Welcome to our monthly member news.  We hope this information will keep you up to date on events and other important information from members of the Hunt Valley Business Forum.

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  • February 02, 2017 1:33 PM | HVBF Administrator (Administrator)

    Hunt Valley, MD – Atlantic Financial Federal Credit Union is rewarding its valued members by issuing a 2016 year-end dividend bonus to members.

    AFFCU board and management are proud to award a member bonus based on the outstanding financial performance of the credit union in 2016. “The dividend bonus is a tangible result of our successful year, made possible by the Credit Union’s prudent financial practices and strong capital level, which is a direct result of the members’ activity with the credit union” stated Matthew Piazza, AFFCU President and CEO.

    AFFCU members will again share in the credit union’s success. AFFCU is returning 25% of the organizations 2016 Net Income to members in the form of a 2.5% bonus on dividends earned and a 2.5% rebate on interest paid on AFFCU loans. The Member Bonus Dividend payment will be posted to member accounts on January 31, 2017.

    Piazza added, “It’s just another way that our members “win” and receive a unique banking experience unlike any other these days, on top of the great savings and earning potential that they have access to day in and day out at AFFCU. We know our members value AFFCU being reliable stewards of their money, evident in the strong relationships we’ve developed and the pride they have in their credit union.” 

    Michael Spencer, AFFCU Board Chairman, commented “This year-end Member bonus is our way of saying thanks to the members who have made Atlantic Financial Federal Credit Union their primary place to do their banking. As a not-for-profit cooperative institution, we acknowledge that these earnings are the members’ money, and feel that it should be returned to them whenever possible.”

    Atlantic Financial Federal Credit Union (AFFCU), headquartered in Hunt Valley, Maryland, is a full- service financial institution serving the employees and their families of over 160 companies and organizations. Offering a full range of electronic services, members also have access to over 35,000 free ATMs and over 6,800 shared branches nationwide through the CO-OP Network. Visit www.affcu.org to learn more.


    Read the release on AFFCU's website >>
    Download the press release here>>

  • January 31, 2017 3:15 PM | HVBF Administrator (Administrator)

    You are invited to the Arthritis Foundation's Maryland Community Gathering! Join the Arthritis Foundation on March 23rd for refreshments and networking and an update the foundations goals and volunteer opportunities. RSVP online at: http://marylandgathering.kintera.org.

    Maryland Community Gathering Invitation>>

  • January 24, 2017 2:30 PM | HVBF Administrator (Administrator)

    Nelson Coleman Jewelers is offering a promotion on January 28th for 60% off for one hour! Visit their website at: www.NelsonColeman.com.

  • January 20, 2017 1:43 PM | HVBF Administrator (Administrator)

    Read the story and watch the video on the Baltimore Sun: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-county/towson/ph-tt-inauguration-viewing-stand-0118-20170118-story.html

    Don Bonnett talks about his experience with the inaugural viewing stand at his home in Timonium, MD on Tuesday, January 10, 2017.

     Timonium man has fond memories of his contribution to inaugurations of three presidents

    As the inauguration of president-elect Donald Trump approaches, Don Bonnett retains fresh memories of an earlier inauguration — that of President Ronald Reagan's first term, on Jan. 21, 1981.

    Bonnett's pride stems from a collaborative effort in which he played a part in designing the presidential reviewing stand upon which Reagan and his successors, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, took the oath of office. That pride is evident today in the way the longtime Timonium resident talks about the work he did to make those events successes.

    The first Reagan inauguration, though, is the one that stands out for the 71-year-old Bonnet, who at the time was hired by Frank Fields of Associated Builders, a construction company in Hyattsville, Md., to design a reviewing stand that mimicked the one used for President John F. Kennedy's inaugural in 1961.

    However, while the stands used for Kennedy's swearing-in had been made of wood, Reagan's was to be made of steel, in part to make them safer.

    "We had the contract for building the stands going back to the second President [Richard] Nixon's inauguration," said Fields, who was an Associated Builders vice president when he hired Bonnett. Associated Builders has assembled the stand from the ground up for every inauguration since Reagan's in 1981, and have done so for Trump's, which is Friday.

