Coastal Style Magazine en-US http://www.coastalstylemag.com Fri, 01 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0400 THE FAMILY BUSINESS Fri, 01 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Nick Brandi If you hear the name McCarthy on the Lower Eastern Shore, chances are you immediately think of McCarthy & Son Contracting, the local building...]]> If you hear the name McCarthy on the Lower Eastern Shore, chances are you immediately think of McCarthy & Son Contracting, the local building company that has been a Best of the Eastern Shore winner each year of the competition’s five-year history — a distinction that only a handful of entities can claim. But while the company’s founder, Kevin McCarthy, has worked tirelessly to establish his namesake company’s exemplary reputation for excellence and customer satisfaction, scratching the surface of his family reveals that its members have each followed in the footsteps its patriarch. In fact, every member of this dynamic, entrepreneurial family is hard at work, making their own indelible mark on the community. It is not only a story of success on multiple levels but one of loyalty and mutual support that leaves each feeling there isn’t a whole lot they can’t accomplish.

Kevin gained his industry-leading expertise literally from the ground up — doing masonry work at age 14. Following an extensive and arduous apprenticeship, he was ready to hang his own shingle in 1980, when McCarthy & Son Contracting was born. He turned to homebuilding in the late 1980s and really hit his stride, rapidly rising to the top of his field. With skills and reputation well in hand, he relocated to the Eastern Shore in 2002 with his wife, Mia, and young family. As the clan set down roots, Kevin expanded McCarthy & Son Contracting to include home improvement, from complete-gut renos on multimillion dollar homes to upgrading a single bathroom or adding a porch, patio or pavilion. Always the master mason, Kevin still does more than his share of fireplace, firepits and custom hardscaping work for grateful clients across the Eastern Shore. Just as impressive, nearly 100 percent of Kevin’s workforce are full-time, year-round employees, with an average tenure of 15 years, many longer.

“I think part of being a responsible business owner not only involves service to the community but also a commitment to establishing and maintaining a workforce that can feed their families and build futures as a result of the collaborative work you all do together, Kevin said. “That’s how you build communities that stick together and prevail through every kind of situation and challenge.”

This philosophy — along with talent and lots of hard work — has helped Kevin and McCarthy & Son Contracting adapt to and succeed in every economic climate. Along the way, he learned that he possessed an innate talent for design, such that these days a large part of his new business is as a design consultant, which has saved his many clients countless thousands in extra fees. “I find I really enjoy the creative side of the business,” Kevin said. “It’s not new to me anymore, but it feels new with each new job I get.”

Mia McCarthy, meanwhile, was raised in Howard County, “across,” as she whimsically put it, “the other side of the railroad tracks” from where Kevin was raised. She had met Kevin in 1987, and they were married two years later. A natural union, Mia was as naturally predisposed to entrepreneurship as her new husband was, so it came as no surprise when she launched Simply the Best maid service out of Ellicott City. As with Kevin’s sole proprietorship, Mia’s business thrived, winding up with more than 300 clients and 15 employees. She earned her real estate license in 2004, two years after relocating to the Shore, and in 2011 joined what is considered by many locals to be the premier residential real estate company in Worcester County, The Mark Fritschle Group, Condominium Realty, LTD. Since then, Mia’s career has thrived, along with that of her employer — which was not only named Best Real Estate Company in Worcester by Eastern Shore voters but also saw more than twice the sales volume in 2016 of the No. 2 office of its kind. When asked why she’s done so well in real estate sales, Mia looks to her background as the owner-operator of a small business. “I think I’ve done well in real estate because running a business had taught me how to solve problems and overcome obstacles,” Mia said. “I’ve applied that to my real estate career, such that I’m now known to be a problem solver, which is a quality both sellers and buyers appreciate.”

They say that often, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and this would certainly seem to apply to Kevin and Mia’s daughter Kelsey. The 26-year-old Stephen Decatur and Wor-Wic graduate (with a business-management degree) was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug back when she was 15, as the sole proprietor of her own — what else? — cleaning service (just like her mom), which, say Mia and Kevin laughingly, they don’t like to broadcast too loudly because they’re not entirely sure it was legal at the time. What the proud parents do tout, and rightly so, is that while other adolescents her age were spending summers reveling in the sun of their world-famous beach community, Kelsey was sweating indoors, often by herself, earning money and building a career. In fact, young Kelsey worked every summer until she was 20 and went on to earn her real estate sales license.

Sure, Kelsey’s career path in the early days tracked her mother’s, but Kelsey also has her dad’s creativity, which was crystal clear once Kelsey picked up a camera, back in freshman year of high school. A love affair with the shutter immediately ensued, and today, Kelsey is the owner of McCarthy Imagerie, a photography company that specializes in everything from engagements, weddings and family portraits to real-estate, product and editorial photography.

Wife and mother of three, Mia and Kevin’s daughter Jamie Walsh, 34, is just as dynamic as her sister. Like Kelsey, Mia trained Jamie to be independent and self-sufficient from early on, resulting in Walsh All-Clean, which Jamie launched in 2011. Despite having her own family of four to look after, the perpetually upbeat Jamie manages Walsh All-Clean so efficiently, there is a new-client waiting list for her company’s services that spans both Worcester and Wicomico Counties. Life is good these days for Jamie and her husband, Chris, who runs his family’s second-generation company, Walsh Home Improvement, which handles all aspects of home improvement, from A to Z.

Though all seven of Kevin and Mia’s beloved grandsons display the classic McCarthy precociousness, so far it is 11-year-old Gunner who has stepped forward as the third generation of McCarthy entrepreneur. He has already taken an active interest in his granddad’s contracting business and is learning the trade on-site, hands-on, with Kevin as his mentor. 

You, too, can get in on the McCarthy family vibe. Each summer, Kevin and Mia retreat to the compact mobility of their RV and VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) their beautiful 3,100 sq. ft. home in Berlin’s coveted South Point to vacationers throughout peak season. Built by Kevin himself, the 5-BR, 3.5-bath masterpiece on two levels sleeps 14 and sits on a half-acre plot just 1.5 miles from Assateague. Contact Mia at 443-497-0182 or email her at AssateagueOasis@yahoo.com for more information.
 

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> 5e584ec51714cf8f7494b87e35dddb4a RIGHT AT HOME ]]>
CASTLES IN THE SAND Fri, 01 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Nick Brandi New Jersey transplant Ron Zaleski has built five houses in his lifetime. But Ron is not a builder. Instead, he is a recently retired insurance...]]> New Jersey transplant Ron Zaleski has built five houses in his lifetime. But Ron is not a builder. Instead, he is a recently retired insurance executive who built his last — and likely greatest — house in Ocean Pines Tern’s landing. Fittingly, it is the centerpiece of this year’s Sand Castle Home Tour, and it is a sight to behold.

The 5,500 sq. ft. home of Traditional design is a lot of space for him and his spouse, Carla, but it’s not just for themselves that he conceived it. It is, however, just the right amount of space for the Zaleskis and their four kids and five grandkids, who have descended upon the property like lemmings since it was finished earlier in the year. (“I think Carla and I have had the house all to ourselves for a grand total of three days since we took occupancy,” laughs Ron, adding that the couple wouldn’t have it any other way.) The striking home is the masterwork of Gary James’ T&G Builders in Ocean City, which is locally renowned for its precision and quality when it comes to upscale custom construction. For this particular property, Zaleski tore through literally hundreds of floor plans before arriving at a final medley of design concepts that were borrowed from and skillfully integrated by T&G as a seamlessly homogeneous yet unique floor plan.

Visitors and tourgoers will be struck immediately by the large eat-in kitchen, which includes a granite-topped 6’x 3’ center island with matching countertops that possess beige, gray and russet veins that beautifully complement the cherry-wood cabinetry that resides over them. The gourmet gas range with cooktop and pot fillers is by KitchenAid, and the four-door stainless-steel Chef refrigerator is by Samsung. This kitchen also boasts some special features, including a large hidden pantry and a bi-level 10’ bar that guarantees no one in the family will ever go thirsty. The space literally sparkles, thanks in part to custom backsplashes with inlaid mosaic glass tiles in multiple colors. Note the wood drawer dividers and the microwave, which is tucked away in a Bosch drawer.

Off the kitchen, triple French doors lead to an amazing 55’ deck with wood-simulated stamped concrete that simultaneously serves as the platform for a restful screened-in porch.

The easy-flow floor plan also provides for a sumptuous formal dining room, all the more resplendent for the solid-wood Mediterranean-style dining table for six, with matching chairs, buffet and hutch — all cherished heirlooms from Ron’s mother.

The first-level great room is yet another treat. The rounded wall with six large water-view windows admits lots of bay sunlight to illuminate the earth-tone seating surfaces and hardwood flooring. The motif is capped regally with 9’ ceilings that support the 6” crown moldings that appear throughout the first level.

Not to be outdone by its surroundings, the first-level master suite has a grand double-door entrance and sitting area, with more crown moldings, a tray ceiling, large walk-in closet and a bank of three water-facing windows and discrete deck access. The room’s master bath has a tiled double-shower with bench and oil-rubbed bronze fixtures (which are deployed throughout the home, except for the kitchen). There is also a soaking tub that sits beneath a glass-brick window and his-and-her sinks ensconced in rich quartz countertops.

The study, Ron’s escape, is appropriately dignified, with double glass doors, bookcases, a desk with leather chair and a wainscoting motif at the chair-rail level.

The home’s second level is accessed via front and rear staircases, the former sporting oak rails and iron spindles, with oak treads and white risers, while the rear steps are carpeted. On your way up, take note of the foyer chandelier, which is hung on an electronic winch that raises and lowers to facilitate cleaning.

The upstairs great room was created with grandkids in mind, as reflected in the carpeting (which lines virtually the entire upper level) and the video and associated electronics devoted to youth entertainment. The second-level master suite, meanwhile, is known as the Princess Room and has a king-size bed, walk-in closet and vanity, with more quartz sinks in its master bath. Two hotel-suite-style bedrooms with adjoining bath complete the guest accommodations.

The pièce de résisitance, though, must be the custom-built media room by Electronic Interiors in Ocean City. With three-tiered plush, electronically controlled stadium seating for eight, the sumptuous entertainment venue features a 90” 4K screen, premium surround-sound system, with refrigerator, sink, quartz countertops, popcorn maker and floor lighting, all within gold walls. Add to these amenities a fully automated smart-home system for climate control, lighting and electronics, as well as multiple attic-storage chambers, and it’s easy to see why this grand residence is the capstone of the 2017 Sand Castle Home Tour.

 

Editor’s note: The 13th annual Sand Castle Home Tour will feature 10 beautiful homes in the Ocean City area. Proceeds from the self-guided tour benefit the Art League of Ocean City. For more information, call 410-524-9433. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sept. 22 & 23. Tickets are $30 per person.

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PRIVATE PARADISE Fri, 01 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Jonathan Westman Wes Novelli is constantly challenging himself creatively. The owner of Hardscapes, Inc. never rests until a project is completed to the ultimate...]]> Wes Novelli is constantly challenging himself creatively. The owner of Hardscapes, Inc. never rests until a project is completed to the ultimate satisfaction of the homeowners — and his own incredibly high standards. His passion for evolving his craft through his innovative designs and use of modern materials and state-of-the-art technologies have earned Hardscapes, Inc. Best Hardscaping Company in Worcester County honors in Coastal Style Magazine for three consecutive years.

It’s not surprising, then, that a recent West Ocean City project included a custom combination of fire and water features with designated seating all-in-one — something Novelli had never attempted before. 

“The ‘Wow factor’ is different for the customer than it is for me,” said Novelli, whose business operates in the counties of Worcester, Wicomico and Sussex. “It’s important to me to incorporate elements, like this propane firepit-waterfall-ottoman combo, for example, that impresses the homeowners and their guests, but also pushes the levels of our originality and creativity as a company.”

Homeowners Mike and Jennifer Ciorrocco chose Wes to transform their backyard, based upon his excellent reputation with friends and colleagues who hired him previously. Their decision was reinforced after seeing examples of his work in person and on social media. 

“Our primary goal was to create an outdoor space that was functional for both children and adults,” Jennifer said, “in an area we could use to entertain, but also for relaxing evenings at home. We had confidence in Wes from the start.”

Novelli and his team completely renovated the space, which offered challenges due to its overall footprint and the property’s proximity to the protected wetland areas, into a beautiful backyard oasis with visual and functional features in every direction. Wes’ custom creation tops the list. 

Strategically positioned at one end of the design, the propane firepit frames the new concrete swimming pool perfectly and provides Mike and Jennifer the ideal place to unwind on a cool evening, a gathering area while entertaining and a S’mores zone for their children, Nicholas and Sophia. The waterfall adds complementary aesthetic value, too. The mechanics of the design were a bit tricky, Wes noted, but came seamlessly together during construction.

Novelli maximized every foot of available space to allow the Ciorroccos ample entertaining space, whether by the pool or in a recessed nook that’s now decorated with cozy furniture and outfitted with a large-screen TV.

The use of smart-technology LED lighting allows the backyard to change personalities after the sun sets and is completely controlled by Mike and Jennifer’s cell phones via WiFi.

Wes complemented the network of reliable and professional contractors who worked together with Hardscapes, Inc. to finish the project in just six short weeks, including Trond’s Pool Care, Salisbury Brick, Ruppert Fence, Carpentry by Masix, Inc., Pemberton Appliance and Electronic Interiors.

“We couldn't be any happier with the outcome of our outdoor living space,” said Mike, who’s well-known for his work as the Mid-Atlantic Division Manager Universal Mortgage & Finance, Inc. “Wes listened to our suggestions and created a vision that exceeded our expectations.” 

 

HARDSCAPES, INC.
410-202-6895    WesNovelli.com

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> 523bd8e1c37cd4b255c16cf28865d487 RIGHT AT HOME ]]>
DIVINE DESIGNS Fri, 01 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Jonathan Westman Kendall Furniture’s Adele Zaniewski exudes the qualities of a person you’d hope to have as your next-door neighbor. She’s kind, compassionate,...]]> Kendall Furniture’s Adele Zaniewski exudes the qualities of a person you’d hope to have as your next-door neighbor. She’s kind, compassionate, thorough and trustworthy. Her interior design talents align perfectly with her personal traits — a combination that has earned her Coastal Style’s Best Interior Designer in Worcester County honors each of the past three years. It also is a key component in Kendall Furniture’s ability to design and decorate entire homes for their clients.


SUNSET SPECIAL
Mike and Kim Curcio, a busy professional couple from New Jersey, purchased a spacious retreat to enjoy with their large family in Ocean City’s idyllic bay-front community of Sunset Island. When the precious, and all-too-rare, opportunity allows them to get away and relax for a few days, you’ll find them here. The Curcios chose Kendall Furniture to decorate their vacation home based on the glowing reviews of other community residents who had worked with owner Joe Kendall and Adele in the past. 

“I remember Mike and Kim coming in on a Sunday, dressed to enjoy a relaxing day at the beach,” Adele recalled. “I knew they didn’t want to spend a lot of time in our showroom, so I showed them a selection of five fabrics in varying color palettes. I asked them, as I do all of our clients, to remove two that they didn’t love. I then encouraged them to take their favorites back to their residence and place them in various rooms, to get a true feel for the colors in different lights and times of day. Kim then said, ‘No, that won’t be necessary. This is the one.
I’m certain of it.’”

