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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 or call 800-536-4670. For more information on Safe Chain, visit or call 855-43PL-SCS (855-437-5727).


Commerce: Outlet Stores Expand in Queenstown


The Queenstown Premium Outlet continues to grow. The Center announced this week the completion of the Talbots renovation. Also this season, Kay Jewelers will undergo a complete remodel and Under Armour will relocate to a larger space.

Talbots, a leader in women’s contemporary fashion, completed its full remodel on Tuesday, March 8.

With updating shelving and expanded offerings, shoppers can expect to find classic and stylish trends with ease, including petites and plus size women’s clothing. Talbots, located near Kate Spade New York, will continue to impress guests with revamped flooring and renovated interior furnishings, also part of its complete renovation.

Kay Jewelers Outlet, the number one specialty jewelry brand in America committed to a superior in-store experience, will renovate its current space near Tommy Bahama. The luxury-style shop will remain open throughout the renovation in a nearby storefront located adjacent to Eddie Bauer.

Scheduled to reopen before the July 4th holiday, Maryland-based retailer Under Armour will relocate to an expanded 9,346 square-foot storefront near Coach. To complement its larger space, the performance apparel retailer will offer shoppers a wider array of merchandise including athletic gear for men and women, accessories and clothing, as well as a variety of superior sports equipment. The store will stay open in its current location, near St. John, until the relocation and expansion is complete.

“Queenstown Premium Outlets continues to grow,” said Susan Humphries, director of marketing and business development at Queenstown Premium Outlets. “The recent renovations and expansions mirror our future plans for the center and will make a positive impact on the overall shopping experience. Our goal is always to offer comfort and convenience on all levels, and in addition to our ever-growing retail roster, we’re confident these improvements will contribute to our mission and shoppers’ expectations.”

Top Wawa Executives to Speak on Its Enduring Brand March 8


Two top executives from Wawa, Inc., the business whose convenience stores are part of the fabric of the mid-Atlantic and whose brand has grown to make it one of the country’s largest privately owned companies, will keynote this year’s first George Washington Leadership Series address at Washington College.

Richard D. Wood III ’91, director of government relations and sustainability for Wawa, Inc., and Howard B. Stoeckel, vice chairman of the board, will speak on “How Wawa Has Become an Endearing and Enduring Brand.” The event on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, is at 2:30 p.m. in Hynson Lounge, and is free and open to the public.

Wood, who was an American studies major at Washington College, earned his masters in business at Saint Joseph University in Philadelphia. He’s been with Wawa for 17 years, after spending six years with the Coca-Cola Company. Stoeckel has been with Wawa for 27 years; prior to his current role, he served as president and CEO for eight years, as well as senior vice president of marketing, and vice president of human resources. He authored the book The Wawa Way in 2014.

Wawa, with its well-known goose logo, has more than 650 convenience stores specializing in foodservice and gasoline in five mid-Atlantic states and now Florida. With roots in George Wood’s turn-of-the-century dairy farm in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, Grahame Wood opened the first Wawa Food Market in April 1964 in Folsom, Pennsylvania. The timing—at the cusp of the new convenience store trend—was ideal, and the stores continue to be known for their fresh food selections and dairy products. Today, Wawa is No. 34 on the Forbes list of America’s largest private companies, with revenues of $9.7 billion and more than 22,000 employees. Forbes also lists it among its “30 hall-of-fame companies” on its Private 30 Index.


Back by Popular Demand, Peoples Bank Guest Chef Dinner Returns to Help United Way


Back by popular demand, Guest Chef Dinner at the Lemon Leaf Café/J.R.’s Past-Time Pub in Chestertown to benefit United Way of Kent County and its 24 Member Agencies.

Ralph Dowling, President and CEO of The Peoples Bank, will again be preparing his famous Paella at The Lemon Leaf Café/J.R.’s Past-Time Pub on Tuesday, March 15th. Those attending will be treated to a savory buffet, including dessert, with paella as its centerpiece. United Way Executive Director, Beth Everett, said, “A function of this nature means a great deal to United Way. The need in Kent County is much greater than most people realize. Last year’s event netted the United Way of Kent County over $5,000. This gives us the opportunity to expand our work within the County and help many more of our Kent County residents.”

This type of fundraiser is something that both JR Alfree and Ralph Dowling enjoy doing. When they are put together, it is a guaranteed success.

Tickets are $40.00 per person, including tax and gratuity, and may be purchased from the United Way of Kent County by calling 410-778-3195 or stopping by the office at 819 High Street, Chestertown. All proceeds benefit the United Way of Kent County and its 24 Member Agencies.

