Our biggest night of the year, The 19th Washington County Business Awards was truly one for the books. A crowd of nearly 500 gathered at The Maryland Theatre to witness six new winners claiming their trophies:

At Your Service Award:
Chick-fil-A of Hagerstown

Leading Edge Award:
Beacon House, Inc.

Non-Profit of the Year:
Humane Society of Washington County

Small Business of the Year:
Antietam Brewery

Large Business of the Year:
Bowman Group, LLC

Washington County Business Person of the Year:
W. Christopher Motz

Truly an exciting wrap-up to a busy winter season as we head strongly into the coming month!  March holds a lot of events for you, our valued member!  Learn about the fight against raising the minimum wage to $15 during next week's Eggs & Issues.  Learn how to create a Workplace Wellness Policy legally on March 21st, a partnership with the Washington County Health Department.  Plus, we have a brand new event: State of the Chamber - a mid-year review on March 22nd, open to members and non-members alike for just $5.  Valuable information and opportunities designed to help you build some essential connections. Learn more in this month's newsletter!

Have a great month,
Your Chamber Team!
In This Issue
Welcome Our New Members
Give a Warm Welcome to Some New Faces in Our Membership!
American Ale House
49 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, MD

BMC, Business Management Company, Inc.
295-B Bucheimer Rd.
Frederick, MD

60 W. Washington Street
Hagerstown, MD

Dorius Government Affairs
1161 Woodland Way
Hagerstown, MD  

700 Dual Highway
Hagerstown, MD

11241 Nursery Rd.
Hagerstown, MD

5840 Mineral Hill Drive
Eldersburg, MD
Boonsboro, MD

103 N. Main Street
Boonsboro, MD

1800 Dual Highway, Suite 302
Hagerstown, MD

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

Purdue University Global Set to Launch After Final Approval

Purdue University Global is set to launch after receiving final approval from the Higher Learning Commission. Monday's (March 5) notice of approval was the last step in the regulatory process for the new university, first announced in April 2017.

"We are grateful for the Higher Learning Commission's decision to approve Purdue University's conversion of Kaplan University to Indiana's newest public institution of higher education, Purdue Global," said Purdue President Mitch Daniels. "It opens a new era for our institution, with the opportunity to expand our land-grant mission to millions of adult students around the country. That opportunity brings with it the responsibility to provide the highest quality online education, not only to our new adult learners, but to all residential and online Boilermaker students.
"Starting today, Purdue University hopes to take a leading role in online learning nationally."
Purdue Global will have its main campus in Indianapolis and is expected to launch officially in April. Betty Vandenbosch, currently president of Kaplan University (KU), will be the Purdue Global chancellor and will report to Daniels and the new institution's six-member board of trustees, composed of five Purdue University trustees and one external trustee.
"We appreciate the Higher Learning Commission's fast and unequivocal 'yes,'" Vandenbosch said. "This gives us a chance to move forward promptly with a successful start. We are excited to become part of the Purdue University system and offer working adults a supportive and practical education tailored specifically to them."
Approximately 30,000 students enrolled at Kaplan University will seamlessly transition to Purdue Global. These students will be able to complete their programs of study with their current instructors without interruption, but will earn a degree bearing the new institution's name. Over time, additional programs are expected to be added to the curriculum.
"A large and growing number of Purdue faculty have demonstrated an active interest in working with Purdue Global or with the digital platform it brings," said Frank Dooley, Purdue vice provost for teaching and learning. "All willing and interested faculty are welcome to join this exciting new opportunity in Purdue's history."
Purdue Global was created to enhance Purdue's land-grant mission by expanding access to higher education for the millions of working adults who started and did not complete a college degree and for others unable to attend a traditional college campus. With the launch of the new institution, Purdue, which previously did not have a significant online undergraduate degree offering, seeks to catapult itself to become one of the largest online degree-granting systems in higher education.
Purdue  announced its decision last year to acquire Kaplan University from Kaplan Inc. In mid-June, trustees of the new university  approved plans to offer a tuition discount of approximately 45 percent for Indiana resident students and free tuition for degree-seeking Purdue employees. In December, the board  voted to approve a Statement of Ethical Principles and Pledge to Students, a code by which all Purdue Global faculty, administrators, staff and support team members, as well as service partners, vendors, collaborators and other associates will be required to conduct themselves.
Founded in 1895, the Higher Learning Commission is one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. HLC accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region, which includes 19 states. Recognized by both the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, the HLC accredits approximately one-third of U.S. regionally accredited public and private institutions, including Purdue and Kaplan University.

