Coastal Style Magazine en-US Mon, 01 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500 LEADING BY EXAMPLE Mon, 01 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Jonathan Westman Standing before four hundred people who were in attendance to honor him, Reese Cropper III took a moment to reflect on the civic and philanthropic...]]> Standing before four hundred people who were in attendance to honor him, Reese Cropper III took a moment to reflect on the civic and philanthropic accomplishments that earned him the brightly shining and well-earned light that was upon him. As Cropper prepared to deliver his remarks, the 2017 recipient of the Hal Glick Distinguished Service Award scanned the ballroom at Ocean City’s Clarion Fontainebleau to see family, friends, colleagues, business leaders and elected officials — all proud to know him. Reese knew that such speeches are usually forgettable and rife with thanks for any person they had ever come in contact with. “Not tonight,” he vowed to himself. Nervous and a bit uneasy with all of the attention of the evening, Cropper took a deep breath and began a speech that would be far different, and shockingly more personal, than anyone expected.

Reese Cropper III is a local in the purest sense. Born to Reese F. Cropper Jr. and Margaret Young of Berlin in 1960, he grew up on Gum Point Road and Turville Creek, across from the Glen Riddle Farm, in an area that was perfect for bike rides and playing in the woods. He attended Buckingham Elementary School through the 4th grade and then entered the Worcester Country School (Worcester Preparatory School today), where future headmaster Barry Tull served as his homeroom teacher. After graduating from Worcester Prep in 1978, Reese enrolled at Lynchburg College, where his passion for community involvement was shaped.

Armed with a degree in business administration earned in 1982, Reese returned to the Shore. After obtaining his insurance and real estate licenses, Cropper went to work right away. In 1996 he founded Insurance Management Group. Today, IMG employs more than 20 people, has two office locations and supports clients throughout Maryland, Delaware and Virginia. Reese’s connection to the community and his generous philanthropic efforts are both notable and extensive, as he founded the Berlin Chamber of Commerce, donates a golf tournament each year to Diakonia (its top-grossing fundraiser), has volunteered his time to the March of Dimes and American Cancer Society, among many other charitable organizations, insurance organizations and government boards. Today, he serves on the Worcester Preparatory School Board of Trustees, Calvin B. Taylor Bank’s Board of Directors, Maryland’s Community Association Institute Legislative Committee, Diakonia’s Board of Directors, Peninsula Regional Hospital Foundation’s Board of Directors and the State of Maryland’s Licensing/Liquor Board.

He’s been presented Lynchburg College’s Distinguished Alumni Award, and for years he’s played Santa Claus on Christmas Eve for friends who have young children.   

Yet, for all of his many personal, professional and civic successes, Cropper has spent the better part of his adult life suffering from depression. At Lynchburg, after losing his first love, he was introduced to something else he hadn’t known existed: a side of his mind that was vastly dark and desolate, filled with torment, insecurities and emotional voids that date back to his childhood. It is a place of such demons and despair, the handsome young man with a seemingly limitless future nearly ended it all with a shotgun. What follows are excerpts from Cropper’s poignant and moving speech to the guests of the 2017 Hal Glick Distinguished Service Award ceremony.

“Since my college years, and perhaps as a child, I’ve tried to find out why I would swing in and out of terrible dark periods, when I really had no reason to be that way,” Reese said at the top of his speech. “The depressions I speak of are severe. I am not referring to a sad situation that causes sad feelings. I am talking about weeks of chronic illness when I did not want to move forward in life and couldn’t focus on anything.

“It was impossible to find a medical reason for my problems, and during the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, depression was not a common illness, nor was it talked about. Depressed people were considered weak or thought of as having no drive and stamina. 

“After my college years, I was encouraged to seek psychological help. However, it was difficult for me to enter a counseling center because of the fear someone would see me and recognize me. Instead, I went to offices that were outside our area. I would sit in the lobby, waiting for the counselor, always hiding behind a magazine, held high and in front of my face. 

“Why can’t our society be proactive and realize people need help with mental illness? People who suffer on all levels need encouragement to get professional help and not to be degraded when they admit to their chronic depression, or worse, declare they want to end their life. The vortex of pain, anxiety and darkness that consumes a person to the point of suicide is painful and scary. I’m speaking of the dark hole where they end up, seeing no way out other than death. I know because I have been there. 

“The feeling of desperation, when you hold a shotgun to your head with a finger on a trigger, is worse than the feeling that death would provide as a more peaceful and better alternative. And when someone goes through this traumatic situation, and 911 is called, the despair and feelings get worse when the police officer promises to only transport you to the hospital but instead puts cuffs on you and loads you in his car. 

“Society does not accept mental illness the same as other illnesses. Instead, there are comments about the person being crazy or perhaps they are considered idiots for wanting to resort to such a dramatic end of their life. We need to stop these stigmas. When you look around this room, you would probably be shocked to realize how many people here have either suffered from depression or have lost a friend or loved one to suicide. I can tell you the person lost to suicide would never want you to blame yourself or think you could have prevented it. Their pain and darkness is so deep, it’s hard for healthy-minded people to understand.” 

