WC and Dixon Valve Send Furniture to Veterans in Need

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Washington College has teamed up with Dixon Valve and Coupling to donate 44 bedroom sets—bed, chest of drawers, chair, and desk—to help military veterans transition from homelessness into new housing. The furniture, which in mid-July moved from the campus to the Veterans Multi-Service Center Thrift Store in Philadelphia thanks to a donated tractor-trailer from Dixon Valve, will be used for the Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program.

“This is sustainability as it’s supposed to be: a triple-bottom-line project that simultaneously addresses environmental, social-justice, and financial outcomes,” says Greg Farley, the College’s director of sustainability, who helped organize the donation. “We’re reducing waste and stress on landfills, providing a benefit to a population in need, which has, itself, directly served our nation, and helping reduce our costs and costs to the federal government for veterans’ support. I also love the fact that it’s a joint effort between the College and Dixon Valve, a community partner with a long history of cooperation with Washington College.”

Farley credits the impetus for the donation to Lea Carter, auxiliary services leader in the College’s Office of Buildings and Grounds, who has been successfully working with local businesses and non-profits to manage similar donations for several years. Carter says that the College has donated blankets and linens from summer conferences and camps to organizations including the Salvation Army, local homeless shelters, the Kent County Human Society, and the Sunday Breakfast Mission in Wilmington. Furniture being cycled out of residential halls has gone to Serenity Place in Dover and Future Focus Recovery House for Women in Cambridge, among other area organizations that help people emerging from alcoholism, drug addiction, homelessness, and other difficulties.

Photo: (L to R) Bryan Matthews and Buddy Hitchens of Dixon Valve, and Lea Carter, Antone Black, and Jeff Mullikinof WC Buildings and Grounds, helped organize and make the furniture donation. Not pictured who helped in the move are Greg Farley and Logan Fracassi of WC and Calvin Shelter and Jeff Conner of Dixon Valve.

“Last year, Bob Greenwald from East Coast Storage donated a truck, fuel, and drove 27 sets of furniture to The Home of the Brave in Milford,” Carter says. The Delaware facility helps veterans in transition find housing, food, stability, and support. “It’s a collaborative effort of different people here in Chestertown, and employees here from the College who are making it happen.”

Farley says that this year, with such a large quantity of furniture, he contacted the Department of Veterans Affairs to see where there was a need. According to Rosemarie McGee, program manager at the Veterans Multi-Service Center (VMC) Thrift Store in Philadelphia, the furniture will be stored there until it is needed by the HUD-VASH program to help furnish a new home for a veteran. According to the HUD website, the HUD-VASH program combines rental assistance for homeless veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The VMC Thrift Store itself is a jobs program to help transitional veterans move to permanent, full-time positions, McGee says.

“While training at the VMC they help other transitional veterans move to their new homes and/or deliver their furniture from the Thrift Store,” she says. “Trainees are responsible for picking up, processing, displaying, then delivering furniture, household items, and linens. We have a very good success rate with our program, with 83 percent moving on to better positions.”

The bedroom sets came from the Cecil and Dorchester residential buildings—part of what’s known as the Quad buildings—which will receive newer furniture from the Cullen building, which comprises Worcester, Wicomico, and Somerset. The Cullen building is undergoing a yearlong renovation, and it will get new furniture as part of that project, Farley says.

The collaboration with Dixon Valve helped reduce shipping costs, Farley says, while recycling the furniture itself—rather than simply taking it to a dump—saved the College at least $2,300 in hauling fees. This latest donation comes on the heels of a donation in early July of four bedroom sets to the New Life Recovery House in Kingstown, which was furnishing a new home for people who were overcoming addiction.

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.

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.

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

 

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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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.

Delmarva Power Expands Incentives for Electric Vehicle Shoppers

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Nissan and BMW are offering Delmarva Power customers special incentives that can save them thousands of dollars on the cost of certain all-electric vehicle (EV) models. In addition to the manufacturer incentives, customers could also qualify for up to $7,500 in federal tax credits, as well of thousands of dollars in state rebates and tax incentives.

These offerings are part of Delmarva Power’s broader efforts to provide new and innovative services and options for customers across the company’s service area.

