Welcome to our Centennial Anniversary year! 

We're midway through our most exciting month at the Chamber! It's a month we get to honor the driving force behind what we do; the business and non-profit community, during the 20th Annual Washington County Business Awards!

Join us Wednesday, February 27th at Hager Hall Conference & Event Center at 5pm as we kick off the big show. VISIT HERE for a full list of our finalists in six distinguished categories!

Before the big night, though, we're also excited to kick off our very first B.A.S.H. (Business and Social Hour). Previously known as Business After Hours, this event still has all of the same elements: networking, food & refreshments, door prizes, along with our Chamber Prize Drawing. Throughout 2019, we'll also be adding another twist! Just for having registered for these particular events, you'll be eligible to win $100 that you, personally, get to keep. That's right! Not your business - you, the individual registrant! Join us next Thursday, the 21st at the Washington County Free Library for this great event! REGISTER HERE

Thank you for your Chamber support,

In This Issue
Welcome Our New Members
Give a warm welcome to our new February members
Bosky Investment LLC // Liquor Locker & Cigar Locker
1740 Dual Highway
Hagerstown, MD

Keep Exploring Yourself, LLC
22 N. Mulberry St., Suite 120
Hagerstown, MD

Lerch Early & Brewer, Chtd.
7600 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 700
Bethesda, MD

RT Services
612 Sunset Ave.
Hagerstown, MD

Centennial Events Not to Be Missed
Join Us for these Celebratory Centennial Memories

February B.A.S.H. (Business and Social Hour)
Thursday, February 21st, 5-7pm
Washington County Free Library, 100 S. Potomac St., Hagerstown, MD

Formerly titled "Business After Hours", our popular monthly mixer is making the change to its new name, "B.A.S.H. (Business and Social Hour)" beginning this month. This gathering will be extra special as it's our commemorative Centennial version of this networking event. Join us for special acknowledgements, door prizes, our Chamber Prize Drawing (at $500), and more! 

Culture & Cocktails at the Washington County Historical Society
Friday, April 26th, 6-8pm
The Miller House Museum, 135 W. Washington St., Hagerstown, MD

Enjoy a drink and have a think! At Culture & Cocktails, a lecture program at the Miller House Museum, they tackle a historical topic with the help of a little liquid fortitude.

For 100 years, the Washington County Chamber of Commerce has been fostering and promoting businesses in the region. President Paul Frey will be sharing stories of the Chamber's many accomplishments over the last century.

The featured cocktail will be: the Champagne Cocktail. What better to celebrate 100 years of progress than the classic anniversary drink?

Your ticket price will include your first drink, and refills will be available for a small fee. This event is for adults ages 21 and older, please! For more information, please don't hesitate to get in touch!

Chamber Bash
Saturday, May 18th, 6pm
Rider Jet Center, 18421 Henson Blvd., Hagerstown, MD

Join us for this ONCE IN A LIFETIME event commemorating 100 years of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce!  Enjoy a night of live music from Sticktime (classic rock cover band), dancing, Taste of the Chamber (featuring food & beverage from Chamber members), tip jar,s 50/50 & more!  $60/ticket, $100/couple


100th Annual Meeting
Thursday, September 26th, 5pm
Fountain Head Country Club, 13316 Fountain Head Rd., Hagerstown, MD

A members-only dinner event celebrating not just the accomplishments made by our Chamber (and membership) throughout fiscal year 2019, but also honoring the past 100 years of this important institution. We'll also celebrate the beginning of fiscal year 2020 with the passing of the gavel from current Board Chair Keith Grunow to Incoming Chair Gary Hayes. 

Members Making News
Find Out What's New with Some of Our Members! 

United Way Washington County Welcomes New Board Members

United Way of Washington County, MD is pleased to announce the growth of their Board of Directors with five new members! They're excited to grow as well as represent Washington County's wide range of demographics. Theylook for individuals with extremely diverse backgrounds and experiences. 

"We want people who represent a broad scope of the community with a sense of service. From time to time, we believe certain skill sets and community sectors are under represented on our board," says CEO Guinn Rogers.

"We strive to find community members who understand and support the mission to Give, Advocate and Volunteer to make our community stronger" says Chairman of the Board, Tim Troxell.

New Members are:

Ellen Prete, Vice President of Communications & External Relations - Citi Bank

Mike Harsh, Professor, Drama, Speech, English, Humanities and Leadership Development, Hagerstown Community College

Tereance Moore, Owner, Tereance Moore Consulting, LLC

Kyle Huntzberry, Commercial Banking Officer, BB&T

Julie Pippel, Private Environmental Consultant

Middletown Valley Bank Names Hagerstown Branch Managers

Kelly Michael has been named Banking Officer - Retail Branch Manager of Middletown Valley Bank's (MVB) Eastern Blvd. Branch and Danielle Chappell has been named Banking Officer - Retail Branch Manager of MVB's second Hagerstown location the Paramount Branch, located at 13418 Marsh Pike (pictured left to right). 

