Members of the Class of 2019 gear up for an exercise at Sagepoint Senior Living Services to gain a better sense of the challenges faced by seniors with dementia.

Capaci appointed to Council on Accreditation board

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington announced on Feb. 12 that Denise Capaci, Executive Director of Adult and Children’s Clinical Services for the agency, was appointed to Board of Trustees for the Council on Accreditation. The Council on Accreditation is a nonprofit organization that partners with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards. Denise was nominated for this three-year appointment by Catholic Charities USA.

Capaci began her career in 1991 as a social worker with Catholic Charities DC. She has worked in various roles within the agency, including a stint as the Southern Maryland Regional Director. She has worked to create multiple programs for people living in urban and rural communities. Capaci is a member of the Maryland Board of Social Workers Examiners, where she has served a term as chair, and was appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley and reappointed by Governor Larry Hogan. Capaci has also served on several local boards, including the Charles County United Way.

At Catholic Charities, she oversees 35 programs serving adults and children across Washington, DC and Maryland. Core programs include Behavioral Health Services, Legal Services, Spanish Catholic Center Medical and Dental Clinics and Children’s Services.

Chamber hosting annual legislative breakfast March 4

The Charles County Chamber of Commerce will host the 2019 Legislative Update Breakfast on Monday, March 4 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Charleston Senior Community, 45 St. Patrick’s Drive, Waldorf. Attendees will hear the Southern Maryland delegation’s review of bills and issues affecting the region, and will have the chance to ask questions.

This event is open to the public. Tickets are $35 before February 25 and $45 after. For the registration form, visit charlescountychamber.org. For more information, call 301-932-6500.

Leaders explore healthcare in region firsthand

In January, the Leadership Southern Maryland Class of 2019 participated in the fifth of nine educational sessions for the 2018-19 LSM Executive Program: Healthcare. Sponsored by The Chesapeake-Potomac Healthcare Alliance, this one-day event began with a panel discussion on healthcare challenges in Southern Maryland. The discussion featured presentations by representatives from Calvert Health System, University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center and MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital. The morning also included speakers from Walden Behavioral Health and Health Partners Inc.

Following a tour of Health Partners’ Waldorf facility, the class boarded a bus and headed to Recovery Centers of America’s Maryland Center for Addiction Treatment in White Plains. There they learned how the center goes about its mission “to save one million lives, one neighborhood at a time.” After a behind-the-scenes tour at the treatment facility, the Class of 2019 traveled to Sagepoint Senior Living Services in La Plata for an up-close look at the services they offer to seniors. While at Sagepoint, the class was given the unique opportunity to participate in a dementia exercise that demonstrated the challenges faced by those coping with memory loss and sensory issues.

The healthcare session also included presentations by Charlotte Hall Veterans’ Home Executive Director, Sharon Murphy and Melwood Veteran Services Outreach program manager, Travis Rahill. Both speakers shed light on some of the programs and services available to veterans in the region. A panel discussion on public and community health issues capped off the day and featured the health officers from Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties. The opioid epidemic, infectious disease and the role health departments play in educating the public were just some of the topics covered by the panel.

Leadership Southern Maryland is a nine-month tuition-based program for current and emerging leaders in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties. Applications for the Class of 2020 are being accepted through April 1.

Home prices continued to climb in 4th quarter 2018

Charles County homes continued their steady rise during the fourth quarter according to the Southern Maryland Association of REALTORS. Average and median prices grew by 2.1 and 3.3 percent respectively as compared to the same time in 2017, while units sold dropped by 12.7 percent during the same time period.

“Despite the continued decrease in home sales in during fourth quarter, median and average price increased in Charles County,” said SMAR President Judy Szynborski. “Pending units both dropped 11.5 and during the fourth quarter,” she added. Szynborski went on to note, “the continued lack of inventory is driving prices up.” The months of available inventory saw a slight increase to 3.3 from 3.2 months in 2017. A healthy market is between 6 and 6.5 months of available inventory.

Monthly housing statistics for Charles County are compiled by data as reported by Bright MLS. For the purposes of this report, “units” are defined as the closed sales and “pending units” are properties under contract. Months of inventory are based on the current active inventory and monthly sales for the corresponding month.

Attorney General Frosh announces settlement with Maryland Speed

Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh recently announced that his Consumer Protection Division has settled charges against Maryland Speed LLC, an online retailer specializing in the sale of auto parts, and its owner, Branden Farthing, according to a press release.

