Easton’s Qlarant Named a Top Predictive Analytics Solution Provider

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Easton’s Qlarant, a nationally recognized program integrity and quality company, has been named a Top Ten predictive analytics solution provider for 2018.  CIO Applications Magazine interviewed 3 executives from Qlarant:  Dr. Ron Forsythe, Jr. CEO; Sandy Love, President; and Holly Pu, VP of Product Development.   The article provides insight into the culture of Qlarant, and highlights the predictive modeling capabilities the company provides to some of the nation’s most important organizations.

“Receiving this award is so gratifying,” said Holly Pu, VP of Product Development for Qlarant. “Predictive Analytics provide an important role in fighting fraud and saves the nation millions of dollars each year. Being recognized as one of the best in the industry means we did what we set out to do. “

CIO Applications magazine provides a network for CIOs to discuss their innovative enterprise solutions.  It also enables IT Vendors to learn about trending technologies, news and solutions that can help to grow their business.  Qlarant’s PLATO™ program is a powerful self-learning analytics engine that is able to sift through billions of pieces of data to detect aberrant trends.   Qlarant also offers RIViR, which provides risk identification, risk visualization and risk resolution services.

“We’ve known that we have the best people and solutions to provide the best results for our customers and this award demonstrates those facets of our business,” said Ron Forsythe, Qlarant CEO.

Maryland 3.0: The Long View from Main Street Cambridge

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From a variety of perspectives, the growing awareness on the Mid-Shore that Cambridge has become a hot foodie destination should make anyone involved in improving town’s economic development pretty happy.

From the urban sophistication of Poplar Bistro to chef Patrick Fleming’s growing collection of eateries, Cambridge’s downtown is slowly but surely working its way out of the dark days of economic recession.

That change of events has undoubtedly made many in that town feel a sense of optimism that a robust and thriving downtown is just around the corner for a community that has taken some pretty hard knocks for many years.

But as Katie Clendaniel, director of Downtown Cambridge noted in her interview with the Spy at Bullitt House a few weeks ago, the road back to full recovery is a long and complex one.

While the hospitality sector is a critical factor in making that happen, the less noticeable work of improving walkability, adding traffic calming infrastructure and the expansion of high-quality residential housing all are part of a much larger plan that may take many more years to achieve the maximum impact of the economic life of downtown Cambridge.

For Clendaniel, who was part of the original team of Easton’s successful Main Street program several years ago, this kind of incremental change is the reality of almost any serious revitalization program. While frustrating for those seeking easy and quick answers, this slow process requires equal amounts of long-range strategic planning and the collective patience of the community.

This video is approximately seven minutes in length. For more information about Downtown Cambridge please go here

 

Qlarant Foundation Grants $385,000 to Area Health Projects

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Qlarant Foundation, the mission arm of Qlarant, recently awarded grants totaling $385,000 to 14 organizations in Maryland and Washington, DC supporting local healthcare-related quality improvement efforts.


Girls in the Game is committed to promoting the health and wellness of girls, educating them about alternatives to violence and strengthening underserved communities.

Of the 76 applications, 14 organizations received grants. “Again this year the Board was challenged with our grant selection,” said Dr. Molly Burgoyne-Brian, Qlarant Foundation Board of Directors chair. “The Board received many deserving applications, covering a variety of medical and social issues. It’s reassuring to know there are so many programs designed to improve the health of our most vulnerable populations. Ultimately, we chose a stellar group of programs covering a wide geographic area with diverse health and social concerns.”  Dr. Catherine Smoot-Haselnus, Qlarant Board chair, added “The work these organizations do is outstanding and often goes unnoticed.  We are proud to provide both funding and encouragement to the many volunteers and staff members who serve the community so well.”

Qlarant Foundation funded the following programs for 2018-19:

Access Carroll, Inc. – The Integrated Pharmaceutical Program helps low-income and at-risk residents of Carroll County achieve good health through access to free-of-charge medications and management of their chronic diseases and acute illnesses.

Breast Care for Washington, DC – Increasing Access to High Quality Breast Imaging for Medically Underserved Womenprovides mammograms, diagnostics and treatment to uninsured women at no cost to them.

Channel Marker, Inc. – Through the Health Home Program support is provided for clients in Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot counties who suffer with pre-existing severe and persistent mental illness who also have other medical diagnoses.

Community Ministries of Rockville, Inc. – The Mansfield Kaseman Health Clinic provides quality healthcare and healthcare education to Montgomery County’s low-income uninsured and underinsured residents.

