Caroline County Chamber hon­ors busi­ness com­mu­nity

Times-Record - - Front Page - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com

PRESTON — The Caroline County Chamber of Com­merce hon­ored busi­nesses and com­mu­nity lead­ers at its an­nual awards ban­quet Thurs­day, Jan. 26, at Preston Fire Hall.

The cel­e­bra­tion rec­og­nized the ac­com­plish­ments and suc­cesses of the busi­nesses and com­mu­nity mem­bers. Ter­essa Sim­mons of Blue Pearl Pic­ture Fram­ing in Greens­boro re­ceived En­tre­pre­neur of the Year. The chamber pre­sented Wal­ter Palmer III with the Com­mu­nity Ser­vice award. Katie Thoma­son of Par­lour 7 Salon in Den­ton re­ceived Busi­ness­woman of the Year and Roland Holsinger and Pa­tri­cia Hig­gins re­ceived Busi­ness Cou­ple of the Year.

Wal­mart in Den­ton was named Large Busi­ness of the Year, with Ac­count­ing Strate­gies Group re­ceiv­ing Mid-Sized Busi­ness of the Year and Moore Fu­neral Home be­ing named Small Busi­ness of the Year.

The Caroline County Pub­lic Li­brary was named Caroline’s Best Non­profit, and Com­pass Re­gional Hospice re­ceived the Hu­man­i­tar­ian Award. Mary­land Sec­re­tary of Agri­cul­ture Joe Barten­felder re­ceived the Agri­cul­ture award.

The event also fea­tured a din­ner catered by the Ch­e­sa­peake Culi­nary Cen­ter, last year’s Caroline’s Best Non­profit.

En­tre­pre­neur of the Year: Ter­essa Sim­mons

Blue Pearl Pic­ture Fram­ing opened in 2015 at 610 West Sun­set Av­enue in Greens­boro. The busi­ness is fam­ily owned by Sim­mons and her hus­band Colin Jones.

Blue Pearl Pic­ture Fram­ing of­fers cus­tom pic­ture fram­ing, cus­tom mat cut­ting, cus­tom glass cut­ting, fit­ting ser­vices, frame re­pairs, spe­cial event fram­ing, bulk fram­ing and com­mer­cial fram­ing.

Sim­mons and Jones have live in Greens­boro for about 16 years. She has more than 23 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in the pic­ture fram­ing in­dus­try, start­ing in a pri­vate pic­ture fram­ing stu­dio in Bal­ti­more to now run­ning Blue Pearl Pic­ture Fram­ing.

“Ter­essa took the leap and started her own busi­ness,” said Steve Konopel­ski. “It grew from the base­ment of their home, to an ex­tra bed­room, and fi­nally to the Frame Shop on Sun­set Av­enue in Greens­boro. Colin trans­formed the build­ing from the old Mr. D’s pizza carry out into a large wood­work­ing shop.

“In fact, the his­tory of the build­ing has be­come a lo­cal topic, with com­mu­nity mem­bers pro­vid­ing sto­ries of its many busi­nesses and ex­press­ing grat­i­tude over its refurbishment,” he said. “It has been re­ward­ing for both Ter­essa and Colin to re­ceive such a pos­i­tive re­sponse.

“Blue Pearl pro­vides qual­ity cus­tom pic­ture fram­ing,” he said. “It works to pre­serve, pro­tect, and en­hance their client’s items. It aims to pro­vide per­son­al­ized and ex­pe­ri­enced at­ten­tion. Ter­essa strives to go above and be­yond for the cus­tomer, whether that be af­ter hour ap­point­ments, de­liv­er­ing to a cus­tomer’s home when nec­es­sary, or just en­joy­ing a re­laxed friendly ex­pe­ri­ence.

“Many cus­tomers leave the Frame Shop pleas­antly sur­prised at how much fun they had dur­ing the se­lec­tion process, which is a key goal at the Frame Shop… un­in­tim­i­dat­ing fram­ing,” he said. “Both Ter­essa Sim­mons and Colin Jones as­pire to have Blue Pearl Pic­ture Fram­ing be a re­source and an as­set to the com­mu­nity.”

Com­mu­nity Ser vice: Wal­ter Palmer III

Palmer grew up in Caroline County and grad­u­ated from North Caroline High School in 1972. He grad­u­ated from Get­tys­burg Col­lege in 1976, and from the Mar­shall-Wythe School of Law at the Col­lege of Wil­liam and Mary in 1979. He has prac­ticed law in Den­ton since 1979.

