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After placing first in the marketing competition of the Maryland Future Business Leaders of America State Leadership Conference, held in Hunt Valley in April, Beth Mead and A’Miya Williams, 18 and 17, respectively, are raising money to attend the four-day national conference in Nashville at the end of the month.

The Lusby residents and recent Patuxent High School graduates already have college plans established, but hope to use the experience, and accomplishment, to help them with their future goals.

“It’s not every day that you can say you qualify to compete at a national competition in Nashville,” Mead said. “We both hope to move up in the workforce and achieve a lot, and I think this will be the core base of where we’re going to go from here.”

During the state competition, the pair proposed a solution to an everyday business problem given to them to solve. The problem was that employees of a retail store, who had commission and sales quotas every month to reach, were becoming too aggressive and competitive toward the customers, making sales and customer satisfaction decline and causing a negative workplace environment, Mead said.

After 20 minutes of deliberation, Mead recalled, the duo presented their solution to get rid of the sales quotas and, instead, produce an end-of-the-year bonus based on sales and employee improvement.

“We also proposed certain workshops to encourage employees to work together instead of competing against each other,” Mead said. “We proposed those ideas to the judges, and I guess they really liked them.”

Against 10 teams, the pair won first place for their marketing solutions.

Now, they are traveling to Tennessee to compete nationally. After borrowing the money from Patuxent High School, Mead said the two must raise funds to pay back the school for funding their trip.

They have already raised about $2,500 through contacting local businesses and receiving funds through their GoFundMe.com website, but have about $1,200 to go, Mead said. That money will be used to cover airfare, the hotel, conference fees, plus food and other travel expenses.

In the fall, Mead will be attending The College of Notre Dame in Baltimore and will major in computer science before eventually earning her master’s in business. Williams will attend Johnson and Wales University in North Carolina and study corporate accounting and financial analysis.

“I thought it was a huge stepping stone for me to get into the business world, where I could network with those already in the business world and I could test my skills before I even go to college,” Williams said about joining FBLA.

“Having a major in business can take you anywhere and it’s cool to see how everything works behind the scenes, and that’s usually where business comes in,” she said.

Absentee ballot deadline approaching

The deadline to request a 2014 Gubernatorial Primary Election absentee ballot for mail delivery is June 17. The deadline to request an absentee ballot for the primary election for online delivery is June 20. Any registered voter in Maryland may request and vote by absentee ballot.

A voter who wishes to vote by absentee ballot may request an absentee ballot online for voters with a Maryland driver’s license or MVA-issued ID card; by submitting a signed application; by telephone; in writing; or in person at the voter’s local board of elections. Go to www.elections.maryland.gov/voting/absentee.html to request an absentee ballot online to print an application, or to locate the address and contact information for the local board of elections.

If a voter wishes to receive an absentee ballot by mail, the voter’s local board of elections must receive a completed absentee ballot application:

• If the request is mailed, by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 17; or

• If the request is submitted online or by email or fax, by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, June 17.

If a voter wishes to receive an absentee ballot online, the voter’s local board of elections must receive a completed absentee ballot application:

• If the request is mailed, by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 20; or

• If the request is submitted online or by email or fax, by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, June 20.

If a voter misses the applicable deadline, the absentee ballot request must be made in person at a local board of elections.

The 2014 Gubernatorial Primary Election will be held Tuesday, June 24, and the 2014 Gubernatorial General Election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 4. Starting the second Thursday before the election through the Thursday before the election, voters may vote in person at the designated early voting centers in their county of residence. Early voting locations and hours and additional election-related information and dates are available at www.elections.maryland.gov/voting/early_voting.html.

For more information, call 1-800-222-VOTE (8683), or go to www.elections.maryland.gov.

Library launches ‘Check Out Your Community’ initiative

Calvert Library wants to help residents discover opportunities through its new initiative, Check Out Your Community. Thanks to the generous partnerships of area businesses and organizations, beginning June 2, residents can check out free passes to various pools, parks, museums and other facilities. Cove Point Park Pool, Edward T. Hall Aquatic Center, Calvert Marine Museum, Chesapeake Beach Water Park and Paddle or Pedal are just a few of the organizations participating, a press release states.

