Eckardt and Beatty are Pride of the Peake

Dorchester Star - - Front Page - By CHRIS POLK cpolk@star­

WYE MILLS — Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege sets aside a spe­cial night once a year to honor alumni and friends who have had a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact in the com­mu­nity and on the col­lege.

This year the col­lege hon­ored Mary­land state Sen. Ad­die Eckardt, R-37-Mid-Shore and Eas­ton busi­ness­man Scott Beatty, as the “Pride of the Peake” on Thurs­day, April 28.

The Pride of the Peake cel­e­bra­tion has been go­ing on each year since 2011, with two no­ta­bles in­ducted into a hall of fame each year.

Eckardt, said she came to Mary­land in the early days of Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege.

Eckardt, her hus­band and three young chil­dren lived in Texas. They lost ev­ery­thing in a hur­ri­cane, she said.

They had been work­ing in a Chris­tian min­istry and friends that were part of the same min­istry in Mary­land of­fered to take them in, she said.

At first they con­sid­ered mov­ing to Columbia, but found re­lo­ca­tion in Cam­bridge a lot eas­ier.

“And we found a won­der­ful group of believ­ers when we got here and we started pray­ing about what we should do,” she said. “Be care­ful what you pray for.”

“We didn’t have enough money,” Eckardt said. “A friend said get a job at the Eastern Shore men­tal hospi­tal.” She said she had three small chil­dren at home.

Eckardt went to work at the hospi­tal and found she re­ally liked it. She de­cided to be­come a nurse, and the clos­est place to train for nurs­ing was an al­lied health com­bi­na­tion of the Mac­Queen Gibbs Wil­lis School of Nurs­ing, the Memo­rial Hospi­tal at Eas­ton and Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege.

Eckardt said she had fond mem­o­ries of that first nurs­ing class, meet­ing peo­ple from Til­gh­man Is­land and some who had grown up in Cam­bridge. She said many of them were go­ing back to school af­ter be­ing home­mak­ers. She had not been in school for four or five years, she said.

“Five or six mem­bers of that first class went on to get higher de­grees,” she said. “Mas­ter’s de­grees and above. And that was so in­stru­men­tal to me be­cause it opened the door for where I am today.”

Eckardt be­came a reg­is­tered nurse and worked as a psy­chi­atric nurse at the Eastern Shore Hospi­tal Cen­ter in Dorch­ester County.

She even­tu­ally got bach­e­lor’s and mas­ter’s de­grees and has been an ad­junct fac­ulty mem­ber at Sal­is­bury Univer­sity and the Univer­sity of Mary­land.

Eckardt was first elected to the Mary­land House of Del­e­gates in 1994, where she was the Dorch­ester rep­re­sen­ta­tive in District 37B. Since then she has won re-elec­tion a few times and been de­feated a few times as a Mary­land state del­e­gate.

In 2014 she moved from the House of Del­e­gates af­ter be­ing elected to rep­re­sent the Mid-Shore in the Mary­land Se­nate.

Eckardt re­ceived the Recog­ni­tion Award, for school fund­ing and pub­lic health ed­u­ca­tion from the Mary­land As­so­ci­a­tion of Coun­ties in 2015.

“God bless you Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege on your 50 years and all of you out there at­tached to the col­lege for so long,” Eckardt said.

Eckardt par­tic­i­pated in the open­ing of the new state-of-the-art Health Pro­fes­sions and Ath­let­ics Cen­ter at Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege last year.

The new 100,000 square­foot build­ing is larger than the four build­ings that were pre­vi­ously used, put to­gether. It cost $37 mil­lion. About 400 stu­dents are study­ing health pro­fes­sions, in­clud­ing nurs­ing.

“God bless you for that won­der­ful new build­ing,” Eckardt said. “(And for) trans­form­ing peo­ple and send­ing them back into the com­mu­nity. God bless you Dr. Viniar and thank you for your vi­sion. With­out vi­sion the peo­ple per­ish. You have the guts to make it hap­pen.”

Beatty, the sec­ond honoree, is pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Shore Banc­shares Inc., a $1.1 bil­lion fi­nan­cial hold­ing com­pany head­quar­tered in Eas­ton.