With that, the Curcios were off the beach and Adele had new clients to get to work for. Their color selections included a very coastal-inspired palette of turquoise, lime green and splashes of gray. In addition to designing each room, including the bathrooms, Adele was charged with incorporating window treatments, bedding selections and choosing the appropriate art and hanging each piece on walls throughout the home, among other duties. 

“We communicated frequently by email,” Adele recalled, “but Mike and Kim really allowed us to do our thing. I love working this way. It’s like decorating a model.”

In the master suite, Kim threw Adele a curveball, so to speak, with the selection of a plum (between purple and lavender) color to make the central theme of the space. 

“I don’t work with this color very often, but it’s what she wanted, so we were going to make it work,” Adele said. “And I have to say, I underestimated the power of plum! Your eye is immediately drawn to the fabrics and the complementing accessories in that room. I’ve shown many people this space, and they absolutely love it.”

Another highlight of the Curcios’ design is the upstairs bedroom of teenage son Chris. 

“It’s a nautical theme that also presents itself very patriotically through the red, white and blue palette,” Adele said. “It’s really neat and turned out wonderfully.”

The project, Adele stated, took several months from start to finish and was a wonderful project to direct. For her, the most gratifying element came when the Curcio family returned to the home for first time after its completion.   

“It’s very much like a reveal on an HGTV program,” Adele said. “It’s so amazing. The look on their faces reminds me of Christmas morning.”

Readers can see the Curcios’ Sunset Island property as part of the 13th annual Sand Castle Home Tour, September 22–23.

 

“DREAM-SICLE” 
Look no further than next door to the Curcios’ home for another stunning example of Kendall Furniture’s design talents. Gary and Robin Houston of Baltimore also worked with Joe, Adele, Donna Ware and McKena Cooke,
who combined their talents to create a gorgeous, upscale, modern coastal look throughout their entire Sunset Island home.    

“Gary and Robin are a delightful couple who are very detail-oriented,” Adele said. “They even brought samples of their granite and tile selections to our West Ocean City showroom to ensure they complemented their color palette of crèmes, tangerines and grays. It’s great to clients highly involved in the design process, too. We often texted after business hours about various aspects of the project.”

The home’s open floor plan unities the living room, dining room and kitchen and is one of Adele’s favorite spaces in the residence. Highlighted by handsome furniture selections from Lexington and finished with pristine chandeliers and pendant lighting, this space looks like it came directly out of the pages of Architectural Digest, Adele said. Every appointment is perfectly reflected in Adele’s design, including a fun infusion of personality through a custom creation by local artist Patty Falck. Her creamsicle painting, which adorns a wall in the living room, offers a strategic blast of color and cleverly incorporates the Houston family name on its stick.  

“Because this is their dream home at the beach, the Houston’s affectionately nicknamed the home Dreamsicle. It’s so neat for them to personalize their space in such a fun way,” Adele said.

The Houston’s welcome their children, Chase, Jordon, Ashley and Sonny, and their families to the beach often. The fourth floor was designed specifically for them and includes personalized bedrooms for their grandchildren. 

“It is a very special home,” Adele said. “It is very unique and branded perfectly to their personality.”

 

SEA-ING IS BELIEVING
At the Sea Watch condominium in Ocean City, Adele conquered yet another whole-house design project — and her fear of heights — in the process. Homeowner Stanley Snow of Potomac, Md., was referred to Kendall Furniture by OC Kitchen & Bath, the contractors who installed its new kitchen. His unit on the 19th floor was in the midst of a complete overhaul, and he wanted Kendall’s to “take the ball and run with it,” so he could one day surprise his wife, Nina, and their three children with a completely remodeled, furnished and decorated beach home. 

The renovation plan was significant and included the addition of another level as the master bedroom and living room were incorporated in the floorplan. 

Adele and Stanley, who was able to personally be on-site during a few occasions to monitor construction, communicated frequently by email during the project. They selected a primary palette of gray and navy with hints of yellow for main areas, while corals and teals were used in the master/
living room space. 

In the children’s rooms, Stanley and Adele jointly decided on mermaid theme highlighted with pink and lime-green colors for his daughter, and his son’s room incorporated a nautical design accentuated with anchors and featured blue and gray tones.

Adele selected new furniture for the entire residence and also chose attractive Hunter Douglas Nantucket sheers, operated by remote control, to allow the Snows both uncompromised views and complete privacy with the push of a button.

The big reveal, which took place this past Father’s Day weekend, was an amazing experience,” Adele said. “It was met with her complete satisfaction. What a wonderful adventure that project was.”

 

DIVERSITY IN MOTION
Kendall Furniture’s team of designers work on multiple projects simultaneously, thanks in part to the company’s incredible selection of the latest styles of furniture, mattresses, window treatments, rugs and accessories. Three convenient locations in West Ocean City, Fenwick Island and Selbyville provide over 25,000 square feet of beautiful showrooms to inspire even the most discerning tastes. Kendall Furniture has earned its reputation for quality, value and good, old-fashioned customer service during their 13 years of operation locally. Their no-commission, no-pressure staff is experienced in design and sales and ready to help make furniture buying easy.

“In our showrooms, you can see it, touch it and feel it,” Adele said, “which allows our clients to envision the finished environment in advance. It takes the worry out of the process for them. We’ve done complete whole-home decorating services so often, we have it down to a science.” Kendall’s even works exclusively with local artist Chris Klink, to provide clients custom paint, stripping and mural options to accent their homes. 


 

THE POWER OF TEAMWORK
“Adele Zaniewski: Truly an angel in this world,” Joe said. “She’s been with me going on 13 years, and she was my first hire here. Her spirit is unbelievable, and her passion for helping people make their dreams come true is unparalleled. I can’t say enough nice things about her. I’ve just never met a person who cares so much for people as much as Adele does. But that’s truly how she approaches every day.”

“Joe has provided me an opportunity to thrive in my role here at Kendall Furniture,” Adele said. “He has trusted me to create our custom-design service department. We’re a great team at Kendall Furniture. I love it, and I’m very blessed.”  

 

MEET NORMAN
Affectionately known as the Shutter King of Delmarva, Kendall recently partnered with Norman Window Fashions to showcase the company’s innovative and patented designs, which combine beauty, functionality and affordability. As the largest manufacturer of window blinds in the world, Norman backs their products with lifetime warranties — a pledge Joe said was crucial to his decision to carry and promote them. 

“It was a very important part of our association,” Kendall said. “I definitely wasn’t going to sacrifice my reputation to sell someone’s blinds to make a quick buck. But Norman isn’t just someone. They’re widely regarded as the best in
the industry — and offer comparable products to their competitors at a 30 percent savings. My promise to them was that I would spearhead the program, and that meant I would be the one handling sales appointments, measuring and estimating.” 

Kendall said he took on this added responsibility to promote a pioneering company, provide his customers access to state-of-the-art technology and, most important, save them money. Kendall Furniture’s association with Norman also meant that Joe and his team of installers would have to meet their standards, as well — and they did so following the completion of four days of training to become certified by the company.

 

KENDALL FURNITURE EXPANDS AGAIN 
Joe, a 30-year veteran of the furniture industry, is constantly analyzing the local and regional landscape to determine options to provide additional value and services to his new clients and loyal customer base. His latest endeavor is the creation of a stunning 5,000 sq. ft. mattress center at his Selbyville location.

“Tempurpedic, Sealy and Sterns approached us with the opportunity to serve as a new distribution point in the Ocean City/Fenwick market,” Joe said. “They visited a lot of furniture stores and chose us because of the high-quality and professionalism of at Kendall Furniture. We’ve hired Bethany Bruning, a former manager/trainer for a mattress chain, to manage this store for us — and she’s taught us a lot. Just imagine the knowledge she’ll share with our customers. Bethany has embraced “The Kendall Way,” not the commission-way of her former employer, and she’s been fantastic. Ironically, she even has a daughter named Kendall, so we feel like her joining our team was meant to be.”


 

KENDALL FURNITURE
410-213-2520       OCKHF.com

West Ocean City, Selbyville and Fenwick Island Showroom Locations

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WEALTH MANAGEMENT'S ALL-STAR TEAM Fri, 01 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Jonathan Westman The Eastern Shore is not only one of the most desirable places to live in the country, it’s also home to a substantial collection of highly...]]> The Eastern Shore is not only one of the most desirable places to live in the country, it’s also home to a substantial collection of highly successful and affluent entrepreneurs, corporate executives and professionals. Their financial matters are vast, and their investment strategies are complex, all of which require dedicated wealth-management specialists to handle their affairs. 

For more than 20 years, the Merrill Lynch Wealth-Management team of Selzer & Associates has established a longstanding reputation for its ability to work directly with clients of substantial means. Based in West Ocean City and licensed in all 50 states, Christine and Brian Selzer specialize in custom income strategies and asset management for their clients. Their knowledge of portfolio diversification, estate planning and business-succession platforms, as examples, assist in administering educated, thorough and confidential management of the wealth entrusted to them. 

To this end, the team of Selzer & Associates has expanded through the hiring of veteran Wealth-Management Advisor Les Dennis and is currently welcoming new clients with significant capital. Qualified candidates must possess a minimum investment capability of $250,000.   

Christine Selzer, CFP®, is the Vice President and Senior Resident Director of wealth management of the firm. Highly educated and respected, Christine launched her wealth-management career with Edward Jones in 2000. Since arriving at Merrill Lynch in 2006, Christine has dedicated herself to serving generations of clients as their lives evolve. Christine is also a Certified Financial Planner and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Corporate Communications from the University of Baltimore and a Master of Science degree in Marketing & Finance from Johns Hopkins University.

Christine’s husband and colleague, Brian, is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor and Senior Financial Advisor who began his financial services career in 2005 and arrived at Merrill Lynch in 2006. Now in his 11th year with the firm, Brian helps clients determine the purpose of their wealth and the possible effects of various strategies on family members. He then provides investment recommendations for retirement and college savings, as well as social security and income-generation strategies. Brian attended Green Mountain College in Vermont. 

Selzer & Associates’ investment philosophies are centrally focused with those of their clients and open communication between the two parties serves to determine a balance of prioritized goals, future aspirations and risk tolerance. The Selzer & Associates Wealth-Management team further assesses their strategies by utilizing the Monte Carlo Simulation, a statistical formula that analyzes over 75,000 historical market cycles to calculate each portfolio’s probability of success. This data serves to as crucial information in determining which investment strategies are best suited for the client.  

“Other firms tend to use one model of investment as their general practice, but we actively manage our clients’ portfolios to best serve their financial needs,” Christine said. “It is a fluid process that includes current market factors and diversification through a number of products, including stocks, Maryland Municipal Bonds, Exchange Traded Funds, Mutual Funds and Market Linked Investments, for example, to align our clients’ assets strategically to their goals.”

Selzer & Associates’ talents are diversified, as well, to provide their clients multiple layers of guidance, including holistic planning for needs associated with insurance, accounting and estate planning; current trend and market-cycle analysis; and annual portfolio evaluations. The firm makes quarterly calls to clients and hosts semiannual to annual face-to-face meetings to discuss current needs and any potential modifications to their long-term goals.

Selzer & Associates also connects personally with their clients and families, hosting groups at Delmarva Shorebirds games and their annual crab feast.

Christine and Brian’s growing client base necessitated the addition of another key contributor to their team, and after a lengthy interview process, they chose Les Dennis to further assist enhance the firm. The addition of Dennis, a highly credentialed and experienced financial advisor celebrating his 20th year in wealth management, further enhances the services Selzer & Associates provides its clients. Les operates with the goal to enhance a client’s full balance sheet, from investments to credit and lending (through Bank of America, N.A.). With broad knowledge of risk management, business-succession and estate-planning strategies, land- and property-exchange tactics, phantom-interest and taxation strategies, Les often aligns his efforts with those of the firm’s specialists, and clients’ CPAs and attorneys.

Client associate Melanie Konoski has been with Bank of America and Merrill Lynch for more than 30 years and serves as the “point person” for clients’ administrative and account needs. Melanie brings her experience and energy to the office each day — delivering on the group’s commitment to provide clients with an exceptional measure of personal attention.

Outside the firm, Christine and Brian are dedicated advocates of a host of local charitable organizations, including Junior Achievement, the American Cancer Society and its Relay for Life initiative, Habitat for Humanity and the Worcester County Veterans’ Memorial (both of their fathers are military veterans). 

“We feel a commitment, too, to expose our sons to the importance of giving back to the community,” Christine said.

During the summer months, you can most often find the Selzer family at the Berlin Little League complex, cheering on Hunter, 15, and Ashton, 11, who are excellent baseball players, and teammates. Brian and Christine have been avid supporters and volunteers of the popular local organization for many years and make an annual family trip to Williamsport, PA, to enjoy the Little League World Series or to watch their beloved Orioles in Baltimore.


 

MERRILL LYNCH WEALTH MANAGEMENT 
SELZER & ASSOCIATES

410-213-8520   FA.ML.com/Selzer_Associates

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HISTORY'S HOME Fri, 01 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Brian Shane Mike DiPaolo is giving a tour of the Lewes History Museum when he stops at an oversized black-and-white photo hanging from a wall. It’s a candid...]]> Mike DiPaolo is giving a tour of the Lewes History Museum when he stops at an oversized black-and-white photo hanging from a wall. It’s a candid portrait featuring a few uniformed members of a girl’s high school basketball team. DiPaolo, the museum’s curator, points out that the photo is from 1915. Then he goes deep. “We wanted a lot of faces looking back at you, so you realize you’re part of a continuum of life here in Lewes,” he said. “That was, what, almost 102 years ago? They probably had similar hopes and dreams. They thought that someone was cute, thought: What do I do next? They were just like you.”

As the longtime executive director of the Lewes Historical Society, DiPaolo seems to be guided and inspired by a notion many of us may overlook: that what we call history was the present-day for an earlier iteration of our collective selves. That we not only have the privilege to look back upon that history but, well, here we all are, already a part of it in the present.  That one day, there will be a new face standing here, perhaps in this very museum, talking about us.

So, for a town with a 386-year timeline, and only so much space to tell all those stories, the challenge is in the curating. There’s the early Dutch settlement that helped shape Colonial America. There’s the hardscrabble small town, firmly rooted in working on the water. Which events on the timeline get plucked from the continuum and placed under Plexiglas is DiPaolo’s decision, and it’snot easy to choose. “There’s a lot to see here,” he said. “A lot of different themes and a lot of different ideas we’re trying to get across. We’re trying to give the full picture of Lewes.”


THE PITCH
The old Lewes Public Library closed in 2015 when the town built a new one next door. DiPaolo said the old library had been an iconic community building, so city leaders wanted to ensure it would still be utilized in a public manner. They decided to solicit bids from interested parties to lease the space. The Historical Society’s pitch for a museum bested four other applicants, and after opening their doors on July 3, the community is now rallying around what DiPaolo calls a new “cultural campus,” one that includes a children’s learning garden and the head of the Junction & Breakwater Trail. “It was an amazing opportunity,” DiPaolo said. “It was a real need for the society, to have space for our materials. And it’s been fun to see it grow. When I was hired 16 years ago, I was the only employee. To be able to see the growth in an institution, to be able to do what this place has done, it’s very satisfying.” Officially, it’s the Lewes History Museum at the Margaret H. Rollins Community Center; a $500,000 lead gift from Rollins of helped to jump-start the museum from idea to reality in just nine months. 

