Cordish To Develop Brookley Aeroplex

The Cordish Companies has been selected by the Mobile Airport Authority to develop portions of Brookley Aeroplex.

The total build-out of the aerospace hub is envisioned to include 6 million square feet of commercial space, housing 6,000 to 10,000 employees and create a net increase of more than 4,000 jobs. In 2012, it was announced that Mobile, Ala., will become the first site in the western hemisphere assembling Airbus aircraft. The Airbus facility will total a $600 million investment at Brookley and create 1,000 new direct jobs. Construction commenced in April 2013 and aircraft assembly is targeted to begin in 2015.

Jewish Heritage Museum Names Chair

The Board of Trustees of the Museum of Jewish Heritage announced Bruce C. Ratner as the chairman-elect, a new position created to facilitate an orderly succession of the leadership of the board. Ratner will work closely with Robert M. Morgenthau, chairman of the board, in a transitional leadership capacity.

Following the transition period, the board will create a chairman emeritus position that will recognize Morgenthau’s lasting impact on the museum.

Sugarman To Chair Conference

Robert Sugarman was elected to a one-year term as chairman of Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

A retired lawyer, Sugarman has held board positions with organizations such as Hillel of New York, UJA Federation, Lawyers’ Division and the Museum of Jewish History. He also served for three decades with the Anti-Defamation League, culminating in his election to their highest position as National Chair from 2009 until 2012.

Bar-Shir Recevies JCC Award

Roni Bar-Shir is the recipient of this year’s Martin S. Saxon Educational Vision Award from the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore, as well as the Educational Excellence Award in Early Childhood Education from the Macks Center for Jewish Education. Bar-Shir has also been named Assistant Director of the Meyerhoff Park Heights ECE.

Fidler Elected To BCF Board

The Baltimore Community Foundation has elected Josh E. Fidler of Chesapeake Realty Partners and Chesapeake Realty Management to its board of trustees. Fidler has joined the Budget and Finance Committee.

The Baltimore Community Foundation was established by community leaders in 1972 to provide a way for individual philanthropists to pool resources and work together to improve this region, and to create a permanent endowment to serve Baltimore’s changing needs for generations to come.

Takin’ It To The Bank

Meet David Millman. On the surface, Millman is your average Baltimorean. A 1973 graduate of Milford Mill Academy, he married his junior high sweetheart, Holly — both graduates of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

David Millman says he’s  interested in making an  impact in the community.

David Millman says he’s interested in making an
impact in the community.

But today, Millman, 58, is anything but typical. He’s the Maryland and Baltimore market president for Bank of America, overseeing company leaders across the state to help the bank deliver a wide range of global financial services to more individuals and businesses locally, as well as deepen relationships with existing customers.

He also oversees corporate social responsibility activities, including philanthropic giving, community
development lending and investing, environmental initiatives, diversity efforts, arts and culture projects and employee volunteerism.

In addition, Millman is the market executive for Business Banking for Greater Maryland. Business Banking provides strategic, integrated financial advice and solutions to small and midsized businesses with $5 million to $50 million in annual revenues.

The Baltimore Jewish Times caught up with Millman late last month.

JT: You have been with Bank of America since 1981. Was becoming Maryland and Baltimore market president a logical next step?
Millman: It is a logical next step, but it was also a choice. At Bank of America, to be in a president role also incorporates A-line management. … I run our business banking team; I lead that team for Maryland, and the business banking piece is something I have been involved in almost my entire career.
As far as market president: You have to be interested in what … goes on in the community you live in. It was a logical step for me because I had interest in … what was going on around me and trying to make an impact. When I was presented with the opportunity, I jumped at it.

How’s it going?
It’s been great. I am working hard. It is a job that requires a lot of energy and a lot of hours, but I love it.

You probably meet many amazing people in your role. Who’s the coolest one so far?
Of all the great people that I have met — people who run nonprofits in the community or are business owners — I think I would choose someone who is actually internal to Bank of America. His name is Bill Couper, and he was my predecessor. He was a pure president. … The thing that made Bill such a tremendous role model was his demeanor and the way he dealt — and deals currently — with people. It is the kindness he uses in everyday life. I have never seen Bill say an ill word about anyone; I’ve never seen him lose his temper. His DNA is just incredible.

You oversee a tremendous amount of funds, and it’s a big responsibility. What keeps you up at night?
Making sure we are doing our absolute best. … We certainly have a corporate agenda and a responsibility to all the communities we are in. … You want to make sure the decisions you make are impactful. Because those decisions are made on a daily basis, and there are quite a few of them, we want to make sure we are doing … the right thing for the community. It’s that you want to do not just what the bank wants you to do, but what the community wants you to do.

