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Business Briefs

December 6, 2017

Rehoboth-Dewey chamber appoints Mitchell Resnick to board

Carol Everhart, president and CEO, and the board of directors of the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce have announced the appointment of Mitchell Resnick to the chamber board. Members of the board’s executive committee selected Resnick from a panel of eight candidates to recommend to the full board to fill the seat vacated by Kyle Morgan of Mercantile Processing Inc. Resnick is the CFO for Right Balance Pilates in Lewes, and is a full-time resident of Rehoboth Beach. He will begin board service in 2018 after he is installed at the chamber's annual awards banquet Feb. 8 at the Atlantic Sands Hotel.

Resnick’s experience includes more than 20 years in the commercial real estate and fixed-income securities markets. After a 15-year career at Goldman Sachs in New York and London, he joined Freddie Mac in McLean, Va., where he oversaw the multifamily capitals markets group for five years. After that, he joined Walker & Dunlop in Bethesda, Md., where he is overseeing the development of an asset management business. Along with his wife Carin Langen, he helped found Right Balance Pilates in January 2017. The Resnick family purchased a house in Rehoboth Beach 12 years ago and moved to the area full time with their three kids earlier this year.

"I am thrilled to be representing the health and wellness sector on the board, and look forward to working with all members of the chamber," said Resnick.

Nicole Faries receives Randall J. Holland Professionalism Award

Nicole M. Faries, a senior associate with Michael P. Morton PA, has been selected as the first recipient of the Terry-Carey Inn of Court Randall J. Holland Professionalism Award. This prestigious honor was awarded to Faries at the Terry-Carey Inn of Court Nov. 15. She is a member of the Delaware State Bar Association, participating in the young lawyers and real estate sections; a member of the Preliminary Review Committee of the Delaware Board of Professional Responsibility; a member of the Terry-Carey Inn of Court; and a trustee for The Delaware Law Related Education Center Inc. Faries previously served on the Delaware Board of Canvass, as an associate member on the Delaware Board of Bar Examiners, and as the Kent and Sussex Liaison for the New Lawyer's DSBA Section. She was also an active member in the Kent County Bar Association. Faries was recently elected to the board of directors of the First State Manufactured Housing Association. In addition to her involvement in the legal industry, Faries is a member of SAG-Aftra and participates in union activities in the Philadelphia division. Faries has a full-services civil litigation practice with a particular focus and specialty in land-use issues, landlord-tenant law and manufactured housing law.

Tidewater seeks nonprofit beneficiary applications by Dec. 31

Tidewater Utilities Inc., a water and wastewater service provider headquartered in Dover, is now accepting applications from local nonprofit organizations seeking to be beneficiaries of its 11th Annual Charity Golf Tournament to be held Monday, Aug. 13, at the Heritage Shores Golf Course in Bridgeville. To apply by the deadline of Sunday, Dec. 31, nonprofits wishing to be considered should go to www.tuiwater.com to complete an application. The selection process includes application review and interview of finalist candidates. The selected beneficiary will be announced in February 2018.

Tidewater has raised more than $147,000 over the past 10 years through its annual charity golf tournament which attracts local businesses, individuals and organization supporters. Past organizations selected as beneficiaries include Children & Families First, Del Tech Alumni, Kylee McKenzie Gill Scholarship Fund, Can-Do Playground at Milford, Delaware Wildlands, MERR Institute, YWCA, Delaware Veterans Trust Fund, Delaware Veterans Home, Sussex County Habitat for Humanity, USO Delaware, Ronald McDonald House of Delaware, Autism Delaware and The Center for the Inland Bays.

For more information, call 302-747-1308.

Indigo Bleu women’s clothing and accessories opens in Brush Factory 

Indigo Bleu is a women's clothing and accessories boutique, with a second location that opened Oct. 23 in The Brush Factory on Kings. At this intimate boutique inspired by bohemian and whimsical merchandise, the handpicked apparel is constantly evolving each week. The boutique offers fresh and unique pieces that set a person’s style apart.

Owner Zarah Brooks offers merchandise online to give customers more shopping options that may not be found at the brick-and-mortar shop. She also sells Indigo Bleu's signature top-selling, leather-wrap bracelets that are made in-house. "I wanted Indigo Bleu to be special and a place where you can find cool pieces," said Zarah. "Pieces that add a little sparkle in your life. Pieces that are not just unique, but are great quality and affordable – and Indigo Bleu does just that." 

Graduation celebrated for Leadership Delaware fellows

Leadership Delaware celebrated the graduation of its ninth class of fellows Nov. 30. The fellows completed a year-long program which challenges participants to rise to ever higher levels of leadership and accomplishment in their career field and profession, the nonprofit sector, and government and politics. They attended 230 hours of classroom/session time where they heard from 143 speakers, prominent and accomplished leaders from every sector of the Delaware community, and spent countless hours outside the classroom bonding, nurturing and growing relationships.