Eastern Shore Wellness Solutions, Inc. – The Health Outreach Workers Program provides care coordination for program participants and their primary care provider. It also is resource for the the social determinants of health, including housing, food and transportation.

Girls in the Game – The Baltimore After School Program addresses girls’ physical, mental and emotional health by exposing girls to a variety of sports and fitness activities in combination with nutrition, health education and leadership development.

Help and Outreach Point of Entry, Inc. – Homeless and poor clients on the Lower Eastern Shore receive medical assessments, health education and screening and referrals for treatment, with a focus on dental health, through the Tri-County Dental Health Outreach Program.

La Clinica del Pueblo, Inc. – Mi Refugio Community Mental Health and Support Program provides behavioral health services for unaccompanied and recently arrived immigrant youth at the Northwestern High School in Prince Georges County.

Maryland Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped, Inc. – The Donated Dental Program recruits dentists and dental laboratories to provide services free of charge to low-income adults who are also disabled.

Miriam’s Kitchen, Inc. –The Social Services Program reduces barriers to medical and behavioral healthcare for District of Columbia residents who are experiencing prolonged homelessness and related complex health issues.

Mission of Mercy, Inc. – Expansion of the Shared Patient/Hospital Partner Program reduces hospital readmissions and improves health outcomes for uninsured or underinsured patients in Baltimore and Carroll counties as well as Baltimore City.

Shirley Grace Pregnancy Center, Inc. – The Holistic Opportunities for Prevention and Education Program addresses the gap in services offered to high-risk pregnant women on the Lower Eastern Shore.

University Legal Services, Inc. – The Jail and Prison Advocacy Program advocates for access to health care, mental health care, and comprehensive reentry support for currently incarcerated District of Columbia adults with mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders.

University of Maryland Medical System Foundation – The University of Maryland Children’s Hospital Breathmobile Program provides free treatment and preventive care to Baltimore City underserved children with asthma.For more information on the recipients and their grants, go to  http://www.qlarant.com/about/qlarant-foundation/  Link

 

Chesapeake Bank and Trust Announces Membership in Allpoint

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Chesapeake Bank and Trust Company has joined Allpoint Network, which means its clients now have access to America’s largest surcharge-free ATM network, with some 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs worldwide.

With Allpoint Network, Chesapeake’s clients will never be far away from surcharge-free ATM access to their cash, especially in the United States, where Allpoint offers 43,000 cash machines in places they’re already visiting as part of their daily routine. Conveniently located in destination retail outlets including major discount retailers, convenience, grocery and pharmacy stores, users of Allpoint Network ATMs save time, as well as ATM fees.

“By becoming an Allpoint Network member, Chesapeake grows its ATM footprint to more than double that of even America’s largest bank,” said Glenn Wilson, President of Chesapeake. “People want a financial services provider that delivers the most convenient account access and management options, and that includes cash access. With Allpoint Network’s surcharge-free ATMs, we can meet our clients’ cash access needs in a way that works best for them — in the conveniently located stores that are already part of their lives.”

Chesapeake’s clients looking for the nearest surcharge-free Allpoint ATM—including 12,000 locations in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, and Australia—can do so with their smartphone using the free Allpoint Network ATM locator app. Once at the store hosting an Allpoint ATM, look for the green Allpoint logo.

Allpoint Network is the largest surcharge-free ATM network with more than 55,000 ATMs in leading national and regional merchant locations across the United States, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom and Australia. Allpoint provides greater access, convenience and savings to customers of financial institutions while providing institutions the tools to compete more effectively for customers. For more information or to find the nearest Allpoint surcharge-free ATM, please visit www.AllpointNetwork.com. Allpoint Network is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cardtronics plc (Nasdaq: CATM).

Chesapeake Bank and Trust is a full-service community bank founded in 1986, locally-owned and directed by area business and community leaders. The Bank is committed to providing area residents and business owners a full suite of financial products and an unparalleled level of individual service. For more information, call 410-778-1600, or visit www.chesapeaketrust.com.

A Festive First Friday in Chestertown!

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Walnut and Wool owner Samantha Arrow cuts the ribbon for her new boutique inside She-She- on High. The store features furniture and clothing.   Photo by Peter Heck

Summer is here!  We know that the summer solstice on June 20 marking the day with the most hours of sunlight is the official beginning of summer, but Friday, June 1, was a perfect summer day.  Hot but not too hot.  Sunny but with just enough cloud cover to provide some shade.  It was a great evening for Chestertown’s first First Friday of the summer!