Callas Contractors Celebrates 60 Years

Callas Contractors is celebrating its 60th anniversary this month.  Founded on February 28, 1958 by Michael G. Callas, some of the company's earliest clients were the C&P Telephone Company, Teledyne Landis Company and North American Cement Corporation.

Mike Callas earned a full scholarship to Johns Hopkins University and also served in World War II before returning to his hometown of Hagerstown.  He shared his prosperity with the employees and the community by working on projects for schools, the YMCA, Boy Scouts, Children's Village, United Way and many more.  Of such projects, Mike said, "I get a good feeling, because my support of county endeavors makes this a good place to live and support a family."  While maintaining a philanthropic culture, Callas Contractors today carries on this vision once molded by Mike Callas.  Even after an untimely death in 2004, The Michael G. Callas Charitable Trust continues today to make humanitarian contributions that benefit The Cumberland Valley.

It is noteworthy that employees of Callas Contractors have comparable longevity with many having from 35-45 years of service to the company.

Many notable landmarks built include: Washington County Hospital, Waynesboro Hospital, Smithsburg High School, Mike Callas Stadium at North Hagerstown High School, North Hagerstown High School, James Buchanan High School, Maryland Ribbon Company, FedEx Freight, Potomac Towers and many buildins at Ft. Ritchie and on the Hagerstown Community College campus.  

Our community is rich in history for which Callas is proud to have made an impact.

Plamondon Hospitality Partners' Henningsen Named Maryland Hotelier of the Year

Michael Henningsen, Director of Hotel Operations at Plamondon Hospitality Partners has been named the Maryland Hotelier of the Year by the Maryland Hotel Lodging Association (MHLA).

The distinguished award, which is only given out in rare instances, was presented at the organization's 29th Annual Stars of the Industry Awards on Thursday, February 8, 2018 at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Rockville, Md. 

Worx Adds Royer to Roster and Wins at ADDY Awards

Worx Graphic Design, known for their ability to keep up with emerging trends in the world of advertising and marketing, has had a month complete with a new hire and two big wins at the famous American Advertising Awards. 

Tyler Royer joins the Worx team as a new Junior Designer.  A graduate of Hood College, he loves to watch a design come to life through problem solving.

Additionally, Laura Wallace and her team brought home two silver ADDY Awards - one for the Mulberry Lofts space branding and one for their very own website (check it out here). 

HCC's Practical Nursing Program Ranked Top in State

The Practical Nursing Program at Hagerstown Community College has been ranked number one in Maryland, by, for the second consecutive year. 

"I am extremely proud of our LPN program," said Karen Hammond, director of the nursing division. "The program has been very successful as shown by consistently high pass rates on the NCLEX-PN exam and the success of our graduates as they enter the work force. This award validates the excellent LPN program that we offer here at HCC."

Of the 10 state-approved practical nursing programs in Maryland, ranked the top five, based on state test results and the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) pass rates for the past five years. The NCLEX-PN exam is used by state boards of nursing to test proficiency and grant licensure for each Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).

"This honor is a testament to the student's willingness to work hard and surpass the expectations of the program outcomes," said Patricia Williams, who recently retired after serving as coordinator of HCC's program for 14 years. "Upon completion of the program, the students are readily employed in area facilities, such as the local prison system, extended care facilities, urgent care, and doctor's offices. This program provides a great entry into the healthcare systems and then offers progression to the professional nurse role, if desired."

HCC has been offering the Practical Nursing Program since 2003. The NCLEX-PN pass rate for these students has been 100 percent for the past eight years. The program is accredited by the Maryland Board of Nursing and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

HCC also offers an associate degree program in nursing, a certified nursing assistant/geriatric nursing assistant program, and several transition programs such as LPN to RN, paramedic to RN, and an associate to bachelor's nursing program. For more information, visit

Valley Credit Service, Inc. Adds Virtual New Hire "Alex"

Valley Credit Service, Inc.  invests in innovative technology to create new avenues to collect debt and reduce carbon footprint. 
They've added a new member to their team to enhance communication with consumers and clients.  

Meet Alex - Alex is a virtual agent that consumers and clients can connect with 24/7/365.  Alex will interact with consumers to take payments, update information, report disputes, make payment arrangements, and update accounts. Alex can also interact with consumers in English, Spanish, German, French and several other languages.
Also along with Alex, their enhanced technology will allow communication with consumers via text messages and emails.