He joined the Boy Scout Troop 165 in Den­ton in 1965 and earned the Eagle rank in 1972. He has served in a lead­er­ship po­si­tion with the Boy Scouts for many years. He also was elected to the Caroline County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion.

Palmer is a life-long mem­ber of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Den­ton where he has taught Sun­day School and sung in the adult choir since 1979, as well as play­ing in the hand­bell choir for a num­ber of years. He also has held a num­ber of church of­fices, and cur­rently is the chair of the church’s Coun­cil on Min­istries.

“Fifty Scouts from the Troop have earned the Eagle rank while Palmer was scout­mas­ter,” said Carville Leaf. “Palmer served on the Caroline County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion from 2011 to 2016. He de­clined to seek reap­point­ment, as he thought some­one younger should serve, and as he was miss­ing too much time with the Boy Scout Troop.

“He is a mem­ber of the Den­ton Ro­tar y Club, with 22 years’ per­fect at­ten­dance,” he said. “Palmer served a num­ber of years on the Board of Trustees of the Up­per Shore Com­mu­nity Men­tal Health Cen­ter in Ch­ester­town, and was pres­i­dent of that board dur­ing the un­suc­cess­ful fight to keep that men­tal hospi­tal open dur­ing the O’Mal­ley ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“Over the years he has served on ad­di­tional non­profit and char­i­ta­ble boards in Caroline County,” he said. “We are hon­ored to present the Chamber of Com­merce Com­mu­nity Ser­vice Award to Walt Palmer.”

Busi­ness­woman of the Year: Katie Thoma­son

Katie Thoma­son, who owns Par­lour 7 Salon in Den­ton, par­tic­i­pated in the 2016 Leukemia and Lym­phoma So­ci­ety of East­ern Shore’s 2016 Man and Woman of the Year cam­paign. She, along with eight other can­di­dates each be­gan rais­ing money April 1, 2016, for Leukemia and Lym­phoma So­ci­ety blood can­cer re­search, with the ti­tles “Man and Woman of the Year” up for grabs. Ev­ery dol­lar raised counted as one vote, and the ti­tles were awarded to the man and woman with the most votes at the end of 10 weeks.

She and her team, Craft­ing a Cure for LLS, raised more than $80,00 and fin­ished third over­all. The ef­forts of all the can­di­dates set a Mary­land record by rais­ing $476,859 by the end of the LLS of the East­ern Shore Gala in Cam­bridge on June 11, 2016, nearly dou­bling the 2015 to­tal.

At last June’s gala in Cam­bridge, LLS of the East­ern Shore hon­ored Thoma­son as the 2016 re­cip­i­ent of the An­gela M. Bul­lock Cit­i­zen­ship Award, given to the can­di­date who most ex­em­pli­fies the mis­sion of the LLS in his or her cam­paign.

Gov. Larry Ho­gan hon­ored Thoma­son dur­ing a visit to down­town Den­ton at the end of June.

“It is peo­ple like Katie Thoma­son and all the peo­ple who work with the Leukemia and Lym­phoma So­ci­ety of the East­ern Shore that kept me alive when I was bat­tling lym­phoma,” said Ho­gan, who was di­ag­nosed in June 2015 and now is in re­mis­sion. “Con­grat­u­la­tions on set­ting the state record.

“Katie, thank you so much. God bless you for what you did. It is in­cred­i­ble with all the hard work you did to raise that amount in such a short pe­riod of time.

“I went from be­ing fo­cused on how to grow our econ­omy and how to put peo­ple back to work to hear­ing three doc­tors I just met tell me I had an ad­vanced and ag­gres­sive can­cer. I’ll tell you, the prayers and well wishes from peo­ple here and all the way across the state were in­cred­i­ble. It means so much to me.

“I had some great doc­tors at the Univer­sity of Mary­land and great nurses. I’m so thank­ful to be here with you 100 per­cent can­cer free and in com­plete re­mis­sion and feel­ing strong. Thank you again, Katie.”

Busi­ness Cou­ple of the Year: Roland Holsinger and Pa­tri­cia Hig­gins

Roland Holsinger and Pa­tri­cia Hig­gins opened the Den­ton den­tal of­fice Smiles by Holsinger & Hig­gins in Fe­bru­ary 1986.