Beatty has been a cer­ti­fied prac­tic­ing ac­coun­tant for 25 years, and worked at Tal­bot Bank be­gin­ning in 1992. In 2000, he joined Shore Banc­shares Inc. serv­ing as ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent, chief oper­at­ing of­fi­cer and di­rec­tor be­fore tak­ing his cur­rent po­si­tion.

Beatty said both he and his wife Nancy took cour­ses at Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege in its early days, and Nancy played on the col­lege’s vol­ley­ball team. Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege cel­e­brated its 50th an­niver­sary last year.

“For those of you who knew me back in my col­lege days, you will know I was pretty well-trav­eled when it came to col­leges,” he joked. “How­ever that was the early 70s and there was a lot to do and see.”

He said even­tu­ally he grad­u­ated from what is now Sal­is­bury Univer­sity, but he and his wife had come to value from per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence the op­por­tu­nity to get a great ed­u­ca­tion here on the Mid-Shore.

“Clearly we see the value of Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege ev­ery day at Shore Banc­shares,” Beatty said. He said a num­ber of his staff mem­bers at Shore Banc­shares have trained at Ch­e­sa­peake and con­tinue to do so as tech­nol­ogy ad­vances.

The work­force and non­tra­di­tional train­ing the col­lege of­fers is vi­tal to the com­mu­nity, he said, launch­ing such ca­reers as nurs­ing, truck driv­ing and weld­ing.

“And they just added a two-year agri­cul­tural pro­gram,” he said.

Beatty’s vol­un­teer work cov­ers a wide va­ri­ety of com­mu­nity in­ter­ests. He cur­rently serves as di­rec­tor on the boards of the Ch­e­sa­peake Con­ser­vancy, Sal­is­bury Univer­sity School of Busi­ness and the non­profit In­te­grace.

He has been a vol­un­teer for en­vi­ron­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions such at the Eastern Shore Land Con­ser­vancy, Wa­ter­fowl Fes­ti­val Inc. and Ducks Un­lim­ited.

He en­joys wood­work­ing and has do­nated hand­crafted wooden bowls to com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions made from fallen Eastern Shore trees.

Beatty said that lately he has got­ten in­volved in try­ing to in­flu­ence pub­lic pol­icy, specif­i­cally in the ar­eas of con­ser­va­tion and ed­u­ca­tion.

“I re­al­ize I don’t have the tem­per­a­ment for pol­i­tics,” he said. “How­ever I am cur­rently a mem­ber of the Tal­bot County Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion.”

Ma­jor roles of the com­mis­sion in­clude re­tain­ing ex­ist­ing busi­nesses and iden­ti­fy­ing, re­cruit­ing and as­sist­ing the re­lo­ca­tion of new busi­nesses to Tal­bot County, he said.

Beatty said the first ques­tion po­ten­tial busi­ness own­ers usu­ally ask is about how large the work­force is and what skills they have. The sec­ond ques­tion, he said, is how good are the schools.

“It be­came clear that the Mid-Shore can no longer rely on real es­tate as the pri­mary eco­nomic driver,” he said, adding that the at­trac­tion of new in­dus­tries is key.

“In or­der to do that, we have to pro­vide the tal­ents that those po­ten­tial busi­nesses re­quire,” Beatty said.

He con­cluded the role of Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege will be­come in­creas­ingly important in the com­ing years.

“Thank you for this honor,” he said, “And thank you to the ad­min­is­tra­tion and fac­ulty for the amaz­ing ser­vice this col­lege pro­vides.”

In the tra­di­tion of Pride of the Peake, part of the evening’s en­ter­tain­ment was a show­ing of short bi­o­graph­i­cal videos of the hon­orees, in­ter­view­ing friends and col­leagues and pro­duced by Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege.

Along with their Pride of Peake awards, both Beatty and Eckardt re­ceived ci­ta­tions from the Mary­land Gen­eral As­sem­bly, Gov. Larry Ho­gan and U.S. Rep. Andy Har­ris, R-Md.-1st.

Pride of the Peake is spon­sored by the Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege Alumni and Friends As­so­ci­a­tion. Pro­ceeds are used to sup­port the Alumni Schol­ar­ship Fund.


Busi­ness­man Lloyd L. “Scott” Beatty Jr., from left, and Sen. Ad­die Eckardt, R-37-Mid-Shore, re­ceive awards as ‘Pride of the Peake’ on April 28 at Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege. Col­lege Pres­i­dent Dr. Bar­bara Viniar made the pre­sen­ta­tions.

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