Southern Delaware fellows include Brittany Hazzard, social worker, Love Creek Elementary; Jeremy Kalmbacher, director of engineering, Tidewater Utilities Inc.; Stephenie Tatman,auditor, Office of Pensions, State of Delaware, and owner, Dolce Bakery; and Matthew Windsor, area director, Southern Delaware YoungLife.

For more information, go to www.leadershipdelaware.org.

Advance Financial extends loan services to Delaware

Nashville-based financial services company Advance Financial announced that it is extending its flex loan services to residents of Delaware via an online portal. The company offers flexible, small-dollar loans with an open-end line of credit that customers apply for once and can use in amounts anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000 all year long. The loans carry no pre-paid penalties, and they accrue daily interest.

"We are thrilled to offer our services to all residents of Delaware, especially after seeing how our flex loan program has helped families all over Tennessee," said Tina Hodges, chief executive and chief experience officer at Advance Financial.

The application and approval processes are completely online and take approximately 20 minutes from start to finish. Once approved, loans are dispersed via direct deposit that same day. For more information, go to www.af247.com/services.

Atlantic/Smith, Cropper & Deeley announces new client relations agents

Two new client relations agents have joined Atlantic/Smith, Cropper & Deeley. 

Lauren D'Ambrosio joins the team as a life and health client relations agent. She brings several years of customer service experience from numerous local area retail stores. Her secret to success in the workplace is to take everyone's opinions into consideration and not be judgmental of other people. D’Ambrosio resides in Selbyville and enjoys traveling, kayaking, and spending time with family and friends.

Kelly Bell joins the team as a commercial lines client relations agent. Bell comes to the firm with 13 years of insurance experience. She has been a customer service representative in both commercial and personal lines. Her secret to success in the workplace is to always be open to change. She resides in Laurel with her husband Rodney and their four children. She enjoys camping and spending time at the beach with her family.

Headquartered in Willards, Md., Atlantic/Smith, Cropper & Deeley is an independent insurance agency specializing in employer benefits, business and personal insurances. For more information, go to www.ascd.net.

New book club for entrepreneurs to begin Jan. 9

The Delaware Libraries Inspiration Space announces a new initiative to enable small business owners to expand their knowledge with the latest ideas from the business world's thought leaders. A book club for entrepreneurs will launch at 12 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 9, at the Lewes Public Library. Small business owners will have the opportunity to learn about the latest concepts in entrepreneurship from books and each other. In addition to discussing the content of the selected book, participants can share their relevant experiences with the group and explore related ideas.

The book club will be self-managed and will select the best day and time for future meetings. Each member will have the opportunity to select a book and lead the monthly meeting. The selected books will be made available in a variety of formats through the Delaware Library Catalog.

As with all Delaware Libraries programs, participation is free. The January book selection and other details will be provided to registrants via email.

To register, go to http://tinyurl.com/bizbookclubjan9lewes

Downtown Development District grant applications due Dec. 15

The Delaware State Housing Authority is accepting applications through 4 p.m., Friday, Dec. 15, for large project grants through the Downtown Development District Program. The grants provide up to 20 percent rebates on qualified real property investments in designated downtown districts in Georgetown, Laurel, Milford and Seaford. The application period is for large property construction or redevelopment project investments of more than $250,000. Qualified applicants include property owners, tenants, for-profit developers, nonprofit organizations, businesses and homeowners. Eligible project expenses include capital investments on rehabilitation, expansion or new construction for commercial, industrial, residential or mixed-use buildings within the district boundaries. Rebates are issued after the project is completed.

"The Downtown Development District Program has successfully spurred nearly $450 million in private investment with just $22 million in state funding," said DSHA Director Anas Ben Addi. "It continues to give a shot in the arm to our downtown communities, providing property owners, business owners and homeowners with an incentive to help keep our downtowns thriving and growing."

Applications for small projects - an investment of between $15,000 and $250,000 - are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year contingent upon funding.

For more information and application materials, go to destatehousing.com/ddd or call 888-363-8808.

WSFS announces formation of Christiana Trust Co. of Delaware

WSFS Financial Corp. announced the formation of a new trust company, Christiana Trust Co. of Delaware. The new trust company will be a wholly owned subsidiary of WSFS Financial Corp., and will supplement the existing WSFS Wealth businesses, includingWSFS Wealth Investments, Cypress Capital Management, West Capital Management, Powdermill Financial Solutions and Christiana Trust, a division of WSFS Bank.