“We are seeing a growing interest from our customers in electric vehicles, clean technology and innovative transportation solutions,” said Gary Stockbridge, Delmarva Power region president. “As the electric company responsible for managing the energy grid across most of Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland, we play a critical role in supporting the growth of these new technologies to meet our customers’ evolving needs. These rebates and incentives are another step forward as we work with partners across the region to expand needed charging infrastructure, provide affordable energy services for electric vehicles, and position Delaware and Maryland as leaders in this rapidly growing market.”

Nissan is offering Delmarva Power customers a $3,000 rebate off the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) on the 2018 LEAF. This offer is available from Nissan North America Inc., through June 30, 2018, or while supplies last. To qualify for the savings, customers must bring a copy of this flyer and show their Delmarva Power bill to participating Nissan dealerships.

BMW is offering Delmarva Power customers $10,000 off the best negotiated purchase price of a new all-electric BMW i3 or BMW i3s through July 31, 2018. To redeem the offer, customers should bring their Delmarva Power bill and a completed Delmarva Power customer information form to their local dealership.

Delmarva Power is actively working to advance EV technology across Delaware and Maryland. In Delaware, the energy company has proposed an innovative program to the Delaware Public Service Commission that will help prepare Delaware for the growth of EVs and provide customers with reduced electric rates, credits, rebates, and other incentives to buy and own EVs.

In Maryland, Delmarva Power partnered with its Exelon sister companies Baltimore Gas and Electric and Pepco, as well as other energy companies and stakeholders, to file a proposal that would create the second largest EV charging network in the U.S. If approved, it would help energy companies meet customers’ needs in the state, where, according to a recent survey released this week by the Edison Electric Institute, an overwhelming majority of residents support expanding EV charging infrastructure.

Customers can learn more about EVs, available incentives, and the company’s ongoing efforts to support the growing interest in EVs here.

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Unveils New Master Plan

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The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., has announced the completion of a new Master Plan, which will create increased space for CBMM’s core museum offerings—including exhibitions, education, and Shipyard. CBMM’s Master Plan process began in mid-2017, under the leadership of President Kristen Greenaway.

“CBMM’s Master Plan is a vision for CBMM’s campus for the next 20 years, and is designed to greatly enhance the guest experience,” said Greenaway. “The Master Plan will support CBMM’s mission and world-class maritime museum status by enabling CBMM to offer new and expanded programming.”

Through a competitive RFP, museum and education building specialist Ann Beha Architects of Boston, Mass., was chosen to develop CBMM’s Master Plan in July 2017. The process began with a series of visioning sessions, with input gathered from members of the community, CBMM’s Board of Governors and Friends Board, staff, and volunteers.

The scope of the plan is broad, addressing all facets of the physical campus, including new and re-oriented buildings, wayfinding, guest accessibility and comforts, and prioritizing CBMM’s natural, waterfront environment.

Phase I of the Master Plan consists of the construction of a new building for changing exhibitions, a long-term waterfowling exhibition, CBMM’s library and archives, and landscaping upgrades to Navy Point. The new facility will replace CBMM’s current Bay History and Waterfowling exhibition buildings, with the buildings’ artifacts to be relocated; demolition of the buildings is anticipated to begin in spring 2019. The new library and exhibition building is anticipated to open in 2020.

“This new facility offers a higher standard of climate control than we have anywhere, other than in our collections facility,” continued Greenaway. “It will also move our exhibitions and archival collections above the flood plain. Currently, both our Waterfowling and Bay History buildings are extremely vulnerable to flooding from storm surge events.”

CBMM’s Master Plan includes raising the grade of new buildings and walkways above regulated limits in anticipation of long-term needs. Other proposed changes include enhancements to the Navy Point lawn, and relocation of the Tolchester Beach Bandstand and Point Lookout Bell Tower to other locations within CBMM’s campus.

“After the investigation of numerous options and alternatives, a very thoughtful and exciting campus vision has emerged—one that ticks all of the Master Plan objectives boxes,” commented CBMM Board of Governors Chair Diane Staley. “Still, there’s much work to be done before shovels touch earth.”