Check out the program online at calvert.lib.md.us to find additional organizations that are contributing free passes or discounts through Check Out Your Community. Passes and discounts will be available for printing using an online reservation system created by Plymouth Rocket. There will be some limitation to the number of passes that can be checked out over a certain period of time so that as many people as possible can benefit from the opportunity, the release states.

Visit any Calvert Library location, or go to calvert.lib.md.us, for details. Calvert Library is looking to add to the initiative; business owners and community partners interested in participating may contact Colleen Cano, Calvert Library Southern Branch manager, at ccano@somd.lib.md.us.

Temporary Armory Road closures scheduled

Storm drain work along the Armory Road corridor in Prince Frederick will force temporary overnight road closures Wednesday, June 11, and Thursday, June 12.

The work is part of the Armory Road/Chesapeake Boulevard improvement project. Road closures will begin at about 9 p.m. each evening and will not last beyond 5 a.m. Through traffic between the Fairgrounds Road/Dares Beach Road intersection and the Armory Road/Main Street intersection will not be possible during the closures. Temporary signage and barricades will indicate detours, a press release states.

Maps plotting the project by phase and additional information are available at www.co.cal.md.us/roadproject. To learn more, contact Karl Deugwillo at deugwikr@co.cal.md.us or 410-535-1600, ext. 2546. A Facebook page has been established, www.facebook.com/ChesapeakeBoulevard, and will offer updates on the project as it progresses.

Republicans to host ‘Get Out The Vote’ luncheon

On June 16 at 11:30 a.m., the Calvert and St. Mary’s Republican Women will host a Republican “Get Out The Vote” Luncheon at Stoney’s Kingfishers Restaurant in Solomons. Meet and talk to delegates running for office in southern Calvert and St. Mary’s counties. Cost is $20 a person payable at the door. RSVP by sending an email to Carolyn Gill at Carolyn.Gill3531@live.com or jeffndeb@jeffndeb.com.

JPPM speaker series presents ‘A Long Overdue Story’

On June 26 at 7 p.m., Dianne Cross will share her personal story of how she transformed an old portrait into a long overdue story. Her research reveals the life of her great-great-grandfather, Sgt. Isaac Hall, from his life as a slave to when he was a Civil War soldier and gained his freedom. This free talk is open to the public and will be held in the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory meeting room at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum. Light refreshments will be served.

Cross earned her bachelor’s in history from Rutgers University. She resides in Laurel. This lecture is sponsored by the Friends of Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum and by the MARPAT Foundation in memory of Thomas W. Richards.

Nonsuch sailboats to rendezvous in Solomons

The Chesapeake Bay Nonsuch Association (CBNA) welcomes sailboat enthusiasts to see the fleet of Nonsuch sailboats in Solomons on June 20 and 21. Nineteen boats are registered to attend; six are local to Southern Maryland. Many of the local boat owners are volunteers or contributors to the Calvert Marine Museum, a press release states. The museum is hosting a behind-the-scenes tour for all participants. This sailing season kick-off event has never been held in this part of the Chesapeake Bay.

The weekend is hosted by the Holiday Inn Conference Center & Marina in Solomons, Solomons Harbor Marina and Isaacs Restaurant. Boats may be seen on Friday and Saturday afternoon at the Holiday Inn, where skippers and crews will be on hand.

First constructed in 1978, Nonsuch sailboats are rare vessels, unique in that they do not have a boom, nor do they have shrouds to hold up the mast, the release states. Instead, they use a well-designed wishbone to control sail shape. There were only 975 of these made and only 58 of the model Nonsuch 22s produced. Four 22-foot Nonsuch call Solomons their homeport.

On Saturday, June 21, the Nonsuch fleet will gather in the Solomons Harbor area for a short boat parade. They will be led out of the harbor, where sails will be raised for the start of the Patuxent River cruise, heading north for a raft up. Weather permitting, boats will sail near the Solomons Riverwalk area at approximately 11 a.m. For more information about Nonsuch sailboats and the event, contact Butch Garren at 410-394-0014.

snewman@somdnews.com