Twigs and Teacups on Cross St.       Photo by Jane Jewell

And there were lots of reasons to make this a special first Friday.  There were three ribbon-cuttings for new businesses in downtown Chestertown – The Listening Room on Cannon St., the Blackbird Boutique at the corner of Spring and Park Row across from the park, and Walnut & Wool in the back of She-She on High St.  A fourth business, Elbe Body with licensed massage therapist Linda Moyer, was celebrating it’s new location at 300 Cross St. inside the old train station, the previous location of The Tidewater Trader.

Author Gail Priest signs copies of her books at Twigs and Teacups
Photo by Jane Jewell

The RiverArts June exhibit opened to the public with a reception and an opportunity to vote for your favorite work.  The exhibit will remain through June. There is a wide variety of styles and subjects including paintings, pottery, and sculpture.  There are several lovely designs in fabric.  Especially interesting is a free-standing multi-piece sculpture in mixed media –mostly wood– titled Rite of Spring by Ron Akins. With its exquisite details of pixies and woodland creatures, it looks as if it came straight from a garden in fairyland.

Detail from “Rite of Spring” mixed media sculpture by Ron Akins at RiverArts   Photo by Jane Jewell

“Garden Paths” by Barbara Vann      Photo by Peter Heck

“Kooky Quartet” by Ken Sadler      Photo by Peter Heck

“My Turn to Reflect” 3-d sculpture by Larry Fransen of Annapolis winner of People’s Choice award      Photo by Peter Heck

The Listening Room on Cannon St. Town Councilman David Foster, Main Street President Paul Heckles, owner Michael Hoatson, Town Councilwoman Linda Kuiper. Photo by Peter Heck

Blackbird Boutique ribbon cutting- owners & sisters Lauryl Clark (red shirt) & Jordan Clark (with scissors) Photo by Peter Heck

The Dover English Country Dancers performed in Fountain Park as part of Washington College’s Alumni Weekend.  If you looked closely, you might recognize local Chestertownians Karen Smith and Steve Mumford in their colonial garb.

Dover English Country Dancers – Karen Smith of Kingstown front right in blue and white. Photo by Peter Heck

Old Kent Quilters’ Guild displays their wares. Win a quilt – Raffle ticket only $1 Photo by Peter Heck

Enjoying a cool drink in the early summer evening outside the Hotel Imperial   Photo by Jane Jewell

The D.A.R., Daughters of the American Revolution, had a table outside the Historical Society. Photo by Peter Heck

Mariam Satchell of Purple Lilly Studio displays her custom-made soaps and lotions.   Photo by Jane Jewell

Chris Jones, Bill Drasga, Frank Gerber, outside “Music Life” Photo by Peter Heck

All in the Family! States’ Attorney candidate Bryan DiGregory’s family was all decked out in matching t-Shirts supporting their candidate! (L-R)daughter Kate DiGregory, In-Laws and grandparents Judy and Rob McSparran, daughter Molly DiGregory.    Photo by Jane Jewell

Kent County Councilman William Pickrum, Vita Pickrum, Deputy States’ Attorney for Kent County and candidate for States’ Attorney candidate Bryan DiGregory.    Photo by Jane Jewell

Soroptimists Connie Jones, Louise Skinner, Connie Morris outside Gabirel’s Photo by Peter Heck

Eleanor Houghton, age 9 in 3rd grade in Centreville, wears a flag in her hair as she picks out her favorite art at Carla Massoni’s Art Gallery Photo by Jane Jewell

Virginia Kerr tastes an organic, biodynamic wine at Chestertown Natural Foods. Photo by Jane Jewell

S.O.S (Save Our Schools) volunteers Jodi Borst and Beth Proffitt.     Photo by Jane Jewell

Do You Wanna Dance?
DJ Tim Sullivan (on left) plays only original vinyl 45s from 1954-’63.  Auctioneer & musician Bill Blake on right.       Photo by Peter Heck

 

 

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Main Street Chestertown Awards $29,000 in Grants for Downtown Façade Improvements

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Main Street Chestertown’s façade-improvement program has awarded its first matching grants to help commercial property owners and tenants improve their downtown buildings.

The first four grants of 2018, totaling $29,000, went to the following:

– $15,000 to Park Row Partners (Peter Newlin and Gale Tucker) to help repair and restore the two-story porch on their property at 302-304 Park Row.

– $10,800 to Taylor Loughry Construction/TL Rentals for improvements to 314 Park Row, including exterior lighting and signage, window repairs and new side stairs with railing.