Cropper, along with the Hal Glick Distinguished Service Award committee, raised an event record $130,000 in support of this year’s gala. The funds will be distributed to Temple Bat Yam, the Atlantic General Hospital Foundation and the following three charities selected by Reese for their depression counseling services and suicide prevention efforts:


Rebecca and Leighton Moore Childand Adolescent Behavioral Health Unit
Peninsula Regional Medical Center

In spring 2016, Peninsula Regional Medical Center and Adventist HealthCare Behavioral Health & Wellness Services joined the Peninsula Regional Medical Center Foundation to celebrate the opening of the new Rebecca and Leighton Moore Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Unit at PRMC. These specialists offer outpatient behavioral healthcare for children as young as 4 years old.

The highly skilled clinical team provides compassionate behavioral healthcare to help patients successfully manage their illness and maintain optimal activity at home or school. The Outpatient Wellness Clinic treats children with anxiety and stress; ADHD; bipolar disorder; conduct disorders; depression; grieving and loss; obsessive-compulsive disorder; personality disorders; post-traumatic stress disorder; and schizophrenia.

In addition to outpatient care for children and adolescents, PRMC offers adult inpatient and partial hospitalization services. 



Worcester Youth and Family
Counseling Services, Inc.

Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services, Inc. (WYFCS) has been serving the Worcester County community through programs that include comprehensive counseling, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), family-connection services and youth activities since 1975. Located in Berlin, WYFCS is increasing awareness about mental health, advocating for abused and neglected children, providing community resources and education, which is truly making a difference in the lives of the people in the community.



The Jesse Klump Suicide Awareness Prevention Program

In early 2009, the tragic death of Snow Hill’s Jesse Klump cast a pall over the entire community. The Jesse Klump Suicide Awareness and Prevention Program’s objective is to end the threat of suicide in Worcester County and beyond through a program of outreach and education.

In addition to several community organized events throughout the year, each month the program hosts a support group meeting for those who have lost loved ones to suicide and who are having difficulty coming to terms with their grief.


“I hope my candor with all of you tonight will make you more aware of people suffering from mental health issues. It’s literally all around us,” Cropper said, as his speech approached its conclusion. “It’s similar to when you buy a new car. You never realized before how many other people have the same color and model until you have one of your own. Well, maybe now you will begin to recognize how many other people need help dealing with chronic severe mental pain and the issues it causes.”


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ESSENTIAL DINING Mon, 01 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Bob Yesbek I love to give my readers, listeners and website visitors the lowdown on hidden culinary gems here at the beach. One of the best in the Rehoboth area...]]> I love to give my readers, listeners and website visitors the lowdown on hidden culinary gems here at the beach. One of the best in the Rehoboth area is the tucked-away Palate Bistro & Catering, hiding behind a brick façade in the commercial center adjacent to the Safeway on Coastal Highway. This intimate spot is a soothing respite from the endless hubbub going on just outside.

Owner-chefs Gary and Lorraine Papp were the opening toques at The Buttery in Lewes many years ago. They have integrated their Essential Chef catering service into this cafe/gourmet-to go-eatery, bringing with them a long list of references that include Delaware Governor John Carney, former Governor Jack Markel and Senator Tom Carper.

Before they moved to the beach in the early ’90s, Gary and Lorraine were the proud owners of the Wycombe Inn, a Victorian country inn just outside of New Hope, PA. They were expecting the arrival of their second child when they accepted the kitchen-boss positions at the soon-to-open Buttery in Lewes, originally located in the New Devon Inn (now the Hotel Rodney). After a short time, the owners worked hand-in-hand with the Papps to relocate The Buttery to a stately Lewes Victorian at Second and Savannah, where it remains — under new ownership — to this day.

Gary and Lorraine eventually created their own brand, The Essential Chef. “We wanted to share our knowledge and experience on three levels,” Gary says. “The first was education.” Gary taught culinary arts to disabled and alternative learning students for Now We’re Cooking, a vocational program operated in Georgetown by the First State Community Action Agency.

The second level is consulting. In 2008, Gary worked closely with Brick Hotel owners Ed and Lynn Lester to help open The Brick Restaurant and Tavern, assisting in the kitchen layout and design for the Georgetown landmark. Catering is the third element, and Gary and Lorraine are proud of the loyal catering clients who consistently rely on The Essential Chef. I’ll add phase four: Palate Café & Catering in the Shops at Seacoast on Coastal Highway in Rehoboth.

The artfully designed eatery showcases Gary and Lorraine’s exceptional talents with its copper-top bar, tapestried walls and extensive kitchen. Like their one-of-a-kind dishes, the menu steps out of the box with delicacies like spicy sesame watercress salad; a craft Caesar with kale and locatelli cheese; bourbon & brown sugar-braised beef brisket; coriander cumin eggplant and chickpea stew (a vegan favorite), and Gary’s famous lump crab and Vermont cheddar hot dish. Of course, the slightly less adventurous (and you know who you are!) can get the grass-fed all-beef burger, Lorraine’s known-the-world-over chicken salad with granny smiths, or a cast-iron ribeye with a coffee stout glaze. Without a doubt, desserts are Lorraine’s territory and they do not disappoint.

Like the majority of Cape Region eateries, Palate’s menu changes with the seasons. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday with happy hour half-price burgers from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the bar. Seating is limited, so make reservations and double-check their hours. (This is the beach, after all, so y’never know.)



Editor's note: Bob Yesbek, "The Rehoboth Foodie," writes about the latest news and reviews here on the Culinary Coast. Visit for the very latest Breaking Chews. And stay in the know with the Rehoboth In My Pocket travel app – everything you need to know about the Rehoboth-Dewey-Lewes resort area. Available at The App Store & Google Play.


