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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.

Good Sign: The Peoples Bank Resumes Cash Dividends


Peoples Bancorp (OTC: PEBC), parent company of The Peoples Bank, announced that its Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of 45 cents ($0.45) per share of common stock at their meeting on January 20, 2016. This action marks the company’s resumption of cash dividends.

The cash dividend is payable on March 1, 2016 to shareholders of record at the close of business on January 20, 2016. 

“We are pleased to announce the resumption of dividends to our shareholders with an annual dividend based on 2015 earnings,” stated Ralph W. Dowling, President and CEO of Peoples Bancorp and The Peoples Bank. “We anticipate that future dividends will be evaluated on a six-month cycle based upon profitability for the previous period.  In addition to cash dividends, the board of directors is considering establishing a stock buy-back program.  Such programs would likely enhance shareholder liquidity while increasing remaining shareholders’ earnings per share. We thank the shareholders for their investment in Peoples Bancorp.” 

Peoples Bancorp, parent company to The Peoples Bank, currently maintains consolidated assets totaling more than $239 million.  Founded in 1910, The Peoples Bank is a community bank with six branch offices and insurance agency subsidiary, Fleetwood, Athey, MacBeth & McCown, Inc. serving Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Cecil County, MD (  “Our strategic plan includes diversification into adjacent markets that are experiencing population growth and more robust real estate activity.  To that end I am pleased to announce the approval of an Easton location.  We have contracted for the purchase of the building located at 204 N. Washington Street in Easton and are in the process of renovating the same.  We expect to open a loan production office in February and expect to open as a full-service branch in the second quarter.” stated Dowling.

Chesapeake Bank and Trust Opens at Heron Point


On Tuesday, January 5th, Chesapeake Bank and Trust held the grand opening of their new branch located in the Heron Point retirement community. The new branch will be open to Heron Point residents and staff only.

“We are delighted to bring banking convenience back to Heron Point” remarked Glenn Wilson, President & CEO. “To be chosen to serve their fine residents and employees is an honor”.

“We are thrilled to have Chesapeake Bank and Trust come to our campus and are looking forward to a long partnership” said Garret Falcone, Heron Point Executive Director.

Chesapeake Bank and Trust is a full-service community bank founded in 1986, locally-owned and directed by area business and community leaders.

Ray Tarrach Joins Chesapeake Bank and Trust Company Board


Chesapeake Bank and Trust is very pleased to announce the election of Mr. Ray Tarrach to the Bank’s Board of Directors. Mr. Tarrach is the retired President and CEO of Chestertown Bank.



“Ray has been a pillar of our community for decades and brings a wealth of experience to our Board,” said Glenn Wilson, President of the Bank. Mr. Michael Macielag, Chairman of the Board, remarked, “We are delighted to have him join us. I have known Ray for many years and have the utmost respect for him.”

“It is indeed a pleasure for me to return to the banking environment and to join the Board of Chesapeake Bank and Trust,” said Tarrach. “Chesapeake Bank is dedicated to developing relationships with its customers which is a mission that I support. I look forward to working with management and the other Board members in advancing its mission in our community and in coping with today’s banking challenges.”

Chesapeake Bank and Trust is a locally owned and managed community bank headquartered in Chestertown. The bank prides itself in providing an unparalleled level of service across credit, deposit and investment services for Kent and Queen Anne’s County businesses and individuals. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chesapeake Bancorp which is also headquartered in Chestertown.

Mr. Tarrach is the former President of Chestertown Bank for with over 40 years of banking experience. He has been a long term Kent County resident, holding numerous community positions.

For more information, contact Chesapeake Bank and Trust at 410-778-1600, or Chesapeake Bank and Trust’s main branch is located at 245 High Street, Chestertown, Maryland 21620.

Rural Maryland Council Elects 2016 Leadership


The Rural Maryland Council met on Wednesday December 2, 2015 in Annapolis and elected officers for the 2016 calendar year. The Council elected the following officers:

Chair: Ms. Doris Mason

First Vice Chair: Mr. Josh Hastings

Second Vice Chair: Mr. Matt Teffeau

Ms. Doris Mason currently serves as the Executive Director of the Upper Shore Regional Council where she provides leadership on key projects for the USRC as it partners with public and private entities to optimize the physical, economic and social well-being of the residents of Cecil, Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties. “I am looking forward to serving the residents of rural Maryland and am excited for this opportunity,” said Ms. Mason. “We plan to focus our leadership towards enhancing our state’s investments in our rural areas through the Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund, so that our rural regions can grow economically to be the prosperous places we know they can be.”

Mr. Josh Hastings currently serves as Policy Director for the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy where he monitors land use policies at the local, state, and federal government levels. “With the 2016 Legislative Session of the Maryland General Assembly fast approaching, we look forward to continuing our conversation regarding rural economic development, protection of agricultural lands and encouraging the development of renewable energy.”

Mr. Matt Teffeau serves as Assistant Government Relations Director for the Maryland Farm Bureau where he is responsible for issues in transportation, wildlife, energy and poultry. “Agriculture is an essential part of our rural economy. We want to ensure its continued viability while protecting our rural communities and cultural heritage.”