Three phases make up the Master Plan, with the scope and timeline expected to be six to eight years, contingent upon funding. Funding sources are planned to come from individual donations and naming opportunities, grants, and operations. Phases II and Phase III will focus on further expanding CBMM’s education and Shipyard capabilities.

The public is invited to a Community Forum on Tuesday, June 19, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in CBMM’s Van Lennep Auditorium, where CBMM will host a community conversation and share more information about the Master Plan.

Established in 1965, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a world-class maritime museum dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment, and culture of the entire Chesapeake Bay, with the values of relevancy, authenticity, and stewardship guiding its mission. To learn more about the Master Plan, visit cbmm.org/masterplan.

The Greater Chestertown Initiative: Open for Business Loan Program Begins

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Chestertown is a great place to open a new business or expand an existing one. The Greater Chestertown Initiative is pleased to announce the newest recipient of an Open for Business Loan – Samantha Niva, owner of Walnut & Wool.

Samantha is excited about her new venture. “Walnut & Wool will be the hottest little clothing shop in Historic Chestertown. We will offer women a unique mix of new on trend styles and vintage accessories.” The shop will share space with She She on High located at 321 High Street.

The GCI, currently chaired by Lani Seikaly, is an informal and independent coalition of leaders of organizations both non-profit and for-profit, community associations and government agencies, Washington College and other interested groups and individuals.

The Greater Chestertown Initiative (GCI) Open for Business Loan Program was established by the GCI and the SFW Foundation to aid economic development in Chestertown by providing financial assistance through loans to eligible businesses.  Kay MacIntosh, Economic Development and Marketing Coordinator for Chestertown, is actively engaged in supporting Chestertown entrepreneurs through the Arts & Entertainment District and the Main Street programs.

Carla Massoni, chairman of the Open for Business application and review process, invites entrepreneurs to apply for loans to offset the costs of starting a new business, to expand an existing business or to relocate operations to Chestertown. While the businesses must be physically located in Chestertown, business owners are not required to live in Kent County to apply.

For more about information about Open for Business loans and an online application, visit here 

Gillespie Joins Chesapeake Bank and Trust

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Chesapeake Bank and Trust is very pleased to announce the election of Mr. James E. Gillespie (Jim) to its Board of Directors. He will also serve on the Board of Directors of Chesapeake Bancorp, the Bank’s holding company. Mr. Gillespie was previously a member of both Boards of Directors from 2000 to 2012.

“As a well-known and respected businessman, we are delighted to have Jim rejoin our board,” remarked Glenn L. Wilson, President and CEO of Chesapeake Bank and Trust.

Mr. Gillespie is the Chief Executive Officer and fourth generation owner of Gillespie & Son, Inc., a family-founded ready mix concrete company based in Chestertown, Maryland and established in 1922. During Mr. Gillespie’s tenure, he founded Gillespie Precast, LLC and Delmarva Castings and Supplies in Chestertown, manufacturing concrete precast structures that service the Maryland, Delaware and Virginia markets. In 2013, Mr. Gillespie acquired another precast facility in Greenwood, Delaware. There are over 125 employees on the Gillespie team. In addition to his business, Mr. Gillespie also oversees a number of his farm holdings on the Eastern Shore.

“I am honored and excited to be rejoining and serving on the Board of Directors of Chesapeake Bank and Trust Company,” said Mr. Gillespie. “As a local business owner, I realize the importance of a community-focused financial institution. I look forward to serving our clients, both current and potential, and doing my part to preserve the future of CB&T.”

Mr. Gillespie is currently serving a second term on the Board of Directors of Chester River Yacht & Country Club. He is a past member of the Boards of Directors of Willard Agri-Service and Kent County Chamber of Commerce; the Board of Trustees of Kent School; and a past President of the Maryland Ready Mix Concrete Association.

Mr. Gillespie resides in Chestertown with his wife, Erin. They have two grown sons, Andrew and Patrick, the fifth generation, who joined the company in 2013 and 2017, respectively.

Chesapeake Bank and Trust is a locally owned and managed bank headquartered in Chestertown. Chesapeake 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.

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