    In 1981, Bonnett, then 39, was the district manager for Armco Building Systems, a subsidiary of the now-defunct Armco Steel Corp., which specialized in constructing steel structures. His job was to manage and recruit authorized contractors and promote the sale of buildings to architects, engineers, developers, local governments and private companies.

    "I was the guy out in the field who had to coordinate everything in terms of engineering and design back to our home office," he said. "I had to be creative in how to figure out how to make a wooden structure into a metal structure and relate it to our engineering department."

    Fields knew that Bonnett had plenty of experience in the steel business and was "easy to work with," he said.

    "He was a very spirited guy, and he knew what he was doing," added Fields, who has been retired for nearly 20 years. "It was a great team effort with me, Don and our architects."

    "Don and Frank were instrumental in converting the structure from wood to a pre-engineered steel building, which saved a lot of time and money," said Michael Buck, the president of Associated Builders, Inc.

    Because he backed Reagan in that election, Bonnett felt an extra sense of accomplishment for his part in the proceedings, he said.

    He had a great view of the presidential entourage from his vantage point in the media stands in Lafayette Square, across Pennsylvania Avenue from the president's reviewing stand, which is situated with its back to the White House.

    "We had great seats and it was the most memorable one for me," said Bonnett, 71, who since 2013 has been the co-owner of Maryland Sales and Marketing Associates, a business consulting company he runs with his daughter, Margie Anne. "It was a thrill for me to see the president and his wife, Nancy, get out of the car and go into the stands."

    Don Bonnett poses with a photo of the inaugural viewing stand being built in 1984. (Jen Rynda / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

    Twenty tons of steel

    One of Bonnett's goals was to make sure the new steel structure would resemble the older, wooden one.

    To that end, he used the plans from the Kennedy inauguration stands to get its basic parameters and transform it into metal.

    One immediate benefit to using nearly 20 tons of steel in the project was improved security, Bonnett said.

    The 56 cubic feet of concrete used to stabilize the 14 supporting steel columns provided an extra layer of protection from anyone inclined to crash a vehicle into the stands, making it a popular choice for the United States Secret Service, Bonnett said

    "The Secret Service really liked the idea that the stands were raised [from sidewalk level] by 4 feet of concrete instead of 4 feet of wood," he added,

    There were other reasons why using steel made more sense than wood, including the elimination of interior support columns, which added as many as 20 unobstructed-view seats. Because steel is stronger than wood, those columns weren't needed to support the roof.

    "Nancy [Reagan] was particularly happy about that," Bonnet said.

    Despite all the benefits of using steel, Bonnett still found himself jumping through plenty of hoops to get approval for the stand from a variety of federal and local government and other agencies.

    He attended meetings with representatives from organizations ranging from the Secret Service to the United States Park Police and the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, D.C., all of which had to sign off on the project before it could move forward.

    Procuring those approvals were part and parcel of a hectic couple of weeks for Bonnett, who was given an extremely short deadline to complete the $250,000 structure, which he estimated would cost between $750,000 and $800,000 today.

    Meeting a deadline

    After getting the nod from the authorities, Bonnett wasted little time in ordering the steel, which was sent by truck from Ohio to the White House. In a process that typically takes at least six to eight weeks from order to delivery, Bonnett's was expedited to just two.

    The nature of a pre-engineered structure — built by using standard sections and connections to make building simpler and quicker — allowed Bonnett to meet his deadline.

    It also has helped to keep costs down over ensuing inaugurations, given that the same materials can be used over and over, Buck said.

    That is the case for Trump's viewing stand, which will use the same steel structure that Bonnett helped to implement in 1985 for Reagan's second inauguration.

    In 1985, though, freezing temperatures, including wind chills of minus 22 degrees, forced the inauguration proceedings to be moved indoors to the Capital Centre in Landover, according to media sources from the time.

    Bonnett said he drove to Washington on the following day to see the structure nonetheless.

