Top 50 Frederick: 2018

Page 1

PUBLISHERS Shawn Dewees Joseph Silovich



GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Annie Ellis Matthew Piersall Supplement to Frederick Magazine


FREDERICK COUNTY OFFICE OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Helen Propheter, director Heather Gramm, assistant director Sandy Wagerman, business development analyst



SUBSCRIPTIONS Stephanie Dewees

Telephone: 301.662.8171 | FAX: 301.662.8399 Letters to the editor: Top 50 Frederick is an annual publication of Diversions Publications, Inc., 6 N. East Street, Suite 301, Frederick, MD 21701-5601 (ISSN 006-923). Periodicals postage paid at Frederick, MD. Subscriptions to Frederick Magazine, $24.95 per year, which includes the Top 50 Frederick and all other annual guides (available through the business office). Back issues w/in the last 12 mo/$3.95. Prior to 12 mos. ago/$7. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Frederick Magazine, 6 N. East Street, Suite 301, Frederick, MD 21701-5601. Customer inquiries to same address or call 301-662-8171. Distributed through mail subscriptions, home delivery, and sold at newsstands and other locations in Frederick, Upper Montgomery counties, and throughout the Central Maryland region. Advertising rates available on request. Manuscripts, drawings, and other submissions must be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Frederick Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited material. All rights to submissions, including letters and e-mail, will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and as subject to Frederick Magazine’s unrestricted right to edit and to comment editorially, unless otherwise negotiated with the author. © DIVERSIONS PUBLICATIONS, INC. Printed on 2019. All contents of this publication are protected by copyright and may not be reproduced Recycled Paper in whole or in part for any reason without prior approval of the publisher.

4 TOP50


Contents 18

8 Starting Solo Some of Frederick’s top 50 CEOs began business as the only employee.

18 More Than Dollars Non-profits are big businesses with social impact as their bottom line.

27 Forward Frederick County The Frederick County Office of Economic Development presents its 2018 annual report.

36 Home to Headquarters


Companies, some with worldwide reach, place their roots in Frederick County.

46 Profiles of the Top 50 Frederick CEOs CEOs whose leadership has helped guide their companies through change resulting in growth.

70 Business Turnarounds The heads of local businesses talk about how they overcame obstacles on the way to success.

78 At a Glance


A look at the Frederick County Office of Economic Development.

80 CEOs Just Want to Have Fun What do the top CEOs do in their spare time?





L Carroll had just been fired from a job working at a local country club when she got a call from a young couple asking her to cater their wedding. At 24, she didn’t even know how to cook.

Thirty years later, Canapes Catering, the catering firm she founded, is still going strong. She has 20 employees, caters events throughout Frederick and well into D.C. and Baltimore, and recently opened a Grab & Go Café. She has some advice for anyone who wants to start their own business: Work hard. Expect to work 12-hour days. There are many businesses in Frederick started by an individual, or a couple of individuals. Some needed a job, others had a business plan, still others started a side job that turned into a business. For Carroll, being a fighter was paramount. The boss who fired her tried to have her arrested as she retrieved her things. He was later convicted of bank fraud. “That’s how Canapes started – I got fired from a job and thrown in jail,” she recalls. The charges against her were dropped, she catered the wedding, and a new passion was born. Carroll learned she had a knack for cooking. “I referred a lot back to childhood memories,” she says. Her mother shared her cooking secrets and her twin sister, who loved to cook and read cookbooks, also gave her some advice. Carroll started cooking, and never stopped. “I look at a recipe, and make it my own,” she says. “I have a huge file of recipes. One day I’ll do a cookbook”—but that’s for when she has time.

When ML Carroll received a request to cater a wedding, she didn’t even know how to cook. Today, she not only creates appealing food, she also oversees 20 employees in her catering business and recently opened café.

Canapes grew in fits and starts as she expanded and hired assistants to cater and plan events. She worked for a while out of the old Lynfield Event Complex north of Frederick, now home to Frederick Christian Fellowship. She then moved her base to ThorpeWood, an event center near Thurmont. About five years ago, she decided to return to her roots, catering in Frederick.

ML Carroll says she has “a huge file of recipes. One day I’ll do a cookbook”—but that’s for when she has time.

All the while, she was in charge. “I’m minding my own store,” she says. “We can adjust with the economy.” She employs seasonal parttime workers, many of them students, but she has a core staff who are dedicated and mature “in our 40s and 50s and 60s,” she says. Carroll is still working those 12-hour days. “It’s busting your frickin’ [butt],” she says. “If I’m not working here, I’m working at home.”



Inspired at a Young Age Funeral homes are often established businesses, run by families or passed down to longtime staff members. From a young age, Gary L. Rollins wanted to open his own funeral home in his hometown of Frederick. “I started researching the funeral industry,” he says, and after serving in the military, got his associate’s degree in mortuary science in 1981. “My whole thing was to open up a funeral home in two years.” Throughout the ‘80s he worked towards his dream. “You have to buy a lot of stuff to furnish a funeral home,” he says. “You also have to have a lot of equipment.” He collected furniture and items from antique sales,

He serves 100 families a year in Frederick, Hagerstown, Montgomery County, and the Baltimore area. He does a yearly veterans service and a yearly service to memorialize all those who died that year. furniture sales and funeral homes that were closing. He worked at the Herbert E. Nutter Funeral Home in Baltimore, where he worked his way up to head embalmer. He also worked as a trade embalmer for other funeral homes in Baltimore.



By 1990, he was ready to open his own business. He was teaching at his alma mater, Catonsville Community College, now the Community College of Baltimore. He continued to work at Nutter, and he began arranging funerals for people, renting space from other funeral homes. “I was traveling back and forth from Baltimore two to three times a day,” he says. “There were a lot of late nights. Sometimes, someone would pass at night and I would have to go and make the arrangements.” There were times he’d work 36 hours at once, taking only one day off most weeks.

By 1993, he opened his own space on South Street, the Gary L. Rollins Funeral Home. Three years later, he built a new building at 110 W. South St., designed to make families feel welcome during the grieving process. He hired a friend to help him, making all the arrangements for the body, making the phone calls to the cemeteries. By 1993, he opened his own space on South Street, the Gary L. Rollins Funeral Home. Three years later, he built a new building at 110 W. South St., designed to make families feel welcome during the grieving process. With the help of his late wife, Arlean, the business grew. After his wife died, he married Denise Hall-Brown Rollins, an author and grief care specialist with a master’s in thanatology. He now employs two funeral directors, three attendants, an administrator and a beautician. He serves 100 families a year in Frederick, Hagerstown, Montgomery County, and the Baltimore area. He has arranged for funerals in Africa and the Caribbean. He does a yearly veterans service and a yearly service to memorialize all those who died that year.

From a young age, Gary L. Rollins wanted to open his own funeral home in his hometown of Frederick. “It makes it more special when you start your own,” he says.



“It makes it more special when you start your own,” he said. But the business may have a successor when Rollins decides to retire. His daughter, Kasheba Rollins-Fiscus, is a licensed mortician and works as a funeral director with her father.

A Goalto work for himself Zavos Architecture and Design’s Bruce Zavos began working as an architect shortly after earning his bachelor’s degree in 1978. At first, he worked for several architectural firms. “I always had the goal of working for myself, which helped me focus on the next steps,” he says. In 1985, a high school friend started a construction firm, and Zavos became his chief designer. “That got us started,” he says. Then, a high school drafting teacher began working for Marriott, and asked him if he would do some commercial design work. “That started our expansion,” he says. Today, he employs 11 people at his firm in a historic building in Downtown Frederick. The firm designs multi-family residential and senior housing, commercial, retail and school buildings, along with custom single-family homes. His advice for fledgling business owners is to hire out what you don’t know. He’s always hired good attorneys and accountants. “These are people who will help you in things that your skillset is weak,” he says.

Work hard, be determined David Hawkins, owner of Hawkins Landscaping in Thurmont started hiring people as soon as he started his business back in 1974. He has weathered recessions by working hard and being determined. He recommends those who want to start a business to work for someone else first, and learn from them. “You can learn the technical portions, but what is important is learning how to interact with people, employees and clients,” he says.



Other CEOs who started solo include: Mike James of Kiosk Group. This company develops interactive kiosks for trade shows, sales and training programs. It has been in operation for over 30 years, starting as a home business that now employs 15 people working out of two warehouses in Downtown Frederick. The company sells to schools and large private companies, with business also generated from internet sales. Kiosk Group sold one of its apps to Apple. Steve Schmidt of Frederick Air. The company started in 1992, specializing in heating and air conditioning. The company does service, maintenance and installation. Schmidt, president of Frederick Air, is a member of the Frederick Community College Foundation Board of Directors and on the college’s Construction Trades Advisory Committee. “I started the company completely by myself with no business experience or financial backing. I saw that others had companies that were successful and saw no reasons why I could not do the same thing,” Schmidt says.

Left page: Zavos Architecture and Design has been involved with numerous high-profile buildings in Frederick. Pictured are Board of Education headquarters, the fellowship hall at Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ and the gym at Hood College. This page: Examples of the work by Hawkins Landscaping.

Bill Richman and Kevin Klink of Microbiology International. They began out of their basement in 1997 to automate laboratory processes. Today, the company also specializes in lab equipment to offer clients “the total lab solution,” says the company’s website. It employs salespeople in other parts of the country, as well as a staff in Frederick. Darrell Sampey, president and CEO, cofounded BioFactura, Inc. in 2004 in Rockville. The company moved to Frederick in 2014 and is a graduate of the Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Frederick County’s business incubator. Today, BioFactura develops and makes biopharmaceuticals. Sampey continues to file new patents as well as publish papers in scientific journals.



Nonprofit CEOs: When the Community is Your Investor


onprofits share many attributes with for-profit businesses. They provide a service, fill a need or promote a concept. A for-profit business relies on concepts such as market conditions and supply and demand as it strives to be successful, while a nonprofit, on the other hand, relies on donations, grants, government funds and even goodwill to function.


Businesses typically have owners, and if it’s a publicly-traded company, there are shareholders. Nonprofits are often guided by a leader, frequently called the executive director, CEO or president. Nonprofit leaders and staff answer to a board of directors or board of trustees—volunteers who set the mission and direction of the organization. Two challenges nonprofit leaders face, similarly to for-profit companies, is the need to pay employees a living wage and keep the lights on. At the same time, a nonprofit leader must ensure the mission is being carried out, whether that’s to provide a service or promote a concept.