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POWER IN NUMBERS Mon, 01 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Jennifer Cording A great many things in life are difficult. Certainly one of them is earning the trust of an unusually tight-knit community with the precious assets...]]> A great many things in life are difficult. Certainly one of them is earning the trust of an unusually tight-knit community with the precious assets they’ve worked so hard to accumulate. Now, try doing that at the same high level for 40 years, and you’ve got the Eastern Shore’s most recognized Certified Public Accounting and business-advisory firm, PKS & Company, P.A.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018, partner John M. Stern, CPA/PFS, says the secret of the firm’s success lies in not just what it knows, but who it knows — or, rather, who it hires.

“It is our spirited staff with a passion for helping people, coupled with excellent training and quality clients is the foundation for our success” says John M. Stern, CPA/PFS.

Once, accountants were thought of as “bean counters.” But today the business of accounting is much more. PKS takes a different angle, with an ever-evolving approach to managing clients’ accounting and financial-planning needs.

“We are proactive advisors and business partners, versus historians,” said Daniel M. O’Connell, CPA/PFS, CVA. “We become part of our client’s team of advisors. They turn to us regularly to solve everyday problems. We’re in constant communication with our clients, not just in contact with them once a year.”

It is this approach to client service that’s been integral to PKS for decades. PKS focuses its ability to personally address the needs of clients, some of whom have been part of PKS’ clientele from the firm’s inception.

“We are in the people business,” said Stern. “We work as a team. We don’t work as individuals within the firm. The clients have access to everybody in our firm, not just one person.”

PKS is structured strategically to remain small enough to offer prompt, individualized service, yet large enough to provide an inclusive, sophisticated array of services to its clients. Many PKS associates have degrees and certifications beyond the typical accounting degree.

The company’s range of expertise extends to many industries and entities that are central to the Delmarva economy, including healthcare, hospitality, government, agribusiness, condominiums and HOAs, construction, business consulting, food service and restaurants, nonprofit organizations and others. 

To maximize opportunities for clients, PKS is a member of Allinial Global, an association of accounting and consulting firms, the members of which reinforce


PKS began in 1978 as James Pigg & Company Certified Public Accountants from the home of Jim Pigg, CPA. As the city grew, so did the firm. By 1991, the firm had 38 employees and had won the Salisbury Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business of the Year award.

“The Firm started with a couple of key people, and although those individuals have left, we are continuously bringing up the next generation,” said Stern.

“Here, it’s a small family that’s been growing for 40 years. We have a low turnover in personnel. There are a lot of relationships that have existed for many years, and we have clients who have been with us for generations.”

A family-friendly atmosphere and flexibility within the company has long been a hallmark of PKS. “The people, the variety of the work we do, the flexibility, the fun,” said Jean Webster, CPA, CPP, when asked why she enjoys working at the firm.

“I love the culture of PKS,” said Kevin Dorman, CPA. “We have a close group, which allows us to collaborate and grow.”

“We work with our employees to support the family,” Stern said. “We have been very progressive in understanding the link between high-performing employees and their ability to support and interact with their families.”

“The firm developed a flexible and reduced-hour work schedule that enabled me to spend time with my children, attend their many events over the years and continue my professional growth,” said Susan P. Keen, CPA. 

“PKS is definitely a family,” added Ashley M. Stern, CPA, MBA, CGFM, daughter of John Stern. “I may have a father who works here, but it also feels as each coworker and client is an extension of my own family. I look out for them like I would a brother or a sister, and my clients and coworkers do the same for me.”

In turn, PKS not only encourages their employees to support the community by donating time and services to diverse civic organization and charities, but provides the flexibility and financial support to do so.



Noting a need among its clients for sound financial-planning advice, PKS established PKS Investment Advisors LLC in 1999. It’s a core belief at PKS that the coordination between financial plans and tax plans benefits clients with a service unique to financial planning. As a registered investment advisory firm, PKS adheres to a strict fiduciary standard and provides advice with the client’s best interests in mind. The firm is legally bound to act in its clients’ best interest and has done so since its inception.

Planning is provided for clients at all stages of life. Some are busy professionals seeking strategies to grow and accumulate wealth. Others are close to retirement and need a plan to transition from accumulating to withdrawing from their assets. Still others are already in retirement and concerned about outliving their money.

“Having a diverse team of accounting professionals available to answer questions relevant to creating and monitoring a client’s financial plan is invaluable,” said Timothy A. Gonzales, CFP®, AAMS®. In my opinion, there is no better client experience than having one’s financial planner and accountant working as a team.”


While celebrating its 40th anniversary and having grown into the most diverse firm of its kind in the area, PKS remains focused on growth and building the Firm of the Future. 

“We want to make sure PKS is here to support the next generation of business owners on Delmarva” said O’Connell. “We do this by offering forward-thinking advisory services to our clients, investing in the latest technologies and providing our staff with professional development that well exceeds the industry norm.”

The heart of the firm really lies in its local roots, its employees and its philosophy of “accounting is a lifetime of learning.” All professional staff are encouraged to set aside time for self-improvement and pursue additional degrees and certifications. Many are certified in fraud examination, business valuation, retirement plan administration, government financial management and personal financial planning — and others have gone on to obtain post-secondary degrees.

“PKS helped me pass the CPA exam by paying for my study materials and providing the time and flexibility I needed to focus,” said Adrienne Tyler, a first year accountant with the firm.  “The support and encouragement I received from my colleagues and the partners makes PKS
a really positive environment.” 