“We have bee com­mit­ted to keep­ing cur­rent with den­tal tech­nol­ogy and con­stantly con­tin­u­ing ed­u­ca­tion for us and our team,” said Holsinger and Hig­gins. “We were one of the first prac­tices in Mary­land to start us­ing dig­i­tal x-rays, of­fer Cerec (same-day crowns) and oral con­scious se­da­tion. We love do­ing all as­pects of den­tistry and as gen­eral prac­ti­tion­ers, we can can and do im­plants, orthodon­tics, en­dodon­tics, oral surgery, fill­ings and cos­metic den­tistry along with other ser­vices.”

Smiles by Holsinger & Hig­gins sup­port the Tucha­hoe Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the Church of Brethren, drama clubs, Ro­tary, Camp Mardela, Board of Zon­ing Ap­peals, Hu­man Ser­vices Coun­cil and Men­tal Health Ad­vi­sory Board. They cur­rently fo­cus on the East­ern Shore Mis­sion of Mercy, which ev­ery two years since 2013 pro­vides free den­tal care to about 1,000 adults at the Wi­comico Youth and Civic Cen­ter in Sal­is­bur y.

Caroline’s Best Non­profit: Caroline County Pub­lic Li­brar y

The Caroline County Com­mis­sion­ers cre­ated the Caroline County Pub­lic Li­brary in 1961. The li­brary sys­tem cur­rently in­cludes the Cen­tral Li­brary in Den­ton and branches in Fed­er­als­burg and Greens­boro. The li­brary op­er­ates its three fa­cil­i­ties with 16 full-time and seven part-time em­ploy­ees. The cur­rent Di­rec­tor is Debby Ben­nett. Board mem­bers, rep­re­sent­ing all ar­eas of the county, are Dr. Caroll Vis­in­tainer, Steve Flee­gle, Terenda Thomas, Wayne Dhue, Gale Nash­old, Amy Brandt and Bart John­son.

“Through­out decades of ser­vice to the county, the li­brary has grown to fill many roles — com­mu­nity cen­ter, ca­reer cen­ter, cul­tural and in­for­ma­tion cen­ter, and life­long learn­ing cen­ter,” said Caroline County Pub­lic Schools Su­per­vi­sor of Food Ser­vices Beth Brewster. “The li­brar y con­tin­u­ally chal­lenges it­self to pro­vide ex­cel­lent cus­tomer ser­vice and in­no­va­tive pro­grams and tech­nol­ogy. In the spirit of col­lab­o­ra­tion which Caroline County is known for, the li­brary of­ten part­ners with other agen­cies to of­fer ad­di­tional ser vices to meet the needs of the lo­cal cit­i­zens.

“The li­brar y is com­mit­ted to see­ing ev­ery child in this county reach their po­ten­tial and em­pha­sizes early child­hood read­ing and ed­u­ca­tion,” she said. “Sto­ry­times, pup­pet shows, read­ing pro­grams, in­ter­ac­tive games, ed­u­ca­tional tools and a va­ri­ety of en­ter­tain­ing pro­gram­ming help chil­dren ex­plore their world, learn and grow.

“Older stu­dents have ac­cess to com­puter re­sources, home­work help, read­ing and re­search as­sis­tance, study rooms, and ex­cit­ing pro­grams de­signed to help them nav­i­gate their world through­out the teen years,” she said. “The li­brary of­fers a ded­i­cated Teen Zone space which gives stu­dents a safe en­vi­ron­ment to learn, play and in­ter­act.

“Adults find tech­nol­ogy as­sis­tance, job re­sources, cul­tural pro­grams of music and live per­for­mance, genealogy re­search, GED classes and AARP tax as­sis­tance,” she said. “The li­brar y con­nects those who need help with those that can help. And let’s not for­get about all the great books. From our new­borns to our re­tired res­i­dents; from stu­dents to job seek­ers; from com­mu­nity groups and

agen­cies to busi­nesses; the li­brary has some­thing for every­one.”

Agri­cul­ture Award: Joe Barten­felder

Joe Barten­felder, of Preston, serves as the Mary­land Sec­re­tary of Agri­cul­ture for Gov. Larry Ho­gan’s ad­min­is­tra­tion. He grew up on a farm, and for more than 35 years has been a full-time farmer and small busi­ness­man. His fam­ily lives on the home farm in Caroline County, and also owns and op­er­ates two other farms in Dorch­ester County. The Barten­felder fam­ily sells pro­duce at the Bal­ti­more City Farm­ers’ Mar­ket and whole­sale, raises poul­try, and grows wheat, beans, and corn.