Grants from The Citizens Care & Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living Fund and The Friends of Citizens Care & Rehabilitation Center provided hand railings in a Memory Garden through the Community Foundation of Frederick County.

managed about $5.7 million in grants and scholarships in the 700 funds it oversees.

Following are some of the stewards of Frederick County nonprofits honored as part of Frederick County’s Top 50 CEOs.

“People are entrusting us with their money, so we have to make sure we have the best professional staff,” Day says. “We have a wonderful team here. We all feel invested in our organization. We need to make sure the work gets done.”

Betsy Day, Community Foundation of Frederick County: Day has been president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Frederick County for 23 years, and she, like most leaders of nonprofits, frequently interacts with local business leaders. The Community Foundation is the steward for endowments, and administers grants and scholarships from foundations and benefactors. Last year, the organization

In order to do that, the staff needs to be accountable to the public, donors and other nonprofits which depend on funding from the Community Foundation. A good reputation is vital, she says. “A nonprofit is a tax status, not a business plan.” Leftover funds are put back into the nonprofit, unlike a for-profit business, which diverts earnings toward company stakeholders. “Our bottom line is not surplus or deficit,” she says. “Our bottom line is impact.

It’s how many nonprofits receive grants to provide quality service, and how many deserving students receive scholarships to continue their education.” The Community’s Foundation’s Board of Trustees, with 24 members, sets the direction of the foundation’s vision. The board recently commissioned an updated comprehensive study of human service needs in Frederick County, which should help all local nonprofits decide where to invest their dollars.



Our bottom line is impact. It’s how many nonprofits receive grants to provide quality service, and how many deserving students receive scholarships. —Betsy Day, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Frederick County

“Our community is our investor,” Day says. When she started, the Community Foundation’s assets were less than $5 million. Today, the foundation has $118 million in assets, many of which are endowed funds. “Since our inception (in 1986), we have given back $54 million into the community in grants and scholarships,” she says. “That makes it all possible.”

Above: Two students pursuing careers in aviation received scholarships from the David G. Marshall Memorial Scholarship Fund for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Michael Planz, Community Living: Michael Planz has spent all of his career working for nonprofits, but he approaches his board of directors much like the head of a business might approach shareholders. The only difference is, the board is composed of volunteers, not paid shareholders.

Left page: Students at Monocacy Valley Montessori Public Charter School participate in urban gardening activities with the help of a grant from The Franklin and Bess Gladhill Fund for Agriculture, run by the Community Foundation of Frederick County. Above: The Frederick Community Action Agency received grant support from the Health Care Strategic Initiatives Fund of the Community Foundation.

“Good boards don’t get involved in the day-to-day operations,” he says. “They set strategies and goals.” While many nonprofits are funded by donations and grants from private foundations, Community Living is 95 percent state-funded. State mandates provide for a certain level of care for people with disabilities, and organizations like Community Living carry out those mandates. But Community Living does have volunteers, like other nonprofits, and volunteer management is something most for-profit businesses don’t usually contend with.



Community Living trains its volunteers and then ensures they serve in areas where their skills and talents are needed. Nonprofits often partner with for-profit businesses for in-kind donations, which helps both entities, Planz says. These partnerships also help Community Living with its vocational training by training and employing Community Living clients.

Visit Frederick was created in 1976 to increase the number of visitors to Frederick County during the nation’s bicentennial celebration.

That also helps people change their attitude toward people with disabilities, Planz says. A big goal of his nonprofit is to create a more inclusive society for people with disabilities. Community Living has 150 disabled clients, and 50 are in vocational training programs with expectations of getting jobs that pay living wages. There is more of an expectation that clients will get a real job, Planz says, changing the notion that disabled persons can only do unskilled work.



John Fieseler, Visit Frederick: John Fieseler has been the guiding force of Visit Frederick —previously called the Tourism Council of Frederick County—for 21 years. The agency was created in 1976 to increase the number of visitors to Frederick during the country’s bicentennial celebration. “We’re probably very similar to a for-profit business in some ways,” Fieseler says. “Our goal is to bring more money into Frederick, but in our case, the dollars we’re measuring aren’t coming to us.” That money is boosting the local economy, which helps not only local businesses but the area overall. “We look at the big picture,” Fieseler says. In 2017, visitors who traveled over 50 miles to Frederick spent slightly more than $400 million while here. Looking at tourism’s impact on employment, 2017 saw 6,791 direct and indirect jobs. “Our goal is to increase” the number “of visitors who come to Maryland,” he says. At the end of the 1990s, Frederick ranked 11th among all counties and Baltimore in attracting tourists. “We had a long-range goal of getting to eighth,” he says, an achievement that was reached several years ago. Visit Frederick doesn’t rely on donations. Instead, local businesses pay dues, and those dues help Visit Frederick market what local businesses have to offer tourists, from wineries to historical sites, golf courses, theater, restaurants and outdoor recreation.



history, Native American, Civil War, slavery,” he says. In response, the museum added a chronological history of Brunswick. “An important part of being president is to listen to our customer base and make some changes, based on their feedback,” he says.

James Castle, Brunswick Heritage Museum: Like Visit Frederick, the Brunswick Heritage Museum wants to attract visitors. It’s in a good place for that. The community sits along the C&O Canal National Historical Park and is a stone’s throw from the Appalachian Trail. Its location along the Potomac River draws kayakers and fishing enthusiast.

Dr. Scott Barao, Jorgensen Family Foundation: This unique foundation, located at Hedgeapple Farm in Buckeystown, combines the farm and the foundation into one organization. The farm’s revenue supports the foundation’s educational mission. Barao, a former University of Maryland professor, educates farmers on sustainable farming methods, and marketing techniques. The farm serves as a model. “We understand what consumers are looking for,” he says. But he also advocates for farmers, who need to be paid a living wage to farm sustainably. “If you’re not profitable, you’re not going to be sustainable.”

Castle is the volunteer president of the Brunswick Heritage Museum, which captures the spirit of Brunswick’s past and showcases it through updated museum displays. He came to the museum in 1995. A recent high school graduate, he wanted to learn more about his hometown’s history. “I am a people person,” he says, making it easier to hear their stories. Today, his day job is at the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C. His MARC train commute gives him time to do museum paperwork and weekends, he’s at the museum, working in the shop or greeting visitors. He listens as visitors browse exhibits, trying to learn how the museum can improve their experience. “What I hear people asking are other questions about Brunswick’s



Top Left: An exhibit in the Brunswick Heritage Museum. Above: The Jorgensen Family Foundation educates farmers on sustainable growing methods. Right Page: Downtown Frederick Partnership provides activities.

Chris Colville, CEO, Frederick YMCA: Chris Colville came to the Frederick YMCA in 2012, and has 35 years of experience working in YMCAs around the country. The Y provides recreational and community services. Nonprofits have the advantage of instant gratification, getting to immediately see the results of services and programs for children and families, she says. Still, nonprofits are challenged by providing a healthy, sound operating budget that still promotes growth and increases services. Kara Norman, Executive Director, Downtown Frederick Partnership: The mission of the Partnership is to promote Frederick’s historic downtown. Norman is in charge of the city’s Main Street program, which is a preservationbased downtown revitalization approach. The organization advocates for healthy economic development of downtown, which makes Frederick a good place to do business. John Dumas, Service Coordination: Service Coordination was one of the nation’s first independent case manager provider agencies for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, those with mental health challenges, the elderly, transitioning youth, court-involved individuals and veterans, connecting them with the resources and services they need, according to the organizations website. They work collaboratively with a wide variety of supporting partners and board members come from throughout the Frederick community.

The organization advocates for healthy economic development of downtown, which makes Frederick a good place to do business.



Start. Expand. Locate. The Office of Economic Development is the catalyst for commercial growth. OED’s mission is to increase the overall economic health of Frederick County through attracting new businesses in key industries and helping existing businesses be more successful.




Helen Propheter

Wilcoxon Sensing Technologies

Director, Frederick County Office of Economic Development

“Frederick offers us a strong employee base for both skilled labor and professional staff. Additional bonuses were the manufacturing-friendly taxes and simplified permitting process that exists in both (City & County) jurisdictions,” said Dr. Christopher McLean, President and General Manager of Wilcoxon Sensing Technologies. A leading producer of vibration monitoring systems, the company moved into a new 42,000 SF facility bringing 100 employees.

The influence, strength and impact of the Frederick County Office of Economic Development (OED) grew notably in 2018. We’ve worked diligently over the past year to build a solid foundation to elevate services to businesses and provide tools for success. This annual report is a snapshot of the progress OED has made to build an even larger business ecosystem. The foundation OED laid helped Frederick County re-attain a AAA bond rating, one that only 46 counties nationally have achieved. The Growth Opportunity (GO) Strategy has begun implementation and is driving targeted efforts for industry attraction and expansion and is laying a strong foundation for Frederick County’s future. Building on the vision for ROOT as a one-stop business resource center, the energy inside of building has been contagious. From tech meetup groups, to Chamber events, to Minority Business Leadership classes, the doors at ROOT are constantly revolving. Please visit us and connect with one or all of the many partners located at ROOT. Frederick County has added 7,178 new jobs over the past five years and our overall commercial vacancy rate is an all-time low. There is no greater way to bring these data points to life and tell Frederick County’s story than through the many successful businesses in 2018. Wilcoxon Sensing Technologies brought 100 new jobs, German-based Indivumed established a U.S. headquarters here and local tech leaders Yakabod and Orases outgrew their spaces – please continue to read more about them and many other businesses. Finally, we’d like to acknowledge and thank the many organizations and businesses who contribute to the success and overall health of Frederick County. We are well positioned for success and have a lot to look forward to in 2019. Pictured above: Helen Propheter with County Executive Jan Gardner.



2018 Success Stories Advanced Manufacturing Location

Indivumed U.S. Headquarters Location With approximately 200 employees across Europe, North America, and Asia, Indivumed is an internationally minded, future-oriented company with an ambitious growth strategy, which includes the development of a global cancer database solution based on high-throughput molecular data. They plan to employ 10 people in Frederick initially and occupy 5,300 SF.

Navistar Direct Marketing Distribution Center Location “We’re very excited to be here in Frederick because we feel like there’s a lot of opportunity on the employment side because we can not only draw from Frederick and south, but also southern Pennsylvania and West Virginia,” said Art Simpson, President of Navistar Direct Marketing. The company moved into a 215,000 SF building for their new warehousing and distributions operations with 200 new jobs. OED assisted the company through Frederick County’s Fast Track permitting process, a tool used to expedite projects through the development/permitting process while adhering to all established standards.