Due to the type of industry they are in and the information that Valley Credit Service protects and uses, this was nearly an impossibility. But with the advancements in their technology they are now extremely excited to offer these new avenues of communication.  So many consumers today prefer the convenience of texting and emailing.  They can now send letters, payment arrangements and other data via emails.  

Also all documents are stored on an encrypted cloud storage so they no longer print documents to file. All information is uploaded to their storage cloud.

Their management team believes in implementing the best protocols that will help the clients and consumers that they serve.

As a tech savvy industry leader for more than 50 years, Valley Credit Service has provided valuable services including  payment monitoring, tenant screening, insurance billing, EMR Management software, past due account recovery and merchant services. 

If you would like more information or a consultation on our services please contact Donna Nead in their Hagerstown Branch at 800-992-2312 ext 2223 or at  More information can be found at

Humane Society of Washington County Offering Community Wellness Clinics to Pets

Non-Profit of the Year  The Humane Society of Washington County (HSWC) is offering Wellness Clinics to owned pets in Washington County.  

Held at the HSWC's Veterinary Center, cats are serviced every first and third Wednesday of the month, and dogs are serviced every second and fourth Wednesday of the month. Hours are 10:00 am - 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm. No appointment is necessary. 

"We're thrilled to be able to offer these services to residents of Washington County and their pets," said Nikki Houser, Veterinary Center Director. "Our goal is to give cats and dogs the vaccinations they need in order to keep -- not just the animals -- but the whole community healthy." 

The Canine Core Wellness Package includes a rabies vaccine, DAPPVL2 vaccine, dewormer and fecal test. The Feline Core Wellness Package includes a rabies vaccine, FVRCP vaccine, dewormer and fecal test. Additional services, such as preventative flea care, microchipping, FeLv/FIV testing, FeLv vaccine, ear cleaning, and Bordetella vaccine are also available. 

To qualify for Wellness Clinics, individuals must reside in Washington County and earn $50,000 or less annually. 

To learn more, interested persons may call 301-733-2060 or visit 

Washington County Department of Business Development Partnering for Contracting Opportunities Info Session

The Washington County Department of Business Development is partnering with The Maryland Department of General Services to present a business opportunities information session, "Contracting Opportunities in Western Maryland".  The session, scheduled for Wednesday, April 22th at 10am at Hagerstown Community College is all about sharing the ins and outs of doing business with the Department of General Services.     

Guests are encouraged to get answers to questions such as: "What products and service does DGS buy?", "What are the requirements to working with DGS?", "What types of opportunities are available for my business?", "How can I find out about large & small contracting opportunities?" and many more! 

To register for this free event, visit:

Leadercast Returning to Washington County

Thanks to  Worx Graphic Design , Leadercast returns to Washington County.  What qualities do you hope to embody as a successful leader? How can you intentionally develop your own leadership skills and style? To be the best leader of others, it all starts with learning how to lead yourself.

Join us for Leadercast Live at host site, Hagerstown Community College, to learn from world-renowned experts about the qualities and characteristics of global leaders who exemplify what it means to lead yourself. Come alone or bring your team for a dose of motivation and education and become a mover and shaker, no matter what your position or industry or place in the world!

Early bird tickets available through 3/31 - $95
Regular tickets available 4/1-4/27 - $115


8:00-8:30AM Registration

8:30-9:00AM Networking

9:00-3:30PM Leadercast Simulcast

3:30-4:30PM Closing and Networking

*Breakfast and Lunch are included in your ticket

Something exciting and/or notable happening within your company? Has someone done something remarkable and you think it should be shared with our extensive list of newsletter recipients? Simply excited about an upcoming event?
We're here to help you get the word out! 

Email to be featured in our next 
Chamber Newsletter!
Chamber Connects News
Chamber Connects is a free professional networking group within the Chamber for select members to create opportunities for each other!

Interested in joining a Chamber Connects referral group??

Sometimes the best form of connection is slowly cultivated with some of the same great members over time.  It's often a nice contrast to the rest of our Chamber events! Email Tim Luipersbeck, Director of Member Services at if interested!

To find out which industries are represented in each group, & much more:



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

The "Fight for Fifteen" Legislation
Being Put Forth in the General Assembly
brought to you by Smith Elliott Kearns & Company, LLC
Wednesday, March 14th - 7:30am - 9:00am

Maximize Your Membership
Thursday, March 15th - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Chamber of Commerce Training Room, Hagerstown, MD

Business After Hours 
Hosted by Mercersburg Academy
Thursday, March 15th, 5:00-7:00pm

Writing Workplace Wellness Policies
Wednesday, March 21st, 7:30am - 9:00am
Applause Caterers

State of the Chamber: a Mid-Year Report
Thursday, March 22nd, 7:30am - 9:00am
Hager Hall Conference & Event Center

M&T Presents: State of the County
Tuesday, April 3rd, 7:00am - 9:00am
Fountain Head Country Club

Upcoming Ribbon Cuttings
Join Us for These Fun Celebrations!