A $3 million capital campaign is on track to be fulfilled by the end of this year, DiPaolo noted. The society invested about $800,000 on exhibits and renovations. Visitors certainly will notice the high level of presentation here. Lighting, displays, interactive exhibits all are all of a metropolitan quality, lending an instant authority to each display.


INSIDE THE MUSEUM
Exhibits begin with prehistory and a robust Native American presence. You’ll also see presentations on themes like maritime history, education, the Civil War, Beebe Hospital, and the agricultural history of Lewes. The museum explores the town’s earliest days, in the 1630s, as the Dutch settlement of Swanendael, a precursor to what later became the first town in The First State. When Lewes was formally surveyed in 1672, founders placed four stone monuments to mark each of the four corners of the new town. One such marker has survived the centuries (even after it broke into pieces when someone hit it with their car), and it’s on display here at the museum, where it sits out in the open; you can run your fingers across its ashen ridges.  

During America’s Colonial period, Lewes was a very important waypoint between New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk, during a time when travel was dominated by water. There was international intrigue afoot in Lewes when General George Washington sent Alexander Hamilton on a secret mission to meet here with a French count. By the 1980s, with the local economy struggling, Lewes was at a crossroads. Changes to fisheries meant fewer commercial fishing jobs. There was talk of installing a coal port on Cape Shores. The chamber of commerce even placed want ads seeking manufacturers who might be willing to relocate here.  

“This was the last throes of Lewes trying to hold on to its industrial past,” DiPaolo said. “If it had decided to become a coal port, we wouldn’t be here. This would be a very different place. The tourism economy really can’t coexist with heavy industry.” Slavery is a topic this museum tackles, too, in an unvarnished way. Part of the museum collection is a receipt from the sale of a slave boy and girl in 1830. “It was unfortunately a part of life here, and we wanted people to know that,” DiPaolo said. “Part of presenting history like this is confronting that. The best thing for us is to put this out here so people can have conversations about it. That’s what any good museum ought to strive for, is getting people to talk and think.”

Some of the artifacts on display have been in the Historical Society’s collection for quite some time, including a 600-year-old Native American dugout canoe, first unearthed in southeastern Sussex County, near Vines Creek. It also includes the museum’s most popular display to date: the town’s first jail cell. Cleverly mounted allowing visitors to walk behind its cast-iron bars, the exhibit is a magnet for smartphone selfies. 


WHAT’S NEXT
Coming in early 2018, the museum will open a kid’s discovery center in what used to be the former children’s wing of the library. DiPaolo said this section will be aimed at youths in the 3–11 age range. “I don’t want to set the bar too high,” he said, his voice echoing off the bare concrete floors and walls, “but think the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Real hands-on interactives for kids. There’s really nothing like this south of Wilmington. To have something like this for the beaches is remarkable.”

DiPaolo also credited the community’s true embrace of its deep history with the founding of the Lewes Historical Society in 1964. “It’s easy to look back now and see the seeds of this forming. The society, from the 1960s and ’70s into the ’80s, it was constantly beating that drum. And by the time Lewes was ready, the society was ready, and heritage tourism really became a part of Lewes,” he said. It’s challenging enough to tell the story of Lewes as it is, but the task would be nearly impossible to pull off without objects or images for display. For that reason, the museum actively encourages people to share what belongings they can.

“I firmly believe that organizations like this are the community’s memory, and we can’t do it without their help,” DiPaolo said. “Nobody wants to come in and read a giant wall of text. They want to see things. Whether they want to donate or lend, it would be wonderful to share with the community.”

 

The Lewes History Museum, located at 101 Adams Avenue, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

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> 3d69ee78a9e1355d6981cae843d93785 HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES ]]>
SEEING THE LIGHT OF DAY Sat, 01 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Nick Brandi If Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis was correct when he said that sunshine is the best disinfectant, then this bright and beachy dream house in...]]> If Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis was correct when he said that sunshine is the best disinfectant, then this bright and beachy dream house in Milton must be the nightmare of germs everywhere. This immaculate construction is the consummate work of T&G Builders in Berlin, and it is a sight to behold.

The semiretired healthcare executive and his educator wife searched extensively for just the right builder to completely restore the 1972-built elevated ranch, and when all was said and done, only T&G Builders made the grade. This was especially important for this property, which was nowhere near to code when T&G got their hands on it, so they brought the wrecking ball and basically started from scratch. Fortunately, they got a head start from their clients, who had drawn up architectural renderings that clearly delineated their goals.

“I’m not an architect,” said the client, “but I knew what I wanted and hoped T&G could get us there. Fortunately, T&G wasn’t deterred. In fact, they told me that since they are custom homebuilders, it was their job to create basically whatever my wife and I wanted.”

As he is from Connecticut, the client naturally wanted to incorporate the classic New England-beach-house theme, yet they also wanted to honor the traditions of the region and people who were welcoming them to their community. The result is something of a custom hybrid four-bedroom house that captures the best of both New England and the mid-Atlantic.

The vinyl-sided structure with wraparound porch and white trim tapers skyward to an amazing observatory cupola with working beacon set to maritime code and local ordinances. The home is engulfed by stunning water views, with Cape May, Cape Henlopen and the Atlantic providing maritime inspiration on a daily basis. The property even has immediate access to Broadkill Creek, where the owners and their son like to go crabbing on occasion.

All those views, and the light that accompanies them, are admitted to the interior through banks of big picture windows, suffusing it with a radiant ambience that regally complements the nautically themed interior color scheme, full of beiges and a broad palette of blues. Real-wood ceilings and custom-built trolley doors add authenticity to the ambience. A custom-designed fish tank, private tortoise room, cable railings, boat-cleat knobs and stair parts all represent finishing touches that float this design concept to the next level.

A spacious great room takes center stage on the first level. The open floor plan allows for the easy deployment of cushy yet washable Blue Denim sofas by Raymour & Flanigan in Wilmington, which also provided the Natural Denim chairs and cocktail table, while Creative Concepts in Lewes furnished the Summer Wind wheeled table in the dining area. Also in the dining area is a robust Simply Home 96” x 45” eucalyptus wood table for eight with wicker chairs over a sisal area rug. Completing the space is a generous kitchen area with a 4’ x 8’ new Corian island boasting a built-in wine fridge, from Cabinetry Unlimited in Selbyville, which provided all the cabinetry. The farm-style sink comes from Elegant Designs in Seaford (as do the bathroom sinks). Handsome subway-tile backsplashes and mosaic-tile wall are via Avalon Flooring in Wilmington, as is the ceramic 6-inch-panel driftwood flooring in gray that runs throughout the first level, which sports scads of genuine reclaimed wood that was retained from the previous owners. 

Upstairs, there is not only a great custom-designed four-bunk bedroom coated in Sherman-Williams’ Denim but also an intriguing study that features a handmade Maine driftwood desk from Etsy. The bright and airy master and guest bedrooms — both with varying shades of beige — have sliding-glass doors that lead onto private balconies.

The master suite features earthy Home to Grass wallpaper, which is made from a natural grass blend. Non-bedroom walls on the second level are bathed in a moody Storm Cloud shade, also from Sherman-Williams. 

The homeowner pointed out that his decision to acquire property in Delaware was reinforced by the people of the community itself, who he said were very supportive of what they were trying to achieve on the lot. This was in evidence when the owners attended a mandatory zoning hearing, to discuss the plans for the house and its conversion from a single-story ranch to a two-story structure. Not only did Gary James, president of T&G Builders, attend the meeting in Georgetown with the owners on his own time, several of their neighbors also attended and wrote letters of support for the project. All this for a pair homeowners who were brand-new to the area.

“We took this as a sign that our neighbors and the community wanted us here and respected what we were trying to do, which not only meant the world to my wife and me,” said the owner, “but made the region feel like home and where we were meant to be.

“It’s funny,” the owner continued, “people talk about a home as being turnkey, yet for us, the entire community was turnkey. You can’t ask for more than that.”  


T&G BUILDERS    
410-641-4076     TG-Builders.com

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> e142643975f8a2789d566f1029062487 RIGHT AT HOME ]]>
WELCOME TO CAMP BOBB Sat, 01 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Nick Brandi What do you get when you combine the talent of an elite Beltway interior designer with a very real need to accommodate her large family — all on a...]]> What do you get when you combine the talent of an elite Beltway interior designer with a very real need to accommodate her large family — all on a Bethany Beach plot that overlooks the ocean? The answer is a spectacular, one-of-a-kind beach home that not too surprisingly happens to be the centerpiece of the 2017 Friends of the South Coastal Library Beach & Bay Cottage Tour.

When Sandy & Stanley Bobb built the house in 1992, there were only eight family members to account for, including daughter Jodi. But while eight is enough, it ultimately proved to be only prologue to the onslaught of family that would follow. And that is why Jodi Bobb Macklin and her siblings pooled their resources and talents to create a loving, welcoming family getaway that is 21st-century friendly while preserving the traditions and institutions of the family she is proud to be part of to this day.

It was serendipitous that Jodi would be who she is when it came time to commit to the stem-to-stern renovation of the property. Turns out, Macklin is an elite and sought-after DC-area interior designer whose work has been featured in a variety of national and regional magazines. One of the capstones of her career was for her role as the designer assigned to renovate the $22 million “guesthouse” Evermay mansion in Georgetown, with Bethesda architect Jim Rill. 

With experience like that under her belt, tackling her 7,100 sq ft family home architecturally designed by SEA Studio, LLC of Bethany Beach, with its 10 bedrooms and 11 baths, was well within the reach of her ambitions. Thus, even a superficial glance at the spread screams “mission accomplished” at the bucolic ocean-side beach house, which now accommodates as many as 20 family members at a time, with Macklin, her parents and her siblings each having their own master suite to enjoy.

With all that activity year-round, the home needed to be “indestructible,” as Macklin put it. So the home now has a metal roof, not wood, and a paint job on the tough but decorative Azek exterior that will only have to be done once, rather than every year, which had been the case prior to the roughly eight-month renovation. The heavy lifting for the project was handled by Macklin’s longtime colleague Tim Tribbit, of Hickman Builders in Bethany Beach.

The kitchen of Camp Bobb, as the family affectionately refer to it, features two enormous 13-foot center islands decked out in Caesarstone, as are all the countertops, which are supported by laminate cabinetry provided by Sue Smith of Custom Cabinets in Delaware. Prefinished white-oak flooring appears in the kitchen, as it does throughout the open floor plan. The kitchen opens up to a screened-in porch with Phantom screens that raise to reveal spectacular views of the Atlantic, which the family revel in at every opportunity, according to Macklin. In fact, says Jodi, there are no conventional dining tables inside the home, as virtually every meal the family shares is had on the screened-in porch off the kitchen. 

Also off the kitchen awaits the great room, which features a state-of-the-art gas fireplace with hot-rolled steel wall input. Sectional seating — including a double-width chaise longue that can accommodate two, even three, people (which, Jodi says, the “little ones” take full advantage of for summertime siestas) — is provided by Montauk. Four bedrooms dwell on the home’s first level, two of which have private baths, plus a Jack-and-Jill and powder room.

With 10 bathrooms to deal with, a unique design concept for each was impractical. Thus each has penny rounds on the floor that showcase a different color — navy for the boys, turquoise for the girls -- with white-porcelain tiles of varying sizes and configurations on the walls of the showers. Durable area rugs from Dash & Albert in NYC grace the floors at strategic locations throughout the home.

With the constant flow of family members, plus friends and associates, there is a vibrant, upbeat vibe that suffuses Camp Bobb all year long. Does it ever get hectic? Macklin would admit that it does, but she would hasten to add that she wouldn’t have it any other way.


The 26th Annual Beach & Bay Cottage Tour will feature 10 exquisite homes on July 26 and 27, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are available online, at BeachAndBayCottageTour.com, at the South Coastal Library and at several shops in the Bethany-Fenwick area. As a bonus feature for tourgoers, local artists will donate an original piece of art to be raffled at the conclusion of the two-day tour.


Project Architect:
SEA Studio Architects
302-364-0821
SeaGreenStudio.com
 

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> 215b49ebfb8fb9b4d5fcb5300bd42967 RIGHT AT HOME ]]>
SHORE DECISION Sat, 01 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Jonathan Westman When entrepreneurs Rob and Sharon Knapp decided they were ready to relocate permanently from Northern Virginia to the Delaware coast, the transition...]]> When entrepreneurs Rob and Sharon Knapp decided they were ready to relocate permanently from Northern Virginia to the Delaware coast, the transition for the highly successful and organized couple would be a relatively smooth one. Sure, there would be more miles placed on their vehicles for work, but the idea of making their full-time home and offices in the tranquil beach region was too enticing. Add that they had purchased a prime waterfront lot in a secluded setting in Dagsboro and hired Echelon Custom Homes to design and build a stunning 5,800 sq. ft. home with an additional 1,700 sq. ft. of porches and deck space, and well, let’s all agree that they made the right decision, shall we?  

With architectural drawings in hand, Rob and Sharon now set off to find the perfect interior design firm to help the “sophisticated coastal casual” style come to life.

“This is the third Bethany-area home that we furnished over the years, so we had a good idea of the options and have visited all of the local furniture stores multiple times,” said Sharon, who’s an organizational-development-and-training consultant. 

The Knapps ultimately placed their trust in C&E Furniture in Fenwick Island, with which they had worked with on a previous project, albeit on a smaller scale. Together with its owner, Katie Winnington, and her talented design team, Rob and Sharon felt completely confident that they had made the right choice. 

“We felt that C&E understood the feeling that we wanted to create and had the experience to help realize our vision,” Sharon said. “We also wanted a long-term relationship with someone who was willing to work with us throughout the entire process of furnishing the home. We felt as though the C&E showroom really captured the look we were after. Others tend toward more beachy looks (lighthouse lamps come to mind) or traditional (mahogany comes to mind).” 

“We take great pride in our design services, and while we operate as a furniture store, as well, interior design is really our wheelhouse,” said Katie, who is a third-generation owner of C&E. “Initially, we like to get a feel for the design and scope of our clients’ projects. In this case, we were able to be there from the very beginning, because this home was new construction. This gave us the opportunity to create floor plans and envision design ideas based off the original blueprints and truly work one-on-one with the Knapps, to imagine how they would ultimately want to use and live in the house.” 

The Knapps’ three-level home is the definition of an open floor plan, as there are just eight distinct rooms in nearly 6,000 sq. ft. of space. On the main level, the space is completely open and emphasizes the panoramic views of the Indian River Bay. For some designers, this scenario would present significant challenges to create individual seating areas while seamlessly unifying the collective theme. Here, the C&E team strategically implemented complementary furniture, accessories and fabrics to accomplish the goal, which fits the Knapps’ style perfectly.

“This home has such an incredible outdoor space, and the main living area was so bright and open that we couldn’t help but want to bring the outside in by incorporating rustic textures, like reclaimed woods and jute rugs, and then by layering in a variety of coastal elements,” Katie said. “We also made sure to give a nod to the nautical nature of the space by adding pieces that accentuated navy and teal colors throughout and finishing it all off with a few woven details and  hints of contrasting metals.”  