Charges against Maryland Speed and Farthing were initially brought in September 2018, and alleged that the retailer, based in Hollywood, Md., violated the Consumer Protection Act when it accepted payments for parts that it failed to provide to customers and refused to issue refunds. According to the settlement, at least 671 consumers placed orders with Maryland Speed but never received their purchased parts. Although many consumers were able to get refunds by contesting the charges on their credit cards, according to the Consent Order, at least 235 of those consumers are owed refunds totaling at least $220,877.14, the press release states.

The settlement requires Maryland Speed to stop selling parts it cannot provide and to provide the Consumer Protection Division with a $100,000 surety bond if it continues doing business in Maryland. The company and Farthing must also return all of the monies they owe to consumers and pay penalties and costs to the division in the amount of $100,000, which may be reduced if full refunds are made to consumers.

“This case demonstrates exactly why the Maryland Consumer Protection Act is so important,” Frosh said in the release. “Without the protections of the Act, customers who did not receive purchased goods from Maryland Speed, and were also denied refunds, had little recourse. Affected customers will now be able to obtain some restitution.”

Consumers who are owed refunds from Maryland Speed may call the Consumer Protection hotline at 410-528-8662 or 888-743-0023.

Companies EARN money for training program

Transmosis announced in early February it has been named a recipient of EARN Maryland funding, a competitive workforce development grant program, from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

With the grant funding, the Maryland Cyber Skills Alliance will provide qualified Maryland residents with full scholarships that fast track them into high paying cybersecurity careers. The intensive cybersecurity training and certification program will launch March 4, with 20 applicants being offered full scholarships worth $10,000 each. Led by the Computing Technology Industry Association, the MCSA will provide essential training for both incumbent workers and hard-to-reach unemployed and underemployed populations in Maryland. Upon completing the two-month training and certification program, Transmosis will offer graduates employer placement support or opportunities.

“Maryland is the second in the nation for emerging technologies and innovation,” said acting Labor Secretary James E. Rzepkowski. “Despite our already high share of STEM professionals, Maryland is continually working to ensure a pipeline of talent that can meet our existing and future hiring needs within the technology sectors. Industry-led partnerships like that with Transmosis and CompTIA will help us achieve that by putting Maryland residents on a pathway to high-paying, successful careers in cybersecurity.”

Supporting grant partners include Point3 Security, Cybrary, TrainACE, the Federal Business Council and the Cybersecurity Association of Maryland.

To apply or learn more, visit pr.mytransmosis.com.

Restaurant association accepting nominations for annual awards

The Restaurant Association of Maryland is accepting nominations for the 65th annual “Stars of the Industry Awards Gala: Back to the 80’s” through Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 11:59 p.m.

Categories include:

• Chef of the Year, presented by Micros Mid-Atlantic.

• Favorite New Restaurant.

• Favorite Bar or Tavern.

• Favorite Restaurant.

• Craft Brew Program of the Year, presented by Evolution Craft Brewing Company.

• Heart of the Industry, presented by Coastal Sunbelt Produce.

• Allied Member of the Year.

• Restaurateur of the Year, presented by the Maryland Restaurant & Hospitality Self Insurance Fund.

RAM is also introducing two brand new award categories this year: Favorite Fast Casual Restaurant and Favorite International Cuisine Restaurant.

Nominations will be accepted through Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 11:59 p.m. Selected finalists will be voted upon by the public online and on Facebook from March 11-April 1. Visit facebook.com/marylandrestaurants or marylandrestaurants.com/gala to vote. Winners will be announced live at the Stars of the Industry Awards Gala on Sunday, May 5, at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel.

JustTech recognized on 2018 CRN Next-Gen 250 list

JustTech, a technology company focusing on managed print, IT and custom Xerox app solutions, recently announced that CRN, a brand of The Channel Company, has named JustTech to its 2018 Next-Gen 250 list for the second consecutive year, according to a press release.

The annual list identifies IT solution providers who have embraced emerging technologies and are setting the pace for the rest of the channel in their adoption. Those on the list have been able to meet their customers’ ever-changing IT needs in leading-edge technologies such as cloud computing, internet-of-things, virtualization, mobility, business analytics and business intelligence.

JustTech is a Xerox Platinum Strategic Partner that provides managed print services and managed IT solutions to clients regionally in five states (Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio), and also provides custom Xerox app solutions to Xerox partners and clients globally. With their IT solutions, more than a hundred clients rely on JustTech to manage their internal IT infrastructure and provide help desk and onsite IT support as needed, the press release states.

JustTech builds apps for Xerox multifunction printers which improve workflows, increase productivity, enhance security and increase efficiencies. JustTech was the first Certified Personalized Application Builder Authorized Developer of Xerox in the U.S. and there are more than 40,000 apps that JustTech has created and installed on Xerox multifunction printers around the globe.