PetValu Boonsboro
Join us for refreshments and a chance to check out Washington County's newest PetValu location!
Friday, March 16th, 4:00pm
704 Chase Six Blvd.
Boonsboro, MD

North Paws Animal Hospital
Celebrate with the North Paws Animal Hospital! Tour the hospital, meet Dr. Becker and staff, and learn what they have to offer! 
Friday, May 4th (with elected officials and Chamber staff)
Saturday, May 5th (open to the public)

BEP Corner
A contribution from our Business and Education Partnership Committee

Food for thought:
a different approach to organizational goal setting!
I recently came across an idea for a different way to consider organizational goals as described by Jen Gross-Lara.  Ask your work team members to complete the following individually and then share & discuss with others.
Respond to the following as you "set your place"
On the plate: What's on your plate right now?
On the fork: List a few things you'd like to take a stab at this year.
On the napkin: List something you need to protect.
On the knife: List some things that are cutting away at you and your time.
On the spoon:  Many of us resist being spoon-fed; list some things you'd like help with in the coming year.
 This quick activity can engage your leadership/work teams in some thoughtful discussion around what's important, what can we do next and how do we support one another's success. 
Contributed by Mary Ellen Waltemire
Chamber BEP Committee Member 

Delta Dental - A New Members-Only Benefit!

As the nation's leading dental insurance company, Delta Dental's core purpose is the advancement of the oral health of our customers, partners  and  consumers through dental insurance and the philanthropic efforts of Delta Dental companies.
Delta Dental Plans Association is a not-for-profit organization. Through their national network of Delta Dental companies, they offer dental coverage in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories, with a local presence in communities across the country, providing groups and individuals with quality, cost-effective dental insurance  and  superior customer service.
Delta Dental protects more smiles than any other dental insurance company, with the largest network of dentists nationwide, quick answers and personalized service!
Right now is the perfect time to evaluate your company's dental plan and know that cost matters! Whether you provide your employees with dental insurance already, or they're required to purchase it on their own, Delta Dental could be your best option! There's only one way to find out, though. 

Interested in learning more about how you can get started for less cost just by being a Chamber member? Our Chamber-approved Delta Dental Rep
Tim Harrison is available to take your questions at
20th Annual WCBA's: Nominations Open!
Take a Moment to Cast Your Nominations Today

SBDC Corner
Celebration of SBDC Day Set for March 21st!

Businesses have always celebrated ribbon cuttings, grand openings and company anniversaries, and for a second year they'll be able to celebrate the people who help them turn their dreams into reality - Small Business Development Centers.  America's SBDC Day is set for March 21, 2018, a day that will unite nearly 1,000 SBDCs across the country and the hundreds of thousands of clients they've served in their near 40-year history.

SBDC Day is a national proclamation of the success of America's Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) on the success of the nation's dreamers, innovators and doers - America's small businesses.

"It's great to see SBDCs, their clients and supporters come together to celebrate SBDCs and their amazing clients. With SBDC support small businesses around the country raised over $5 billion in capital and created nearly 100,000 jobs," said Charles "Tee" Rowe, President & CEO of America's SBDC.

Since 1980, 63 state and regional Small Business Development Center networks have provided free one-on-one consulting to small businesses at nearly 1,000 locations throughout the nation.

A new business is opened with the assistance of the SBDC around the country every 30 minutes; a new job is created every 5.5 minutes; more than $100,000 in new sales are generated every 8.2 minutes, and small businesses are able to obtain more than $100,000 in capital every 10 minutes.

Maryland SBDC

In 2017, the Maryland SBDC (www. consulted over 2281 entrepreneurs which accounted for 208 business starts, 1251 jobs created, $47,229,691 million in new sales, and $49,638,382 million in capital investments.

The Western Region of Maryland SBDC covers Frederick, Washington, Allegany and Garrett Counties. Our regional headquarters is located at Frostburg State University. We have consultants in the economic development offices in Allegany, Washington and Frederick Counties.

For Western Maryland SBDC activities visit our Facebook page @WesternMdSBDC
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
1 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740
Washington County Chamber of Commerce
(301) 739-2015


Like us on Facebook 
  Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn   View our photos on flickr