Volume 30, Issue 12 | December 2022
2022 Board of Directors
Donna Frankowski Vice Chair
Tylor Lennox Treasurer
Ashley Haldeman Secretary

Allen Duncan

Nancie Corbett

Rich Cropper
Cropper Services, LLC

Tina Simmons

Don Robertson

Amy Hedger

Stephanie Gamm

Diana Dovel

Don Boger

Nicole Zeien

Celeste Rayne Past Chair
7 - YPP Meeting
7 - Ribbon Cutting Copy Central
8 - Business After Hours at WoCo ReStore
8 - Chamber Connection Meeting
13 - Coffee Connect Coastal HR Solutions
15 - Lunch n Learn CRICKET Center
16 - Board of Directors Meeting
20 - Ambassadors Meeting

12 - Chamber Connections Meeting
17 - Ambassadors Meeting
18 - Lunch n Learn w/MCE
19 - Business After Hours at OC Eateries
20 - Board of Directors Meeting
26 - Chamber Connections Meeting
Stay up to date on all our doin's.
You can add your events too!

Ocean Pines Players
In Memoriam: Santa Bill Asher
Crossfit OC
Conversation w/outgoing Chair Celeste Miller
President's Corner
Have you ever noticed that as soon as Thanksgiving is over, it is a fast slide right into a new year? No stops. Don't collect $200, just slide right on through December. Here we are, sliding......

Looking back on 2022, it truly was a record-setting one for us. We were fortunate enough to create so many new partnerships, continue the growth (and payout!) for the flounder tournament, and expand Ocean Pines's participation in county wide issues. So much of that success is directly attributed to YOUR advocacy and support of this chamber. Never underestimate the power of word of mouth, whether online or in person. We continue to be in awe of our partnerships and your promotion. THANK YOU.

December is also when our newly formed Board of Directors comes together for the first time. Our new Chair, Derrick Elzey, owns his own State Farm Insurance agency. He brings with him a well-established pension for philanthropy, a young professional mindset, and an entrepreneurial spirit. We are excited to see where he leads us in 2023.

Cycling into the role of Past Chair, Celeste Miller has held a seat on our Board in various positions for more than nine years. I threw her some questions about her tenure on the Board. Make sure to read her answers below for a great historical perspective on our chamber.

Please have a safe and joyous holiday season and....until next year....
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Ocean Pines Players Kick Off First Full
Season Since 2018

The Ocean Pines Players (OPP) is proud to report that its first full season since 2018 is off to a great start. The first production, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “A Grand Night for Singing,” was sold out two weeks in advance! The dinner-theater production at the Ocean Pines Yacht Club on November 18 was overwhelmingly well received by the 180 attendees. One was heard to say, “it’s so refreshing to have local live theater back in our neighborhood.”

With no time to rest on its laurels, OPP is holding auditions for their next show, “Play On!” on Wednesday, December 7, and Thursday, December 8, from 6 to 8pm at the Ocean Pines Community Center. The show is a comedy about a community theater trying to produce a murder mystery play, the author of which changes the script and lines shortly before the play is about to open. Anyone who has been involved in rehearsing a play will identify strongly with the maxim “If anything can go wrong – it will.” And it does in this rollicking play.

The cast calls for three men and seven women. Six of the actors will play two roles - one in “Play On!” and one in the internal play they are trying to stage, called “Murder Most Foul.”

Each Saturday prior to auditions, OPP will have a table at the Ocean Pines Farmers & Artisans Market to meet potential applicants and patrons.

Performances will be staged on March 10, 11, 17, and 18, 2023, at the Most Blessed Sacrament School on Racetrack Road, Berlin. Those interested in auditioning can go to the website: https://oceanpinesplayers.org and click on “Auditions/Play On” to complete an audition form and get more information. 
In Memoriam

Santa Bill Asher

We had only just gotten to know our local Santa for Hire, Bill Asher, when he passed very suddenly. Literally, he emailed us an article to run in this newsletter and suffered a heart attack a few hours later.

We wanted to acknowledge Bill as a new chamber partner and send him a hardy Merry Christmas from afar. Rest in Peace, Bill.

Get it Done with Greta

CrossFit Ocean City was one of the first CrossFit gyms opened in the world and was the first in Maryland and Delaware. The gym was founded in 2006 where Greta Chapman became a member in 2011 and a trainer in 2013. She purchased the gym in 2015 and is now the owner, a CrossFit Level 2 trainer, and a CrossFit kid’s coach. The gym is a welcoming space open to all people ages 14 and beyond who want to better their health and reach fitness goals. 

CrossFit OC provides a variety of coach-led classes, private training, nutrition coaching, and more. The member community is tight-knit and they love having fun while seeing results. Before owning the gym, Greta was a financial analyst for a defense contractor and now loves the more active and social pace of her job. Greta says, “I know every member, we are friends, we hang out together, and laugh a lot during classes. It is more social than work sometimes.”

The team of knowledgeable coaches and friends working out together brings a fun atmosphere to keep members motivated while performing workouts that help them reach their health goals. Visitors are also welcome for a free session and drop-in workouts!