“We’ve assembled the best talent and recognize how fortunate we are to have access to a quality institution like Salisbury University that produces well-educated accounting and finance graduates. More than half of our professional staff are graduates of Salisbury University and three-quarters have local roots,” added Stern.

PKS’ commitment to its team and clients is strengthened by the tools and resources the firm provides. Significant investments in technology improve efficiency, provide the ability to collaborate in an instant, allows staff to work flexible schedules and maintain a good work-life balance.

“Whether I’ve left the office early to coach my son’s soccer team or I am working remotely, I’m able to access anything I need to provide my clients with timely support and the service they expect,” says Andrew M. Haynie, CPA, CFE.

“Our continuous investment in technology, training and most importantly, our people, has proven to be the formula for our success,” says O’Connell. “This investment will be the driving force of our continued success as we look ahead to our 50th anniversary.” 


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MAJOR CHAMPION Mon, 01 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Jennifer Cording Even for non-golfers, the scene at Baywood Greens is opulent and captivating — stunning green fairways, remarkable water views, exquisite...]]> Even for non-golfers, the scene at Baywood Greens is opulent and captivating — stunning green fairways, remarkable water views, exquisite landscaping. 

But it’s more than just a pretty view for those golfers who want a challenge or for those who want a sophisticated but simple dining experience. Baywood Greens’ reputation for charming elegance has reached far beyond Sussex County.

“It’s become a destination,” said Robert Tunnell III, the principal of Tunnell Companies, whose father, Robert Tunnell Jr., opened Baywood Greens in 1998.

In fact, Golf Digest named the Baywood Greens golf course the “Top 5 places to golf in Delaware” in 2017, and has consistently named the course among its top-50 golf courses in the U.S.

Still, there’s more. Baywood Greens is the region’s wedding destination, named in Brides magazine, as well as Southern Living, as a 2017 top East Coast venue for brides and grooms. 

And the food — none other than SoDel Concepts is the driving force behind the culinary offerings at the Baywood Greens clubhouse, special events and golf-course dining. 

All told, there are few destinations in the Mid-Atlantic quite like it. Located in Long Neck, near historic Millsboro, Baywood Greens also boasts a location near the beach and the shopping opportunities of Rehoboth.

“It’s a good place to get away and have a wonderful time,” said Tony Hollerback, PGA, head golf professional at Baywood Greens.


Golfing has evolved over the years, according to Tony, and it’s obvious that Baywood Greens has grown with it. 

“The golf industry has changed,” said Tony. “It’s now more an experience. Along with the challenge of the course, what we’re known for is the landscaping. It’s a different look. It’s a lot more landscaped than most golf courses.”

In fact, Tony’s task — along with the golf staff of 20 — is to ensure the players’ experience is pleasant. Technology, including golf carts equipped with GPS capability, enables staffers to track golfers and offer help or advice if needed.

The course offers 18 holes, including the Woodside Course and the Waterside Course. A third course, the Dune Course, is currently under construction. Golf is integral to the community at Baywood Greens, and players can drive everywhere in their carts, including to the clubhouse and other facilities.

Baywood Greens also offers tailored golf packages, which include a stay at one of the facility’s brand-new “golf home vacation rentals,” where players can relax in luxury between rounds of golf. The homes are only a short golf-cart ride from The Clubhouse at Baywood, the driving range and the Baywood Pro Shop.

There are also regular golf leagues and frequent tournaments. It’s a course with challenge and exceptional charm, said Tony, but it also has the feeling of community among the players, many of whom are frequent guests, full-time or part-time residents he knows well.

“I know a lot of them,” said Tony, calling out to several by name on a drive around the course. “There are a lot of nice people. They’re just so happy to be here.”



At Baywood Greens, the small-town lifestyle of yesteryear is melded with every modern convenience. All of the homes have front porches, many of them wrap-around style, some even on a second story. The lots are smaller and close to the street, and there are large areas of open space. All of it encourages a sense of belonging, Robert said.

“I think that’s one of the draws,” he added. “You do get a sense of community. There’s a lot of socialization.”

Residents organize many of their own community events, plus Baywood Greens and SoDel Concepts hold everything from a Fourth of July cookout to “Movie on the Green” events, with big-screen movie showings on the lawn.

Residents, along with the general public, can dine at The Clubhouse at Baywood, with its spacious lobby and sprawling veranda spectacularly decorated according to the season. There, they can enjoy coastal cuisine created by a highly trained chef who serves it with a simple elegance. 

Open for lunch and dinner daily and brunch on Sundays, the restaurant is surrounded by stunning views of the golf course. The seasonal displays of flowers and lush greenery are so meticulously maintained, even garden clubs come to tour the grounds. It’s all part of the
SoDel Concepts family of restaurants, which owns nine other coastal restaurants in Delaware.

“It’s been a great venture for us, as well,” said Danielle Pannarello, director of operations for SoDel Concepts. “Our chef really is spectacular.”

Indeed, lunchtime guests pour into The Clubhouse at Baywood, even on a weekday. Not only do Baywood Greens residents and the general public dine here, the venue frequently hosts corporate retreats, bridal showers, celebrations of life, reunions and wine parties. Additionally, in 2017, about three-dozen weddings were held at the resort, where the ballroom can accommodate 250 guests.



In all, Baywood Greens is known as an event and vacation treasure in Sussex County, one the fastest-growing areas in Delaware and wildly popular with residents of urban areas of Northern Virginia and Washington, DC, among others. With taxes very low compared with neighboring states, many urbanites have purchased second homes and retirement homes here. 