Masai Technologies Corp Minority-owned Business Growth

Yakabod & Orases

“A strategic location in Frederick County as it relates to NIH, and the Federal Government and having a strong, talented and diverse workforce have helped us be more successful,” said Masai Technologies CEO Masai Troutman. Masai is a private minority-held information technology and business consulting company employing 10 people and is actively involved in Frederick County Minority Business Vision programs. The company, also a certified 8a, HUB zone and small disadvantaged business, received an IT contract from NIH in 2018 with a contract ceiling at a value of $20 billion.

Local Tech Leaders Expansions Yakabod’s founder & CEO Scott Ryser had two goals in mind when the company outgrew their beloved downtown Frederick headquarters— it must be an easy walk in Frederick and it had to be an upgrade. Yakabod expanded into an 11K square foot renovated space in the Union Mills building overlooking Carroll Creek with 30 employees.

Olde Mother Brewing Company Craft Beverage Expansion “Thanks to the craft beer drinkers that have visited our small town & brewery, we quickly outgrew our custom built 55 gallon brewing system,” said Olde Mother Brewing Founders Nick Wilson and Keith Marcoux. Originally opening their doors in 2015, the company expanded into a larger production facility and tasting room. At 10,000 SF, the new location on N. Market St is nearly 10 times the size of their previous location.

“This is a great opportunity for us to build our own unique presence in one of the most exciting cities in Maryland — a presence that represents the bold passion of Orases and our commitment to remaining in the Frederick County area," said Nick Damoulakis, Orases President. Orases outgrew their space and built out a larger space at over 9K square feet, adding 4 new employees for a total of 24.

AROUND THE CORNER ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN 2019 » OED, in partnership with other ROOT tenants, will host Business Pitch Competitions at ROOT showcasing the new video pitch room. Visit for more information.

» February launches the 3rd annual class of the Future Minority Business Leaders program.

» OED will showcase Frederick at the Site Selectors Guild Annual Conference and ICSC-Mid Atlantic Conference for the first time.

» In partnership with the Chamber, OED will launch an Innovators Awards to recognize achievements in the technology and life sciences industries.

» In May, a Tech Makerspace will open through FITCI at ROOT.

» OED will use data to tell the story of Frederick County’s key industries, beginning with the tech industry. A partnership with Data Story to visualize data will better position Frederick County.

» Bridges to BioTech event—OED will partner with NIH, Commerce, Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland and group of biotech businesses to expose PhD and Postdoc students to the thriving biotech environment in Frederick County.



top 10 E C O N O M I C



Opportunity Zones to Provide Investment Incentives—Five areas were designated as Opportunity Zones, a nationwide initiative administered by the U.S. Treasury to provide federal capital gains tax incentives for investment in distressed communities over the next 10 years.

Vibe+Talent+Tech Campaign— To attract tech companies and talent to Frederick County, a Vibe+Tech+Talent digital campaign was launched that included targeted digital advertising and a new Tech in Frederick video.



Future Minority Business Leaders Graduate—17 current and future woman and minority business owners participated in the 8-month program designed to inspire, develop and grow minority business leaders.

Business Pitch Services—Received a $50,000 grant from the Rural Maryland Council and sponsorships from M&T Bank, McShea Properties and Frederick County Bank to open a stateof-the-art video pitch room. Also partnered with Pitch Creator to offer another tool to businesses to gain capital.

Craft Beverage Growth State/National Leadership—Won the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) Award for Craft Beverage Growth Program, Tourism Ambassador Award for Craft Beverage promotion from Visit Frederick and presented at the National Planning Conference on craft beverage growth. Continued legislative changes to support craft beverage promotional events at farm wineries, breweries and distilleries.

ROOT Opens—A ribbon cutting was held on March 29 for Frederick County’s first downtown business innovation center, a one-stop public-private partnership to jump start new business and energize innovation.

Growth Opportunity (GO) Strategy Lays Foundation for Future—Began the implementation of the first comprehensive analysis and strategic economic development initiative in more than 15 years to drive targeted efforts for industry attraction, expansion and ecosystem cultivation.

Expanded Business Retention and Attraction Services—Strengthened alignment of staffing with key industries and enhanced business attraction efforts. Launched two new events to highlight Frederick County regionally – Cyber Association of Maryland, Inc (CAMI) Bus Tour and Urban Land Institute (ULI)-Baltimore Bus Tour. Continued the Top 50 program with selection of Frederick County’s Top 50 CEOs.

Impact Awards Honors Cities & Towns—OED recognized 10 municipalities for their economic development initiatives. Awards were given in the categories of Small Business & Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure & Large Projects, Business Attraction, Business Retention & Expansion, and Business Marketing.

Frederick Real Estate Dealmakers (FRED) Awards Honor Dealmakers— For the 2nd year, OED honored the most successful commercial real estate deals and the people who made them happen.

2018 Selected Company Locations & Expansions: Wilcoxon Sensing Technologies (L) Dunkin Donuts Centralized Kitchen FB Harding (E) TEI Electrical Solutions (E) Dairy Maid Dairy (E) STULZ Air Technologies, Inc (L) Yakabod (E) Olde Mother Brewing (E) Orases (E) Adtek Engineers (E) Washington Labs (E) House Cat Brewing (L) The Boulder Yard (L) Tenth Ward Distilling (E) Biologics Resources (L) Indivumed (L) Special Tees (L) TEFLEN, Inc (L) RocketDocs (E) New North (E) Idiom Brewing (L) Poochon Scientific HealthWell Foundation (L)


100 100 67 115 30 50 3 5 4 4 5 5 5 6 5 25 8 4 10 3 10 4 84


42,000 32,827 23,100 22,000 22,000 20,000 10,972 9,500 9,268 6,200 6,000 6,050 5,600 5,500 5,550 5,325 5,200 5,000 5,000 4,000 3,200 3,000 9,000

(L): Locations, (E): Expansions

Additional Economic Development Wins: » » » » » »

Alchemy No 119 –Frederick Apex Home Loans–Frederick Bach Real Estate–Frederick Baker Tree Services–Thurmont The Barnstone Studios–Thurmont Beckman Schmalze Georgelas & Ross– Frederick » Brighter Futures Pediatrics–Woodsboro » Café 11:11–Frederick » Chaps Pit Beef–Frederick » Cinco de Mayo–Middletown » Criswell Chevrolet–Thurmont » Cuppa Love Teashop–New Market » Daxia–Frederick » The Derby Restaurant & Bar–New Market » Home 2 Suites–Frederick » The Hive Bakeshop–Brunswick

» » » » » » » » » » » » » » » »

Kannivas–Ijamsville Kiddie Academy of Urbana–Urbana The Own it Company–Brunswick Mathnasium–Frederick Pedego Frederick–Frederick Peridot–New Market Peru Inka–Frederick Rebecca LaChance Portraiture–Thurmont Skincare and Makeup Artist Pro Group– Frederick Sky Spine Endoscopy Institute Taco Daddy–Frederick Towpath Creamery & The Mini Dip–Brunswick Valley Industrial Batteries–Thurmont VetUrgency–Frederick Youngbar Allstate Agency–Frederick Zoe’s Chocolate Co–Frederick






Frederick County’s Unemployment Rate as of September 2018

T W O - T H O U S A N D

102,694 People Employed in Frederick County


Job Growth 103k 101k 99k

AAA Frederick County’s Bond Rating

97k 95k 2013

Only 46 U.S. Counties have this rating.

$1.3B Frederick County’s Annual Wages 32


6,487 Businesses in Frederick County





Frederick County ended 2017 with 102,604 jobs, representing 7,178 additional jobs since 2013 and an overall increase of 7.5% over the past five years. Maryland’s five year job growth rate was 5.5% during the same time frame. Frederick County added 1,506 jobs from 4Q-2016 to 4Q-2017, representing an increase of 1.5%. As of 4th quarter 2017, there were 6,487 businesses in Frederick County, representing 216 net new businesses since 2013 and an overall increase of 3.4% over the past five years. The state of Maryland’s business growth rate was 2.8% during the same time frame. Frederick County also had a net of 56 new businesses from 2016 to 2017 for an annual increase of 0.9%.

Overall Commercial Vacancy Rate

Commercial & Industrial Permits Issued 500

2018 2017





Frederick County’s overall commercial vacancy rate is at an historic low at 6.1%



125 0





14 20


15 20

16 20

17 20

18 20


Small Business Growth

Commercial Asking Rent Per SF Compared to $11.38 5 years ago.









$80.2M Value of Commercial and Industrial Construction As of 3rd quarter 2018.

Source: Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Maryland Women’s Business Center




ACCOLADES People, Projects and Companies Honored

2018 Frederick Best Places to Work Winners

Stay Connected

SMALL EMPLOYER ECI (Expert Consultants Inc)





2018 Frederick Real Estate Dealmakers (FRED) Awards DEAL OF THE YEAR GLP Navistar Project » Navistar Direct Marketing » JLL

BROKER OF THE YEAR Brad Benna, Matan Companies » Expansion of the Year

Thermo Fisher Scientific » Thermo Fisher Scientific » JLL » Matan Companies » Archive Design » Morgan-Keller Construction » Summit Construction

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Bert Anderson, Everedy Square/ Shab Row

Fred. Co. Future Minority Business Leaders—Class of 2018 Marielle Avila, MOA Financial Solutions, Inc Twanda Bailey, Bailey Massage & Wellness Kelly Chapin, Chapin Office Services & Solutions Ayana Dunlap, Springwood Hospitality Kenyarta Frailing, Salon Champu’ Jennifer Barker Frey, Fred. Co. Gov. Jennifer Gauthier, Lead4Life, Inc Wil X. Graham, SpeedPro Frederick Liang Guo, Intrasen, LLC Julie Hanson, Inner-Evolution CounselingCoaching, LLC

Walter Hood, Hood College Thomas Houze, Independent Consultant Maisha Lewis-Caesar, Transforming the Pieces, LLC

Jay Mason, Verita Real Estate, LLC Chloe Scott, Mount Saint Mary’s University Ivana Shuck, Hood College Timika Thrasher, Thrasher’s Cleaning Service

RoosterBio Project » Berkshire Hathaway Bowen Realty » Avison Young » Waynesboro Construction » Bates Architects

MODERN MASTERPIECE AWARD Union Mills Phase 1 » Mackintosh, Inc Commercial Brokerage » Douglas Development » Waynesboro Construction » GTM Architects

Small Business & Entrepreneurship City of Brunswick

Infrastructure & Large Projects Town of Emmitsburg, Town of Mount Airy, Town of Myersville, Town of Walkersville

Helen Propheter Director

Heather Gramm, CEcD Assistant Director

Jodie Bollinger Business Development Specialist, Commercial Real Estate & Manufacturing

Sherman Coleman Business Development Specialist, Small & Minority Business Outreach

Matthew Doyle Business Development Specialist, Attraction

Luis Rugeles Business Development Specialist, Knowledge-Based Industries

Katie Albaugh Stevens Business Development Specialist, Agriculture

Sandy Wagerman Britt Swartzlander Administrative Specialist, ROOT

MARYLAND WOMEN’S BUSINESS CENTER Maria McElhenny Business Counselor/Trainer

City of Frederick

Business Retention Town of Middletown, Town of Woodsboro

Infrastructure & Large Projects

118 N. Market St., Suite 300 Frederick, MD 21701 | 301.600.1058 |

Town of Myersville Town of New Market

Business Marketing Town of Thurmont



Business Attraction

Business Expansion


Bud Otis, President M.C. Keegan-Ayer, Vice President Tony Chmelik Kirby Delauter Jerry Donald Jessica Fitzwater Billy Shreve

Business Development Analyst

Fred. Co. Munic. Impact Awards MOST CREATIVE DEAL

Jan H. Gardner

Connect with us at Discover Frederick, MD, Homegrown Frederick and ROOT Frederick.