This second level also includes a gorgeous and spacious professional-grade kitchen and adjacent dining area. Here and its connecting indoor-outdoor seating areas are where Rob and Sharon frequently gather with their daughters, Katie, 26, of Washington, D.C., who is also a consultant, and Emily, a 24-year-old photographer/producer living in New York City, and their friends, to catch up during visits.

“My absolute favorite place in the home is our kitchen on a weekend when all the kids are here,” Sharon said. “We’ve had 14 gathered around the island, creating clam chowder or clams casino from the clams they dug up from the bay a few minutes earlier.”

Upstairs, Katie and her team designed the Knapps’ master suite, which includes a handsome sitting area, with a warm, nautical vibe. Two additional bedrooms are each uniquely designed and furnished with attractive bedroom suits, accessories and colors. 

The first floor houses Rob and Sharon’s offices, each inspirationally designed and decorated to provide the ideal environments for productivity. An expansive, coastal-themed recreation room, complete with a pool table and large-screen TV, is the perfect hangout area for entertaining and watching sporting events. 

“The process of working with C&E was a blast!” Sharon said. “It was creative, collaborative, interactive, and the results show. They also worked within our budget and never tried to get us to spend more than we were comfortable with. We couldn’t be happier with C&E Furniture. We still enjoy going into the showroom to see what’s new. We would recommend them to anyone!”


C&E FURNITURE    
302-581-0132    
CEFurniture.com

 

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> e9f80e66f701289e69dfcdb3c6f7f634 RIGHT AT HOME ]]>
YUMI HOGAN Sat, 01 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Jonathan Westman When do you recall first being influenced by art and when did you first know that art would shape your professional career and help mold the...]]> When do you recall first being influenced by art and when did you first know that art would shape your professional career and help mold the individual you are today? 

I enjoyed drawing when I was young. My art teacher always praised my work and said that I was talented, so I started dreaming of becoming an artist. I grew up on a small chicken farm in South Korea as the youngest of eight children. After the Korean War ended, my family did not enjoy a prosperous life. I vividly remember walking two miles to school each way, since there was no bus available to us. Those walks, seeing the countryside and the beautiful Korean landscapes, are what inspired me to pursue my dream of becoming an artist, and they continue to inspire many of my works to this day. 

 

You proudly celebrate your Korean heritage in your art, even using Sumi ink and textured Hanji paper in your creations. Can you describe their significance in your homeland and their attributes?  

I generally paint abstract landscapes, mixing both Eastern and Western themes and techniques. I use traditional Hanji papers made from the mulberry trees, with Sumi ink, as well as mixed media. The climate and natural environment of my hometown and Maryland are very similar, so my artworks show my impression of South Korean and Maryland landscapes — the combination of Western and Eastern nature. 

 

In 2016, you were honored by the International Leadership Foundation as the recipient of their Inspirational Leader Award. This year, you were presented with the 2017 Ellis Island Medal of Honor. What do these distinguished awards mean to you personally, especially with respect to your heritage as the first South Korean-born gubernatorial first lady in United States history? 

As a first-generation Korean-American, I am truly honored and grateful to have received this recognition, as I believe there were many others who were very deserving. Now I have heavier shoulders. I immigrated to the United States over 36 years ago. I never thought I would be here today, and I am constantly amazed and incredibly grateful to find myself in this position. I am humbled to think that I can be seen as a role model for the Asian-Pacific American community, and I strive every day to serve all Marylanders and bring our many vibrant and diverse communities together.

 

You lead a tremendously busy and public life as Maryland’s first lady. How do you balance the continuous demands of that role with finding the time, peace of mind and creativity to paint on a regular basis?

I’m learning every day to balance my roles as a mother, grandmother, artist, teacher and first lady. Serving the people of our wonderful state is the greatest honor of my life, but I cannot forget who I was before I became Maryland’s first lady: I am a mother of three daughters, a grandmother to two grandchildren, a supportive wife and a passionate artist. I always say, “Before I am the first lady, I am an artist.” I always pay attention to the surrounding environment, and I try to draw or paint at every opportunity. I especially treasure my teaching position at MICA [Maryland Institute College of Art] because it gives me the opportunity to be myself and connect with my fellow artists. 

 

Your art is critically acclaimed and has been shown in galleries in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Canada and South Korea — all within the past 10 years. How have you grown as an artist during this time, and how has your work evolved? 

I am very grateful that I can continue to draw and paint and have been able to open a lot of exhibitions in different places. My art has always depicted my childhood memories and the natural landscapes of my hometown in South Korea and Maryland, which have a lot in common. Both places have four seasons and have regions with mountains, ocean and farmland. My work has always shown who I am and where I came from, as it does to this day. I never gave up on my dream and have steadily created artworks. Comparing my past artworks to my recent work, I would say my current artwork shows how I have matured as an artist. 

 

You debuted 17 new works in 2017, including several paintings that are part of a continuing series. Walk us through this journey in terms of how long the collection took to create. Is there a theme or connecting thread among them, or did each have an individual inspiration? Is there one that means the most to you? If so, why?
The collection took several months. It’s hard to choose one that means the most to me because my work is a series themed in nature, and each one has a precious meaning to me. One memorable part of this collection for me is that a number of the works incorporate the hanbok, the traditional Korean dress.  

 

As first lady, you have made it a priority to share your love of the arts with Marylanders of all ages through education. You serve as the honorary chair of the Council for Arts and Culture at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, working with the University and Baltimore City to promote the arts. Tell us about this experience and how the endeavor is being received. 

For the past two years, I have tried to use my background as an artist to help people and build bridges between Maryland’s diverse communities. Since November 2015, as the honorary chair of the Council for Arts and Culture at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, I have worked with the university community and Baltimore City to promote the arts. I have also taught cancer patients at the Wellness House of Annapolis and people with disabilities at Make Studio. Every May, I host the First Lady’s Mental Health Awareness Youth Art Display in Annapolis to mark Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week in Maryland, which highlights the expressive power of art for children and youth. My goal is to encourage young artists’ dreams and give them courage and hope, so I also host a biannual First Lady’s Art Gallery Student Artwork Exhibition.

 

After Governor Hogan was diagnosed with stage 3 non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2015, you became a strong proponent of art therapy and the positive impact it can have on one’s health and wellbeing. Through your work teaching art classes to patients with cancer and people with disabilities, how has art helped these individuals physically, emotionally and spiritually? 

During my husband’s treatment, we befriended many of the pediatric patients and their families while the children received care. I continue to pray for them every day. My heart was broken to see pediatric patients lying on the bed while other children their ages run around and are very active. Therefore, I was trying to think how I can help them get up from their beds, to be more active and enjoy their time. Art therapy brightens a light in the darkness. While they are drawing or painting, they can forget their pain and have hope and dreams. I believe in the healing power of arts and positive impact of art therapy, and I have taught art classes to patients with cancer and their families, and to people with disabilities. Art gives dreams and hope to all people regardless of age, cultural background or socioeconomic status. As a mother, artist and caregiver, I am working to partner with Maryland hospitals, to bring art therapy to pediatric patients across the state. 

 

In July and August, you are the featured artist at the Art League of Ocean City and its Center for the Arts. What can we look forward to during your show?

At least 27 artworks will be on display, some of which are my recent artworks, done this year. 2017 Artist Statement: Yumi Hogan Exhibition: Nature of the Alliance at the OC Center for the Arts. My artwork is my interpretation and abstract vision of the harmony of nature. We human beings are part of nature like cool breezes, trees and flowing water. I feel this existence in the meaning of nature through the freedom of movement and unstructured imagery. All of our lives are connected in this way. Some of my works depict the sudden change that has affected my life. I began to use more colors and lines. The flowing colors and lines represent a childhood memory of my mother and grandmother making silk fabrics, carefully moving each silk strand in the air. I am reminded of the soft, colorful strands, swaying with the breeze. This work is my interpretation and abstract vision of the harmony of nature. We human beings are part of nature, like cool breezes, trees and flowing water. All of our lives are connected in this way. Rather than replicate a scene, each of my paintings has no beginning, no end and no focal point but represents a continuous flow, as if wondering through a dream. It is my intent to make people feel and understand the breadth of nature through my works.

 

What lies ahead in the near future for you as an artist? Do you already know what you’d like to embark upon next, or will that come to you over time? 

I look forward to continuing to teach at MICA and to help those in need — including by sharing the gift of art — as first lady. As an artist, I always follow where inspiration takes me, and I will certainly continue to do so. Stay tuned!  

 

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MILLSBORO'S WEE TOUCH O’ ENGLAND, SCOTLAND & IRELAND ALL IN ONE Sat, 01 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400 The Rehoboth Foodie The stately Delaware Trust Bank building in Millsboro is no longer accepting deposits, but satisfied customers are still making daily withdrawals in...]]> The stately Delaware Trust Bank building in Millsboro is no longer accepting deposits, but satisfied customers are still making daily withdrawals in the form of unique menu items with an English/Irish/Scottish flair. Yes, I am aware that I stretched that metaphor about as far as it could be stretched, but it shouldn’t detract from The Pint’s popularity as a neighborhood watering hole touting tasty tidbits like Cock a Leekie, The O’Connor, the Thomas O’Malley and the decidedly Irish boxty. 

This is restaurant number two for 1776 Steakhouse co-owner Tom Holmes. He, along with talented chef and business partner Tammy Mozingo opened The Pint in 2013. Their first foray into pub-grub casual has been a great success. For my first couple of visits back then, I was able to slip in unnoticed (but not so much anymore). I sat at the bar and started with the Loch Ness. The Pint’s version of crab dip in a sourdough bowl got an A+ in the spice department. I was intrigued. A second visit yielded the Irish Stew. This stick-to-your-ribs recipe is loaded with onions, potatoes, parsley, carrots and ground lamb, deliciously savory with the spice throttled back just enough to let the lamb shine through.

One of the stars of the appetizer show at The Pint is the Dublin Cakes. These remind me of my mother’s ham croquettes: a go-to dish during her annual post-Easter “What the heck am I going to do with all this ham?” cooking spree. But rather than leftover pork lovingly enrobed in a mild béchamel, kitchen boss Darius Davis stuffs them with ground corned beef and swiss cheese, dredges them in seasoned bread crumbs and fries ’em up to a golden crunch. With the Thousand Island dressing on the side, it’s sort of like a reuben minus the sandwich part. Order them to share.

Another must-get are the equally filling Scottish Eggs. The two massive orbs (also eminently shareable) are nestled in frizzled onions. (It would be nice to put the frizzles on the top, so they would stay crispy.) That being said, it’s all about the egg: semi-hard-boiled, wrapped in a thin shell of sausage, dredged in a well-spiced something and then fried. Whole-grain mustard adds the necessary acidic kick. In a word: delicious. You can make a meal out of these.

The Cheshire Chicken reminded us of shepherd’s pie but without the mashed potatoes. Pulled chicken, caramelized onions and mushrooms in gravy are presented en casserole, topped with roasted garlic potatoes and bacon bits. Think deconstructed bacon/cheese potato skins — but with chicken. It’s deliciously seasoned, very rich and well worth the $14.95 tariff. Don’t plan to eat again for a while. Grilled Bangers & Mash and Hobbit Pie keep the whole theme going. The mains are often accompanied by a tasty (and not too dry) Irish soda bread.

Generously portioned sandwiches include the patty melt with two (count ’em, TWO) patties on marble rye; the Molly McGuire (a 10-oz. bacon cheeseburger by any other name) and The O’Connor (a BBQ-chicken bacon cheeseburger — all four basic food groups!). 

The thickest Irish accent in the house has got to be the boxty: A potato pancake made from mashed potatoes and grated raw potato — sort of like a hash brown/latke pancake. Really, what’s not to love? In Millsboro, they get the Pint-like twist in three varieties. The Leprechaun is my favorite, with olives, sausage, ’shrooms and swiss. But don’t overlook the Pierogi and the Thomas O’Malley, either. I’ll let you explore those on your own.

The hulking bank vault is still there, and if the tucked-inside table is available, go for it. It’s sort of fun, and don’t worry: There’s a doorstop to keep you from being trapped with Lucy until Monday morning, when Mr. Mooney arrives for work.

The Pint is located at 303 Main St., just past Georgia House and Blue Water Grill as you drive east through Millsboro. Front-of-house manager Candace Fiorentino keeps things hoppin’ year-round: 3:30 p.m.–10 p.m. Monday thru Wednesday; 11:30 a.m.– 10 p.m. Thursday thru Saturday, and 3:30 p.m.–9 p.m. on Sunday. Visit them online at ThePintPub.com. Going with a group? Call them at 302-934-5822.

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> c69dbdb28cdf3ce83ca6b57401ac561a FLAVORS ]]>
SLOW DOWN, KICK BACK AND ENJOY THE BIG CHILL BEACH LIFESTYLE Sat, 01 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400 The Rehoboth Foodie The Umbrella Deck at La Vida Hospitality Group and the Delaware State Parks’ Big Chill Beach Club opened on Memorial Day weekend, and this...]]> The Umbrella Deck at La Vida Hospitality Group and the Delaware State Parks’ Big Chill Beach Club opened on Memorial Day weekend, and this high-tech, family-friendly rooftop restaurant at the Seashore State Park south-side beach area is in full swing. La Vida Hospitality Group worked closely with the Delaware State Parks people to make the additions environmentally friendly while adding an enjoyable complement to the existing beach experience. Even in the rain, the place has been packed!

The centerpiece of the project is the $400,000 Umbrella Room. La Vida Hospitality boss Josh Grapski discovered this Austrian-made structure on a European ski trip. It made an immediate impression. The amazing piece of technology (delivered by ship in three massive containers) seats guests in total comfort around a circular bar with a 360-degree view of the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian River Inlet & Bay and the Indian River Inlet Suspension Bridge — bathed in cobalt blue at nighttime.

The motorized, 36’ diameter umbrella can be opened or closed (quite dramatically, by the way) depending on the weather. Speaking of weather, the structure can withstand 110 mph winds. Adjacent to the elevated restaurant deck there is a tented and floored wedding/event venue with the same panoramic view of the amazing natural resource.

Food-and-beverage service is executed under the watchful eyes of La Vida Hospitality’s Josh Grapski and Rock ’n’ Roll Chef to the Stars Billy Lucas. Taco Reho boss Lucas’ SoCal-inspired fare reflects a beachy theme with uncomplicated food that’s easy to take out or enjoy on the deck. Creative menu items include a selection of colorful ceviches, freshly made tacos, jerk chicken, tuna poke, steak frites and Billy’s famous Carne Fries, just to name a few. There’s even a raw bar adjacent to the umbrella room.

La Vida Hospitality and the Delaware State Parks gambled that this first-of-its-kind public/private partnership would attract even more visitors to the beautiful Indian River Inlet. We bet this endeavor will pay off handsomely for both. The Big Chill Beach Club is currently open for lunch and dinner, from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m., every day in season.