In ad­di­tion to farm­ing, Barten­felder spent nearly 30 years in elected of­fice. From 1983 to 1994, he served as a mem­ber of the Mar yland House of Del­e­gates, rep­re­sent­ing District 8 in Bal­ti­more County. From 1994 to 2010, he ser ved as a mem­ber of the Bal­ti­more County Coun­cil, in­clud­ing chair­man in 1997, 2000, 2005 and 2009.

“Barten­felder Farms do­nates reg­u­larly to the Mar yland Food Bank,” said last year’s Agri­cul­ture Aware re­cip­i­ent Amy Caw­ley. “They host an an­nual three-day fall fes­ti­val on the farm that is free and open to the pub­lic, in­clud­ing haunted hayrides, for kids and fam­i­lies to come out and ex­pe­ri­ence life on a farm. Mr. Barten­felder per­son­ally pro­vided hayrides for Preston El­e­men­tary School’s Fall Fes­ti­val.

“He also hosted the statewide Farm to School kick-off event at Preston El­e­men­tary in 2015,” she said. “He par­tic­i­pates in the Preston Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment Pa­rade and is very sup­port­ive of the Caroline County High School Culi­nary Arts Pro­gram and Ch­e­sa­peake Culi­nary Cen­ter.”

Large Busi­ness of the Year: Wal­mart

“I am writ­ing to you to tell you about the im­pact that our lo­cal Den­ton Wal­mart has had on a tremen­dous amount of stu­dents,” said North Caroline High School coach Jody Ward. “First and fore­most Wal­mart has pro­vided meals for hun­dreds of stu­dent ath­letes, whom oth­er­wise may not have been able to get the sus­te­nance and nu­tri­ents they needed while par­tic­i­pat­ing in their ath­letic events. (Store Man­ager) Bill Duffy and his as­so­ciates at Wal­mart have never failed to pro­vide th­ese meals for us, even on short no­tice.

“Wal­mart has also helped our chil­dren in count­less other ways,” he said. “Mr. Duffy him­self has spo­ken with our teams in re­gard to the im­por­tance of ed­u­ca­tion, work ethic and in­tegrity. Our lo­cal Wal­mart has pro­vided in­cen­tives to our stu­dents for aca­demic suc­cess, helped with fundrais­ers for equip­ment and other ne­ces­si­ties, as well as spear headed com­mu­nity ser­vice and out­reach pro­grams to help peo­ple, out­side of our lo­cal com­mu­nity that were in need. Mr. Duffy has cre­ated an aware­ness amongst our stu­dents of ex­pec­ta­tions and stan­dards that are nec­es­sary for suc­cesses in life; even re­sult­ing in em­ploy­ment at our Den­ton Wal­mart.

“The gen­eros­ity shown from Mr. Duffy and his en­tire staff have been in­valu­able and have ben­e­fited our stu­dents in school and in the com­mu­nity in count­less ways,” he said. “We are ex­tremely grate­ful for Mr. Duffy and our lo­cal Den­ton Wal­mart.”

Small Busi­ness of the Year: Moore Fu­neral Home

Moore Fu­neral Home was founded in 1909 by J. Vir­gil Moore. His son, Charles V. Moore, joined him in 1936 when the firm be­came known as J.V. Moore and Son. Af­ter serv­ing in Europe dur­ing World War II, Charles again joined his fa­ther. In 1971, Charles Moore’s son, Randy Moore, joined the firm as a li­censed fu­neral di­rec­tor and he con­tin­ues in that ca­pac­ity to­day. In 1976, the fu­neral home be­came known as Moore Fu­neral Home, P.A.

“They are lo­cated in the orig­i­nal home of J.V. Moore and is where Charles V. Moore was born on the se­cond floor,” said last year’s Small Busi­ness Award re­cip­i­ent Laura Har­ris of Rowe In­surance. “They rep­re­sent three gen­er­a­tions and 108 years of continuous own­er­ship and ded­i­ca­tion to the Caroline County com­mu­nity.”

