the network is up and running are endless. In the meantime, we want residents of Kent County to be aware that contractors will be digging and laying the fiber-optic cables in their towns and neighborhoods. We plan to keep the community updated on our progress as we go.”

“The residents of Kent County are keenly aware of the need for easier and faster access to the Internet,” remarked William Pickrum, President of the County Commissioners of Kent County. “We feel fortunate to have FTS and ThinkBig entering into the Kent County market. The agreement between FTS and the county should bring us truly cutting-edge technology.”

Kent County residents can sign up for ThinkBig internet services online at thinkbignets.com. Early sign-up allows residents to receive updates on progress and ensures they will be notified as soon as ThinkBig service is available in their neighborhood.

The representatives in the picture are Brett Hill (FTS Fiber CEO), William Short (Kent County Commissioner), Mark Wagner (ThinkBig Networks CEO), Steve Fisher (Whiting-Turner Construction Project Manager), William Pickrum (Kent County Commissioner), and Ronald Fithian (Kent County Commissioner).

About FTS Fiber
FTS Fiber is a dark fiber supplier providing carrier-class network infrastructure in both rural areas and major markets of the United States. Delivering the lowest attenuation and latency possible with state of the art fiber, FTS produces reliable and secure, neutral fiber paths for various network operators and business sectors, including content and internet providers, healthcare, education, government, and real estate developers. For more information about FTS Fiber, please visit ftsfiber.com.

Making It Work on the Shore: Three Competing Restaurateurs Unite for St Michaels Brew Fest


The third annual St. Michaels Brew Fest gears up for Saturday, June 4th offering unique beers and a first-of- its- kind VIP ticket. The festival brings together over 70 American Craft Brews, including one-offs, firkins, and rarities, collaborations and casks from local, regional & national breweries.

Behind that bit of good news is the remarkable story of how three restaurant competitors, namely Terye Reese Knopp of Foxy’s Harbor Grille, Jon Mason of the Town Dock, and Tracey Jones-Wass of The Crab Claw, working with Ace Moritz of Eastern Shore Brewing, decided to join forces to create this unique, one of a kind, special event.

In their Spy interview before the big day, the three gathered at Town Dock yesterday to talk about the unlikely alliance and their hopes and expectations for a tradition that may be a permanent calendar event in the growing list of St. Michaels big annual events.

The Annual St. Michaels Brew Fest is always the weekend after Memorial Day. The festival hours are from 12pm to 5pm. General admission tickets are $45 plus tax and service fee. To buy tickets click www.missiontix.com or visit www.stmichaelsbrewfest.com or www.stmichaelsmd.com

LaMotte Company Presented Exports Award by US Commerce Secretary


U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker presented LaMotte Company’s Richard Rogers with the President’s “E” Award for Exports at a ceremony in Washington, DC on May 16th. The President’s “E” Award is the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports. The Chestertown firm was the only one from the state of Maryland honored this year.

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 8.43.06 AM“LaMotte Company has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion. The “E” Awards Committee was very impressed with LaMotte Company’s adaptation of its product line for export markets. The company’s use of strategic partnerships to gain market share in Europe was also particularly notable. LaMotte’s achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs,” said Secretary Pritzker in her congratulatory letter to the company announcing its selection as an award recipient.

LaMotte Company is a manufacturer of analysis equipment for water and soil. Much of their recent growth has come from the pool and spa industry as well as testing products for other water treatment applications around the globe.

“Exporting continues to be a foundation for sales growth, and we are honored to receive the “E” Award,” said Richard Rogers, Director of International Sales. “We have doubled our export sales in only 5 years! Now export sales account for 17 percent of our total sales and sales of seasonal products to regions below the equator have also contributed greatly to sustaining year-around jobs here at LaMotte.”

In 1961, President Kennedy signed an executive order reviving the World War II “E” symbol of excellence to honor and provide recognition to America’s exporters. Today, Secretary Pritzker honored 123 U.S. companies with the President’s “E” Award for their outstanding work to reduce barriers to foreign markets and to open the door to more trade around the world.

In 2015, U.S. exports totaled $2.23 trillion, accounting for nearly 13 percent of U.S. GDP. Nationally, exports contributed to the U.S. economy, supporting an estimated 11.5 million jobs.

U.S. companies are nominated for the “E” Awards through the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Commercial Service office network, located within the Department’s International Trade Administration, with offices in 108 U.S. cities and more than 70 countries.

Record years of successive export growth and an applicant’s demonstration of an innovative international marketing plan that led to the increase in exports is a significant factor in selecting the winners.


1 North Wealth Services Announces the Hire of Margo Cook


Margo Cook, with years of professional finance, philanthropic and fundraising experience and more than a decade of nonprofit management experience, has joined 1 North Wealth Services as an Investment Advisor Representative.    

For the past ten years, Cook has served in development director roles for Anne Arundel Medical Center Foundation, United States Naval Academy Foundation, and the University of Miami.    

Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 8.10.32 AM1 North Wealth is a fee-only financial management and advisory firm providing customized investment management and financial plans for clients.  The firm works closely with each individual and family to ensure that their investments match their goals through active management and constant communication.  As a fee-only firm, they do not sell insurance or investment products and, as such, are a trusted fiduciary for their clients.  The main office is located in Annapolis, MD and has been in existence for more than 30 years, with satellite services in Centreville, MD and Dagsboro, DE. Margo Cook will join the team as a local representative servicing Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where she resides with her husband and two children.  In addition to providing investment management services and financial planning to clients, Margo also serves as a philanthropic advisor.