THE BIG CHILL BEACH CLUB    
302-402-5300     BigChillBeachClub.com

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> f85a77fcb08779034b2de5e0334ecb4f FLAVORS ]]>
THE REHOBOTH FOODIE'S BREAKING CHEWS Sat, 01 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400 The Rehoboth Foodie Lots of whining and wishful thinking in the Rehoboth area has finally brought about Minh’s Bistro — our first Vietnamese restaurant! By the time...]]> Lots of whining and wishful thinking in the Rehoboth area has finally brought about Minh’s Bistro — our first Vietnamese restaurant! By the time you read this they will either be open or very close to it. Make yourself known to owner (and professional actor/singer) Thinh Pham. He named the little spot after his youngest brother and plans on serving a wide array of Vietnamese favorites. Minh’s Bistro is next door to the Rosenfeld’s Jewish Deli #2 in the new Schell building at Rte. 24 in Rehoboth Beach, across from Royal Farms.


Though we mourn the demise of Meg Hudson’s Lula Brazil, the new G Cask & Kitchen has lit up the storied Cloud 9 building in the fourth block of Rehoboth Ave. Managing partner Karly Gamaitoni tells RehobothFoodie.com that her new restaurant offers an American menu with some Mediterranean flavors thrown in. Executive Chef Dennis Kuc is in the kitchen. BCG Management Group, of which Karly is a part, will offer late-night dancing with a greatly expanded wine list. G Cask & Kitchen is open every day 5:30-9:30 p.m., with dancing and cocktails until 1 a.m. Brunch on Saturday and Sunday is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Reservations are accepted, at 302-278- 7677.


Look closely next to the Safeway on Coastal Highway, and you will see the tiny, soon-to-open Miyagi Ramen Bar. Co-owner and host Jeong Hoon Kim (Remember him? The tall, silky-haired and rather inscrutable front-of-house host at Saketumi in Rehoboth?) is pleased to bring one of his favorite, entirely house-made dishes to the Cape region. There will be a selection of proteins to combine with your noodles, along with an extensive selection of veggie-only items. Kim made such an impression on Saketumi’s customers that owner Tammy Wang partnered with him on this exciting venture into noodledom. Prices will range from $8 to about $15. Kim chimes in: “It will be the essential neighborhood eatery.”


Josh Mellinger of LaVida Lekker LLC is overseeing the opening of a Makin’ Whoopie Pies franchise on the ocean block of Rehoboth Avenue where America’s Pie Pizza used to be. The concept has been well received so far. The freshly made DIY pies look good. The Rehoboth Foodie will, of course, have to investigate. (Note that LaVida Lekker LLC is not affiliated with La Vida Hospitality Group here in Delaware.)


People who love long lines already know that Agave, the popular Mexican tequila restaurant and bar at 137 Second St. in Lewes has finally reopened after a long and protracted remodel. Remember: Go early or late! This is one of the more popular eateries in Lewes, and even with the remodel, it’s still not all that big. Lines can be long during dinnertime, but trust me: The guacamole is worth the wait.

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THE REVIEW: CAFÉ AZAFRÁN Sat, 01 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400 The Rehoboth Foodie Let’s start this one off with a quiz. Question 1: Does anyone remember the polka-dotted Libby’s Restaurant (“pancakes with personality”) on...]]> Let’s start this one off with a quiz.

Question 1: Does anyone remember the polka-dotted Libby’s Restaurant (“pancakes with personality”) on Fenwick Island?

Question 2: How many remember the Libby’s at the corner of Rte. 24 and Coastal Highway in Rehoboth Beach? (Hint: Crabby Dick’s is there now.)

Both Libby’s are now history, but they gave rise to several present-day eateries owned and operated by the Steele family. When the Rehoboth Libby’s morphed into the Lamp Post Inn, a young Richard Steele was in the kitchen, earning his stripes as a chef and future restaurateur. When the Lamp Post eventually closed, Richard and his brother Mark opened Café Azafrán in Lewes. It was an instant hit, and the brothers thought the concept might be welcome in Rehoboth Beach. Yes, it certainly was, and still is.

Café Azafrán’s downtown Rehoboth Beach spot is now the only Café Azafrán location, after they closed the Lewes location in March 2014. But note the careful wording: There’s a happy catch that will be revealed! Read on.

Kitchen talent runs in the Steele family, and feedback about Café Azafrán has been consistently positive. The name is the Spanish word for saffron, the bright-orange and extremely expensive spice derived from the crocus plant. And it is absolutely necessary for making good paella.

One of the keys to the success of Café Azafrán is the selection of small plates, aka tapas. With choices to satisfy carnivores and vegetarians alike, it’s easy to make a meal out of two or three. And, indeed, Tapas Tasting Night specials offer a great selection of diminutive goodies at a reasonable price — even for the ocean block of Baltimore Avenue. Two of the Rehoboth Foodie’s pick hits include the short-rib sliders with caramelized onions, and the haricots verts (a French green bean extravaganza that involves bleu cheese, butter and hazelnuts. Beware: It’s addictive!). Another must-get is Café Azafrán’s veal sausage: simply delicious, surrounded by plump cannellini beans prepared baked-bean-style.

I have a similar reaction to the ricotta and spinach gnocchi (lubricated with sage butter and topped with pecorino cheese). Honorable mention must also go to the La Mancha plate, replete with a sandy brown Manchego, spicy chorizo, jamon Serrano (expensive Spanish ham) and Romesco salsa (a Catalonian preparation with tomatoes, peppers, toasted almonds and hazelnuts). In other words, pretty much everything is good.

And then there’s Paella Night! This bit of culinary theater combines good eatin’ with a cooking display worthy of anything on Food Network. Reservation-only ticketholders (it sells out quickly!) gather around Richard’s 48” paella pan to watch him build this traditional Spanish feast from scratch. The evening is fun from the moment the oil starts shimmering to when Steele tosses in the scallops and shrimp to finish the dish. It happens on Sundays and Wednesdays during the peak of the season — again, by reservation only.

Thursday nights come with a value-added in the form of singing bartender Holly Lane, accompanied on the keyboard by the talented and versatile John Francis Flynn. She takes orders, mixes drinks, chops fruit, rings up checks, pops tops, swipes credit cards and pours wine — all without missing a beat. She and Flynn have some magical connection through the ether that keeps them in sync. It’s a sight to behold and to be heard.

Okay, now for the promised reveal: As of a couple of weeks ago, the Steeles have returned to Lewes! After Patty’s carryout vacated the old Half Full spot next door to Azafrán’s original Market Street location, Richard fulfilled his dream of returning his first concept to Lewes. He’s calling it Olive & Oats, and the menu is almost identical to the original breakfast/lunch-centric fare that catapulted Lewes’ Café Azafrán into the mainstream so many years ago. Bagels, frittatas, pastries, salads, wraps and panini dominate the menu, along with Richard’s legendary baked oatmeal.

Café Azafrán is in downtown Rehoboth Beach at 18 Baltimore Ave. Olive & Oats is located at 113 W. Market Street in Lewes. I’ll say it once again, then you’re on your own: Call for reservations — especially for Rehoboth’s Paella Night: (302) 227-8100. Bon Appétit!
 

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INTENTLY FOCUSED Sat, 01 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Jonathan Westman With years of financial management experience to his credit, Jeff Montgomery has seen his fair share of market adjustments. As the founder and...]]> With years of financial management experience to his credit, Jeff Montgomery has seen his fair share of market adjustments. As the founder and principal of Montgomery Financial Services (MFS), he understands how fluctuations in the stock market can negatively affect a client’s state of mind, emotions and desire to remain committed to their long-term investment plans. He likens these occasions to one any frequent flyer can relate to. 

“If you’ve ever been on a flight and experienced turbulence, it can be quite nerve-racking and unsettling. As a passenger, you’d like for it to stop immediately, but you need to ride it out,” Montgomery said. “Now think about the flight attendants. They’re calm. They do not panic. I like to compare this experience to our jobs as financial advisors at MFS. When the market experiences turbulence, some clients may want to sell immediately, to end the negative experience. They’re panicked and want the ride to end instantly. But we’re calmly and firmly in control of their investment plan for the long haul.”

Montgomery, whose firm represents more than 225 clients, is passionate about helping people achieve higher levels of wealth and peace of mind while eliminating the unnecessary confusion and anxiety that commonly occurred through their experiences with other companies. Montgomery accomplishes this by engaging his clients in a disciplined process necessary for a lifetime of investing success — a core philosophy entrenched in education, coaching and dedicated, long-term investing. To Jeff and his team, this can effectively be accomplished by building a diversified portfolio, never trying to predict the market, remaining disciplined and rebalancing portfolios designed and engineered to capture market rates of return. Montgomery Financial Services’ investment strategy is a synthesis of three academic principles based on Nobel Prize-winning research in the field of economics: Efficient Market Theory, Modern Portfolio Theory and the Three-Factor Model.

“It is impossible to consistently predict the gains and losses of the market,” Jeff said. “While someone may get lucky with a certain stock here and there, their long-term probability for stable and secure growth is virtually nonexistent. There is academic evidence, however, that demonstrates if you engineer a diversified portfolio and capture the market rate of return, remain disciplined and rebalance your portfolio, this will provide you the best chance for success over time.”

Integrity, coaching and education are the core principles on which Jeff has built his business — and he is one of the Shore’s foremost authorities in the classroom. Montgomery teaches a “Rescue Retirement” class at Delaware Technical College and social-security seminars across the Peninsula. Educating his clients is so important to Jeff that he built a state-of-the-art classroom inside his office headquarters in Ocean Pines. Capable of hosting 40 clients per session, Jeff and his advisory team utilizes this learning space every two months — offering his clients invaluable knowledge relating to their investment strategies and pertinent financial topics of the day.
“As a client, you don’t have to know everything about investing; you just have to know the right things,” Jeff said. “People, in general, have the tendency to make poor money-management decisions based upon raw emotion and panic. These decisions most often lead to the destruction of their portfolios. This is why education is so important. It important for us to reinforce their strategic, long-term goals with our clients consistently. This helps to prepare them in the event of a downturn in the market.

“I don’t know of anyone in our area that teaches clients to the extent that we do,” Montgomery continued. “And as an added benefit, it brings our clients together as a group and has created senses of community and involvement among us. Some have become friends and interact outside of the office, too.”

Montgomery Financial Services is a fee-based advisory firm that works primarily with individuals over the age of 40, including “busy boomers,” women, young professionals, entrepreneurs and business owners, to help them grow, protect and distribute their financial assets. This means that MFS is not compensated through commissions, trades or moving money to various accounts of the investor. Rather, they operate on a flat fee-based system that aligns the advisor/coach with the client through their like objectives and investment philosophies.

Jeff’s dedicated team of financial advisors, licensed insurance agents and professional support staff includes director of operations Joani Gursky, associate advisor Nicholas Craven, associate advisor Edward Loftice, regional director Edward Scott and marketing manager Merrie McElrath, who work collectively and comprehensively together to meet their clients’ needs.


MONTGOMERY FINANCIAL SERVICES
410-208-1004     MFSWealth.com

 

 

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> af04b93a9b5e6c2aa1df8f6a783def81 MONEY MATTERS ]]>
HERITAGE HOUSE Sat, 01 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Brian Shane When a house gets moved on a tractor-trailer, it’s a spectacle all its own. But imagine seeing house movers trucking along not on a highway but on...]]> When a house gets moved on a tractor-trailer, it’s a spectacle all its own. But imagine seeing house movers trucking along not on a highway but on the beach in Ocean City — and they’re dismantling the town’s pier halfway through the trip.

That’s just one chapter in the fascinating story of the resort’s 125-year-old Life-Saving Station Museum, located on the southern end of the Ocean City Boardwalk.

“I would say that most people here love Ocean City the way it is today, but we show them what Ocean City was 100 years ago,” said Nancy Howard, president of the nonprofit Ocean City Museum Society. “But now, we also want to tell the story of Ocean City and what’s happened to it.”
 

A Storied History

The Life-Saving Station, once one of 25 along the Atlantic Coast, first opened its doors in 1891, replacing an earlier structure built in 1878. It later became the resort’s Coast Guard station. When the Coast Guard opened a new building on the bayside in 1964, the now-obsolete facility was decommissioned. The building was used for various purposes after that, including serving as headquarters for the OC Beach Patrol and as a youth- crisis counseling service.

In 1974, heirs laid claim to the land beneath the building, on the Boardwalk at Caroline Street. It became a complicated land-ownership issue that culminated in a lengthy court case. The family that won the lawsuit sold the property to another family, who made plans to demolish the building.

But then, in swooped in a group of concerned citizens called the Ocean City Museum Committee. They urged town officials to save and relocate the abandoned building. In 1977, the new owner sold the building to the town of Ocean City for $1.

“Some very forward-thinking people said, ‘Let’s move it and put it here.’ How smart of them to do that,” Howard said, adding that today, “it is the iconic building of Ocean City.”

In December of 1977, the station was hoisted from its foundations by professional house movers and trucked eight blocks down the beach. If that wasn’t enough of a spectacle, a section of the Ocean City Pier had to be removed, so the giant truckload could pass through to its destination.

Upon arrival, the old building was turned 90 degrees, and the tall boathouse doors that once opened to the ocean now faced south, over the inlet, toward Assateague Island.
 

Inside The Museum

Part of the museum’s mission is highlighting the role of the Life-Saving Station’s “surfmen,” whose job it was to take on dangerous ocean rescues. To that end, one of the treasures of the museum collection is an authentic surf boat, on loan from the Smithsonian. It would have been used in the 1920s and ’30s to rescue mariners from sinking ships.

Before the town’s inlet opened in 1933, men on a rescue mission would have arduously hauled the 2.5-ton boat on a wide-wheeled cart through sand and launched into the shore break, no matter the weather.

Upstairs, a narrow staircase leads to more exhibit space and to a cramped museum office. Several lifetimes ago, these areas housed the quarters and washroom for the keeper of the Life-Saving Station. Now, they showcase the history of surfing and surf culture of OC. 

You’ll also find an exhibit about life on the Boardwalk during the first half of the 20th century. That one includes the famous Laughing Sal, a grotesque, retired funhouse clown whose cackling laughter can still be heard with the push of a little red button. And in June, the museum launched an exhibit on the history of Native American life in our area.

Exhibitions don’t end at the museum walls. Beginning July 3, staff and volunteers will offer free programs right outside, on the Boardwalk, on a range of topics, including knot-tying, sharks and the Beach Patrol, among others.


The Museum’s Future

In the next few years, museum officials are hoping to expand the museum into a second building, Howard said. 

The proposed two-story expansion would accommodate existing exhibits, as well as an expanded gift shop, newoffice space, classrooms and more. Then, with exhibits cleared out of the old station building, they could restore the property to what it would have looked like in the late 1800s, Howard said.

For now, the current museum remains a first-class amenity for Ocean City tourists. 

“Hundreds of people pass by here every day in the summer. If they would just come on in, they would add another dimension to their beach experience,” she said.


Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum    
410-289-4991     OCMuseum.org

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> 145a4984fa5c67b2debd6aad2c5be10c HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES ]]>
FOSTERING HOPE Mon, 01 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Jonathan Westman “She’s a beautiful soul,” Tina Hitchens said of her 8-year-old daughter, Jaydyn, as she watched her ride her bike down a side street outside of...]]> “She’s a beautiful soul,” Tina Hitchens said of her 8-year-old daughter, Jaydyn, as she watched her ride her bike down a side street outside of their Bishopville home. The Hitchens family has a story, and it reads like the all-American novel: Its main characters, Tina and Keith, are loving, hardworking, churchgoing parents who are raising their talented children, Nicholas, 10, and Jaydyn, in a rural, middle-class section of Worcester County. There’s even Bella, a 3-year-old rescue dog, who faithfully watches over them — Jaydyn especially. 