TO HEADQUARTERS Companies with World-Wide Reach Place Roots in Frederick BY GINA GALLUCCI-WHITE

Asbury Communities

When Asbury Communities moved to Westview Drive, they created an entirely new look for their space including getting rid of offices to create a more collaborative environment. They credited OED with making them feel welcome to Frederick County.


fter a decade in Germantown, the lease on the Asbury Communities headquarters was up for renewal in 2017. Company president and CEO Doug Leidig saw an opportunity for a move that would benefit employees and the company. Most of the 65-member staff at the corporate office for the senior living nonprofit lived north of Germantown and commuted down I-270. Leidig, who lives in Middletown, liked the idea of a move north to help lessen staff commuting times and improve their work-life balance. Frederick



County’s Office of Economic Development also made the company feel welcome. “They were reaching out to us,” Leidig says. “They were saying ‘What can we do to make this work? How can we help?’” In September 2017, the company moved 14 miles north into a Westview Drive location in Frederick. Expanding by 6,000 square feet, they were able to create an entirely new look for their space including getting rid of offices to create a more collaborative environment and placing people alongside those they worked with

“I knew what we needed to do to transition and change and be ready for that future workforce and do business differently.” —DOUG LEIDIG PRESIDENT AND CEO, ASBURY COMMUNITIES

the most. “I knew what we needed to do to transition and change and be ready for that future workforce and do business differently,” Leidig says. Asbury’s Frederick office often plays host to leadership teams, board members and others for meetings and conferences who come to the county from across the country. Leidig notes many of his employees who were unfamiliar with Frederick have fallen in love with the area. “It's been rewarding to hear,” he says. “(Some say) ‘Wow! I didn't realize Frederick was all this!’ So, we are exposing Frederick to a whole different population of people that didn't come up this way and now they are actually spending some



“It’s given us the square footage to do the physical expansion, adding machinery and the people to support all of the processes that we are going through,” —BILL WILSON DIRECTOR OF SALES AND MARKETING, KENSINGTON GLASS

Kensington Glass, a fabricator and installer of high-end interior architectural glass, established its headquarters in Ijamsville and now boast more than 180 employees. Their clients are located thoughout Maryland, Virginia and D.C.

weekends up here. They are bringing their families. I think it is really cool.” Asbury is just one of many companies that have moved their corporate headquarters to Frederick County. Kensington Glass, a fabricator and installer of high-end interior architectural glass, relocated to Ijamsville, starting its fabrication plant there in 2001, subsequently moving the entire venture here in 2013. The company was growing significantly and needed more manufacturing space. The move allowed them to go from a few thousand square feet to 24,000. “It’s given us the square footage to do the physical expansion, adding machinery and

the people to support all of the processes that we are going through,” says Bill Wilson, director of sales and marketing. The company also went from between 40 and 50 employees to more than 180. “We’ve found a large employable base of employees drawing from the surrounding regions as well. Most of our employees come from north and west as opposed to the old base coming out of the D.C. area,” he says. “...There is a huge talent pool available through this geographic location of all different skill sets.” “The growth and redevelopment of Frederick City has been a huge asset in terms of attracting and retaining higher quality



employees. It’s been a very favorable business environment for us to grow and expand and recruit a higher skilled labor pool. We found the whole entire environment favorable for growing the industry.” In October, Wilcoxon Sensing Technologies moved its headquarters to Progress Drive in Frederick as a way to gain additional space to support the needs of their growing customer base, enhance operations in every department and strengthen their capacity to continue to deliver vibration monitoring solutions to the markets and industries they serve worldwide. “As the second largest city in Maryland, Frederick offers us a strong employee base for both skilled labor and professional staff,” says Christopher McLean,



“As the second largest city in Maryland, Frederick offers us a strong employee base for both skilled labor and professional staff.” —DR. CHRISTOPHER MCLEAN PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER, WILCOXON SENSING TECHNOLOGIES

Wilcoxon Sensing Technologies moved to Progress Drive in Frederick in 2008, gaining extra space to support their business that serves markets and industries worldwide. Pictured below is Blue Pillar, located in Downtown Frederick Maryland.

president and general manager. “Additional bonuses were the manufacturingfriendly taxes and simplified permitting process that exists in both (city and county) jurisdictions.� A few years ago, Blue Pillar moved its headquarters from Indianapolis to Frederick to include administrative and financial operations while product development remained in Indiana. The move for the technology firm that makes software to manage an organization’s energy consumption, was made possible by a $500,000 Maryland state-sponsored venture capital fund investment.






Top 50 CEOS FOR 2018

Frederick County Office of Economic Development received 146 nominations for lead executives, founders, entrepreneurs and company owners of for-profit and not-for profit organizations. The nominations were used to come up with Frederick’s Top 50 CEOs, based on powerful testimonials and stories of them leading by example and guiding their businesses through change. A heavy emphasis was given to responses on the CEO’s unique strategic leadership concepts and significant growth under his or her leadership. The final list also included criteria based on the CEO’s individual responses on the following: Number of employees, Tenure with the company, Company’s turnover rate, Company’s median salary Number of nominations the CEO received and CEO’s involvement in the community.

» Ernest W. Angell

» Dr. Ethan Dmitrovsky

» Michael Planz

» Jon-Mikel Bailey

» Kim Dow

» Jim Racheff

» Dr. Scott Barao

» John Dumas

» Bill Richman and

» Jeff Barber

» Danny Farrar

» PJ Bellomo

» John Fieseler

» Scott Brunk

» Dr. J. Patrick Fitch

» Tony Brusco

» Theresa Harrison

» Dr. Robert W. Buckheit Jr.

» David Hawkins Jr.

» Keith Burlingame

» Mike James

» RaeAnn E. Butler

» Tom Kleinhanzl

» ML Carroll

» Marty Lapera

» James R. Castle

» Doug Leidig

» Dr. Andrea E. Chapdelaine

» Dr. Christopher McLean

» Chris Colville

» Dr. Gary Nabors

» Margot Connor

» Kara Norman

» Nick Damoulakis

» Peter Oykman

» Elizabeth “Betsy” Day

» Pete and Jim Plamondon


Kevin Klink » Charles “Chuck” Roberts » Bill Robertson » Gary L. Rollins » Scott Ryser » Dr. Darryl Sampey » Steve Schmidt » Lonnie Spires » David Staz » David Stone » Melissa Torres » James “Jim” Warfield » Tom Willie » Bruce Zavos




ERNEST W. ANGELL Homewood Retirement Centers, Inc. 7407 Willow Road, Frederick

Ernest W. Angell has served as Homewood Retirement Centers, Inc., president/CEO since 1997. Homewood owns and operates five senior living communities, in both Maryland and Pennsylvania. During his tenure, each campus experienced substantial growth with $90 million in assets growing to today’s $350 million asset portfolio. He was especially instrumental in the Frederick site—its largest community with the highest revenue in Homewood’s portfolio. He was instrumental in establishing the Resident Life Enrichment Endowment Fund to augment events and activities. What innovative ideas or concepts have you implemented? We have implemented great patient center programming with wellness centers, pet therapy, chaplains at each of our campuses and specialized areas for those residents suffering with Alzheimer’s and related dementias.






Wood Street, Inc. | 303 E. Patrick St., Frederick |

Playground Specialists, Inc. 29 Apples Church Road, Thurmont

A partner and founder in 2002, Jon-Mikel Bailey is a successful entrepreneur in a competitive, fast-moving industry, developing custom websites, marketing campaigns and digital media for businesses and organizations. He has built a solid and stable team focusing on exceeding customer expectations, delivering high quality and achieving continuous personal growth. He invests in his people and the community. What personal values do you bring to the company? I believe in the importance of family and that everyone deserves a chance to shine—the basis for everything I do at Wood Street. We build a family with our team and our extended family of clients. We focus on doing what’s needed to support the growth of our Wood Street family.



DR. SCOTT BARAO The Jorgensen Family Foundation, Inc. | 3735 Buckeystown Pike, Buckeystown

For the past 12 years through the Jorgensen Family Foundation Dr. Scott Barao has built Hedgeapple Farm into a working model for sustainable farming. He has shared his expertise with hundreds of farmers locally and throughout the Northeast. He is a sought-

Jeff Barber expanded Playground Specialists in Thurmont in 2017, a small business that has grown into one of the largest playground equipment distributors on the East Coast, providing quality products with excellent customer service. He has empowered his staff to be great stewards of the company and to possess the knowledge needed to be successful as well. Barber is respected in the industry, by his employees and the Thurmont community. What personal values do you bring to the company? Hard work! I started the company at age 22 with just one employee and a huge SBA loan. I had to work around the clock. Every detail mattered and still does. Being engaged, responsive and working to give back to our community and industry are all goals for our entire team.


after speaker nationally for his expertise in building profitable and sustainable farming systems through innovative livestock, forage and pasture management. What is the foundation’s vision? To see farms stay as farms in Frederick County by assisting the farm community to understand and implement farming and marketing practices from a whole-system perspective. We seek to excel and demonstrate/teach excellence and outstanding stewardship of the animals, land, water and other natural resources within the ecosystem of the farm with an eye toward the generations to follow.