Christiana Trust Co. of Delaware is a Delaware limited purpose trust company that will offer Delaware Advantage trust services including directed trusts, asset protection trusts and dynasty trusts.

"We are excited to have a Delaware-chartered trust company, which will put us in a better position to compete in the Delaware Advantage marketplace and to greater serve our clients and referral sources," said Louis W. Geibel, senior vice president, chief trust officer, Christiana Trust, who will also serve as president of the new trust company.

Harrington Raceway customers donate items for Ronald McDonald House

Harrington Raceway and Casino announced that nearly 1,300 items were donated as part of a Tis The Giving Season promotion held Oct. 29 to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware. Customers showed an outpouring of support and brought in various items from a published wish list. The donations included cash, gift cards, food, blankets, batteries, paper towels, napkins and soap.

Harrington Raceway and Casino has partnered with the community for many causes in the past year, including USO Delaware, the Mid-Del Foundation and the Food Bank of Delaware.

The Ronald McDonald House of Delaware provides assistance in the form of a safe and affordable home away from home to families of seriously or chronically ill or injured children who are being treated at area hospitals. For more information, go to www.rmhde.org.

Cadbury affiliates with Springpoint Senior Living

Springpoint Senior Living, New Jersey's largest nonprofit provider of housing and services for seniors, announced the affiliation of Cadbury Senior Lifestyles, Lewes, a continuing care retirement community, and Cadbury Senior Lifestyles at Home, an award-winning CCRC Without Walls membership program which provides personalized care management and in-home services that allow seniors to stay in their homes. "This affiliation underscores Springpoint's key strategic initiative to pursue smart growth opportunities to expand and meet the changing needs of seniors and their families," said Anthony A. Argondizza, president and CEO of Springpoint Senior Living. "We are very excited to officially welcome Cadbury Senior Lifestyles, Lewes and Cadbury Senior Lifestyles at Home into the Springpoint family. We are confident that current and future residents will be delighted with the plans we have for the community."

HPS Management acquires Guardian Property Management

HPS Management and Guardian Property Management jointly announced the acquisition of Guardian by HPS Management effective immediately. The terms of the agreement will merge Guardian's managed communities with the communities currently managed by HPS Management, while Guardian's maintenance department will reorganize into a new, separate company providing maintenance and construction services in Delaware.

Guardian President Bob Scott said, "I couldn't be more excited to have the opportunity to partner with HPS Management. Through this process we were looking to partner with a company that shared our core values, and we have the utmost confidence HPS Management will serve our current customers in a superior fashion, as well as the entire community."

Scott will serve as president of the newly created Guardian Property Services LLC and continue to provide maintenance and construction services. HPS founder and President J.D. Russell said, "We are very excited to have the opportunity to serve the entire Delmarva Peninsula, and we look forward to having the Guardian communities and staff members join our team as we continue to grow and revolutionize the community management industry. We are also very fortunate to have Guardian's original founder, Susan Jiménez, join our business development staff focusing on the Delaware portfolio."

HPS Management, founded in 2010 and formerly known as Harford Property Services, is a commercial and community management company currently managing homeowner associations, condominiums and commercial properties in Maryland and Delaware. Guardian Property Management was founded in 2004 in Lewes to serve homeowners associations and condominium associations in Sussex and Kent counties. For more information go to www.HPSmanagement.com.

Merck Foundation donates to KSI's transportation program

Kent-Sussex Industries Inc. recently received a generous grant from Merck Foundation which will help fund KSI's growing transportation program.

Merck Foundation has Embraced Abilities with KSI since the 1980s. This support has enabled KSI programs to grow, serving more adults with disabilities. Employees from Merck Animal Health in Millsboro have seen firsthand the dedication and quality job performance from KSI work crews for decades.

KSI is a nonprofit agency providing vocational training, employment, supported employment, community integration, transportation and life enrichment services. KSI is committed to making all reasonable accommodations in order to ensure that its programs and services are as accessible as possible to as many people as possible. For more information, contact Alicia Hollis at 302-422-4014, Ext. 3015 or hollisa@ksiinc.org or go to www.ksiinc.org.

First State Manufacturing hosts Cape students

As part of National Manufacturing Day celebrations across the country, nationally honored First State Manufacturing welcomed students from Cape Henlopen High School to tour its site and learn about the endless possibilities of soft textile manufacturing. Students and leaders were at the state-of-the-art facility in Milford Oct. 5. As a former board member of Delaware's Manufacturing Association, Sher Valenzuela, co-founder of FSM, said, "Manufacturing is the backbone of America's small business and represents the creativity and ingenuity of Americans. We think and then we build; that's what we do." Valenzuela's husband, founder and President Eli Valenzuela said, "We are excited to share what we have learned and know with the next generation."