Mid-Size Busi­ness of the Year: Ac­count­ing Strate­gies Group

Ac­count­ing Strate­gies Group, LLC is a Cer­ti­fied Pub­lic Ac­count­ing firm with of­fices in Preston and Cen­tre­ville. The firm is man­aged by its five Mem­bers, Lisa Durham, Amy Brandt, Sam Sauca, Kitzy Smith and Chuck Ire­land. With more than 20 staff mem­bers, the staff in­cludes six Cer­ti­fied Pub­lic Ac­coun­tants and two En­rolled Agents. Mike Con­nolly, a re­tired Mem­ber, re­mains as a key staff mem­ber in the Cen­tre­ville of­fice.

“ASG serves clients in the MidShore area, as well as the sur­round­ing states,” said An­thony Casey, of Shore­line Vinyl Sys­tems who won last year’s Mid-Size Busi­ness of the Yeard award. “The com­pany spe­cial­izes in work­ing with closely held busi­nesses and their own­ers. In ad­di­tion, the firm’s client base in­cludes not-for-profit en­ti­ties, gov­ern­ment en­ti­ties and has ex­pe­ri­ence with pub­lic com­pa­nies and SEC fil­ing re­quire­ments.

“Their group of pro­fes­sion­als is ex­pe­ri­enced in tax prepa­ra­tion for fed­eral re­turns as well as most states and works with sev­eral clients on their in­ter­na­tional busi­ness and tax is­sues,” he said. “The firm also of­fers a full ar­ray of fi­nan­cial state­ment ser vices in­clud­ing au­dit and re­view of fi­nan­cial state­ments.

“Nearly ev­ery mem­ber of the staff has ex­pe­ri­ence with Quick­Books ac­count­ing soft­ware prod­ucts and sev­eral are mem­bers of the Quick­Books Pro Ad­vi­sor Pro­gram,” he said. “The pro­fes­sional staff strives to be an in­te­gral part of each client’s ad­vi­sory team, in­ter­act­ing with other ad­vi­sors such as at­tor­neys, bankers, in­surance pro­fes­sion­als and in­vest­ment man­agers.”

Hu­man­i­tar­ian Award: Com­pass Re­gional Hospice

Since 1985, Hospice of Queen Anne’s has been pro­vid­ing hospice ser­vices to res­i­dents of Queen Anne’s County. In 2014, based on the needs of the com­mu­nity and re­quests from the health care sys­tems, Hospice of Queen Anne’s re­branded it­self as Com­pass Re­gional Hospice and ex­panded their ser­vices to the res­i­dents of Caroline and Kent coun­ties.

This tran­si­tion al­lowed Com­pass Re­gional Hospice to be­come the sole provider of hospice ser­vices, meet­ing the un­der­ser ved hospice and grief sup­port needs in Caroline County. In 2015, the Caroline Hospice Foun­da­tion part­nered with Com­pass Re­gional Hospice to re­open the Caroline Hospice House in Den­ton, once again hav­ing a phys­i­cal pres­ence for hospice ser­vices in Caroline County.

Through this col­lab­o­ra­tion, Com­pass Re­gional Hospice con­tin­ues to pro­vide all hospice ser­vices to pa­tients in their homes, as well as as­sisted liv­ing and skilled nurs­ing fa­cil­i­ties through­out Caroline County. Com­pass Re­gional Hospice staffs the Caroline Hospice Home.

Funds raised by the Caroline Hospice Foun­da­tion help off­set the cost of hospice care for Caroline County res­i­dents. The part­ner­ship has al­lowed Com­pass Re­gional Hospice to pro­vide hospice ser­vices to more than 272 Caroline County res­i­dents. No one is ever de­nied hospice care due to the in­abil­ity to pay. To sup­port hospice ser­vices in Caroline County, con­tact the Caroline Hospice Foun­da­tion.

A fully li­censed, in­de­pen­dent, com­mu­nity-based non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion, Com­pass Re­gional Hospice is cer­ti­fied by Medi­care and the State of Mary­land, and ac­cred­ited by the Joint Com­mis­sion. It is af­fil­i­ated with the Na­tional Hospice and Pal­lia­tive Care Or­ga­ni­za­tion and the Hospice and Pal­lia­tive Care Net­work of Mary­land.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

The Caroline County Chamber of Com­merce honor its an­nual busi­ness award win­ners dur­ing its 2017 ban­quet on Jan. 26.

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