Next Meeting Dec 7
Chamber Office

The Young Professionals of the Pines (YPP) aims to unite the next generation of professionals. YPP creates opportunities for emerging business leaders to build relationships, expand their leadership skills, and develop their careers while paving the way for the future success of the Ocean Pines community.

The group is designed for professionals between the ages of 21 and 35. 
If you can’t make it to our meeting in person, the option to join us via Zoom is also available. Keep an eye on our Facebook page (Ocean Pines Chamber YPP) as well as our LinkedIn Group for more information on upcoming events!
Have you looked at your utility bill lately? 
Join the Chamber Energy Purchasing Cooperative

Have you looked at your utility bill lately? Are you concerned about how much you are spending? What's going on?

The war, inflation, and hot temperatures are just some of the factors causing rates to hit a 50-year high! As Bloomberg News reported,
“The U.S. Energy Department Secretary Jennifer Granholm was spot on with where oil and gas are going — and it isn't staying at home. Nearly 75 percent of natural gas produced in the United States is being sold to Europe. Many countries in Europe have higher prices for gas than the U.S.” Natural gas is the major producer of electricity. 

CQI Associates will continue to watch the market and seek creative ways to provide protection, stability, and savings for our customers. Clients with agreements, ending between now and May 2023, should contact their CQI representative to assure their paperwork is up to date. This will allow us the opportunity to jump on any opportunities that present themselves between now and then. 

The Chamber of Commerce Energy Purchasing Cooperative program provides you with an option to help seek pricing that provides savings when compared to the utility rates and offers you long-term budget stability. 

Maryland passed the Climate Solutions Now Act requiring a 60% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2031. Any business with a 35,000 sq. ft. or more facility, schools, and municipalities that do not comply will be assessed a penalty of $51 or more per ton. Penalties could start as early as 2024. This could cost a small facility, school or municipality thousands of dollars.

Welcome to the Ambassador Corner! 

Next Ambassador's Meeting is
December 20
Want more exposure for your business while advocating for the community and chamber? Become an Ambassador! We welcome all new partners to the chamber and ensure that they get the most out of their partnership. We meet every third Tuesday of the month at 1:30am at the chamber office. Stop by!

Our partners renew their support on their anniversary months. The below list are those who renewed since the last edition of the Chamber Chatter. Thank you for your continued trust and support!
1 - 4 years
BCV Commercial Realty
Barber's Alley
Wilkins Wildlife and Bedbug 911
5 - 10 years
11 - 19 years
Kiwanis Club of OceanPines/Ocean City
Atlantic General Hospital

20 - 30 years
Bank of Ocean City
Burbage Funeral Home
WMDT - 47
United Restoration
Mitchell & Hastings Financial
Worcester Youth & Family Services
Ocean City Kitchen, Bath & Appliances
OC Today/Flag Publications

More 30 years
Marlene Ott - Berkshire Hathaway
Choptank Electric
Worcester County Board of Education

Q & A with the Outgoing Chair and Long Time Chamber Director,
Celeste Miller

What year did you first serve on our Board of Directors?
I became a Board member in November 2011.

What prompted you to be interested in our chamber and being a Director?
I had been a member of the OP Chamber for over 10 years prior to becoming a Board member. To be honest Terri Mahoney was the President of the Chamber and she asked me if I would be interested and I said yes. I always felt it was important to be a member of the OP Chamber, I spent 10 years working for Taylor Bank and was at their OP Branch for the last few years of my employment there and made many connections both with the OP residents and the OP business community. 

What has your partnership with our chamber done for you as a Vice President at Farmers Bank of Willards?
It has done many things, including, staying connected to my peers, making new business connections, forming amazing friendships, connected with many of the Chamber partners on a business level whether it be using their services or they used the services Famers Bank has to offer.

What is your proudest moment as a Director?
I have to say it is true that the worst of times can be the best of times. It would have to be staying committed to the Chamber and the Chamber partners a couple of years ago when the Chamber hit a rough spot. The way the Board banded together to keep the Chamber alive and the way the partners continued to stay committed to the Chamber and believed it was vital to organize and worth fighting for.

What do you feel has been the greatest achievement the chamber has had during your tenure?
I don’t think I could take full credit for any of the achievements the chamber has experienced during my tenure. It has truly been such a team effort. I would have to say as a team during my tenure it would have to be the reorganization that took place a couple of years ago, and all the many incredible things that grew out of that.

How would you like the chamber to be perceived 5 years from now?
I would like to think that the chamber would continue to be perceived as the go-to for the local business community, and residents of Ocean Pines, but more than that to broaden that statement to be the go-to chamber for all of Worcester County. We really are such a tight-knit area. I feel we already are coming out of the mindset that we are the little Chamber that could. 😊

Any parting words?
It has been an absolute pleasure to be a part of the OP Chamber Board! Although I will be stepping off the Board next year I am looking forward to continuing to partner with the OP Chamber in the years to come.

THANK YOU Celeste for your guidance, support, and leadership through the years!
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