RocketDocs | 4539 Metropolitan Court, Frederick |

FoodPro | 321 E. 5th St., Frederick |

Scott Brunk is the grandson of one of the company’s founders. “Faith, family, FoodPro” is his adopted phrase—in that order. His focus is on what’s best for the customers and employees. Since Brunk became

PJ Bellomo is known as someone who leads by example. He is an efficient coach and exhibits grit in making things happen. This

president and CEO in 2013, sales have increased from $56 million yearly and are on track to meet the $90 million in sales budgeted for this fiscal year. Their average pay is in the top 75 percent of their industry. FoodPro supports numerous local charities including the Frederick Rescue Mission and Blessings in a Backpack.

has resulted in an 8 percent growth in the first year. He is a constant presence in the tech community and constantly pushes to excel personally and professionally. What innovative ideas or concepts have you implemented? Soon after we moved RocketDocs to Frederick in 2017, a top 20 global bank used our software to solve a sales and marketing problem. Two months later a top 10 global tech company used our software to solve the same problem. Our software delivered value, but we could do better with a revamped software design. We spent the next six months developing RocketDoc Response that we expect will reflect 50 percent of our bookings in 2019.


What innovative ideas or concepts have you implemented? We have made huge investments in technology and people. We now scan all products in and out of our 100,000 square-foot building and have a mobile app for customers to place orders. We have had a huge turnaround in sales growth and employees.



Tony BRUSCO South Mountain Creamery | 8305 Bolivar Road, Middletown |

Tony and his wife Abby Sowers Brusco are co-owners of South Mountain Creamery following the retirement of Abby’s parents. Also in the business partnership is Abby’s brother Ben and his wife Kate. The farm grew from 100 acres to 2,200 acres with a milking herd of 550, along with 100 beef cattle and 16,000 laying chickens. The farm serves nearly 9,000 homes in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia with a philosophy to produce and deliver products that folks can put on their table and feel good about. What personal values do you bring to the company? I believe everyone wants to work in a positive, supportive, innovative work environment that challenges you and gives you purpose. I have tried to provide that to our team.





DR. ROBERT W. BUCKHEIT JR. ImQuest Biosciences, Inc. | 7340 Executive Way, Frederick |

The company is a leader in the contract research organization business area, allowing it to assist pharmaceutical, biotechnology and academic labs around the world to develop new drugs for clinical testing. Robert W. Buckheit Jr. has led internal efforts resulting in the development of products to prevent the transmission of HIV worldwide. His focus on excellence and communication has resulted in ImQuest being highly respected in the pharmaceutical and biotech community and his election as President of the International Society for Antiviral Research. Who is the leader you most admire and why? Bill Gates has been a highly successful and visionary CEO, leading Microsoft. But my respect and admiration relate more to his philanthropic activities including water quality and sanitation.



KEITH BURLINGAME Werres Corporation | 807 W. South St., Frederick |

Keith Burlingame became company president in 2016. From his first day he energized staff with his positive energy and enthusiasm. He took a good company and has started to make it a great company. He championed reducing employees’ share of health insurance and fostered a reward and recognition program. Revenue has grown 20 percent this past fiscal year.

RAEANN E. BUTLER Edenton Retirement Community 5800 Genesis Lane, Frederick

During RaeAnn Butler’s tenure at Edenton, the retirement community has tripled in size and is now home to 155 residents. Under her leadership assisted living, memory care and home care have become part of the privately-owned company. In an industry with turnover rates between 40 and 50 percent, Edenton staff turnover stays at least 10 percent below national averages. Who is the leader you most admire and why? Eleanor Roosevelt was not someone who used her family's status to just sit by and watch—she took action, working on issues important to her and setting goals. Highly engaged in diplomacy, social activation and equality, she showed how women could work to bring about change.


What innovative ideas or concepts have you implemented? We have adopted highly integrated strategic and tactical planning aligned with corporate, market, customer, competitive and innovation data sets to deliver the best solutions, products, technology and services. That includes robotics, virtual reality and cloud-based service solutions.







Canapes, Inc. | 550 Highland St., Frederick |

Brunswick Heritage Museum | 40 W. Potomac St., Brunswick |

When James Castle was selected President of the Brunswick Heritage Museum, it was financially insolvent. He personally guaranteed all

To succeed and stand out in the food-service business, ML Carroll has had to perpetually reinvent herself and product line while maintaining consistency. Canapés menus and service style reflect the balance of adapting to ever changing trends and keeping tradition. From opening corporate cafes, servicing all levels of a la carte catering, weddings, corporate and private events, Canapés product and service consistently exceeds expectations. She is a firm believer in giving back to the community and is the recipient of countless awards for her philanthropic efforts. What personal values do you bring to the company? I am an in-the-trenches kind of leader. The food service business is very difficult—long hours, hard work and challenging service situations. I lead by example. If my staff sees me working diligently than it is my hope they will do the same. I believe in treating my team as I wish to be treated.



creditors and with the help of a new board of directors, placed new financial management practices in place, adopted a strict budget and implemented a reorganization plan. In the last four years attendance has grown from 4,500 yearly visitors to almost 10,000. He was twice elected to the Brunswick City Council and worked in the public works/planning department. Weekends may find him volunteering in the Museum Store, sweeping the sidewalk or interpreting Brunswick history. What personal values do you bring to the organization? There is no task in the organization that I wouldn't do. If you are cleaning floors, I am cleaning floors. I strive to compromise with my board to make sure everyone's voice is heard. I love what I do, and I want my volunteers to love what they do as well.



DR. ANDREA E. CHAPDELAINE Hood College | 401 Rosemont Ave., Frederick |

Under Andrea Chapdelaine’s leadership, undergraduate enrollment has grown. The graduate school also expanded with the introduction of programs including Frederick’s first doctoral program and two new master’s degrees in bioinformatics and cybersecurity. She secured support for a scholarship program to attract and retain top academic students. Chapdelaine serves on the board of Frederick CREST (Center for Research and Education in Science and Technology), the Chamber of Commerce and is a member of Frederick Rotary, Good Samaritan Club at Frederick Memorial Hospital, Heritage Frederick and Friends of Baker Park. What personal values do you bring to the organization? I have worked to provide the structure, financial stewardship and leadership necessary to realize Hood’s collective ambitions to better serve our students and achieve our mission. The characteristics that guide me include openness, integrity, commitment and humor.




CHRIS COLVILLE YMCA of Frederick County | 1000 N. Market St., Frederick

The YMCA is in a solid financial position and revenues have grown in the millions under Chris Colville’s leadership. An active, hands-on leader, she sets clear expectations and ensures her staff has the tools to be successful. She leads through her actions and the staff recognizes she won’t ask them to do anything she isn’t also willing and often does. Colville works with other local nonprofits to leverage the Y’s resources to help them. She belongs to the Rotary Club of Frederick and is a mentor in a program with adults to help them develop skills and knowledge of how to be employable and successful.

What innovative ideas or concepts have you implemented? Over the past six years we have twice refreshed the Strategic Plan, launched a Capital Campaign to build a new facility in the southern part of the county, partnered with the American Legion to operate a 72-acre resident camp, were awarded the Head Start county-wide program and successfully managed through a natural disaster where we suffered over $2 million in damages.





NICK DAMOULAKIS Orases | 5728 Industry Lane, Frederick |

Nick Damoulakis built a company around culture first. While many execs may focus on strategy and sales, he focused on people first, giving them the autonomy, mastery and purpose to build Orases into what it is today. Sales growth of more than 150 percent over

RoosterBio, Inc. 5295 Westview Drive, Frederick

Since Margot Connor became CEO, revenue has doubled. She has grown a five-person company to a staff of more than 25 in just a couple of years. Staffers say her positive attitude and enthusiasm are contagious. She stays calm even under the most challenging situations. When it comes to hard work, she leads by example and works to get the most out of employees, yet they never feel pressured. What personal values do you bring to the company? RoosterBio provides standardized stem cell product platforms designed to remove several years and millions of dollars from product development and clinical testing. This company is about people helping people. Underpinning this are trust, open-mindedness, transparency, responsibility, respect and a collaborative spirit. We maintain a sense of urgency while maintaining high quality standards in everything we do.


the past three years has Orases dominating the software and website development industry. Employees say he is an exemplary leader within his organization and the community. He is always willing to lend a hand and share his experience and knowledge. What innovative ideas or concepts have you implemented? We went from almost closing our doors in 2008 to changing our mission and work to do large scale custom software applications. Since we made the change we have had significant growth ever since. We have created a product to help us get our projects to marketing faster.



ELIZABETH “BETSY” DAY Community Foundation of Frederick County | 312 E. Church St., Frederick

Betsy Day’s 34 years of experience with nonprofits includes not only her time as CEO of the Community Foundation of Frederick County, but as a board member for many other organizations and volunteer work, including mentoring youth. As the leader of one of the county’s largest nonprofits, she has her finger on the pulse, such as overseeing a human needs assessment for identifying the most pressing local issues and helping to find solutions. What personal values do you bring to the organization? I often talk about the “power of one.” One person has an idea, with that person subsequently involving others until it becomes a movement—all starting with the "power of one." I am continually amazed at what can be accomplished.







Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research | 8560 Progress Drive, Frederick

Service Coordination, Inc. 5283 Corporate Drive, Frederick

As the leader of an NCI-funded national laboratory, Dr. Dmitrovsky is tasked with expediting critical research to benefit cancer sufferers and ensuring the FNLCR acts as a shared national resource benefiting the larger research community. He has had an immediate effect on boosting the laboratory’s recognition as a hub for cancer, AIDS and emerging infectious diseases research and innovation. Dr. Dmitrovsky empowers his employees and promotes a diverse, safe and welcoming environment. What personal values do you bring to the organization? I am committed to striving to be a servant leader who wants to emphasize a caring work environment devoted to improving the public’s health.



KIM DOW Sass Studios, Sass Magazine, The Everyday Dog Magazine | 125 E. Patrick St., Frederick

Kim Dow has forged a female-driven empire with Sass Magazine. Recently acquiring a regional dog lover’s magazine, she’s taking Frederick by storm with launch parties, networking events and publications showcasing the real women running Frederick.

After 22 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, he has brought his skills as a leader to best support the growth and success of the organization. The current retention rate for team members is 95 percent. Who is the leader you most admire and why? Peter Drucker was “the father of management,” and Warren Bennis will be remembered as “the father of leadership.” It was Bennis who first said leadership is the result of the lifelong process of self-discovery. He wrote: ‘The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born…That asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.”