“Wow, I was so honored and surprised that we made the CRN Next-Gen 250 List last year and now this year again,” said Joshua Justice, president and founder of JustTech, in the release. “Whether it is with our managed print solutions, managed IT solutions or app solutions, our employees are always finding ways to be innovative and to do something new and create new value for our clients.

A sampling of the Next-Gen 250 list was featured in the December issue of CRN. The complete list will be available online at www.crn.com/nextgen250.

LSM class visits Indian Head base

On Nov. 1, the Leadership Southern Maryland Class of 2019 participated in the third of nine educational sessions for the 2018-19 LSM Executive Program — Defense and Industry, according to a press release. Class members headed aboard Naval Support Activity Indian Head where they received an overview of base operations from the host command. They were also briefed on Naval Ordinance Safety and Security Activity and heard from the commanding officer of Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head EOD Technology Division, Capt. Scott Kraft. The morning session concluded with remarks by Bonnie Green, executive director of The Patuxent Partnership, and Brian Klaas, president of the Military Alliance Council, who discussed how the community and the military are working together to build mutually beneficial partnerships.

The afternoon was segmented into tours of various naval base facilities. Participants watched an explosive ordinance disposal robotics demonstration and learned about explosive detection equipment. They then toured the cartridge- and propellant-actuated devices manufacturing facility and a detonation science building, the press release states. The day ended with a behind-the-scenes look at the 420 gallon mixer and a question and answer session with several scientists and engineers working in the Energetics Laboratory. As the class traveled around the base, they were treated to a windshield tour by Becky D’Ambrosio, LSM ‘17 and director of public and congressional affairs, and John Hungerford, LSM ‘18 and director of Infrastructure Strategy at the base.

Most of the Class of 2019 had never had the opportunity to see what goes on at Indian Head. The day was both educational and inspiring and participants were left with a newfound understanding of the ways in which the defense and supporting industries in Indian Head critically impact the region.

The class wrapped up the day with a networking event hosted by the LSM Alumni Association at The Charles in La Plata. Class participants were able to gather and reflect on the day’s experiences and lessons learned, according to the release.

DirectMail.com announces new leadership

DirectMail.com, a full-service omni-channel and direct response engagement agency based in Prince Frederick, recently announced new leadership following the retirement of long-time CEO and partner, Kirk Swain, according to a press release. In accordance with the company’s long-range succession plan, agency partner and second-generation owner, Robert (Bob) Salta, is assuming the roles of chief executive officer and chief creative officer. Shawn Salta, third-generation owner, has been appointed president and chief operating officer, and Chris Zarnosky is the new executive vice president.

Bob Salta, CEO and CCO, DirectMail.com, said in the release, “I am honored to take the helm of DirectMail.com and continue the long-standing Salta-Swain vision of helping our staff, customers and industry colleagues navigate the constantly changing marketing landscape. It is more challenging than ever for companies to reach potential customers and entice them to take action. It is my mission to leverage strategic, data-backed, omni-channel marketing techniques to break through the noise and propel our customers to success.”

As CEO and CCO, Bob Salta will remain intimately involved in all aspects of the company, but will primarily work with clients to help them achieve greater results through data and creative solutions. His track record of success with Swain in growing the company from 30 to over 300 employees and quadrupling revenue sets the stage for exciting next steps in the company’s future.

Shawn Salta, president and COO, said in the release, “DirectMail.com has built a full-service agency that leverages the best in technology and data analytics to produce marketing campaigns with strong results. It is my personal goal to not only continue this tradition of executing high-performing marketing campaigns, but also to look inside our own walls to streamline operations and enhance our offerings to constantly align with the changing needs of our industry-leading client base.”

Shawn Salta joined the company in 2002, originally serving in a marketing support role. Over the years, he transitioned to sales positions, and then to leadership roles in business development, business operations and mail operations where he streamlined processes to increase overall enterprise efficiency. In his new role as president and COO, Shawn Salta will oversee all aspects of DirectMail.com’s agency and production operations, including more than 300 employees and all real estate holdings, the press release states.

Continuing DirectMail.com’s long-standing tradition of growing and recognizing talent from within, Chris Zarnosky has been promoted to executive vice president. Formerly the president of the data services division, Zarnosky will build on his nearly two decades of tenure with DirectMail.com. His deep expertise in data processing, data management analytics, process improvement and process management will help streamline operations, introduce new technologies across the agency and production operations, and prepare for continued future growth, according to the release.