This idyllic setting takes place at the conclusion of their book — a happy ending that continues to play out each day. A turn of the pages in reverse, however, takes the family back in time to a scenario that could have changed the dynamic of their existence, and young Jaydyn’s life, forever.    

“I told Jayden her story just this morning,” Tina said. “Jaydyn knows she was in foster care and knows she was adopted, but she’s still too young to know the details of her circumstances.” 

Jaydyn’s story, unfortunately, is not an uncommon one locally. Her biological mother was just 17 when she had her, and both of Jaydyn’s biological parents were drug addicts. Officials with Maryland’s Department of Social Services immediately placed her in foster care.

Back then, Tina was working as a substitute teacher at local elementary schools and volunteering with Worcester Youth & Family Counseling Services (WYFCS) as a CASA — a Court Appointed Special Advocate. Her responsibilities included a monthly visit to the home of the foster child she was assigned by the judge or magistrate, an assessment of the child’s surroundings and wellbeing, and to report back to WYFCS. 

Jayden, even as an infant, had her own CASA, too, a woman named Lou Spock — a caring and dedicated volunteer with years of experience and training. About that same time, Keith and Tina were interested in adding another child to their family. Unable to have children of their own and without the resources to afford the substantial price of private adoption, as they had previously incurred with Nicholas, Tina contacted WYFCS about adopting a child in need of a good home. To be considered, she had to forgo being a CASA, and the couple had to become foster parents.

Five months later, beautiful baby Jaydyn was placed in their care. Tina and Keith had the daughter they always wanted, and Nicholas quickly became attached to his younger sister. Spock made regular visits to their home and consistently found the family and Jaydyn to be an ideal fit. But foster families with their hearts set on adoption are often leery of the potential for reunification with one or both of the child’s biological parents — which is the obligation of social services and the court, barring mitigating circumstances. After two years of raising Jaydyn, those fears became very real for the Hitchens family, as Jaydyn’s biological father wanted her back. He was even enrolled in a substance-abuse prevention program, and state officials ordered her returned to his custody following the completion of treatment.

“It was a situation we always knew in the back of our minds could take place,” Tina said. “That didn’t make it any easier. I was her mother; Keith was her father, and Nicholas was her big brother. We spent two years raising her.”

As the transition grew closer, now within a matter of weeks, Spock was still serving diligently as Jaydyn’s CASA, and she knew something wasn’t right. Through her investigation, Spock discovered that Jaydyn’s biological father was still using illegal drugs, despite the court order and the appearance of sobriety. Her subsequent court reports stated that being placed in his care was not in Jaydyn’s best interests. 

“Jaydyn’s CASA volunteer literally changed the direction of where her case was heading,” Tina said. “Her CASA saved her. Lou advocated for Jaydyn, and she literally saved her. 

“Social services is so inundated with cases, and their job is to reunite the child and the parents in the home. I get that. My job is to care,” Tina continued. “Judges are human; social-services employees are human; we all make mistakes. God stepped in, and here we are.” 

When Tina and Keith officially signed their adoption agreement to become Jaydyn’s parents, they included a clause that provided visitation rights (one week twice a year and one weekend a month) with one set of biological grandparents. They had always played an active role her in life and continue to do so to this day.  

“They were unable to care for her full-time and always said, ‘You’re her mom and dad, but we still want to be her grandparents.’ It’s an amazing relationship, and Nicholas is very close with them, too. It’s worked beautifully for all of us,” Tina said.

Today, Jaydyn is a thriving second-grade student at Showell Elementary who loves music and singing. Nicholas does, too, and the siblings play in the Mini Rockers band at the Academy of Musical Performance (AMP) in Salisbury under the direction Gino and Susan Bailey. And so begins the next chapter in the book of the Hitchens family.


IN NEED OF SUPPORT

“Imagine what it would be like to lose your parents, not because of something you did, but because they can’t — or won’t — take care of you,” said Worcester Youth & Family Counseling Services CASA program director Brigitte Southworth. “In an overburdened social-welfare system, abused and neglected children often slip through the cracks. Into these vulnerable children’s lives come dozens of strangers: police, foster parents, therapists, social workers, judges, lawyers and more. Hopefully, one of these strangers is a CASA volunteer, because they provide that one constant person that a child needs in order to thrive.”

Janet Balbo has been a CASA in Worcester County for 10 years. After retiring from the federal government in 2003, Janet relocated to the Shore, and while she was very active socially, something was missing in her life. She wanted to connect with her community and truly make a difference. Over the past decade, Janet has been actively involved as a CASA volunteer and achieved credits from educational training programs focused on alcohol-and-drug abuse and suicide. Her desire to help children is further fueled by her grandson’s addiction to drugs.

Janet’s most recent case lasted more than six years. She was the CASA for a young girl who was abused by her father and brother. Placed in foster care by social services, she recalled the unimaginable circumstances faced by a child so young in life.

“This poor child ran the gamut of issues,” Janet recalled. “She hoarded and hid food because she didn’t know when her next meal would come, and she had all sorts of behavioral problems. We had so many family interventions with her, and she spent time in two different treatment facilities — but I was there for her. Even late at night, if there was a problem, I did whatever I could to be there.”

Janet’s journeys with the child have covered thousands of miles across Maryland -— from Berlin to St. Vincent’s Villa Therapeutic Group Home in Timonium, Sheppard Pratt Health System in Baltimore and placement in an adoptive foster home in Anne Arundel County, which ultimately did not work out.

“This particular child has had several different foster parents, different therapists, different caseworkers with social services, but one CASA, in Janet, and that is so important,” Brigitte said. “The child knew that beyond all of the changes in her life, there was one element that was going to be a constant — and that was her CASA.”

The child, who turned 15 in May, was successfully adopted last December and is doing well in high school.

“I fully expect this child to continue her education at the next level,” Janet said. “It’s very gratifying to see where she is today. I have made an impact, and I truly believe that, but we’re a team. There are a number of people on our team who didn’t give up on her.”

More than 1,500 children are served by Maryland CASA each year — approximately 50 of them in Worcester County. Currently, there are 40 CASA volunteers, 35 of whom are assigned to active cases, so the need for additional support is real. Should the number of cases exceed the number of CASAs, the child is placed on a waiting list until a volunteer is available. 

“Our goal is simple: to speak up for every child’s right to a safe and permanent home,” Brigitte said. “CASAs passionately advocate for abused and neglected children who are caught up in the court-and-child-welfare maze because they are unable to live safely at home. We’ll do whatever we can to be there for them.”

 

PIRATE PARTY!

On Friday, May 19, Worcester Youth & Family Counseling Services will host its 9th annual Pirate Party on the docks at Sunset Grille in West Ocean City, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Co-chaired by Joe Kendall of Kendall Furniture and Buddy Trala of Sunset Grille, the event will feature live music, a buffet-style dinner, happy-hour drink prices and gift auctions.

Local residents volunteer to serve as “pirates” and seek donations (a minimum of $500 each) from the community. A host of local businesses also sponsor the event, as well. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed in their best pirate garb and celebrate their efforts to “keeping children afloat.” 

“There are many great causes in Worcester County, but this is one that especially touches my heart,” said Kendall. “I’m asking the residents of our community, and beyond, to join us at this year’s party, to support Worcester Youth & Family Counseling Services and its CASA program. There are children in our very own backyards who need us, and we need to come together to help them.”

All proceeds benefit Worcester Youth & Family Counseling Services’ CASA and youth programs.

For additional information or to become a CASA volunteer or Pirate Party sponsor, call Brigitte Southworth, at 410-641-4598 or email her at bsouthworth@gowoyo.org.

 

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> 74d73f8963284b944e55bebadfb5d7a2 OUTWARD BOUND ]]>
BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY Mon, 01 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Nick Brandi When Barry Ziehl was growing up in Bowie, Md., he looked forward to one day having a great wife, wonderful kids and nice middle-class life in...]]> When Barry Ziehl was growing up in Bowie, Md., he looked forward to one day having a great wife, wonderful kids and nice middle-class life in mid-Atlantic America. He got the wife and the kids, but his vocational calling was to the opposite of side the country, to the bright lights of LA and the glitter of Tinseltown, where he currently resides as the senior vice president, Public Affairs and Strategic Initiatives, for Warner Bros. Entertainment. CSM caught up with Ziehl recently, following a speech he gave to the students and selected guests at SU’s Perdue School of Business, to congratulate him on his high-profile job and find out just what makes this local boy from Bowie tick.
 

Coastal Style Magazine: You went to college at Salisbury University, correct?
Barry Ziehl: That’s correct. I got a BA in communications. When I addressed the students at the Perdue School of Business in March, I’d joked that the business school wouldn’t let me in, and I didn’t really know what else I wanted to do, so I did what any clever young student does who doesn’t know what he wants to do: I majored in communications.
 

CSM: What year did you graduate?
BZ: 1991… it feels so long ago.


CSM: Do you ever get back home for visits?
BZ: I get home at least once a year. It starts with a drive from the DC area, through Bowie and ending up in the Outer Banks, in North Carolina. It’s a family tradition that we’ve kept for 17 of the last 18 years. It was a promise I’d made to my mother after she’d learned that I’d be whisking her young grandchildren off to Los Angeles. Until recently, I hadn’t a chance to get back to Salisbury. One of my passions was, and is, surfing, so I’d always go through Salisbury and wind up in Ocean City, though I haven’t been back to Ocean City since ’99, when we moved
to California.


CSM: Do you still surf?
BZ:
I do.


CSM: When was the last time you surfed?
BZ:
Yesterday. I surf regularly. It’s much cheaper than therapy.


CSM: When you do swing through the area, is there anybody you see or rituals you have?
BZ:
Well, when I was back recently, I drove down Route 50, where I’d gotten so many speeding tickets in years past, on the way to go surfing, took the 90 bridge and met one of my dearest friends, Danny Windon, who owns a bunch of Fractured Prunes. Then I went to one of my favorite places, on 48th Street, and walked up the little access road, over what’s not really much of a dune anymore, to look at the Atlantic. It brought back all those fond memories of surfing 48th Street and Eighth Street, Indian River Inlet and Assateague. We also stopped by K-Coast and had lunch on the bay at Fager’s, overlooking Assawoman Bay, which was amazing. 
 

CSM: Do you feel your upbringing in this part of the country has instilled traits or characteristics in you that influence the way you live your life and do your job in California?
BZ:
Absolutely, but not just for the movie industry. It served me well when I worked in DC, for the U.S. Postal Service. I had a wonderful middle-class upbringing – appreciating hard work and everyone, whether they were blue-collar or white-collar. My dad was more of a blue-collar guy, whereas my mom was more white-collar, and that taught me to not make distinctions among people. It taught me to be appreciative and to not take anything for granted. I learned that even if you’re maybe not the smartest person in the room, you could be the hardest-working person in the room. My upbringing also taught me to never get too big for my britches and never to look down on anybody. 
 

CSM: What position had you held when you left?
BZ:
I was a manager of marketing communications for the stamp program. Among other things, I launched portions of the U.S. Stamp Program — the legendary coaches, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Alfred Hitchcock, the Bugs Bunny stamp, which ultimately created my connection with Warner Bros. I realize the U.S. Postal Service is much maligned, but the truth is, it was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my entire career. I use skills I acquired at the U.S. Postal Service every single day.


CSM: How did you make the leap to Hollywood?
BZ:
It was literally being in the right place at the right time doing the right job in front of an executive at the studio who needed someone to do that job for them on their team. She was working with me on the Bugs Bunny stamp on the Warner Bros.’ side, and I was on the Postal Service side. She saw the work and invited me to entertain an opportunity as director of International Public Relations for Warner Bros. Consumer Products. 


CSM: Was the transition difficult?
BZ:
Well, it’s not the cheapest place in the world to live. But we made a decision to get a place in the suburbs of Los Angeles, in Simi Valley, because it was the suburbs that had formed us as kids, so we wanted to have that kind of life again while we were raising our kids.


CSM: Sounds like it worked out well for everyone.
BZ:
Oh, you just can’t beat this place – I don’t care where in the world you are. Sure, there is a price to pay: It’s expensive, and the traffic is crazy, but it’s really worth it.


CSM: Other than Finnegan’s Wake, your job description may just be the most difficult thing I’ve ever read. Would you like to try to take a stab at explaining it to us Earthlings?
BZ:
[Laughs] The current job is definitely multifaceted. On the public-affairs side, it’s government relations; it’s philanthropy — how we as a company contribute to causes and support social issues and nonprofits; it’s sustainability — how we as a company are impacting the environment, whether it’s how our productions are produced, how our lot is run, how our employees recycle. It’s community relations — how we as a company treat your community when we are filming in your community. My team makes sure that when we are in your community that we are contributing in a meaningful way.
On the strategic initiatives side, it’s a number of things, including corporate marketing and cross-divisional activities. It’s a bit of a utility position. 


CSM: Where do you see the American movie industry in five or ten years, and do you think technology is going to be driving that evolution?
BZ:
Oh, without question. Direct-to-consumer distribution of content is huge; the way consumers are consuming content these days is changing faster than ever. You have to be on all platforms all the time. At the end of the day, though, content is the root of entertainment; that has not changed. It’s just a matter of figuring out the distribution models and how they’re changing based on consumers. All of the entertainment companies are focused on delivering the entertainment that people want, when they want it and where they want it.


CSM: Your boss is very famous [Dee Dee Myers was the press secretary during the first two years of Clinton administration and was first female and second-youngest person to hold that position. She was also the inspiration of The West Wing character C.J. Cregg, played by Allison Janney].
BZ:
She is just an amazing executive. It’s a privilege to work alongside Dee Dee. You don’t get a chance in your career very often to work for someone who is aspirational, and she certainly is that.


CSM: What’s coming down the pike for Warner Bros. that you’re excited about?
BZ:
All of the TV shows based on the DC characters are amazing — Arrow, The Flash among them and Wonder Woman is coming out in June, which we’re all excited about, and Justice League later in the year. So it’s gonna be a big year!


CSM: Is there a crowning achievement of your career?
BZ:
Over 26 years, it’s hard to pick one thing. But something recent that stands out is that I had the opportunity to be part of launching a brand-new franchise for the company called DC Superhero Girls, and it’s the first property or franchise of its kind created specifically for girls. As a father to a daughter, it’s wonderful to create something specifically for girls, especially in this age of female empowerment.


CSM: What’s your favorite thing about your job?
BZ:
It’s the diversity of the things I work on. I do a little bit of everything. I feel very lucky to be in a job like this for a company like this. I pinch myself every day. I bleed Warner Bros. blue, and I’ll stay as long as they’ll have me.   

 

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> caf3e7dfcab6997f7434c5ba58537843 IN PROFILE ]]>
CENTER OF ATTENTION Mon, 01 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Jonathan Westman There are certain special waterfront properties on the Eastern Shore that are vastly different from their counterparts. These are the hidden gems, the...]]> There are certain special waterfront properties on the Eastern Shore that are vastly different from their counterparts. These are the hidden gems, the serene and surreal settings that provoke thoughts of being at a private, boutique resort or on a secluded island sanctuary.  