What innovative ideas or concepts have you initiated? I started my initial company, Sass Studios (formerly Kalico Design) over 10 years ago, as a freelance designer sitting on my couch with laptop in hand (and dog in my lap). Since then, Sass Studios has grown to three full-time and two part-time employees, plus interns. We've evolved based on our client’s needs from logo design to full branding consulting, from single page websites to full scale word press driven sites, from small brochures to full event branding collateral, always maintaining our customer service, creativity and work ethic.


John Dumas takes pride in shared leadership, personcentered positive leadership and investing back into team members at SCI, which serves those with intellectual and developmental limitations.





DANNY FARRAR SoldierFit | 8420 Gas House Pike, Frederick |

Danny Farrar served as a combat soldier and a firefighter and brings the values and leadership qualities he experienced in those roles to his fitness center. He began by running boot camps in parking lots and has grown to four corporate locations and four franchises, with five more expected to open soon. He also founded the nonprofit Platoon 22 to combat suicide by veterans.

What personal values do you bring to the company? For me, it comes down to a straightforward concept. Provide more value than is expected. We do this so much, that when we started, I was laughed at to my face, and told we couldn’t survive on what we were charging. Our rates have gone up slightly, but we are still, on average, one-half to one-third of what our competitors would charge with triple the value. We get to live our dream every day, so you can bet we are going to show our gratitude for that in our work effort.




JOHN FIESELER Visit Frederick | 151 S. East St., Frederick |

Visit Frederick, under the leadership of John Fieseler, reported that tourists spent more than $400 million here in 2017. Fieseler’s tenure includes being named Tourism Person of the Year by the Maryland Tourism Coalition, awarded for exceptional commitment to enhancing the tourism industry. It was noted that he rarely says ‘no’ to anyone asking for his help, advice and counsel. He is a problem solver and a consensus builder. He has served on numerous community boards and committees. What innovative ideas or concepts have you initiated? Establishing a dedicated revenue source through the Frederick County hotel rental tax in 2004. That required us to get buy-in from local hoteliers plus elected officials. We showed that increased marketing of Frederick County as a visitor destination achieved measurable results.



Dr. J. PATRICK FITCH Battelle National Biodefense Institute | 8300 Research Plaza, Fort Detrick |

Dr. J. Patrick Fitch is founding president of the Battelle National Biodefense Institute and founding lab director of the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center. The lab is crucial to homeland security, intelligence and anti-terrorism. When the Office of Management and Budget slated NBACC for closure in 2017, Fitch rallied staff, community leaders, elected officials and others to keep it operating.

THERESA HARRISON George Street Services, Inc. 122 Phoenix Court, Walkersville

Theresa Harrison is President/ Founder of one of the area’s fastest growing IT and cyber security technology companies. As a successful entrepreneur she is in demand as a speaker. She sold her first company, ATHENYX in 2008 and has established solid revenue growth with her current operation. What personal values do you bring to the company? I value passion. It is first and foremost traceable in every task and at every level of my pursuits. Passion forces me to take ownership, to be vulnerable and become the author of my vision. I don’t give up, and passion pushes me through challenges while proving to me what I’m truly capable of. However, the core of my value for passion is really built on the goal of instilling a similar measure of drive in my employees and customers.


Who is the leader you most admire and why? Abraham Lincoln, who rose from low circumstances, overcame adversity and had a positive impact as a leader. He presided over the most destructive and economically challenging period in American history with humility, compassion, humor and integrity. His ability to work with people resulted in political coalitions across major personality and ideological chasms.






MIKE JAMES Kiosk Group, Inc. | 440 Sagner Ave., Frederick |

As someone who's been creating interactive kiosk presentations for over 30 years, starting by working out of his home, Mike James has been a pioneer in the kiosk industry. He has worked on high-profile pro-

Hawkins Landscaping 8408 Links Bridge Road, Thurmont

David Hawkins Jr. is the textbook definition of an entrepreneur, building his company from the ground up. He understands that customer service is essential as a business and goes above and beyond to make sure clients are satisfied. He has grown not only as a businessman, but as a leader in the community. What innovative ideas or concepts have you initiated? My company has been growing for 44 years and keeps growing. I take classes at Frederick Community College and the University of Maryland, and attend seminars to update myself and my staff on the latest new products. I am active with several associations throughout Frederick County which provides information for me to help with my business. My company prides itself on being a year-round landscaping company. I have never had to lay off an employee.


jects such as Amtrak's self-serve ticketing system as well as with other top companies and organizations worldwide. In the past two years he has doubled staff and more than doubled sales. What innovative ideas or concepts have you implemented? We've been designing and building tablet-based interactive kiosks ever since the first iPad came out in 2010. Our small, three-person team worked out of my attic. We only had early-adopters for customers. Now we're in a 12,000-foot space and have sold over 15,000 kiosks and have more than 250,000 software customers.



TOM KLEINHANZL Frederick Regional Health System | 400 W. 7th St., Frederick |

During his tenure, Maryland hospitals have experienced significant changes from healthcare reform and the unique hospital payment system in this state. Tom Kleinhanzl has been a steady force navigating uncertain times and changing dynamics, maintaining financial stewardship and strength. FMH has transformed from a community hospital into a regional health system. What personal values do you bring to the organization? Teamwork, honesty, collaboration and accepting the need to change. One thing I believe trumps many others is principled perseverance, never giving up on what you know is right and needed, seeing through the important things‌making consumer interactions easier and seamless and becoming more engaged in enhancing general health in our community versus reacting just to disease.





MARTY LAPERA Frederick County Bank | 7 N. Market St., Frederick |

Marty Lapera believes in investing in people, leading FCB to continue to be profitable along with extending his banking expertise to assist community businesses. He is involved in the community and encourages employees to also seek opportunities to serve. He embraces new banking technology delivery along with always evolving marketing tools to better serve clients. What personal values do you bring to the business? As a 30-year Rotarian, I believe in its motto, “Service Above Self.” Through generosity, thoughtfulness, appreciativeness, understanding and engagement, I can make a difference. This is true personally and professionally. Our mission as an organization is to have a meaningful, positive impact in Frederick's economy and to do all we can to improve the social fabric of this community. We are more than a bank—we are an advocate.



DOUG LEIDIG Asbury Communities, Inc. | 5285 Westview Drive, Frederick |

Doug Leidig’s leadership moving Asbury’s headquarters to Frederick County resulted in millions of dollars saved in rent. Since Asbury’s corporate workforce already lived in Frederick County there was less commute time and more productivity. The nonprofit senior living organization has a mission to “do all the good we can.”

DR. CHRISTOPHER McLEAN Wilcoxon Sensing Technologies 8435 Progress Drive, Frederick

Dr. Christopher McLean is president and general manager of Amphenol Piezo Technology Products overseeing Wilcoxon Sensing Technologies in Frederick and Piezo Technologies in Indianapolis, Ind. He undertook the challenges of two businesses in two states and spent time getting to know the people and talking about his vision for the future that included one team, one company—a work in progress, which is seeing results thanks to McLean’s leadership. Who is the leader you most admire and why? Jeff Bezos, who is a visionary and doer. I admire him for sticking to his vision when others questioned him, and for having the courage to keep looking for new ways to grow his business.


What personal values do you bring to the organization? I developed a passion for serving older adults at an early age and as my experience has grown so has my belief that servant leadership is the most impactful and successful leadership in our mission-driven industry. It extends beyond the workplace and into the community. In addition to my service in Middletown coordinating youth baseball, Asbury associates are encouraged to participate in initiatives such as supporting the Red Cross and Meals on Wheels.






KARA NORMAN Downtown Frederick Partnership | 19 E. Church St., Frederick |

Kara Norman leads a model Main Street organization to which all other Main Street Maryland organizations aspire to emulate.

DynPort Vaccine Company LLC 110 Thomas Johnson Drive, Frederick

Dr. Gary Nabors is described as an amazing leader, achieving an ideal balance of technical expertise, business savvy, strategic judgement and people management skills, leading DynPort Vaccine Company, a small biopharma business, to success. He navigated a merger and buy-out with General Dynamics Information Technology, making DVC the lone island of biopharma in a sea of IT and engineering expertise. What strategic leadership ideas do you bring to the company? I would define my leadership style as participatory because I work with a team of experts whose opinions I value. I seek input from my team before making strategic decisions for my company.


Her style of leadership is effective, professional and knowledgeable and she is well-respected in Frederick and the surrounding region, says a board member. Norman considers the betterment of not just the downtown, but the county, too. What innovative ideas or concepts have you implemented? The Partnership's success can be measured by growth in staffing, the organizational budget and the projects completed to achieve greater vitality and livability in Downtown. Since I joined the partnership, the organization has grown from one to four full time staffers. The budget was about $73,000 in FY03. Our budget for FY19 will be $1,247,000, over a 1600 percent increase. In my first year less than five events were offered. Today the partnership produces more than 60 events a year.



PETER OYKMAN CorePartners, Inc. | 203 Broadway St., Frederick |

Peter Oykman is described as an inspirational manager who has created an environment in which his team can thrive, believing in chances for everyone and giving them the space, support and encouragement to aim high. He’s focused on ensuring his team provides the best possible service to customers, with a leadership style based on collaboration, trust, flexibility and humor. No matter how busy he is, he’ll take time to support anyone who needs help. What personal values do you bring to the company? The company is small but has grown fast in the last couple years. I enjoy working with smart, capable people and love to give them opportunity to grow with the company.





PETE and JIM PLAMONDON Plamondon Hospitality Companies 4991 New Design Road, Frederick

The Plamondon brothers’ commitment is unyielding to their mission which includes that: Families are paramount to our society, our company is a safe place, community involvement is essential to our success, we live here, education will change our world and our attention to the public is relentless, gracious and urgent. Their hotels and restaurants give not only monetarily and through their products, but also through empowering many of their employees to volunteer or become leaders of various non-profits. What innovative ideas or concepts have been implemented? In 2002, we made the strategic decision to buy the Roy Rogers trademark and franchise system. We had been a franchisee since 1980 (when our father left Marriott to start his own business) and this was a bold move that showed our commitment to the brand and belief that it could grow again. We now have 53 restaurants in six states and are growing in unit numbers. The other big decision was to expand into hotels in 1996.



MICHAEL PLANZ JIM RACHEFF Community Living, Inc. 620 Research Court, Frederick

DMS, Inc. | Frederick |

Jim Racheff not only brings new ideas and innovations to the company, he has an open door where he invites and encourages others to contribute and pursue innovations.

