Top three Palmer Gil­lis fi­nal­ists named

The Star Democrat - - BUSINESS & FINANCIAL -

Three fi­nal­ists have emerged from a field of more than 20 can­di­dates who were nom­i­nated for the Palmer Gil­lis En­tre­pre­neur of the Year Award from Mary­land Cap­i­tal En­ter­prises, of­fi­cials an­nounced this week.

Bob Ham­mond, owner of At­lantic Phys­i­cal Ther­apy in Ocean Pines, Ocean City, Sal­is­bury, West Fen­wick, Ocean View, Mills­boro and Lau­rel, Johnny Shock­ley, co-owner of Hoop­ers Is­land Oys­ter Aqua­cul­ture Com­pany in Fish­ing Creek, and Su­san Kuhn Pur­nell, owner of Kuhn’s Jewel­ers in Sal­is­bury were the top three en­trepreneurs se­lected by a panel of judges made up of Shore busi­ness and civic lead­ers.

The win­ner will be an­nounced at MCE’s Awards Ban­quet on Thurs­day, Nov. 3 at Sal­is­bury Univer­sity. First place will be awarded $2,000, while the two run­ner ups will each win $500.

Bob Ham­mond founded At­lantic Phys­i­cal Ther­apy in 1998 in Ocean Pines. Ham­mond at­tributes his suc­cess to how he con­ducts his busi­ness; fam­ily first. The staff, and their fam­i­lies, and pa­tients are all treated as fam­ily.

Ham­mond is a firm be­liever in pay­ing it for­ward. His in­volve­ment in his com­mu­nity is ex­ten­sive and in­cludes con­tri­bu­tions and spon­sor­ships to At­lantic Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal Foun­da­tion, Ocean City Po­lice De­part­ment (Christ­mas Bike Drive), Su­san B. Komen of Worces­ter County, Ber­lin Lit­tle League, Ber­lin Pop Warner, Women Sup­port­ing Women, Chil­dren’s House by the Sea, Tough Guy Award and many oth­ers.

Johnny Shock­ley and co-owner Ricky Fitzhugh formed Hoop­ers Is­land Oys­ter Aqua­cul­ture Com­pany in 2010 in hopes of es­tab­lish­ing a new in­dus­try around sus­tain­able aqua­cul­ture in Mary­land. Shock­ley is a third gen­er­a­tion com­mer­cial water­man and has de­vel­oped a full line of oys­ter aqua­cul­ture equip­ment that meets the needs of this in­dus­try.

As a busi­ness, HIOAC di­rectly sup­ports the March of Dimes An­nual Chef’s Chal­lenge fundraiser, and the Coastal con­ser­va­tion As­so­ci­a­tion fundraiser. Other sup­port in­cludes a part­ner­ship with the Na­tional Aquar­ium in Bal­ti­more, a cor­po­rate part­ner with Phillips Wharf En­vi­ron­men­tal Cen­ter, part­ner­ship with East­ern Shore Land Con­ser­vancy, work­ing to de­velop a nu­tri­ent trad­ing pro­gram in co­op­er­a­tion with Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Pro­gram and the Oys­ter Re­cov­ery Part­ner­ship, a state rep­re­sen­ta­tive for East Coast Shell­fish Grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion and sev­eral other or­ga­ni­za­tions.

Su­san Kuhn Pur­nell, third gen­er­a­tion owner of Kuhn’s Jewel­ers in Sal­is­bury which is the sixth old­est in­de­pen­dent jew­elry store in the United States.

Pur­nell has pledged to give back to the com­mu­nity. Sup­port in­cludes the Alzheimer’s As­so­ci­a­tion, Coastal Hospice, Pur­nell-Thomas me­mo­rial Tennis Tour­na­ment, Girl Scouts of Amer­ica, Sal­is­bury Univer­sity Women’s Cir­cle and a host of other as­so­ci­a­tions and fundrais­ers through­out the Sal­is­bury area.

Other en­trepreneurs that were nom­i­nated in­clude: vices,

• James Tin­gle, owner of Tin­gle Serof Ber­lin

• Shelly Bruder, owner of Bruder Hill, of Ber­lin

• David & Gena Levy, own­ers of Bay Coun­try Bak­ery, of Cam­bridge

• Suzy Tay­lor, co-owner of Ay­ers Creek Ad­ven­tures, of Ber­lin

• Dan Bridges, owner of AQUA Pools and Spas, of Eas­ton

• Gre­gory Whit­ten, owner of Whit­ten In­surance Agency, Cam­bridge

• Jon Con­ley, owner of Un­cle Jon’s Soaps, of Ber­lin

• James & Su­san Mered­ith, own­ers/ op­er­a­tors of Black­wa­ter Pad­dle & Pedal Ad­ven­tures, of Cam­bridge

• Jeff Mer­ritt, owner of Min­ute­man Press, of Sal­is­bury

• Rob­bie Tarp­ley-Raff­ish, CEO/owner of a.s.a.p.r. In­te­grated Mar­ket­ing, of Sal­is­bury

• Su­san Schauer John, CEO/owner of Spi­der­Web Con­nec­tions, or Eas­ton

• Jeremy Hes­lop, owner of Om­niPro Tech­nol­ogy, of Allen

• Chris Braugh­ler, owner of Acorn Mar­ket, of Sal­is­bury

• Vin­cent Gis­riel, co-owner of Sprout Cre­atives, Ber­lin

• David Lay­field, owner of Green Street Hous­ing, LLC, of Sal­is­bury

• Jill Hall, Pres­i­dent/CEO of Land­mark In­surance & Fi­nan­cial Group, Inc., of Princess Anne

• Eric Guz­man and Kari Loren­son, own­ers or Art De­sign Fab­ri­ca­tion, of Eas­ton

• Tan Nguyen, owner of Te­zla Con­sult­ing Group, of Sal­is­bury

• Dr. Paul Brant, owner of Cam­bridge

Fam­ily Eye Care, of Cam­bridge

Tick­ets are still avail­able for the ban­quet in Novem­ber where the En­tre­pre­neur of the Year win­ner will be an­nounced. To learn more, visit www. Mary­landCap­i­ or call Denise Davis at (410) 546-1900.

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