Creg Fleetwood New President of FAM&M Insurance


The Board of Directors of The Peoples Bank, the parent company of FAM&M, are pleased to announce that Creg Fleetwood took over the role of President effective January 1, 2016. Creg stated, “I am very fortunate to have this opportunity. Scott has turned over the helm to me at a time when the Agency is thriving. We have some of the most talented and caring individuals here at FAM&M that truly make our office a team. Combine that with some of the best Company partners in the industry, and I am excited about our future.” While Scott is stepping down as President, he is not going anywhere. Scott states, “My goals going forward will include advancing our culture of providing superior service to our valued clients. With so many choices out there, we will continue to search for ways to stand out. It is also a priority that we continue to pursue with a passion our mission of giving back to the community we live and work in and which provides so much for us.”

Creg is the grandson of one of Chestertown’s “Local Legends”, the late Robert T. Fleetwood. He was a partner of the Agency from 1946 until his retirement in 1975. Creg stated “We still have customers who purchased their first policies from him and they like to remind me how great a man he was.” Creg started his career with the firm in 2003.

Creg is a graduate of Kent County High School and Washington College. He is a two-time All American and Captain of the Shoremen Men’s’ Lacrosse Team. He has and continues to serve on numerous Boards, to name a few: Kent County Community Food Pantry, Kent County Chamber of Commerce, and Washington College Hall of Fame Committee.

Scott Bramble commented, “This is clearly an exciting time for us at FAM&M. It’s great that Creg can continue a legacy founded by his grandfather, made great by Ed Athey, and perpetuated by so many wonderful and dedicated employees.”


Chestertown’s Benchworks to Participate in Exhibition in Dubai


Sometimes one tends to forget that Chestertown’s companies are truly international ones.

Case in point, Safe Chain Solutions, a Benchworks Company, was recently selected to exhibit within the State of Maryland Department of Commerce booth at Arab Health on January 25-28, 2016, at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre. More than 4,000 companies are exhibiting at the conference where more than 130,000 healthcare professionals from 163 countries are expected to attend.

This is the 41st annual Arab Health show. It has expanded over the years and is now the second largest exhibition and congress in the world. In addition to offering opportunities to build relationships with the healthcare industry, the event showcases progress and achievement in the field of healthcare. The show is ideal for Safe Chain Solutions because the company is a full-service distributor of pharmaceutical products and medical supplies.

As a leading provider of marketing services, Benchworks plans to further its commercialization goals at Arab Health by meeting with important stakeholders at companies headquartered around the globe. Benchworks and Safe Chain executives will meet with representatives from more than 100 life science and medical device companies that are interested in introducing or enhancing their products’ market share in the North American market.

According to Brian Castleberry, Regional Manager of the Division of International Investment & Trade for Canada & Middle East for the Maryland Department of Commerce, Safe Chain Solutions was chosen because of the company’s pharmaceutical distribution experience and knowledge of state and federal regulations. Exhibiting at Arab Health is an opportunity to secure contracts and potentially bring more jobs to the United States, specifically to Cambridge on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Safe Chain Managing Partner Patrick Boyd commented on participating with the State of Maryland at Arab Health, saying, “Safe Chain is growing and this is an outstanding way to expand our international footprint. We appreciate that the State of Maryland gave us this excellent opportunity to make new contacts. This will help us diversify our offerings, which could ultimately lead to better services for our clients as well as new job development.”

Thad Bench, CEO of Benchworks, pointed out the significance of this event. “We are truly honored to be one of only seven companies chosen to exhibit in the State of Maryland booth at Arab Health. This opportunity aligns with our strategic growth plan and I am confident that it will yield positive results for Safe Chain and for the State of Maryland in terms of revenue and job creation.”



‘Spend Local, Stay Local’ Gift Card Program Sees Success


Chesapeake Bank and Trust is proud to announce the success of its “Spend Local, Stay Local” gift card program in 2015. The program was designed as a marketing and educational initiative to encourage consumers to shop at our local businesses.

Since the launch of the program in 2010, 2,358 gift cards in various denominations have been placed into circulation and over $50,000 has been redeemed with participating retailers. In 2015 alone, card purchases totaled $19,445.00.

“We are delighted to help the community support our wonderful local merchants.” says Glenn L. Wilson, President and CEO of Chesapeake Bank and Trust.

The program promotes the wide variety of our local businesses. Current participating merchants include restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores, salons, florists, hardware stores, gift shops and more. An up-to-date list of participating retailers is maintained on the program’s website.

If you would like to accept the gift card, buy a gift card or learn more about the program, visit the website, send an email to or call 410-778-1600.