Michael Planz is described as a trusted leader not only in the organization, but in the state and as an expert in the development disabilities community. As someone who started as a direct care professional, Planz connects with staff from the newest to the most seasoned. He has led multiple collaborations from access to care through the local hospital to spearheading a transportation collaboration to close the transit gap for clients. What innovative ideas or concepts have been implemented? Being a state-funded organization, our growth is not measured by sales. However, since I started in 2010, our annual budget has gone from approximately $5 million to $10 million. The biggest change in what we do is an emphasis on employment for people with disabilities. We have traditionally been known as a housing provider, but have been focusing more on getting people into jobs.


At DMS an employee’s level and title do not matter. Teams are formed to best tackle projects, and leaders emerge from across the organization. He says that it's his job to support employees, so they can be successful—not supervise or manage them. He is involved in numerous community organizations and efforts. What personal values do you bring to the company? The core strength of any enterprise is its people, and for me that includes our employees first and foremost, but also our collaborators and colleagues, our customers and our community. I see my job as bringing highly qualified, diverse people together, challenging them with difficult problems, supporting them, and then getting out of their way.



BILL RICHMAN and KEVIN KLINK Microbiology International | 5350 Partners Court, Frederick

The company started with a few pieces of lab equipment acquired on consignment, growing to a firm that has never seen a flat year. In 2017 they experienced their best year with $10 million in sales. With a long-range plan to grow the company, Frederick was the perfect spot with its proximity to airports and pool of well-educated workers. What personal values do you bring to the company? Bill Richman says, “I believe that my life and my company are built on the premise that I don't deal in transactions, but rather relationships. Our success has hinged upon working with suppliers that are the best in the industry, and I feel it's critical to hire qualified people who will go the extra mile to help our company deliver exceptional service across all of our product lines.







Wonder Book & Video, Inc. | 1306 W. Patrick St., Frederick |

Gary L. Rollins Funeral Home 110 W. South St., Frederick

Chuck Roberts opened Wonder Book & Video in 1980 and since the first day has put the company, its customers and its employees first. He is in the store every day working tirelessly alongside his employees and has donated several hundred thousand books to schools to make sure every child in the county has a book to read. Wonder Book is in three retail stores and has a stock of over 4 million books. They also sell movies, music, video games and more. What recognitions has the company received? Our retail stores were recognized by USA Today as “1 of 10 Great Old Bookstores.” Our internet warehouse was featured as a model for the changing book industry by The Washington Post and C-Span. Our “books by the foot” service, where we sell books in bulk as decoration, was featured in The New York Times.



BILL ROBERTSON VaLogic LLC | 21 Byte Court, Frederick |

Bill Robertson founded VaLogic, a service provider in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, in 2001 and has over 300 clients. This company was created with the idea that every client could come with a list of needs and they would be met in a one-stop-shop. His core values are integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. Robertson is involved in the community with the Boys and Girls Club.

With over 30 years of experience in the funeral industry, Gary L Rollins has gained a reputation for providing professional, high quality, personalized funeral services, making it his goal to provide superb services at reasonable rates. He has served more than 2,000 families in Frederick. The business is a staunch supporter of many Frederick organizations. What new ideas or concepts have been implemented? Over the last few years we have implemented better use of technology, including embracing a “green” initiative, cultivating a more environmentally friendly atmosphere. We have also executed more checklist driven practices to ensure things are completed accurately and timely. This also ensures that the needs of our families are met.


What has your sales growth been like? Our services capabilities have expanded tremendously to meet the growing needs of our clients. In the past 12 months we have made a $1.4 million expansion in our facility, adding 12,000 square feet of space. Our revenues over the last three years have gone from $1.6 million to $3 million in 2018 and in 2019 projected revenues are $5 million-plus.





SCOTT RYSER Yakabod | 340 E. Patrick St., Frederick |

Scott Ryser has accessed and developed a strong following within one of the most coveted areas within the tech industry—developing mission-critical software solutions and products for the intelligence community. He has built a solid product and a stable and well-respected company. He is known for investing in his people and is willing to say “yes” to a good cause, including his strong support of many regional economic development programs oriented towards serving others in the community around him.



What personal values do you bring to the company? Our company is built on five core values: grace, excellence, consistency, passion, integrity—which, as founders, we derived from our faith. Our tagline is ‘Do Stuff That Matters.’ And we've always treated our team like work-family. Those things authentically define our culture and our leadership style.




BioFactura, Inc. | 8435 Progress Drive, Frederick |

A2LA 5202 Presidents Court, Frederick

Dr. Darryl Sampey has significantly increased revenues as well as increasing the number of full-time employees. His inno-vative, insightful technical expertise has allowed him to continue to file new patents as well as publish papers in scientific journals and secured additional contract service work from major pharmaceutical firms. What new ideas or concepts have been implemented? My co-founders and I invented a commercial biomanufacturing system called StableFast that’s being utilized at BioFactura to develop and manufacture the next-generation generic drugs, which will reduce the cost of healthcare and bring lifesaving drugs to those currently without access. Over the last five years, we have transformed from a one-person organization dependent on government grants to a rapidly growing, profitable commercial concern with revenue growth of over 50 percent for the last two years.



STEVE SCHMIDT Frederick Air, Inc. | 3 King Ave., Frederick |

In 1992, Steve Schmidt took a risk and bet on himself and his ability to build a business, bringing professionalism and a true focus on customer service to the local heating and air conditioning market. From day one, a real person answered the phone and that has remained. He recently was appointed chairman of ACCA (the industry association) and is taking the lessons learned here and using them to build a better industry.

Lonnie Spires likes to coach his staff and will give timely feedback. At the same time, he doesn’t micromanage and is the first to admit mistakes and apologize. He believes in education and professional development, implementing a tuition assistance program and promoting training. He also fostered a program for military veterans. Spires sees value in flexible work schedules, putting employees and their families first. What new ideas or concepts have been implemented? We have started a leadership development program to identify and train leaders, ultimately creating a succession plan. For the first time in A2LA's history, we are working together as a team and can be focused on the employees, customers, and strategy for increasing A2LA's upward trajectory. We are increasing revenue at a higher frequency than before.


What personal values do you bring to the company? Our values are guided by the following: All decisions are made with honesty and integrity, period. Everything is done with excellence. Teamwork is essential to our success. We respect others and treat them the way we would want to be treated. We do not sell to customers, we educate. We practice servant leadership. We pursue opportunities to be generous and compassionate, internally and externally. We are engaged in our community.







Dairy Maid Dairy 259 E. 7th St., Frederick

Kensington Glass Arts, Inc. | 2194 Urbana Pike, Ijamsville |

Since David Staz arrived at Dairy Maid Dairy the plant has gone from producing 14 million gallons annually to 30 million gallons in four years. He pushes for employee involvement and takes the time to stop and listen to them. He promotes employee events from cook-outs to an employee day at Hershey Park. Staz promotes a future not just for Dairy Maid, but for all who work there. What personal values do you bring to the company? Our employees are our most valuable assets—we can train people to do most functions and we can buy new machines, but without all of our great associates our business would never run. To hire and retain these great associates, we need to create a work environment that has fair pay, very good benefits and allows for a good home/work balance. We help make that happen by offering three weeks of vacation when you start.


As a leader and visionary for the organization, David Stone has set lofty goals and empowered the stakeholders in the company to reach them. Growth has been in the range of 70 percent in the last three years as part of a longer and larger growth strategy. What brought you to Frederick County? We started our fabrication plant here in 2001 to be close to another company and then subsequently moved our entire company here in 2013 due to downsizing during the last major recession. We now have two facilities in the county (one of which we own) and expect to grow into more space. We enjoy the open space and proximity to the markets we serve. When we located here from Montgomery County, we had a large number of D.C. area employees who have since moved here. Most of our new hires are from the Frederick area now.



MELISSA TORRES Frederick Flight Center/Advanced Helicopters Concepts | 330 Aviation Way, Frederick

Melissa Torres has taken over the Frederick Flight Center and turned the business around. She is a seasoned pilot who genuinely cares about her employees and students, making the work environment a pleasant and productive one, constantly looking for ways to better the school and program. She has charge of the ongoing merger with Advanced Helicopter Concepts, keeping an open office policy through the process. What brought you to Frederick County? I was a stay-at-home mother with a financial background who flew in my younger years and wanted to start flying again when my youngest went to kindergarten. I went to Advanced Helicopter for flying lessons. That’s where it all began. Years later I moved to running the finances for Advanced, to coming in and restructuring Frederick Flight Center.







The Frederick Motor Company | 1 Waverley Drive, Frederick |

Zavos Architecture and Design 323 W. Patrick St., Frederick

This year the Frederick Motor Company celebrated a century of selling cars in Frederick. As the third generation, Jim Warfield continues the family tradition of remaining true to his small-town roots. He treats his employees like family and encourages them to get to know their customers. He strongly believes in giving back to the community, especially the YMCA of Frederick County. Frederick Motor Company is the title sponsor of the Frederick Running Festival. What personal values do you bring to the company? We focus on treating customers and staff as we would expect to be treated. It’s simple stuff. One employee says Warfield “trusts his employees with his hard-earned business and makes us all feel like we are part owners.” Many on staff have been with the company for more than a decade.



TOM WILLIE Blue Pillar | 2 N. Market St., Frederick |

Tom Willie recognizes hard work and achievements and calls out people for the great job they do, yet he is also unafraid to make hard changes. A sense of focus coupled with his vision of disrupting the energy market has enabled the company to successfully pivot from a 10year legacy product that was stalling into an energized service provider whose services are being utilized by some of the largest energy providers in the world.

Bruce Zavos leads a fullservice architectural firm of seven professionals whose diversity and experience enables the company to handle the most complex and challenging projects while meeting the needs of clients. This has resulted in longterm client relationships and buildings with positive impact on people and the environment. What personal values do you bring to the company? I believe in a very collaborative, team approach. In architecture there are many stakeholders with differing agendas that need to work in concert to achieve a successful project outcome. By empowering my staff and allowing them to make decisions and find solutions independently, I have allowed them to grow and contribute to the firm’s success.


