Top three Palmer Gillis finalists named
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. MarylandCapital.org or call Denise Davis at (410) 546-1900.