Kathy Stevens, current VP - Retail Branch Manager of the Eastern Blvd. Branch will now play an active role in both branches as VP - Client Relationship Officer, where she will oversee both offices and the Hagerstown Market.
Michael says, "Having worked in Washington County for many years I'm excited for this opportunity to continue building new and existing relationships within the community."

Currently, Michael and Chappell both work at MVB's Eastern Blvd. Branch,  where they have been since the opening of the branch in the fall of 2015. Michael brings over 15 years of banking experience and is active in a number of community organizations throughout Washington County. Chappell holds a bachelor's degree from Shepherd University and brings nearly nine years of banking experience.

Chappell says, "I am extremely happy to be making this move to the Paramount branch and staying within Washington County. I know the importance of giving an Absolutely Exceptional Experience to all our customers and I look forward to meeting each and every one of you."
Middletown Valley Bank also plans to open a new operations facility at 480 North Potomac Street in Hagerstown.

"Both the Paramount Branch and the new operations facility have created several new positions in the bank and the opportunity for many to advance in their careers. We are so thankful for the continued support of our community, because we would not be able to offer these opportunities without it," said BJ Goetz, President & CEO.

Representatives from Area Educational Institutions Meet with University System of Maryland (USMH) Representatives to Discuss HTM Program

Representatives of Hagerstown Community College (HCC), Frederick Community College (FCC), North Hagerstown High School, Washington County Technical High School and Washington County Public Schools joined faculty and staff from USMH and University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) recently to discuss articulation agreements and pathways for students as plans progress for the hospitality and tourism management (HTM) program to be offered at USMH by UMES beginning this fall.

Signed articulation agreements between the community colleges and UMES will allow for a seamless transfer for students by providing the most efficient path to complete their degrees in a timely manner.

Dr. Ernest Boger, chair of the HTM program at UMES said, "I'm glad to see all levels of education represented. We're promoting the pathway from high school to community college to us." Dr. C. David Warner, vice president of academic affairs and students services at HCC, added, "We want to get options in line with UMES and we want to reach out to the high schools. Students can see while they're in high school what pathways they can take."

James Aleshire, North High principal, asked about incorporating credits for International Baccaulaureate (IB) courses into the articulation. North High offers a career track in hospitality management and expects to graduate 46 students this spring who have received certifications in the program. The Washington County Technical High School also offers an opportunity for students to enter this career and educational path through its culinary arts program.

Boger told the group that UMES has a 100-percent job placement rate for graduates of the program, adding that current graduates are earning annual salaries in the mid-$40s with that number expected to grow to $50,000 in the next four years. Warner said, "The link to the job is an important piece for our students." Boger added that students may have to be willing to move or travel for a job, but the jobs are out there.

Tiffany Ahalt, hospitality center coordinator at USMH, said, "We have growing opportunities. You do have to consider the regional approach. When looking at the next five to 10 years, tourism is going to be at the next level in our region."

Elizabeth DeRose, institute manager, hospitality, culinary and tourism at FCC, said that her program also has a 100-percent job placement rate and that market demand for qualified professionals far exceeds the supply. Boger added, "This program requires 1,000 hours of internships. Local businesses will benefit from that. While you're there, there's great experience to be gained and then you go to the world beyond."

Scholarship opportunities were also discussed. In addition to scholarships offered by USMH, there are numerous industry-specific scholarships available for students in this program. Warner stated that "70-plus percent of our students is on some form of financial aid."

Dr. Kate Brown, dean of business and technology at UMES, concluded the meeting saying, "You guys are in the industry of fun. Find the joy!"

For information about applying to the HTM program, please contact Tiffany Ahalt at 240-522-7552 or tahalt@hagerstown.usmd.edu.

BB&T Combines with SunTrust in Merger

BB&T and SunTrust, two iconic franchises, are combining in a merger of equals to create the sixth-largest U.S. bank holding company with 275 years of combined history serving clients and communities in high growth markets. 

It's a strategic fit, complete with:
- Prove Leadership Teams
- Compatible Cultures
- Identifiable Synergies
- Strong Risk Management Practices
- Expanded Market Share Through a Combined Footprint
- Enhanced Innovation and Superior Client Service

"Together with Bill's leadership and our new SunTrust teammates, we're going to bring the best of both companies forward to serve our clients and communities more than ever before," says
Chairman and CEO of BB&T Corporation Kelly S. King.

"Kelly and I know each other well, and we believe that by bringing together these two purpose-driven institutions, we will accelerate our capacity to invest in transformational technologies for our clients and drive our shared mission further forward than either of us could do alone," says Chairman and CEO of SunTrust Banks, Inc. William H. Rogers, Jr.

Meritus Medical Group Welcomes New Providers

Hussein Hijazi, M.D.