Baywood keeps several vacation homes for anyone considering purchasing a home there, making it easy to sample the laid-back but luxurious and rewarding life at a major resort golf community near the beach.

“You see it with the residents; everyone is happy being here,” Robert said.

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PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE Mon, 01 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Nick Brandi In 2016, Beebe Healthcare celebrated a proud century of providing dedicated, top-flight healthcare to residents of southeastern Sussex County. For the...]]> In 2016, Beebe Healthcare celebrated a proud century of providing dedicated, top-flight healthcare to residents of southeastern Sussex County. For the dawn of its second century, however, the institution will not rest on its copious laurels. Instead, Beebe announced plans for the biggest augmentation of operations and services in its history — a proposed $180 million expansion designed to address what will be the future healthcare needs of the region.

In the next five years, the U.S. population is projected to increase 3.8 percent, while the population of Sussex County over the same period is projected to increase almost twice that, to 7.4 percent. Southeastern Sussex County specifically is expected to increase even more, to 9.2 percent five years from now. Those sobering statistics translate to some significant healthcare demands in the region’s future, with oncology needs expected to rise almost 32 percent by 2022, and need for surgical services swelling by almost 63 percent as of 2024. Emergency Department admissions are expected to increase, too, though not to the same degree as either surgical or oncological services.

In response, Beebe Healthcare has devised a sweeping three-pronged proposed strategy to expand its services and operations, with the addition of approximately 270 new medical professionals covering three locations in Sussex County. What follows is a breakdown of the coming enhancements of healthcare in the region that Beebe serves.

I. Savannah Road Campus, Lewes
Situated on the grounds of the health system’s flagship location, at the corner of Savannah Road and 4th Street, this $80 million component will offer a 100,000 sq. ft., four-story facility that will provide 30 private beds on a discrete medical/surgical floor for complex medical and surgical inpatients, with another floor dedicated to an enhanced women’s health center. Two floors will be shelled for future growth or program opportunities. The Lewes campus will remain the home of Beebe’s cardiovascular care, creating a Heart and Vascular Center of Excellence. The new Savannah Road patient wing and pavilion is being made possible in part due to a $10 million donation — one of the largest in the state’s history — from the Rollins family through its Ma-Ran Foundation. The new building, which will be named the Margaret H. Rollins Pavilion, is the latest in a 30-year history of philanthropy to Beebe Healthcare by the Rollins family.

II. Rehoboth Beach Campus
In Rehoboth, Beebe will create a $62 million, 71,000 sq. ft., three-story facility devoted to short-stay surgical procedures, such as Orthopaedic, General and Urologic surgery. The hospital will also be home to The Minimally Invasive Surgical Center of Excellence that will be equipped to handle minimally invasive procedures urologic, orthopaedic, spinal surgery, general surgery and gynecologic procedures. The facility will include a da Vinci surgical robot. The top floor will provide 30 beds devoted to short-stay inpatient surgical procedures (likely three days or less), while the second floor will offer perioperative care, with five operating rooms and between 16 and 20 pre- and post-anesthesia bays. Support services such as food, pharmacy and imaging will be found on the ground floor.

III. Millville Campus, Route 17
South Coastal residents will see development of a Beebe Health Campus on Route 17 near Millville by the Sea that will include an all-new freestanding Emergency Department capable of receiving 10,000–12,000 visits a year. Estimated at $33 million, the 22,000 sq. ft., year-round facility will offer 22 exam bays to start and boast a helipad and an on-site ambulance. The campus will also house a second site of Beebe’s lauded Tunnell Cancer Center that will include infusion therapy and radiation oncology, as well as outreach and support services. The development of these two services will augment the full diagnostic imaging, physical-rehabilitation services, laboratory and walk-in care currently offered in Millville on Route 26.

“Beebe remains committed to expanding with the community and to meeting the healthcare needs of the people who live in and visit the area,” said Jeffrey Fried, FACHE, president and CEO of Beebe Healthcare. “This plan is an innovative response to the expectations of healthcare customers for excellent service provided in convenient locations and to the insurance companies’ requirements that we be as efficient and cost-effective as possible.

“At the end of the day,” Fried continued, “the excellence of service and care at Beebe Healthcare has always come down to something greater than bricks and mortar. The true greatness of Beebe is its people, our most important asset. Our staff have always served the community with such faithful dedication, so it’s our ultimate to make that ongoing mission even easier, so that these amazing people can keep doing this incredible work.”


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THINGS ARE HEATING UP Mon, 01 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Jennifer Cording There is no better business advertisement than an existing customer referring a neighbor. That’s exactly what happened after Steve Bunoski of South...]]> There is no better business advertisement than an existing customer referring a neighbor. That’s exactly what happened after Steve Bunoski of South Bethany Beach, Delaware, and Millersville, Maryland, hired Green Street Solar to install solar panel systems on each of his two homes.

“Literally, our next-door neighbor did it [afterward],” said Bunoski, noting several reasons he decided to “go solar.” “It’s the whole package. You feel good about the environment. It’s a win-win situation. You eventually end up making money on the deal.”

He likes the idea of “greener energy,” but saving money was his primary goal, Bunoski said. Similarly, most customers hire Green Street Solar for the significant financial savings, said Derek Dykes, operations manager of the company based in Selbyville since 2008.

“During the day, when sun is shining, your electric meter can actually spin backwards,” Dykes said. “From the time it’s installed you start saving money.”