    "I went just to see the stands for the last time and talk to the people who worked so hard to get the job done," he said.

  • January 16, 2017 3:15 PM | HVBF Administrator (Administrator)

    Happy Baltimore Restaurant Week, foodie friends! Where are you eating this week? Support fellow HVBF member Fazzini's Taverna with a full course fresh Italian meal. Baltimore Restaurant week is from January 13th to the 22nd!

    Download Fazzini's Taverna Restaurant Week Menu>>

  • December 08, 2016 2:00 PM | HVBF Administrator (Administrator)

    Currently more than half of all U.S. sales come from the 28 million small businesses in this country. As a growing tech and startup scene, Baltimore is swiftly becoming an incubator for small business and entrepreneurs. And one thing all smallbusinesses have in common: every good business plan requires funding.

    For small businesses, lenders like credit unions are increasingly their biggest allies. Traditional banks are cautious to lend to small businesses while alternative lenders are costly and risky. According to the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, credit union member business loans have grown 60% since 2008.  

    And because credit unions are member-owned and not-for-profit, they return profits back to members in the form of lower fees and competitive interest rates. This means credit unions are a low-cost solution for those looking to start their own business. That savings translates into lower checking fees, higher yield deposit accounts and better commercial real estate rates.

    Positioned as community and mission-driven lenders, credit unions are less bureaucratic, more flexible in loanrequirements and offer greater discretion in the underwriting process. Small business lending is largely relationship based and requires knowledge of the local market. Because of this, the service an applicant receives with a credit union throughout the process is supportive and personalized. 

    Credit unions maintain strong, deep roots within the communities they serve. Because they typically serve a specific community; therefore they’re banking on the economic success of local, small businesses. It’s in everyone’s best interest for a business operating purposefully in the community to succeed, and a credit union’s investment in the financial health of its community is nurturing for entrepreneurs. This relationship is ideal for those, years later, still lacking confidence in big, National banks.  

    Credit unions are a great way to jump-start a small business. The average member business loan among Maryland credit unions is $215,394 (source: CUNA); but credit unions are also a great resource for micro-loans (under $50,000) to assist a business owner in expanding or renovating their physical space, increasing inventory, procuring new equipment or looking for supplemental capital. 

    Many credit unions offer programs to foster economic development within the community, specifically for women and minority-owned businesses. Earlier this year, the Small Business Administration signed an agreement with the National Credit Union Association to support lending programs and meet the needs of those underserved by traditional banks. This has expanded the resources for credit unions to best serve small businesses.

    The good news continues. Maryland credit unions are well below the lending cap of member business loans. This means there is significant untapped capital available to those who qualify. (By law, a credit union’s business loans cannot exceed 12.25 percent of its assets. Currently, credit unions are pushing congress to raise that cap to 27.5 percent to allow for institutions to make more business loans.)

    For anyone starting a small business or hitting funding roadblocks, consider your options. Finding the right banking relationship that supports you and meets your business’ needs is the key to startup success. The credit union down the road could just be your best partner. 

     Author : Tricia Brice

    Tricia is the Senior Vice President, Chief Lending Officer at Point Breeze Credit Union. Based in Hunt Valley, Md., Point Breeze serves more than 51,000 members and 500 employer groups through the Baltimore area offering competitive and supportive financial services for consumers and businesses.  

    About Point Breeze Credit Union

    Point Breeze Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative serving more than 51,000 members and over 500 employer groups. The growing credit union, with total assets exceeding $750 million, currently has offices in Hunt Valley, Rosedale and Bel Air and plans for expansion into Westminster in 2016 and Owings Mills in 2017. Members also have access to over 5,000 shared branch locations across the United States. Individuals who work, worship or volunteer within 20 miles of a Point Breeze location are eligible to join. Point Breeze offers consumer and business checking, savings and loan services. Federally Insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Opportunity. For more information, please visit www.pbcu.com.