Mr. Scott Warner of the Mid-Shore Regional Council serves on the RMC Executive Committee as the Immediate Past President.

Since its inception in 1994, the Rural Maryland council is the only state-wide entity working to advance the interests of rural Marylanders across the State. The 40-member Board represents each rural region including the rural for-profit and nonprofit communities, elected officials from the State and local levels and federal, state and local agencies. The RMC represents approximately 1.6 million Marylanders. Since 2001, the RMC has awarded almost $3.3 million in small grants to rural areas serving nonprofit organizations that undertake statewide and regional planning, economic and community development and forestry education projects. For Fiscal Year 2016, the Council will focus on broadband, agriculture, youth, energy, workforce and economic development and health care.

Regional Economic Development: Report from Talbot County


While many in Talbot County are eager to hear the annual reports of many different government divisions as 2015 comes to an end, very few can compete in interest with the analysis of the county’s economic development gains or losses done by the Talbot County Office of Economic Development.

As the Mid-Shore crawls its way back from the great recession, the year results for the County either bringing new businesses to the area or, more importantly, keeping the ones already here, is one of the most important metrics in determining the economic health of the entire region.

Seeing this data up close and personal throughout the year is the county’s director of economic development, Paige Bethke. In her Spy interview, Paige talks about the impact of Easton as regional hub, the overall condition of Talbot’s economy, the scorecard in bringing or keeping businesses to the Mid-Shore, and the challenges facing the County in 2016.

This video is approximately nine minutes in length

Coldwell Banker Chesapeake Adds Five New Associates


Coldwell Banker Chesapeake Real Estate announced today the affiliation of five new and experienced associates. The company services the residential real estate markets of the six counties of the upper eastern shore from regional real estate centers in Chestertown and Easton.

“The real estate brokerage business model has fundamentally changed”, says Hugh Smith, Broker and Managing Partner. “We call it ‘The Great Inversion’. Five years ago Buyers found a real estate agent and started looking for property on the eastern shore. Today, the buyers look for the property first and then look for a real estate agent to guide them through the increasingly complex transaction.”

“Finding success in the new real estate market requires a whole new skill set,” says Smith, “Some traditional agents make the effort to learn these skills and prosper. For the most part, however, we as an industry need to hire and train digital natives to guide Buyers and Sellers into the long recovery from 2008. I am excited by the new additions to our team”.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 10.26.58 AMWilliam (“Billy”) Blessing joins the team as a new agent but no stranger to information technology. Billy is a digital native who has worked since 2005 as an electronic Fraud specialist for Hebron Savings Bank. A native of Easton, Billy is a graduate of Easton High School and attended Salisbury University. He, his wife, and two children are residents of Trappe. “I look forward to making home ownership on the eastern shore accessible to young families like ourselves”, says Blessing, “I love the quality of life here.” Blessing will operate from Coldwell Banker’s regional real estate center on Dover Street in Easton and plans to list and sell real estate primarily in Dorchester, Caroline and Talbot Counties.


Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 10.26.51 AMJessica English comes to real estate from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and a career in Human Services. A graduate of Washington College, Jessica never went home. She has been a resident of Cecil County for the past 15 years and is active in the community. ”My two children give me a window into the community”, says Jessica,” I see things on a daily basis that are useful to buyers and sellers of eastern shore real estate. The internet puts a lot of information in the consumer’s hands. I can help people put that information in a local and human perspective.” English, who plans to list and sell real estate primarily in northern Kent and all of Cecil County, will operate from Coldwell Banker Chesapeake Real Estate’s Regional Real Estate Center in Chestertown.


“BuScreen Shot 2015-12-14 at 10.27.08 AMying and selling residential real estate has become a very complex process”, according to new associate Rick Parreco, “My experience in both real estate and construction can help buyers and sellers of eastern shore real estate navigate that process.” Parreco, who lives on Kent Island, is a real estate veteran who comes to Coldwell Banker from a small independent company. “I look forward to putting the international network and advanced technology of Coldwell Banker to work for my Sellers”. Parreco, plans to continue his real estate practice primarily on Kent Island and in Anne Arundel County from the Easton Regional Office.


DScreen Shot 2015-12-14 at 10.25.37 AMoug Megargee, another graduate of Washington College, is well known around Kent County. An avid sportsman, Megargee comes to Coldwell Banker Chesapeake following a long career in the marine trades industry and a short stint with a small independent real estate company. “The entire real estate market, such as it is, has moved on-line”, says Megargee. “I know the upper eastern shore like the back of my hand, but I am not a digital native. I need training to adapt to the new business model. Coldwell Banker has the tools and training I need to grow.” Megargee, who will operate from the Chestertown Sales Center, plans to focus his efforts on Kent County and northern Queen Anne’s.


Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 10.26.19 AMWilliam “Bill” Haddaway, a Talbot County native, is new to the real estate industry but no stranger to the mid-shore or sales. Anyone who has bought a car locally in the last thirty years has probably bought one from Haddaway. “I have always had an interest in real estate”, says Haddaway, “I think my local knowledge, customer service, and sales skills will match-up will with my customer’s needs. Haddaway, who will joi n the Easton Sales Center, intends to focus his efforts on Dorchester, Caroline, and Talbot Counties.