Who is the leader you most admire and why? From a pure leadership perspective, it is Martin Luther King Jr. The obstacles he faced and the challenges he needed to overcome to convey his “dream” are unlike anything most of us will ever face. And yet, I take so much from his ability to face these challenges, focus on the positive ways to achieve change, and provide inspiration and hope along the way.







cott Brunk has done a little bit of everything during his 26-year tenure at the restaurant supply distributor FoodPro. He has worked in the warehouse, driven a delivery truck and pursued sales. Five years ago, he was named CEO and decided to change the focus of the company back to giving employees more of a voice. Brunk’s story of turning around his company is one of several successful experiences that local CEOs also shared, whether it was an aviation business or one that manufactures vaccines. At FoodPro, Brunk wanted employees to feel comfortable enough to express ideas and concerns. Once employees saw this openness, changes began to occur as others started speaking up and becoming more engaged. “We found that ... they took more pride in their work because they realized they had a voice and it made a huge difference,” he says. “My theory is if the employees are happy and engaged and enjoy what they are doing that will then reflect to the customers. If they are happy to work here, they have a better attitude. They will take better care of the customers.” His mantra for the employees is ‘Faith. Family. FoodPro’ — in that order. “Work can overtake you and I think you need to always have that balance in your life,” Brunk says. “If you flip it around and you

put work first, it can screw you up. We are big about work-life balance here. It’s important to have that work-life balance to be successful and continue to be happy. It’s always important to me that people keep that perspective.” With the employee base engaged, the company began focusing on being able to supply restaurants every need from freshcut steaks, seafood and produce to nonperishable groceries and food service supplies. “We can handle a restaurant 100 percent,” Brunk says. “In the past, they believed we were a fill-in and we could do a little bit of the business, but we know now— we go in and we want all the business. We know we can take care of you.” The company has flourished going from 85 employees to more than 120 with sales increasing every year. Brunk notes that turning around the company culture has been the biggest obstacle he has faced thus far as CEO. “We weren't reinvesting in the company and to get the attitude change was a challenge because it had gone so long in a negative way; to turn that around was a challenge. It did go quicker than I thought. I knew we could do it but that was the biggest challenge, but it made the biggest difference. Once that culture changed, it probably changed toward the end of the first year (of my leadership). It was amazing to see the difference. ...Everyone knows what is happening here and everyone is engaged and part of something which is fun.”



PROFITABLE AGAIN The aviation industry can be a very tricky business. On the one hand significant money is made from flying lessons, but at the same time money goes out for such things as maintenance and insurance. Weather also plays a factor in how often planes can safely fly. The Frederick Flight Center was making money but was bouncing payroll checks when Melissa Torres was brought on to help in December 2017. “All of it was here, it was just not managed in the way that it needed to be managed,” she says. Torres, who is CEO of Frederick Flight Center, began chipping away, saving money when she could and making notes when large payments for insurance would be due, so the company was prepared. In just under a year, she has managed to make the company profitable again. “I have the help of people I know and trust, really good instructors and really good people. Luckily, we work well together. I try to give them whatever they need. ...It’s nice to see people happy and excited about flying.” Service Coordination CEO John Dumas credits his background in the U.S. Marine Corps and his education with creating a positive corporate culture at the nonprofit dedicated to helping those in need including individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities, mental health challenges and the elderly. “I think you can get

“My theory is if the employees are happy and engaged and enjoy what they are doing that will then reflect to the customers.” —SCOTT BRUNK CEO, FOODPRO



“I have the help of people I know and trust, really good instructors and really good people.” —MELISSA TORRES CEO, FREDERICK FLIGHT CENTER



a lot more done when you include people at the table and solve problems than you do being directive or authoritative in nature,” he says. Creating a collaborative culture is one of the hardest things Dumas says he has ever done. The concept of getting experts in different areas to sit around a table, outline and discuss an issue and develop a collective solution sounds simple. Yet, Dumas notes people are taught early to have someone tell them what to do. The notion of offering up ideas and thoughts and discovering that staff value them may be a different experience for them. Dumas makes it a priority to meet with all new team members the first day they start and when staff are promoted from within as well. “It's important to hear the good things that you are doing, and it makes you feel really good,” he says. “Although I want to hear the things we need to do, that we need to improve. What are areas we need to pay attention to and work on?” He likes to walk around, get out there and visit with everyone in the office. “Leadership can tell you what is going on and you can be sitting back listening to people and it's probably going to be fairly accurate,” he says. “Although if you really want to know what is going on, ask people. Create the environment where they can be very honest with you even if it hurts your feelings. ... If that is your perspective I have to respect that.”

In 2013, the state changed its case management model impacting the nonprofit financially. They expected to be in a $8 million deficit but ran a $4 million deficit. Within three years, they were back in the black. “That's pretty amazing for any business to do let alone a nonprofit,” Dumas says. “That was due solely to the way the organization was set up through positive shared leadership and the organization being committed to continue to provide services for people and pulling through that.” Employees are appreciating the focus as last year the nonprofit had a 95.3 retention rate out of 400 team members. The nonprofit is also looking to expand by opening an older adult’s program and exploring a veteran’s program. “It's amaz-



ing how the organization is growing right now and it's due to the team members and their commitment to really building a great organization,” Dumas says.

RIGHT PEOPLE, RIGHT JOBS Since becoming president and CEO of DynPort Vaccine Company LLC in 2014, Dr. Gary Nabors has worked to help people realize their potential and many have been promoted from within. “I see it as part of my job to get the right people in the right positions and coach people, as I can, to become more capable in their job, to give them challenges that will make their job more interesting, to give them new experiences.” Nabors notes it all comes down to motivation. “If people are not challenged and not given interesting work, they become less motivated.” As a scientific organization, many scientists are driven by sense of discovery, advancing either knowledge and/or a product. “(Motivation) is important to a lot of people and you have to see that desire in people.” DynPort is not a typical biotech company that has its own intellectual property and raises money from venture capitalists or investors. They are strictly a government contracting organization developing products for the government and other jobs such as clinical trials and manufacturing. “As we are executing on the contracts that we have, at the end of the day, for



us, quality science, quality work really matters tremendously,” Nabors says. “We are a scientific organization here. We are also a business, but the science underlies the nature of the business. We have to have the best people we can get, the best consultants that we can get, use the best methods that we can to support the product development efforts that we have going on and thus far we have been successful in doing that.”

BRAND LOYALTY When Jim and Pete Plamondon acquired the Roy Rogers brand in 2002 from Hardee’s, the chain had shrunk from 648 to around 75 restaurants. Originally owned by Marriott and created by the Plamondon’s father, Pete Sr., Hardee’s bought the brand with an eye toward the real estate but converting the chain over failed. The Plamondons had to overcome the public perception of seeing Roy Rogers stores closing and to tell customers they wanted to continue to operate the restaurants and grow the brand. Today, the company has 53 restaurants in six states. “It's incredibly exciting and emotional for both my brother and I to have this brand that people love so much,” says Jim Plamondon. “It is very satisfying to hear people talk about Roy Rogers so affectionately and love our brand. We have an incredible amount of brand loyalty. I can't tell you the number of people who say I don't eat at fast food restaurants, but I eat at Roy Rogers.”

“I want to hear the things we need to do, that we need to improve. What are areas we need to pay attention to and work on?” —JOHN DUMAS CEO, SERVICE COORDINATION


The Frederick County Office of Economic Development

From left to right: Jodie Bollinger, Business Development Specialist; Matt Doyle, Business Development Specialist, Attraction; Luis Rugeles, Business Development Specialist, Knowledge-Based Industries; Katie Albaugh Stevens, Business Development Specialist, Agriculture; Heather Gramm, Assistant Director; Helen Propheter, Director; Britt Swartzlander, Administrative Specialist for ROOT; Sherman Coleman, Business Development Specialist, Minority Business Outreach; and Sandy Wagerman, Business Development Analyst.

The Frederick County Office of Economic Development (OED) is a catalyst for economic growth in Frederick County. OED is a department within the County Executive Branch of Government and serves to increase the overall economic health of the county. OED is advised by a Business & Industry Cabinet and an Agriculture Business Council. The department is guided by a set of Strategic Priorities:

» Retain and support the expansion of existing businesses. » Attract new businesses in key industries: Bioscience, Tech, Manufacturing, Craft Beverages and Agriculture.

» Create an environment where entrepreneurs and small businesses can grow.

» Diversify and advocate for the County’s Agriculture industry.

» Identify, support and promote high impact projects. Located at ROOT, a one-stop business and technology innovation center in the heart of Downtown Frederick, OED has the resources to get businesses connected. OED can provide businesses with tools such as site selection assistance, redevelopment services, incentives and demographics. Among the Top 10 Best Counties in America and Top 100 Places to Live, businesses flourish in Frederick County. We invite you to be a part of the success story.

118 N. Market St., Suite 300 | Frederick, MD | 21701 | 301.600.1058 | 800.248.2296 | 78





HAVE FUN First on the fun list for many of Frederick County’s Top 50 CEOs is spending time in Downtown Frederick enjoying the many restaurants, entertainment and special events. Marty Lapera calls the Square Corner “the center of the universe.” What else makes them happy?

“Just yesterday I took my dogs for a walk in the Frederick Watershed. In a few minutes all stress was gone.” » Jon-Mikel Bailey

“I can be found on my farm. There are always trees to plant, grass to mow and animals to look after.” » Jeff Barber

“If not Downtown I’m on a golf course or racing cars.” » Scott Brunk



“I have a passion for photography and Frederick County is chock-full of things to take pictures of.” » Dr. Robert Buckheit Jr.

“Our recent favorites (for daytrips) include factory tours for pretzels, potato chips and whiskey.” » Dr. J. Patrick Fitch

“I especially love making some of my Italian grandmother’s recipes for friends.” » Betsy Day

“Swinging a hammer or building something is therapeutic for me.” » Chris Colville

“Yard work is my zen place.” » RaeAnn Butler

“I hope to start training my kids to fly soon.” » Melissa Torres

“I rode in the National Clustered Spires High Wheel Bike Race last year and am riding again this coming August.” » Dr. Gary Nabors

“I enjoy the C&O Canal or metal detecting in a farmer’s field.” » James Castle

“Kayaking down the Monocacy River.” » John Dumas

Because every member of your team is valuable

All of these services in one place: ■

Drug & Alcohol Testing Programs

Certified Medical Review Officer

Medical Staffing

Industrial Hygienist

Onsite Service

Physical Therapy

Safety Consultants

Travel Medicine

Corporate Wellness

Protect your greatest asset. A healthy business starts with a healthy workforce. That’s why CorpOHS makes the health and safety of you and your team our very highest priority. From one convenient location, we provide smart solutions to help you prevent and manage work-related illness and injuries and promote health and safety in the workplace. Call 240-566-3052 to learn more about how a patient-centered medical home can help keep your employees healthy.

490-L Prospect Blvd | Frederick, MD 21701 | 240-566-3001 |