  • October 28, 2016 10:42 AM | HVBF Administrator (Administrator)

    The Circle of Excellence Awards program recognizes the region’s most accomplished CEOs for business excellence in distinct categories. Companies are nominated from all size and industry categories, public or private. Each year, an independent committee of local business leaders selects the winners based on their industry impact and market leadership. 

    Congratulations to Tier One Technology Partners on becoming a SmartCEO Circle of Excellence Finalist. Read about the event and attend here.

  • September 21, 2016 1:49 PM | HVBF Administrator (Administrator)

    Loyola University Maryland's Sellinger School of Business is launching the new Executive Education program for Fall 2016.

    The Sellinger School is offering open enrollment seminars for individuals beginning in mid-October at their Graduate Center in Timonium, MD.  These seminars are designed to advance the leadership acumen of qualified professionals and emphasize peer learning and networking activities to build valuable relationships among attendees.

    The seminar offerings for Fall 2016 are:

    Individual Leadership - for professionals who are in or aspire to positions of leadership, responsibility, and accountability. Participants will assess their leadership competencies against benchmarks of true leadership. (October 12-20)

    Strategic Planning - provides contemporary strategic and leadership skills in an interactive format that encourages critical thinking and the open exchange of ideas among a diverse group of experienced professionals. (October 25 – November 3)

    Leading Innovation - targeted at management executives who seek to create and maintain competitive advantage through innovation and continuous improvement. (November 9 – 17)

    To learn more about or Loyola's Executive Seminars, Click here.

  • September 20, 2016 2:25 PM | HVBF Administrator (Administrator)

    Susan G Komen Maryland is excited to be celebrating their 10th year anniversary of the Race for the Cure in Hunt Valley.  They will be hosting a reception on October 6th at the Hunt Valley Inn! It would be great to have the Hunt Valley Business Forum there to support them. Register online here.

  • August 26, 2016 3:06 PM | HVBF Administrator (Administrator)

    Inc. Magazine Unveils 35th Annual List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies: the Inc. 5000

    Strategic Factory Ranks No. 3322 on the 2016 Inc. 5000 with Three-Year Sales Growth of 99%

    Owings Mills, August 22, 2016 – Inc. magazine recently ranked Strategic Factory No. 3322 on its 35th annual Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment— its independent small businesses. Companies such as Microsoft, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, Pandora, Timberland, LinkedIn, Yelp, Zillow, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees of the Inc. 5000.

    “It is an honor to be ranked as one of the nation's fastest-growing private companies. The only thing that is constant is change and we pride ourselves on being innovative and creative while providing a quality product at a reasonable price.” – CEO Keith Miller

    The 2016 Inc. 5000, unveiled online at Inc.com and with the top 500 companies featured in the September issue ofInc. is the most competitive crop in the list’s history. The average company on the list achieved a mind-boggling three-year growth of 433%. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue is $200 billion, and the companies on the list collectively generated 640,000 jobs over the past three years, or about 8% of all jobs created in the entire economy during that period. Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000.

     "The Inc. 5000 list stands out where it really counts,” says Inc. President and Editor-In-Chief Eric Schurenberg. “It honors real achievement by a founder or a team of them. No one makes the Inc. 5000 without building something great – usually from scratch. That’s one of the hardest things to do in business, as every company founder knows. But without it, free enterprise fails.” 

    The annual Inc. 5000 event honoring all the companies on the list will be held from October 18 through 20, in San Antonio, TX. Speakers include some of the greatest entrepreneurs of this and past generations, such as best-selling author and strategist Tony Robbins, SoulCycle co-founders Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice, Cornerstone OnDemand founder, president and CEO Adam Miller, Marvell Technology Group director and co-founder Weili Dai, and New Belgium Brewing co-founder and executive chair Kim Jordan.


    Strategic Factory encourages collaboration between strategy and creativity to deliver powerful, cohesive and innovative campaigns. Services include marketing, graphic design, printing, mailing, indoor and outdoor signage, promotional products, and customized packaging and apparel. We oversee all projects from concept through completion and our capabilities offer clients a single and professional source for all their communication needs. For more company information, visit www.strategicfactory.com.

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