The federal government offers a 30 percent tax credit, which remains in effect until 2019. Dykes said some people aren’t aware this particular tax credit is still available to buyers. In Delaware customers could be eligible to receive a Green Energy Fund Rebate up to $3,000. Businesses can apply for accelerated bonus tax depreciation on the system. In Maryland, homeowners could be eligible to receive a $1,000 grant from the state toward the cost of the Green Street Solar system. Businesses can receive grants up to $50,000 and apply accelerated bonus depreciation. Certain Maryland counties have a property tax credit up to $5,000.

“It’s important to look at solar as an investment,” said Dykes. “The solar system should last 25-30 years or even longer. Currently, the typical return on investment in Delaware is around seven years, so years seven through 30 is just money in your pocket.”

A solar system from Green Street Solar is designed to be aesthetically unobtrusive. The panels are installed on the roof of a home, business or even an outbuilding — or a ground-mounted system array is attached to poles that are cemented into the ground, explained Dykes. Green Street Solar has in-house electricians and never utilizes subcontractors.

Bunoski said he and his wife researched several companies and attended trade shows before finalizing their decision to hire Green Street Solar, where the Bunoskis found “well-educated people who know what they’re doing,” he said. Their work ethic impressed him, as well. The installation on the South Bethany house was done during the summer heat.

“It was one of those days where it was 100 degrees,” Bunoski recalled. “I turned to the guys, and I said, ‘Look, I’ll hose down the roof for you.’” The Green Street Solar installers, however, turned down the generous offer, stating that they did not want to chance compromising the flashing seals they were about to install on its surface and expressed their appreciation to the client.

“That told me something about the company. They were going to do it the right way, no matter what,” Bunoski said. “It’s just the right thing to do and Green Street Solar was the right company to deal with.”

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WHEN CAMBRIDGE BURNED Fri, 01 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Brian Shane VICKY JACKSON WAS SITTING AT HOME on that steaming-hot July 24 night in 1967. Her father, Fred, had been active in the civil-rights movement, but on...]]> VICKY JACKSON WAS SITTING AT HOME on that steaming-hot July 24 night in 1967. Her father, Fred, had been active in the civil-rights movement, but on that night, he was home with family. She heard there was going to be a rally on Pine Street, and a leading voice in the movement, H. Rap Brown, was coming to town to talk to some of the young people. But her father explicitly told her and her sister: “Stay in the house.”

Something woke her in the middle of the night. It was the sound of gunshots, just three blocks from their house. Looking out from her second-floor window, she was astonished to see flames dancing over the rooftops. 

“I remember thinking,” she said, “Oh my God, Pine Street’s on fire. All I could see was the red flames. I remember being afraid because I knew my father was out there somewhere, trying to extinguish the flames!”

When the sun rose the next day, she saw Pine Street, the heart of the city’s vibrant and historic black community, in ashes and the people around her in tears. 

“I felt like crying myself, because I didn’t understand why we would do that — we, meaning the black community — would burn down parts of Pine Street. I knew what was happening, but I didn’t know the significance,” she said.

Victoria L. Jackson-Stanley made headlines in 2008 when she first took office, not only as Cambridge’s first African-American mayor, but as the first female mayor in her hometown’s history, as well. Now in her third term, she still thinks often of the events that shook Cambridge to its core 50 years ago.

Looking back on that night, Jackson-Stanley says the fires, and what led to them, were based on simmering racial tension from a black community sick and tired of the status quo. Because they were so frustrated, she says, they took matters into their own hands. 

That seminal event in Cambridge history is being reexamined now, five decades later. Local activists Dion Banks and Kisha Petticolas founded the Eastern Shore Network for Change and launched a four-day event in July to commemorate the civil-rights movement in Cambridge, “Reflections on Pine.”

They seek, among other things, to create a comfortable conversation in and around their hometown about a point on the timeline that, for many people, had simply been ignored. The two realized that much of Cambridge’s racial strife was a stagnant wound that had never properly healed. This recognition led to their first collaboration in 2012, a community conversation called “45 Years After the Fire.”

With 150 people in attendance, “We realized that voices kind of raised up as the conversation got going,” Banks said. “People got emotional. People were crying. Kisha and I had to regroup, because we were in total shock. We decided to let the emotions ebb and flow, because they were real, and the people were in a safe place.”


IT WAS THEN that Banks and Petticolas decided to plan for the 50th anniversary. The goal was not only to commemorate what happened a half-century earlier but to get everyone involved today. It was not to be a black event or a white event, but instead an event for the entire community to learn, listen, heal and talk. 

“Reflections on Pine” began on Thursday night, with an opening reception at Chesapeake College that unveiled the ESNC’s pictorial exhibit. From there it was on to the Hyatt Chesapeake, where local civil-rights activist Gloria Richardson Dandridge spoke. Friday included a lecture at the library with Peter Levy and David “Nicky” Henry, followed by a mural unveiling near the entrance to town, highlighting the African-Americans of Dorchester County, then dinner back at the Hyatt. Saturday saw a public conversation on race moderated by Pulitzer Prize winner E.R. Shipp, followed on Sunday by a unity walk and church service at Bethel A.M.E. on Pine Street, which had been home to the Cambridge movement of the 1960s.

Continuously active since 1847, Bethel A.M.E. possesses some of the oldest stained-glass pieces in the state of Maryland, as well as one of the only fully functioning pipe organs in America. They’re now working on securing grant monies for church restoration, because, as Petticolas said, “We need this to remain the heart of the movement. To put it in context: Before we were free, we were functioning in this very spot.