One such property is discreetly hidden in West Ocean City. With unobstructed, panoramic views of the Assawoman Bay, Ocean City skyline and vast stretches of undisturbed wetlands, it is the ideal getaway for the owners of the property. And when it was time to transform the property, to maximize its outdoor entertaining and relaxation potential, the owners and project designer Christopher Pattey of Becker Morgan knew Bryan LeCompte of Yard Designs was the only choice to spearhead the effort. 

“When we design a waterfront home, the views should always be the focal point,” said LeCompte, who has owned and operated Yard Designs for more than 30 years. “In this case, being surrounded by water made it easy, because it feels like you are on your own island. The homeowners were great clients to work with, and because they work in the construction industry, they had a mutual understanding of the design-and-build process.” 

The homeowners initially engaged Pattey in 2015, to design a backyard extravaganza that included patios, walkways, a dining area, an outdoor kitchen, barbecue area, grand fireplace, a large hot tub and water fountains with majestic statues.

“This is a special property, much like an estate, in that it has a formality to it with a rather large existing home,” Pattey said. “Our job was to marry their wish list within the criteria we were allowed to work with, because we were dealing with critical area setbacks and impervious surfaces.”

The approach to the home was underutilized and had a poor flow, which often resulted in bottlenecks, according to Pattey, who proposed an expanded oval drive court that would provide the necessary space for the continuous and smooth movement of traffic.

“When we started this project, we studied the architecture to determine what natural materials we would use,” LeCompte said. “Of course, our selections were timeless, and after considering the exterior finishes of the home, each material chosen complements the existing theme, in terms of color tones and features. This project allowed us to use the highest-quality products, to bring true luxury suited to their lifestyle.

“I enjoy building relationships with our clients and expressing our vision through our work,” LeCompte continued. “Many projects become challenging, in that the clients want to somehow experience the vision before its completion. It was just the opposite with these homeowners. They expressed their desires and then trusted us to transform that vision and provide them a setting that is perfectly suited for friends and family to enjoy one another and their surroundings.”

An impressively handsome fireplace is one of the backyard’s focal points. It serves as one of the main conversation areas during gatherings but also offers a quiet, romantic setting for the homeowners when they’re alone. Custom lanterns made in South Carolina specifically for the tops of the fireplace’s flanking pillars adorn each strategically.

The plan also called for a spacious 14-person custom spa — one so large that a custom cover had to be made. Two substantial yet aesthetic fountains, one in the front of the property and one in the back, were also a part of the design. Pool Tech of Salisbury was responsible for the creation of the project’s water features.

“Even though were working with the same application, this was an exciting departure from our traditional yet diverse swimming-pool creations,” said Jaime Toner, vice president of Pool Tech. “The homeowners knew what they liked, and we were able to turn their creative visions into a reality. Inspiration for the water features can be attributed to the stunning statues that seem to come to life from them. Everything else was organic in the design,” Toner said.

Made by the Randolph Rose Collection of Yonkers, NY, two breathtaking bronze statues, a marlin in the main driveway fountain and a team of sailfish in the back fountain, are substantial points of interest on the property, paying tribute to the homeowners’ passion for sport fishing.

“After attending the Philadelphia Flower Show, we met and worked with Jordan Rose. He was delightful to work with, and the statues celebrate our personalities and interests,” the homeowner said.

Robert Parker, Yard Designs’ lead electrician, outfitted the homeowners with the power to control the property’s substantial exterior lighting package with just the simple touches of a few buttons. At their desire, through a mobile device, the vibe of the property can change with different light colors, moods and effects — even the lights and hydraulics in the water features. “Automation is just as important outdoors today as it is indoors,” Pattey said.

“It really is impressive how the setting and mood change based upon the time of day,” the homeowner said. “The bar and grilling areas are fun during the day, and so, too, is the spa in the afternoon. At night, the property transforms for quaint and cozy outdoor living. It really is amazing.”

The tone of the property, both inside of the residence and out, is an upscale yet relaxed Tommy Bahama-style. A seamless transition is made from every room when stepping onto any one of the many decks and private balconies the home features. Furniture selection was key to unifying the theme, and the couple selected handsome — and substantial — Tommy Bahama furniture in the Black Sands and Island Lanai collections. The selections are aesthetically welcoming, incredibly fashionable and comfortable, and will withstand the occasionally unpredictable elements along the coast.

“My impression is that the space has an extremely welcoming feel to it, which is not only attributed to the layout but the lighting effects and the warmth of the fire features,” Pattey said. “It is so relaxing and enjoyable, it truly makes you want to stay awhile.”

“It is a stunning setting,” the homeowner said. “It reminds us of having our own little private Caribbean Sandals. We are very pleased.”



YARD DESIGNS, INC.
410-742-8003    
YardDesignsInc.com

BECKER MORGAN GROUP
410-546-9100    
BeckerMorgan.com

POOL TECH
410-742-0600    
PoolTechSplash.com

 

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> a498a75cf0d2c0c58af7928f739e188a COVER STORY ]]>
FULL SPEED AHEAD Mon, 01 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Brian Shane What propels boat salesman Bill Forenski’s philosophy on customer service and easy buying? It starts at the car dealership. That’s right: the car...]]> What propels boat salesman Bill Forenski’s philosophy on customer service and easy buying? It starts at the car dealership. That’s right: the car dealership. Why is that, you ask? Well, it’s because Forenski hates the process. For him, car shopping is a tedious, all-day event. 

As a hugely successful pontoon-boat retailer at WMF Watercraft in Millsboro, Forenski has found a better way. “I try to make it really easy to buy boats,” he says, “because I don’t like buying cars.”

Pontoon boats certainly navigated their way from the boxy party barges of decades past. You’re not stuck with dull aluminum or grandma-green carpet as options any longer. They’ve evolved for the 21st-century customer, from materials and upholstery to the motor and electronics. They handle more like real boats, and they’re just as fast or faster. While the average price of a pontoon is $30,000, some high-end models sold by WMF are priced between $150,000 and $180,000. 

Once your WMF boat arrives, “We’ll take you out, and we’ll show you how to do things,” Forenski said. “We’ll bring it to your dock; we’ll get it out on the water; we’ll show you everything.”

Today, Forenski and WMF Watercraft are honored annually as one of the Top-10 retailers of Avalon and Tahoe brand pontoon boats. But success didn’t come overnight. In fact, he didn’t even want to be a boat salesman — he fought it tooth and nail. For years before the business took off, Forenski was content being a Delmarva Power meter reader who happened to fix Jet Skis on the side.

“My parents had a beach house in Pot-Nets,” he recalled as a 14-year-old growing up in Wilmington, “and my dad bought these Jet Skis — and they broke. I said, ‘I want to fix them myself.’ I had no idea what I was doing. I blew up a lot of motors, but I learned. Then, people on the beach started coming to me and asking if I could fix their Jet Skis.”

This went on for years. As a young man, he would read meters all day, then come home and fix Jet Skis into the evening. He found himself making house calls in his little Ford Escort to fix Jet Skis. He started doing repairs from a marina, then out of a little shed on Route 1. The business grew. Finally, in 2004, he had a chance to buy property in Millsboro, to open a bona fide repair shop. He later bought another shop down the road, where he and a crew took on boat repairs.

Five years ago, Avalon and Tahoe pontoons came to him with an offer. They wanted him to start selling their boats. 

“I told them no!” Forenski says. “I was scared of the boats. I was scared of floor plans. I didn’t know pontoons, and I didn’t want to get involved in the business.”

The next year, though, he capitulated. Avalon let him dip his toes in the water, so to speak, and sent him five boats to sell. He sold them all in three weeks, “and I was hooked,” he recalled. “So I started ordering boats from them like crazy.”

“I was selling a lifestyle, families out there enjoying themselves. It was neat. It was no longer a broken Jet Skis. It was like selling a dream to somebody. I really enjoyed that,” he says.

Having stopped fixing Jet Skis altogether, he became No. 8 in sales by his second full year as a boat salesman. For 2015 and 2016, he was Avalon Tahoe’s No. 3 salesman in the country. Today, Forenski says WMF Watercraft has grown 500 percent over the last three years, with locations in Millsboro and Oak Orchard, and a staff of 10. They service every boat they sell, and when customers upgrade to a new boat, WMF sells your old boat on consignment.

Most weekends these days, you can find Forenski on the water with customers, over at Paradise Grill in Pot-Nets. He’s on his pontoon, hanging out on the sandbar or maybe giving rides on fancy demo boats from the manufacturer.

Most important to him, though, is that WMF Watercraft is a massively customer-based business. If there’s a problem, he handles it personally. And Forenski is proud to say that his customers buy boats from him, “not some sales guy.”

“The biggest part about selling a boat is taking care of the customer after you sell it,” he says. “That’s more important than anything else.”

 

WMF WATERCRAFT & MARINE
302-945-9690    
WMFWatercraft.com

 

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> b0d538fd2286f8967aae1ebee5567bfc THE GREAT OUTDOORS ]]>
THE GOLD STANDARD Mon, 01 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Nick Brandi What turns an organization into an institution? Or an edifice into a landmark? The answer? It’s the people. But not just any people. It’s people...]]> What turns an organization into an institution? Or an edifice into a landmark? The answer? It’s the people. But not just any people. It’s people with a mission — you might even say a calling. People who spend practically every waking moment contemplating how to do their jobs better, how to make a difference, how to leave a legacy. There are such people among us, those who inspire others to rise to the limits of their potential and to make the world a better place for their efforts. For more than 46 years, the faculty, staff and administration of Worcester Preparatory School in Berlin have been such people, and the community they serve is the better for it. This is true not only for the advanced, state-of-the-art educational techniques and resources they provide each pupil from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade but also by creating the environment of a real family, one that nurtures and supports all of its members equally. The result is a veritable pillar of the community that sees 100 percent of its graduates go on to attend a four-year college or university, including such elite institutions as Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Stanford, Northwestern, MIT, Duke and George Washington University.

A prime exponent of this unwavering philosophy is WPS’ retiring Head of Lower School, Celeste Bunting, who has tirelessly dedicated 44 years of her life to educating the minds and molding the characters of Delmarva’s youth. She began her career in 1973 as a first-grade teacher, a position she held for 27 years. sWith a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master’s of Education degree from Salisbury University, Celeste has dedicated every day of her exemplary career to making her students feel loved. Whether it was by standing outside every day, no matter the weather, and personally greeting her students and their parents with smiles and hugs, developing a top-flight science curriculum or creating the WPS Children’s Garden and Bird Sanctuary, Celeste has found a way to enhance the lives of literally thousands of future leaders of the community. A Fulbright Scholar, Celeste has been recognized with many national and regional awards, including Elementary Science Teacher of the Year by the Chemical Educators Association and Maryland Conservation Teacher of the Year, in addition to commendations from both Apple and Microsoft. Her Lower School Chess Club, which Celeste launched 12 years ago, has flourished over the years, with impressive tournament wins that run from Salisbury to the states of Maryland and Delaware.

“It is hard to capture in words the special legacy that Celeste is leaving behind,” declared WPS’ longtime headmaster, Dr. Barry Tull. “Over the years, she has helped to create a highly nurturing and joyful environment. Her commitment to making sure our students are well educated and well cared for has resulted in an exceptional academic program with talented and supportive faculty. Since day one, her wisdom, kindness and grace have been a blessing to the school community.”

With Celeste at the helm since 2000, WPS’ Lower School establishes a firm academic foundation that begins in pre-K and continues through Grade 5, emphasizing the development and nurturing of critical-thinking and study skills intended to last a lifetime. The Lower School classrooms are self-contained and provide the right amount of structure. Kindergarten students study the solar system and videoconference with NASA each year, while WPS’ accelerated math program has students working a year ahead, with mastery of multiplication tables by the end of second grade. Structured to be a deliberately challenging, yet stimulating, environment, Lower School students do science investigations at the earliest levels, as well as simple coding and robotics, emphasizing math, reading, writing and technology throughout. 

Such academic rigor may make the Lower School students excel, but it doesn’t make them well-rounded people. That’s why WPS emphasizes character building throughout the students’ academic careers. Students are taught both directly, and by example, to understand, care about and respect not only one another but also the environment and their community. They are also taught to give back and help those in need.  

This strong emphasis on academic excellence and citizenry continues into the Middle School, which sees all students groom themselves for higher education by taking comprehensive semester exams beginning in the sixth grade, in addition to three years of Latin. Once in the Upper School, students are exposed to a variety of college-prep courses, with a diverse selection of electives and honors courses. WPS also offers Advanced Placement in English literature, English language, American history, calculus AB, calculus BC, biology, chemistry and physics. Significantly, WPS is the only school on the Eastern Shore that has a chapter of the Cum Laude Society, which provides the equivalent of collegiate Phi Beta Kappa recognition to high school students. This doesn’t even include the diverse roster of clubs and sports programs that WPS offers, to further help their students self-actualize.


WORCESTER PREPARATORY SCHOOL    
410-641-3575    
WorcesterPrep.org

 

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> e92ed1864bafe0c027a8b3a9b88db1f1 EDUCATION ]]>
A DISTINGUISHED HERITAGE Mon, 01 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Nick Brandi One of the key indicators of a community’s success is the kind and quality of the people and businesses it attracts. As we all know, the Eastern...]]> One of the key indicators of a community’s success is the kind and quality of the people and businesses it attracts.

As we all know, the Eastern Shore has greeted the 21st century as an emerging hotspot in both respects. Not only does the Shore draw tourists and visitors year-round from all over the world, we enjoy thriving art and food scenes, constantly evolving state-of-the-art healthcare, robust residential and commercial development, and a rich roster of talented entrepreneurs and professionals who continue to set up shop here every year. Now, with the imminent arrival of Heritage Financial Consultants, LLC, to Worcester County, the Eastern Shore is attracting big players from the world of finance and wealth management, too.

One of the INC. 500/5000 fast-growing companies in America four years running, Heritage Financial Consultants is currently trusted to oversee approximately $3.5 billion in client-invested assets. It has not only been listed among the top investment advisory and financial planning companies in the Baltimore area by the Baltimore Business Journal, Heritage Financial Consultants has clients in all 50 states and serves as the financial planning company for not one but several Fortune 500 companies. Heritage Financial Partner John McCarthy III has the proud distinction of having been recognized as a Five Star Wealth Advisor in Baltimore Magazine   and was recently interviewed by Smart CEO for a recent book release about the best-run firms in the Baltimore-DC area. McCarthy grew up in Europe and came to the U.S. for college, ending up in Chestertown at Washington College, where he was first exposed to the Eastern Shore. He likes to give the lion’s share of credit for his firm’s success not only to what he refers to as his “outstandingly talented team of planners and advisors” but also to Heritage Financial’s relationship with his broker-dealer, Lincoln Financial Advisors, for which nine of Heritage’s advisors, including McCarthy, were named to its Top 200 Advisors list in the U.S. for 2016. McCarthy also has the honor of sitting on Lincoln Financial’s Investment Committee of the Resource Group, perhaps the most elite committee to belong to within Lincoln’s ranks.