– $2,400 to Hoon Blitzer Associates for the purchase and installation of two second floor windows at 104 S. Cross Street.

– $800 to Jeffrey Maguire for minor repairs, repainting and landscaping at 108 S. Cross Street.

Grant awardee Taylor Loughry Construction is transforming the facade of 314 Park Row, home to its business office and the new women’s fashion shop, Blackbird Boutique.

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development made Main Street Chestertown’s program possible with a $40,000 Community Legacy grant. After these first four awards, $11,000 remains to fund additional 2018 improvement projects.  The 2018 Main Street grants provide up to 60 percent of the cost of a proposed renovation or refurbishment, with a  $20,000 limit per grant.  Property owners, or tenants with the owner’s authorization, receive the grant funds as reimbursement after the improvement project is complete.

The grants can apply to a range of improvements, from simple enhancements such as awnings, flower boxes, signage and painting, to more complex construction projects such as restoring an original façade.

The program guidelines and application forms are posted on Main Street Chestertown’s website (mainstreetchestertown.org). For more information about the process, contact Main Street Manager Kay MacIntosh (kay.chestertown@gmail.com, 410-778-2991).

Maryland 3.0: The Award Winning Inspiration of Plum Dragon Herbs

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Sometimes, a challenging situation inspires innovative solutions. Such was the case for Lisa Ball CEO of Plum Dragon Herbs, Inc. of Chester, MD. Diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, she told by doctors there was no cure. Three weeks later, after intensive research, a change in diet, and the addition of supplements, she amazed her physicians by curing herself. This passion for research, natural healing and wellness combined with her entrepreneurial spirit, and in 2013 she purchased Plum Dragon from a friend.

Lisa Ball CEO of Plum Dragon Herbs

The company’s goal then and now was the manufacture and sale of a line of 100% herbal and natural topical analgesics for sports-related injuries, such as tendonitis, bruising, sprains, strains, fractures, etc. “The pain relief formulas are based on ancient Chinese remedies called ‘Dit Da Jow,’ which was the secret to the superior feats of strength, resilience, and rapid recovery of the famed Shaolin Monks and Samurai warriors,” says Ball. Plum Dragon acquired and translated these herbal formulas, keeping the traditional authenticity, the original method of preparation, and many of the original names.

They were originally marketed to Olympic athletes, martial artists, and fighters. But according to Ball, as word of mouth spread about the success of the analgesics, they began to be used by ‘everyday folks’ all over the world to treat their pain and injury. “In short, she says, “we are bringing powerful ancient healing secret formulas of the great warriors and martial artists of the Eastern world…”

These ancient mixtures, which are manufactured locally in Chester, MD, contain 15-30 powerful medical herbs in an alcohol base, which are aged for a minimum period of 6 months. In formulating these tinctures, Plum Dragon has had many advisors including acupuncturists, and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners, as well as nutraceutical chemists and FDA consultants.

Plum Dragon advertises that their top three best selling topical analgesics can help with nearly all types of pain or injury. The Ho Family Dit Da Jow is their number one best-selling formula for pain relief and used for muscle pain and injury, tendonitis, and nerve pain. The Bruise Juice is best for new injuries with bruising, redness, and/or swelling and for inflammatory conditions where inflammation is apparent. The Ancestor’s Advanced formula is best for arthritis, older injuries or fractures that are taking a long time to heal, and connective tissue injuries. The formulas are applied topically to the affected area a minimum of three times per day for an average period of 1 to 2 weeks (sometimes longer for more serious injuries).

Asked about the safety of these analgesics, Ball points out that the herbs used by Plum Dragon have thousands of years of recorded history of safe usage, and work with the body to support and enhance its natural healing processes. In contrast “many of the chemicals used in our competitor’s products, both topical and oral (including sports creams, NSAIDs, and opioids), have known and scientifically proven harmful side-effects, and relieve pain by circumventing or blocking the body’s natural healing functions.”

Pictured from left to right) RBI2 Mentor, Jack Schammel; Plum Dragon CEO, Lisa Ball; Director of Advisory Services, Anne Balduzzi

At the beginning of May, Plum Dragon received some promising news. The Maryland based Technology Development Corporation’s (TEDCO) Rural Business Innovation Initiative (RBI2) announced Plum Dragon as its first pre-seed funding recipient. RBI2 provides technical and business assistance to small companies and early-stage technology-based companies in rural Maryland counties. According to Ann Balduzzi, Director of Advisory Services, “We’re looking for start-ups with a really good idea, that is growing, and that has a strong team. Since we’re offering small pre-seed funding of $25,000, we are highly selective.” Plum Dragon fit all that criteria.