“The ‘Reflections on Pine’ weekend was a commemoration of events, not all of them good, but it was about celebrating the people who had the courage to push forward,” Petticolas added. “We are picking up the mantle and pushing forward, standing on their shoulders.”


DURING THE TIME OF AMERICAN SLAVERY in the early 1800s, black people in Cambridge formed a community off High Street. From that point, on into the 20th century, the black community grew and strengthened. Pine Street even had the only African-American library in the state of Maryland.

But Cambridge was a town segregated by geography. The white community had their lives and businesses on Race Street, while the black community had theirs on Pine Street, which emerged as the heart of the African-American community. There were dozens of small businesses in the neighborhood. They called it Black Wall Street and Little New York. It was prominently featured in the Green Book, a travel guide for African-Americans in the 1950s and ’60s that reported which hotels and restaurants would be safe and welcoming.

The district — stretching along Pine Street, from Muir Street to Cedar Street — included nearly 40 businesses and could rival prominent black neighborhoods like Harlem or U Street in Washington. The Phillips Packing Co. was one of the largest processing plants in the nation, employing 10,000 people in Cambridge. During wartime, the company won contracts to supply canned goods to the military, and for that reason the plant was running shifts around the clock.

In the 1930s, the community was paid more than $1 million in wages, and Cambridge attracted some of the greatest names in music to the clubs on Pine Street, including Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway and James Brown. But that all changed when the packing companies lost their wartime contracts, and the employers left Cambridge, in the 1950s. Unemployment averaged 30 percent for whites, but soared past 70 percent for blacks.

“When the contracts go, your jobs go,” Banks said. “They started closing places and laying off people. There became this movement, locally, to protect white jobs versus black jobs.”

As the racial strife intensified, the National Guard was called to Cambridge during 1963-’64, one of the longest stretches of military occupation of any American city in the history of the civil-rights movement.

‘There was a war taking place in Cambridge,” said Peter Levy, author of Civil War on Race Street, during remarks at “Reflections on Pine.” “The Guard was brought in and maintained, essentially, for a year to prevent endless violence. The most amazing thing about Cambridge is that more people weren’t killed. It’s remarkable, on both sides.”

Cambridge in the 1960s became home to one of the most vibrant civil-rights movements anywhere in the U.S. But the town never achieved the same notoriety as other flashpoints of the movement. That’s because what was happening in Cambridge didn’t fit with the national narrative of a struggle for public accommodations like lunch counters and public buses. On the contrary, the Cambridge movement was focused on education and employment. When the national narrative turned to public accommodations, Cambridge’s story got subsumed by that.

“Cambridge needs to see itself as a place that belongs on the modern Freedom Trail,” Levy said. “I think in some ways, Cambridge needs to be put back on that map if we’re to understand what took place in the 1960s,” he said.

Cambridge did come to national attention after the events of July 24, 1967, however, when H. Rap Brown -— chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and an active Black Panther invited to speak by Gloria Richardson — delivered a powerful address while standing atop a parked car.

“Black power — that’s the way to say it. Don’t be scared of these honkies around here. Say black power,” Brown told his audience, according to a transcript from the Maryland State Archives. “You've got to be proud of being black. You can’t run around here, calling yourself ‘colored,’ calling yourself Negroes. That’s a word the honkies gave you. You’re black, brother, and be proud of it. It’s beautiful thing to be black.

“And now, we look at what the man does to black people. A 10-year-old boy in Newark is dead. A 19-year-old boy shot 39 times, four times in the head. It don’t take but one bullet to kill you. So they’re really trying to tell you something else. How much they hate you. How much they hate black folks.

“You just been running around here, letting them do everything they want. I mean, don’t be trying to love that honkey to death. Shoot him to death, brother, ’cause that's what he’s out to do to you. Like I said in the beginning, if this town don’t come ’round, this town should be burned down. It should be burned down, brother.”


THE FIRE STARTED THAT NIGHT behind Pine Street Elementary School, which had been built in 1918 as a school for black first–through–seventh graders in the neighborhood. Today, the Cambridge Empowerment Center sits on the site; only a tall concrete-block wall remains of what used to be the school.

As the fire spread across Pine Street, it engulfed other homes and businesses. The block was soon an inferno. Yet, Cambridge Police Chief Brice Kinnamon stood back and kept the fire company from moving onto the scene to do their job, according to Levy.

Several residents, including a black city commissioner, begged Kinnamon to intervene.

“No,” came his reply. “We’re gonna let it burn.”

Eventually, the fire company did break through to begin putting out the blaze, Levy said, but it was too far out of control.

“It burned the heart of this community,” Petticolas said, standing on Pine Street, at the site of the old schoolhouse. “It wiped it out. Where the African-American community had been very progressive, this took things to a whole different place. It looked like somebody dropped a bomb.”

Pine Street today is a shadow of its former self. Of all the black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs on Pine Street, only the Elks Lodge — a pillar of the neighborhood — and Zion Church were able to rebuild. The neighborhood has since slipped into an economic depression. The cause of the fire, wiping out two city blocks, was never officially determined.

The economic and cultural impacts of that one night proved instant and lasting, said Jackson-Stanley and Banks, and Pine Street has been unable to rebound in the 50 years since.  