“It is no small feat that Heritage is part of the Lincoln Financial Advisors family,” said McCarthy, referring to his firm’s sponsor organization. “It represents an imprimatur, a touchstone of trustworthiness, reliability and stability that is extremely difficult to achieve, given Lincoln’s very well-known and rigorous vetting process in selecting its member firms. The planners are privileged to be affiliated with LFA.”

Lincoln Financial Advisors (a subsidiary of what is now Lincoln National Corporation) has emerged as a titan of the financial world, with in excess of $228 billion in assets under management. Lincoln National Corporation, founded in 1905 with the full endorsement of none other than Robert Todd Lincoln himself, ranks currently as the world’s fourth-largest life insurer by revenue, no. 25 by assets on the Fortune 500 list and gets top-five, and higher, rankings in financial strength by A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch. In other words, it is simply one of the most financially strong and stable companies in global history — and Heritage Financial is one in its galaxy of shining stars and the largest firm whose planners are affiliated with the company. 

For the sake of full disclosure, Heritage Financial is not completely new to the Eastern Shore. It opened a branch in Preston, MD, not too long ago but now has its eyes on Worcester County as the site of its newest location. Part of the thanks for that no doubt goes to Heritage Financial Consultants’ Financial Planner/Associate John “JD” Donaghy. An almost 50-year patron of the Shore, JD spent spring breaks and summers in Ocean City with his family throughout his childhood and up into his college years at Virginia’s Lynchburg College, from which he graduated with a BA in international relations.  In 2005, JD purchased a house in Ocean Pines, and his wife, Duka, and son, Ben, completed the picture in 2010.

As have so many others, JD and Duka fell in love with the Eastern Shore and have successfully entrenched themselves in their adopted community. Duka worked for Halloway and Marvel and Perdue’s Agri-business; Ben attended Most Blessed Sacrament in Berlin and played Little League baseball and soccer; JD played softball on the Greene Turtle and Blue Ox teams, and has sponsored many events and local organizations over the years, of which the Art League of Ocean City falls the closest to his heart. 

“At this point, Duka and I no longer consider the Eastern Shore our home away from home; it’s just our home,” said JD, who has been active with a variety of local civic organizations and currently sits on the board of the American Red Cross of the Lower Eastern Shore. “It’s our favorite place to be and the place that feels most natural to us, because it has such a real sense of community. What you see is what you get here. Everything is so transparent, and that is both refreshing and reassuring to us.”

The appreciation of transparency is a major reason that JD enjoys working at Heritage Financial so much, because transparency is a mantra there, according to both Donaghy and McCarthy. They say that their status as an independent financial-services firm under the aegis of Lincoln Financial gives them the autonomy and flexibility to be, as John put it, results-driven, rather than products-driven.

“We’re not beholden to push or move the products of any financial-services company,” emphasized JD. “We can create and develop any financial instruments, packages or portfolios we want, based on the understanding and articulated goals and priorities of each individual client. Servicing the needs of our clients is our absolute, top priority.”

“Now, any firm can say that, but we can prove it — and we do every day through our objectivity and planning,” added JD, who includes risk management and the esoteric financial considerations peculiar to agribusiness as specialties. “Our independent status is a particular advantage to clients in a highly regulated environment, as is the case currently. The result is that we can offer strategies and products to the residents of the Shore that will seem completely unique to them and fit specifically within their personal plan.”

“We like to think of ourselves as the quarterbacks of our clients’ professional team that they have assembled over time,” said John, who is soon to become a resident of GlenRiddle in Berlin. “We have the staff, expertise and overview to coordinate all the components that compose a family’s assets and finances. From the lawyers and CPAs to the insurance agents and bankers, our Client Relationship Managers, all of whom are Series 7, are outstandingly trained and qualified to be the point person to integrate on an administrative level with the whole team, leaving the planner to act as the quarterback on a strategic level, working toward the financial health and security of the client.

The ultimate goal, say McCarthy and Donaghy, is to create a one-stop shop for all things related to assets, finance and wealth management through detailed and comprehensive planning processes. And again, that means transparency, which is a driving force behind why Heritage Financial charges its clients on a fee basis on assets it oversees. This aligns them on the same side of the table with the client, further enhancing objectivity. It’s the kind of straightforward business philosophy that they say made Heritage what it is today and an extensive service model they have designed for their clients unique in their industry. Heritage Financial has an impeccable track record and $3.5 billion in client-invested assets to its credit; their business model not only serves their client roster best but also attests most elegantly to the confidence they have in the skill and integrity of their company.


 

HERITAGE FINANCIAL CONSULTANTS   
410-771-5677     
HeritageConsultants.com

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> 39360dd175df25d2c5b43a257c5902d0 MONEY MATTERS ]]>
LITERARY LIONS Mon, 01 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Nick Brandi When we at Coastal Style learned about Cat & Mouse Press’ Rehoboth Beach Reads series a few years back, we knew publisher Nancy Sakaduski was on...]]> When we at Coastal Style learned about Cat & Mouse Press’ Rehoboth Beach Reads series a few years back, we knew publisher Nancy Sakaduski was on to something good. Nancy knew that there was a pool of legit writing talent in the region and that residents of the Shore would be eager to explore what that pool had to say — very much the literary counterpart of the booming fine-art scene the Eastern Shore is so rightfully proud of. The editors of Coastal Style share these views, which is why we’ve supported Nancy’s good work whenever we could, as we, along with Nancy, feel it is part of our public-service mandate to the community to do what is within our power to promote the arts and creativity on the Shore, wherever it may dwell.

So we are naturally excited at the advent of the fourth book in Cat & Mouse Press’ Rehoboth Beach Reads series, Beach Nights, featuring 23 eclectic anthologies, culled from around the country, that range from mystery and romance to humor and historical fiction. As with previous Reads-series installments, the selections that appear in Beach Nights are a compilation of winning entries carefully selected by a panel of Shore-based literary judges, following a several-month-long competition, based on literary merit and themes that have some connection to the Rehoboth Beach area.

Beach Nights launches with “Good Vibrations,” a funny and romantic story involving a high-school prom, and continues through tales that involve a mermaid’s moon, a “Vampire Surf Club,” senior disco queens, a seemingly haunted Funland ride, murder at a Rehoboth hotel, a moonlit sea-turtle rescue and a kid who sneaks into a James Brown concert and meets the Godfather of Soul himself.

“The Rehoboth Beach Reads books are hugely popular,” says Susan Kehoe, manager of Browseabout Books, the contest’s sponsor. “Residents and visitors alike love the clever stories, high-quality writing and local settings. The books just fly off the shelves from the moment they are published and are among our top-selling books each year.”

For our part, we are not going to pick winners among the literary lot represented in this fourth series installment, as each of the writers is already a winner by virtue of their placement within it. Besides, when you’re talking about an anthology of well-written and assiduously selected texts by knowledgeable and discriminating judges, who is ultimately to say which are the best of them? It’s all a matter of personal preference at that point.

The deadline for manuscript submission for the fifth outing of the Rehoboth Beach Reads series is July 1. The fee to enter is $10, and each writer can submit up to three stories. Entries are judged on creativity, quality of writing, suitability as a beach read, and fit with the local theme. Contest information is posted on the Cat & Mouse Press website (CatAndMousePress.com) and on the contest Facebook page. 

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> a7d3e465668fe1ee7463f11e2a13b542 BOOK SMART ]]>
THE DIVINE FEMININE Mon, 01 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Robbie Tarpley Raffish Deborah Rolig is exhausted. “Sometimes I think I bit off more than I can chew,” said the organizer of the new interactive art exhibit The Divine...]]> Deborah Rolig is exhausted. “Sometimes I think I bit off more than I can chew,” said the organizer of the new interactive art exhibit The Divine Feminine, opening at the Art League of Ocean City this May. “But even if our vision sometimes exceeds our abilities, we have to reach for the stars, right?”

The Divine Feminine seeks to “empower women through artistic expression,” and Rolig is quick to point out that it is not a “typical art show, where you walk in, hit the food trough and wine bar, then stand in the middle of the room and criticize the art. It’s a very different experience.”

The month-long exhibit includes a number of interactive pieces, such as a 360-degree installation by Katie Armstrong that visitors walk through, experiencing animation, music, birdsong and Armstrong’s own singing. There’s a selfie corner with a throne, stocked with boas, tiaras and a frame with the title “I Am Divine,” so visitors can represent their inner goddesses, and an altar piece at which people can light a candle to the Divine Mother.

“We want people to come in and constantly be looking around and saying ‘What is that? What’s happening over there?’” said Rolig.

Quilter Maryellen Bradley has a piece in the show, as does Rolig’s sister, Diane Gray, who is showing an “assemblage” piece. Photographer Selina Mellot will debut a slide show of images from the recent Women’s March on Washington.

The exhibit also includes what Rolig calls a “neglected art in the gallery scene”: writing. The Divine Feminine — An Anthology has been curated by author Kathleen Martens, who pulled together a group of 27 female writers from Ocean City and Rehoboth Beach. It includes prose, poetry and short stories, and 100% of the profits from the sale of the book will benefit local women’s causes.

On opening night, May 5, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., even the food and drink will be part of the show. “I don’t want to give away too much, because it is part of the experience, but think pink!” said Rolig. That night includes a Women’s Marketplace, at which local artisans will exhibit and sell their jewelry and fine crafts. It will also be open May 6, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Another way for women to participate will be through a series of events to be held throughout May at the Art League. A “Sound Bath” workshop led by Chrissy Earhart of Zenna Wellness will feature the healing tones of Tibetan singing bowls. A Tuesday-night series will offer speakers such as clinical psychologist Dr. Judith Pearson, discussing how to “step into the embrace of the Divine.” Seminars led by Rolig and Gray will teach how to use art and writing to tap into empowerment. 

“This is really out-of-the-box, and the inspiration came from my being frustrated because there was no real venue here for us to show in,” said Rolig. “Nothing against plein-air painters and traditional artists, but people are fed a steady diet of it, and it’s time to update the diet and spark the imagination. It’s my duty as an artist for myself and others. We want to be accepted in the art community as valued artists… it’s time to give people a new approach and something to think about.”

Guests will even leave with a little gift: a hot-pink wristband imprinted with “Empower Women.” 

The exhibit is free through the month of May at the Art League of Ocean City. For more information, visit ArtLeagueOfOceanCity.org.  

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> f92702fe9349deccbeaeba4c0906dc68 ARTISTICALLY SPEAKING ]]>
"TOUGH" KID Mon, 01 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Robbie Tarpley Raffish It’s the fourth day of the International Home & Housewares Show (IHHS) in Chicago, and R.J. Batts of Salisbury figures he’s walked “a...]]> It’s the fourth day of the International Home & Housewares Show (IHHS) in Chicago, and R.J. Batts of Salisbury figures he’s walked “a million miles.” A four-day trade show is long for anyone, but it’s an endurance test for a 14-year-old — the youngest exhibitor ever in the show. Yet, he gamely welcomes two more visitors to his tiny booth in the “Inventor’s Corner,” to demonstrate his brainchild, the Tip Tough Finger Guard. 

Statistics say 1 in 14 professional chefs, line cooks and kitchen workers will visit the emergency room this year, each with a knife cut severe enough to warrant stitches — resulting in lost wages, lost product and workers’ compensation claims. Batts’ dad, Bob, currently a chef at the Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel in Ocean City, cut himself several years ago — severely enough to be one of the above-referenced statistics. 

“I was 12 when my dad cut himself, and I got so upset,” said R.J. to the prospects. “No one should get hurt doing what they love. I became consumed with finding a way to protect his hand, so it couldn’t happen again.”

While playing around with a plastic container, R.J. had an inspiration. If he could encase a chef’s four fingers in a box, then tuck their thumb around the back, the knife would never reach the fingers. 

R.J.’s mom, Lori Batts — a former teacher and high-school principal who currently works for Wicomico County Public Schools, training guidance counselors — realized early that her son was a different type of learner. 

“He’s a doer, and he was hungry to get out to do this. He wanted to develop the idea, obtain a patent and bring it to market. Bob and I agreed that this was a tremendous opportunity, and we had to encourage it,” she said.

R.J. developed the design and had it rendered through 3D printing. Serendipitously, about the same time he had the plans in hand, he was accepted into the first class of the region’s Young Entrepreneur’s Academy (YEA!), sponsored by the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce. 

YEA! is a year-long program that provides professional mentors, speakers and field trips. It culminates in a serious “pitch presentation,” which puts the kids in front of business people, or “cohorts,” who may be willing to invest. Between 15 and 20 middle- and high-school students are accepted to each cohort, all of them serious about bringing a product or service to market. 

“We would not be here without YEA!,” said Lori. “YEA! mentors taught him how to write a business plan, market the product, raise money and obtain patents and trademarks. It was an amazing educational opportunity.”

R.J. named his company Picklehead, LLC. “It seemed fitting,” he said. “My dad used to call me that as a little kid, and I was doing this to protect him and other chefs.”

Back at the IHHS booth, R.J., with professional aplomb, explained to the guests (who, it turns out, are buyers for a major chain store) how the Tip Tough works. 

“See these baby carrots? They normally roll around and are a pain to cut. But the Tip Tough not only protects your fingers, these little prongs hold down the carrot so, it stays in place. Line it up, and you can get very thin cuts you could never get otherwise without cutting yourself. And,” he paused, smiling, “It’s totally dishwasher-safe.”

He stepped back and invited the reps to try it out. They asked if they could buy it now, and he told them they could get the hand-assembled stainless-steel version at TipTough.com. He explained that the first manufacturing run of the stainless-steel Tip Tough Professional Chef would be available in June and that he is raising money to create the molds for the plastic “Home Chef” version, which he hopes to have in stores for this coming holiday season.

“I’m super-excited about the Tip Tough Home Chef because it comes in three sizes: medium and large for adults, and small, to protect kids’ hands. This means kids can learn to cook with less risk. Because what is it that keeps kids from cooking most?” he asked. “Knives. Everyone’s afraid of giving kids knives. Tip Tough makes it much easier and safer.”

R.J. won $15,000 at Salisbury University’s Shore Hatchery Competition last fall, taking second place in a pool of 30 adults. He’s received a $6,000 investment from TEDC, a Maryland-based innovation program, for the development of the stainless-steel molds. He was also just nominated for a Small Business Administration Rising Star Award.

At IHHS, he participated in a program called “Pitch to the Pros” — a group of industry professionals who come to give the inventors feedback on their products, Shark Tank-style. Nearly every one of the 15 judges he saw in the three rounds said R.J. “had something” and encouraged him to continue to push the envelope, refine the packaging and expand the reach of his social network. 

A longtime host on the Home Shopping Network visited R.J. at his booth after one of the sessions and told him “you’re TV” — meaning that he had the potential to reach the same heights as one of R.J.’s own idols, Scrub Daddy’s Aaron Krause. 

“That was so cool,” said R.J., who had the opportunity to speak with Krause — a source of inspiration to R.J since his Shark Tank debut. “I think I have watched every episode of that show, and I knew Scrub Daddy was going to be a hit. To meet Aaron and get some wisdom from him was amazing, and to hear I might be just like him one day, even better.”

Packing up the last day of the show, R.J. and Lori were tired but victorious. “This was so validating,” said Lori. “Several times during the show I thought I was going to cry, because each time someone in the industry praised him, I realized this was going to be a success. His dream is going to come true.”

 

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