Jim Brennan, Managing Partner of 1 North Wealth Services praised Cook’s qualifications and went on to say, “Margo is dedicated and passionate about helping people and families plan for the future, enjoy the present, and live the lives they have always dreamed of.  Margo has a proven track record of success in strategic planning and excels in wealth management.   Her central focus has always been what is best for her clients.  She is passionate about the arts, financial education, healthcare, the Chesapeake Bay, and the welfare of children; we are pleased to welcome her to our team.”

Margo is a graduate of the University of Miami and St. Mary’s High School in Annapolis, MD.   She has deep roots in the community and intends to continue to invest in the success and betterment of the local community in any way she can for many years to come. The Cook family has been on the eastern shore for more than 40 years and been a part of the local waterman community for more than 35 years.  

Cook serves on the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals-MD, the board of the Chesapeake Planned Giving Council, and the board of The Betty Effect. She is also a member of the Annapolis Library Development Committee, and Special Olympics MD Development Committee, the Christ Church Episcopal Day School Development Committee, the Wye River Upper School Fall Fundraiser Committee and serves as an Anne Arundel Medical Center Patient & Family Advisor. She also supports and volunteers with other various nonprofits throughout the eastern shore region as a consultant and an advocate.

Shore Bancshares Merges Banking Divisions into Shore United Bank


Shore Bancshares, Inc., at its annual meeting discussed its plan to merge its two subsidiary banks, The Talbot Bank, headquartered in Easton, Maryland and CNB, headquartered in Centreville, Maryland, into one bank that will be known as Shore United Bank. “Merging our two banks provides efficiencies that will allow us to focus on strengthening client relationships while minimizing the ever increasing burden of regulation that banks face today,” said Shore Bancshares, Inc. President & CEO, Lloyd L. “Scott” Beatty.

The merger of the Talbot Bank with and into CNB and the corresponding name change to Shore United Bank is subject to regulatory approval. Applications for approval of the proposed merger have been or will be filed with the State of Maryland and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Shore Bancshares is not currently aware of any reasons that would preclude consummation of the merger. Subject to the satisfaction of all regulatory and corporate requirements and approvals, Shore Bancshares currently anticipates consummating the merger in the third quarter of 2016.

As a $1.1 billion bank, Shore United Bank will continue to operate all 18 existing branches, a loan production office, and wealth management office throughout the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and Delaware. “Customers will now have the convenience of conducting all banking activity, not just account transactions, at any of our branch locations. The Shore United brand will make it easier for customers to recognize their bank,” said Shore Bancshares, Inc., V.P. Chief Marketing & Project Officer, Debra Rich. The Talbot Bank and CNB have been affiliated as members of Shore Bancshares, Inc. community of companies since 2000. The combination is intended to facilitate operational efficiencies, a consistent culture and united branding under Shore United Bank. “Our banks have a rich history that will continue with the same great people, products and service under a new name, Shore United Bank,” Beatty said.

Kyle Kirby Joins Rasin, Wootton & Hurd in Chestertown


Rasin, Wootton & Hurd, LLC is pleased to announce the addition of Kyle K. Kirby as an associate in the firm Kyle looks forward to continuing the firm’s long tradition and history of serving the community and plans to practice largely in the areas of civil litigation and real estate.

A graduate of Kent County High School, Kyle is looking forward to practicing in his home town of Chestertown. While at Kent County High, Kyle was a member of the National Honor Society, a three sport athlete and a member of the Academy of Finance. Kyle holds a B.A. in Business Management from James Madison University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Baltimore School of Law where he graduated with cum laude honors. Kyle is a member of the Maryland State and Kent County Bar Associations.

While in law school, Kyle served as an intern for Judge Paul M. Bowman in the Circuit Court for Kent County and as a law clerk for the Baltimore law firm of Marsden & Seledee, LLC. After graduation from law school, Kyle became an associate at the same firm where he handled insurance subrogation and creditors’ rights litigation. Before joining Rasin, Wootton & Hurd, LLC, Kyle spent two years as an associate with Stevens Palmer, LLC in Centreville, Maryland working primarily in the areas of real estate planning and zoning.

Kyle is the son of Keith Kirby and Gail Kendall Claggett. Kyle, his wife, Kristin, and their daughter, Bailey, reside in Chestertown.

A Family Tradition at Benchworks: Thad Bench II Joins Thad Bench Sr.


In the best tradition of family businesses, Benchworks is pleased to announce that Thad L. Bench II has joined the company that his father Thad L. Bench, Sr., co-founded. Thad II will be responsible for marketing activities for Benchworks and Safe Chain Solutions, a Benchworks company, along with business development initiatives.

Thad Bench II

Thad Bench II

“This is a very rewarding development for me, both personally and professionally,” said Benchworks CEO Thad L. Bench, Sr. He added that having his son join the team is a clear message to clients and employees that Benchworks is committed to a long-term strategy for growth and operational excellence.

“In an age when many companies are focused on short-term returns and an exit strategy, I hope that our clients appreciate the fact that the Benchworks approach to business harkens back to the day when long-term relationships mattered and were forged on a foundation of good work,” Thad Sr. said.

Prior to joining Benchworks, Thad II enjoyed a successful stint in commercial real estate while at Hyatt Commercial in Annapolis, MD. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and was part of the nationally ranked St. Mary’s sailing team.

“I am honored to join such a professional and growing company, and I am proud to work alongside my father and the rest of the executive team at Benchworks,” said Thad II. “As I focus on adding new accounts to the client list, I will do my best to exemplify the exceptional standards Benchworks has maintained since the company’s founding 25 years ago.”

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. For additional information, please visit www.benchworks.com or call 800-536-4670. For more information on Safe Chain, visit www.safechainsolutions.com or call 855-43PL-SCS (855-437-5727).