“That dollar does not circulate on Pine Street anymore, not the way it used to,” Banks continued. “We don’t have the cultural experience, the sense of community. We have people who remember and talk about the heyday; we have books about it. But to experience Pine Street the way my mother and her friends used to, that’s gone.”

At the time, authorities said they kept their firefighters off Pine Street because they feared for their safety. One civil-rights icon has another theory. Now 95 years old, Gloria Richardson, who led the Cambridge movement in the early ’60s, explained that in 1967, the black community in Cambridge had been boycotting white businesses. One tactic included asking young kids to loiter in front of certain storefronts on Race Street. If shoppers from the black community saw those kids, it was a signal not to patronize that shop. She added that Pine Street businessmen went so far as to hire buses and pay for the gasoline and drivers to shuttle members of the black community out of Cambridge, to go shopping instead in Salisbury and Easton.

“I think they let that place burn down,” Richardson said, “because they realized the black businessmen in Cambridge were also supporting the boycott. They were glad to see the stores and restaurants and motels the black people had built up be burned down.”

A Cambridge native, Richardson had a no-nonsense, militant style that clashed with others in the movement, such as John Lewis, who favored nonviolence. Her moment in the spotlight came in 1963, when rioting rocked Cambridge following a march by African-Americans in protest of the sentencing of two young demonstrators.

Counter-demonstrations by white protestors followed. Governor Millard Tawes ultimately ordered the National Guard into Cambridge to maintain law and order. He also implemented a curfew, which quelled the demonstrations. But the unrest would continue, and as a result, the guardsmen were deployed in Cambridge for 18 months.


THE WHITE HOUSE GOT INVOLVED, and Gloria Richardson was Cambridge’s liaison to Washington. She worked hand in hand with Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and, after many hours of negotiations, the Treaty of Cambridge emerged. It called for desegregation of public accommodations and public schools, the formation of a biracial committee and the creation of a federally sponsored housing project.

And the guardsmen left.

The treaty itself “was absolutely iconic and amazing,” Banks said. “This woman was like a five-star general in the way she thinks, the way she talks. She was clear on her demands, and she let them know, if you shoot, we’re shooting back. She didn’t mobilize a bunch of supporters. She mobilized an army.”

“Reflections on Pine” had invited Richardson back to Cambridge, for what was supposed to be an intimate conversation looking back on 1967. Offering 120 tickets initially, it sold out instantly. They bumped it to 200, then 250. Every ticket sold out.

“When she walked in,” Petticolas said, “she put her hand over her face. She was shocked and overwhelmed that so many people from Cambridge wanted to hear her talk.”

Sparking that conversation about 1967, and doing it in such a big way, had made the people of Cambridge feel it’s okay to talk about the events of Pine Street and to cross whatever invisible line was there, Petticolas said. She said before now, people didn’t want to talk about it because it conjured difficult emotions.

“We’re almost to the point where we’ve caught our breath, and we’re working on what happens next,” she said. “There’s this momentum that we need, to come together and do things. It feels like we’ve created a momentum with “Reflections on Pine” that has become contagious.

“There’s still plenty of work to do,” she added. “I’m not saying everything is as it should be, but we’ve come a long way, and there is a definite sense of pride in that.”

Things are now changing for Cambridge. It’s starting to see reinvestment, like a facelift to a derelict shopping center along Route 50. 

“When you’re the through-road to the beach, and you get a Chick-Fil-A in your town, and a Starbucks, people are going to stop and say: ‘What else is here?’ Cambridge is going to be the place to come. Things are going to change, and it’s going to be amazing for Cambridge,” Petticolas said.

In the months to come, the Eastern Shore Network for Change plans to coalesce around issues such as housing, education and prisoner reentry. They’re also planning an “illumination project,” a year-long conversation on race.

Meanwhile, Petticolas and Banks are planning a bold new chapter in the form of a museum on Pine Street that would be dedicated to the movement, among other related community activities.

“We’re using this building to train the next generation of entrepreneurs who will start businesses on Pine Street,” Petticolas said. “This nonprofit is the beginning. It’s primarily a museum, with tentacles that reach out: We see a learning center, dream lab and incubator space here one day.”

Inside the facility, Banks and Petticolas also are planning for classroom space, rental space for events, a sound-and-video studio for multimedia production, and office space for the Eastern Shore Network for Change. It doesn’t have an official name yet, but for now they’re calling it “Reflections on Pine, Phase II.” By using the space as an incubator, they can create more anchors on Pine Street, so the community can start generating more revenue. That should lead to more investments in business, property and eventually tourism and the arts.

“There are plenty of people in this community looking for an opportunity and have no idea where to start,” she said. “We have the know-how, means and capital to start that kind of rebuilding. We’re going to move forward and step out of this, into something great.”

> ef80ab7164d1139aa9316423c8f8488c HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES ]]>
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 for more information.

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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.” 



> 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.

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.


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.”


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.”


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. 


“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.”  


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.


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.”



West Ocean City, Selbyville and Fenwick Island Showroom Locations

> 9373514a4d73cbee583756e694bbd77a COVER STORY ]]>
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.




> 8a4fc8decbdaf15f4f7eafe8fb3c2331 MONEY MATTERS ]]>
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 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.

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. 

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.

> 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.”  


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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, 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

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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!”



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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 Going with a group? Call them at 302-934-5822.

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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.


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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 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.




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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    

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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.


“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.”



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


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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?
I do.

CSM: When was the last time you surfed?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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.
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?
[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?
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].
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?
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?
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?
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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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.”





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