Alayna Aiken, family and consumer sciences educator at Cape Henlopen High School, leads the visiting class. She enjoys giving her students opportunities to bring their futures to life by giving them every experience possible. For more information, go to www.firststatemfg.com.

SecureNetMD named a 2017 Inc. 5000 company

SecureNetMD is one of the fastest-growing companies in the country, and one of the top 10 in Delaware, according to Inc. 5000. Each year for 36 years, Inc., the magazine for growing companies, has recognized the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in America. SecureNetMD joined that exclusive club this year, earning the position of 3,604th in the country on the 2017 Inc. 5000. Of the Delaware companies making the list, SecureNetMD was in the top 10. Companies that made the list, on average, have grown sixfold since 2013, a period when the economy only grew by 6.7 percent.

SecureNetMD, a division of Troy Ventures LLC, was founded in 2009 and has quickly become an industry leader in providing HIPAA-compliant managed IT services to healthcare providers nationwide. The company's exclusive focus on healthcare IT delivers comprehensive, next-generation solutions that allow healthcare providers to get back to focusing on what is most important - improving patient care.

"We are very excited to be part of the 2017 class of Inc. 5000 honorees," said Jack Berberian, co-founder and CEO of SecureNetMD. "Many of the past honorees have gone on to become household names in the United States and the World. We are proud to be in such good company and will continue to build on the great service we deliver now to continue our growth."

The 2017 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2013 to 2016. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2013. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent - not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies. The minimum revenue required for 2013 is $100,000; the minimum for 2016 is $2 million.

New venture capital firm seeks investment opportunities

Rehoboth Beach-based Coastal Venture Capital announced its official launch July 27. It is seeking new investment opportunities in early-stage and growth-oriented companies. The firm founded by two Delaware natives is not the typical venture capital firm. Coastal Venture Capital is a nonprofit organization that provides a platform for bringing its members together with high-growth businesses and entrepreneurs. CVC uses a unique model combining a membership of successful business executives, entrepreneurs and investors, and a centralized deal-sourcing process. The founders believe this structure enables each member to benefit from the group's diverse expertise while maintaining decision-making for their investments, while entrepreneurs seeking capital are able to access funding in a more efficient and flexible way.

The founders' goal is to make capital easier to obtain, under equitable terms, for new and growing companies, particularly those in the mid-Atlantic. They feel there are countless great businesses and entrepreneurs that either are unable to tap into the traditional venture capital funding network or do so under onerous financial terms. Over the last six months, CVC has established a strong investor-member base with significant capital to invest and is now encouraging entrepreneurs and businesses to submit their investment opportunities via the company's website.

The firm will consider investments in any industry, but is specifically interested in financial services/fintech, hospitality, agriculture, energy, IT, medical, materials and consumer product sectors. For more information on the company and investment strategy, or to submit an investment for consideration, go to www.coastalventurecapital.com

Internet chat support launched for insurance consumers and agents

The Delaware Department of Insurance has added a live chat support feature to its website. The chat box offers online users a quick and convenient way to connect with a department specialist who can answer basic insurance inquiries. "It's our job to answer insurance questions, and our goal to be as accessible as possible in doing so," said Commissioner Trinidad Navarro. "Adding chat support is a win for everyone. It provides our consumers with near-instant access to our institutional knowledge, and it streamlines the process of answering the more straightforward inquiries."

The live chat support is available from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday, except state holidays. During offline hours, consumers may leave their contact information with their message so someone from the department can contact them. To find the chat box in the lower left corner of the department's webpage, go to www.insurance.delaware.gov. Consumers must enter their name and email address before initiating a chat. Agents and consumers with basic questions are encouraged to utilize the chat. Because of the sensitive nature of the information exchanged when filing a complaint, complainants should continue to call the department's Consumer Services Division at 302-674-7310.

Delaware searches for unclaimed property holders

The Delaware Department of Finance's Office of Unclaimed Property sent out letters May 8 in an effort to reach unclaimed property owners. Unclaimed property can include forgotten savings and checking accounts, uncashed checks, insurance policy proceeds, stocks, and utility deposits and refunds. After years of inactivity, these accounts are now considered abandoned, and have been turned over to the state for safekeeping. The Office of Unclaimed Property has processed over 50,000 claims in recent years, successfully reuniting citizens with more than $402 million in previously unclaimed funds. To search the website or file a claim, go to https://delaware.findyourunclaimedproperty.com. Documentation can be submitted online through the state's secure servers, making the entire process safe and fast. For more information, call the Office of Unclaimed Property at 855-505-7520 or email escheat.claimquestions@state.de.us