Rose J. Griffin, M.D., M.P.H

Maria D. Merzouk, D.O., FACOG
Rose J. Griffin, M.D., M.P.H., was welcomed recently as the newest member of the team at Meritus Primary Care, located at the new Meritus Medical Plaza, 13620 Crayton Blvd. 

Dr. Griffin received her medical degree from the University of Sint Eustatius School of Medicine in the Caribbean, now known as the American University or Integrative Sciences School of Medicine. She completed her residency in family medicine at the University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine/Aspirus Wausau Hospital in Wausau, Wis. Dr. Griffin is board certified in family medicine with the American Board of Family Medicine and holds a special interest in prevention and health education.

Hussein Hijazi, M.D., recently joined the team at Meritus Family Medicine, Williamsport. Dr. Hijazi received his medical degree from Crimea State Medical University in Simferopol, Ukraine. He completed his most recent residency in family medicine at York Hospital in York, Pa. His fellowship in geriatrics took place at Louisiana State University in New Orleans. Dr. Hijazi is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.

Meritus Women's Health Specialists recently added Maria D. Merzouk, D.O., FACOG, to the team. Dr. Merzouk received her medical degree from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg, W.Va., and completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at The Reading Hospital and Medical Center in Reading, Pa. She received fellowship training at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, N.Y. Dr. Merzouk is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a fellow of obstetrician and gynecology by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Grant Applications Available for Mary K. Bowman Fund for Historical and Fine Arts

The Mary K. Bowman Fund for Historical and Fine Arts, a component fund of the Community Foundation of Washington County MD, Inc., has grant applications available for the 2019 granting cycle. This fund provides financial support for current charitable and educational initiatives that preserve and maintain historical and cultural properties in Washington County. It also promotes the fine arts, history and historic preservation while encouraging the interest in and study of such matters. Since inception, it has given away $1.36 million to local nonprofit organizations.

The Community Foundation encourages nonprofit agencies with programming related to historic preservation and education or the fine arts to submit a grant application. The average grant amount in recent years has equaled about $4,000. Total granting dollars for this year are $68,984. Online applications are due March 1, 2019. Visit the Community Foundation's website at www.cfwcmd.org to apply.

Upcoming Chamber Events
Register for one of these upcoming Chamber functions!

Maximize Your Membership
Thursday, February 21, 9am - 10am
Learn about your Chamber membership, whether you're a new or seasoned member. Tips & tricks to maximize your opportunities through us!
Chamber Office Training Room

B.A.S.H. (Business and Social Hour)
Washington County Free Library
Thursday, February 21, 5pm - 7pm

20th Annual Washington County Business Awards
Hager Hall Conference & Event Center
Wednesday, February 27, 5pm

Wright-Gardner Insurance Presents:  State of the City 2019
Hager Hall Conference & Event Center
Tuesday, March 5, 7am

Learning Lunch Hour: "Google and Your Business"
Hager Hall Conference & Event Center
Tuesday, March 5, 11:30am-1pm  

BEP Corner
A guest submission Business & Education Partnership Committee member
Mary Ellen Waltemire of One Step Closer Coaching 

Effective Meetings - are they part of your world?

     Are meetings you attend productive, compelling and energizing? It's estimated that over 11 million business meetings are held everyday in the US. Managers spend between 30- 70% of their time in meetings, with some managers feeling like meetings are a waste of valuable work time.
     From a business perspective, and in the words of Patrick Lencioni, know that there is no substitute for a good meeting! Here is a quick checklist of ideas that you may want to consider as you plan upcoming meetings.
  • Purpose and goals are set and communicated in advance of the meeting
  • Appropriate people are attending
  • Agenda is prepared and distributed in advance of the meeting
  • Background information for meeting topics is distributed in advance
  • Meeting starts on time and is actively managed with active engagement from all participants
  • Meetings end on time with wrap-up and actions items identified and assigned
  • Notes from the meeting are distributed promptly
   By doing an assessment of your meetings and considering some of these quick guidelines, you may get closer to having meetings that are dynamic, focused and that truly extract the collective wisdom of the group. Plan well!


SBDC Corner

  Mark your Calendar: March 20 is #SBDCDay!

SBDC Day will unite the nearly 1,000 SBDC centers across the country and the hundreds of thousands of clients they serve by sharing, in real time, the success stories and notable impacts SBDCs collectively have on the small business community at large. Help us showcase the impact of the Maryland SBDC by being part of the 3rd annual #SBDCDay campaign. Keep in touch locally through our Facebook and Twitter Accounts, @WesternMdSBDC. Plus you can check out  americassbdc.org/SBDCDay/  to learn more!

About Us
Washington County Chamber of Commerce members include more than 600 organizations, representing over 40,000 local jobs in a wide variety of industries:  Retail, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Skilled Trades, Service and Hospitality, Technology, Government, Nonprofit, and Education. 

We can't wait for our next opportunity to work with you, and for you! 


Washington County Chamber of Commerce
Celebrating 100 Years!
1 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740
Washington County Chamber of Commerce
(301) 739-2015


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