“Jack Schammel, the Upper Shore RBI2 mentor, had been working with Lisa Ball for some time. “The company, under Lisa’s leadership has grown rapidly.” Schammel says, “Lisa took full advantage of assistance opportunities, listened to mentors, hired capable people, sets goals, and made a solid business plan. We see a great future.”

Given today’s emphasis on wellness and Ball’s enthusiasm, RBI2 selection of Plum Dragon is apparent. According to Ball, the pre-seed investment provided by the program will give the company “an opportunity to improve product delivery mechanism and packaging, marketing, brand messaging, online sales funnels, and e-commerce functionality.”

Val Cavalheri is a recent transplant to the Eastern Shore, having lived in Northern Virginia for the past 20 years. She’s been a writer, editor and professional photographer for various publications, including the Washington Post.

 

 

Laura Johnson Steps Up Into Role as Vice President of Finance

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Washington College President Kurt Landgraf announced today that Laura Johnson, who has served as Washington College’s chief budget officer for the past four years, will be promoted to Vice President of Finance.

Johnson, who before joining Washington College was the senior global financial analyst with the DuPont Company in Wilmington, Delaware, succeeds Rahel Rosner, who has accepted a position with St. Paul’s School in Baltimore.

“I am honored to continue to serve Washington College and excited for the opportunity to partner with Kurt, faculty, and senior leadership to ensure the sustainability of our future,” Johnson says. “We have some of the most talented and dedicated students, faculty, and staff and a board that is generous and insightful.  I look forward to the relationship with the community of Chestertown and to the exciting challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

In announcing the transition, Landgraf applauded the work of the Finance and Administration team, which is managing capital projects in various stages of development, from the construction of the Hodson Boathouse and Semans-Griswold Environmental Hall, to the upcoming renovation of the Cullen residential hall, the completion of a full facilities condition assessment, and a master plan update.

Less visible, he said, has been the team’s work on financial sustainability, budget modeling, and projections—areas of primary focus for Johnson. She has been the main liaison between both the Provost’s Office and the Office of Finance and the academic and administrative departments for matters related to resource allocation, financial planning, and approval of actions related to employees, major purchases, and capital projects. She serves on the Finance and Benefits Committee, the Planning Committee, the Donor Relations & Stewardship Committee, and as an adviser for the Washington College Veterans Association, helping lead the annual holiday drive to gather and send supplies and gifts to those deployed in the active military.

“Laura Johnson is an incredibly talented financial officer who has proven to be up to the challenge of maximizing the College’s resources,” says Landgraf. “She’s also totally committed to the welfare of this institution. I am delighted to be able to tap one of most our talented and committed employees for a position of greater responsibility.”

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

Maryland 3.0: Checking in with KRM’s Bryan Matthews

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Just a few years ago, the Dixon Valve & Coupling Company made a corporate decision that would have a significant impact on Kent County’s economy and yet very little was said about at the time. The company, faced with growing pains and stiff competition for their range of piping and fitting products, had to make a difficult choice to either expand their business locally in Chestertown or take advantage of lower production costs, larger workforce populations, and reduced taxes by moving operations to another state or perhaps even another country.

This kind of significant call is not an uncommon one for American manufacturing companies. And in most cases, these businesses very quickly conclude that their bottom line profits will improve dramatically by migrating to a more business-friendly location. But in the case of Dixon, which would impact close to 375 employees in Kent County, their final decision went against that popular trend. Dixon quickly made up their mind that they would stay put in Chestertown.

While most communities in America would have held parades or honored local politicians for saving a town’s anchor manufacturing business, the Dixon decision, like so much of the rest of the family-owned business culture, was a low-key affair. Once they concluded that Kent County would remain their home for the foreseeable future, Dixon leadership assigned the task of building facilities for that future growth to the company’s subsidiary, KRM Development, and thus began a complicated multi-year plan to move warehouse, production and administrative functions to new locations.

A good part of that job is now in the work portfolio of Bryan Matthews, who retired as Washington College’ athletic director and facilities manager after thirty years of service to his alma mater to join the KRM team two years ago. In his Spy interview, Matthews talks in detail about the intricate planning required for this kind of major undertaking as well as some of the vision behind Dixon’s plans for their North Chestertown campus.

This video is approximately five minutes in length. For more information about KRM Development please go here.