Your job description has a strong social aspect: philanthropic giving; community development lending and investing; environmental initiatives; diversity efforts; arts and culture projects; and employee volunteerism. What are you doing with that?
Since 2007, when the world changed a bit, we decided to tailor our efforts around philanthropy into three major categories: jobs, hunger and housing. We … look to those aspects of our philanthropy because we see those areas as the most impacted by the recession and try to figure out what we can do to help in the community.

Has it improved at all?
I think we are seeing progress. We would love for the economy to be further along than it is. But with the organizations we deal with, we see great progress in the ability for individuals to find not just part-time jobs, but fill their time meaningful employment.
We’ve also seen … new homes built, through Habitat for Humanity, elder-care facilities.
Are the problems cured? Not by a long shot. But there has been concrete progress.

Bank of America has many community partners. Are there any Jewish ones?
We tend not to publish where the money is going, but I will say that we have done a lot of work with Jewish organizations. I will give an example of a partnership we have: We would have someone from The Associated: [Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore] sit in with us on our community needs assessment board. We sit down with a group of key individuals across cities and counties to tell us what they think we are doing right or wrong and to tell us what we can do better in community. Every year, we have someone from The Associated on that committee. We provide a career coach to Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital to enable those employees to do a good job maintaining employment with Levindale.
There is a combination of volunteer efforts and dollars that go to all organizations but also specifically Jewish organizations.

Do Jewish values influence your decision-making process?
Yes, the lesson of being honest and direct in the way to go about dealing with people. Whether in business
or everyday life, the way you deal with people and your level of honesty really sets the tone.
Dedication is another. I am dedicated [to my work] here, and I’ve been dedicated to the community for as long as I can remember.

When the mortgage industry imploded, banks played a role — in the cause and the cleanup. Talk about Bank of America and its role, if any, in mortgage-loan modifications etc.
We have hired hundreds of associates to deal with nothing but that and
we see it as a huge component of the recovery. If you look at Bank of America since 2008, we have modified more than 1.1 million [home loans] nationwide. In Maryland, that number is about 36,000, which includes
almost 6,000 in 2012. That process is continuing, and it is our goal to move it along as quickly as possible.

Is the banking industry stable today?
There has been tremendous improvement since 2008. Just look at Bank of America. The bank has built a fortress balance sheet. … More importantly, it is in a position to no longer feel it is spending the majority of its time on legacy issues, but rather we are in this to play offense and get back to banking. We feel very good about the state of the bank. … A lot of those issues are behind us; even though the economy is not moving at a robust pace, the change in banking and Bank of America has improved dramatically since 2008.

Tell JT readers something about Bank of America that would be tough to find in a Google search.
If you Google Bank of America, you would not find anything about the tremendous associates we have, partners we have, who work at the bank. These associates do so much on a daily basis for the communities they serve. As individuals, we enjoy working [for the community], and we love the folks we work with.

Tell readers something about yourself that they can have fun with.
I have played in a band, Tall in the Saddle, since the ’70s, and we still play to this day. It is kind of comical. We have all aged and we play less frequently, but the band is a great hobby and a great distraction for me. … It is just really a hoot for us to get together, play at a club once or twice a month, rekindle that little bit.

With Vision

(Dara Kramer)

(Dara Kramer)

Dan Naor, chief operating officer of Baltimore Marine Centers, is a former captain in the Israeli Navy.

His Baltimore story began in the late 1990s when he noticed 16 acres of property up for auction adjacent to the Inner Harbor in Canton. Naor, now 47, made the winning bid and with the help from investors worked tirelessly to establish Baltimore Marine Centers, which has multiple marina locations on the harbor as well as an extensive helicopter travel service.

The property in Canton, which was a mere starting point for Naor, looks almost nothing like it did 20 years ago. It was a “disaster and falling apart,” Naor noted from his office overlooking one of his magnificently developed marinas filled with beautiful yachts and boats.

At the time, Naor thought “a boat and a small marina, and life is good.” Little did he realize that his passion of starting a small local marina would grow into a hugely successful business and that he would have a respected and influential voice in the harbor community.

Naor prides his business on “listening to our customers no matter what” and has noticed that he is often met with one unifying complaint about a problem he cannot fix on his own: The condition of the water in the harbor is of grave concern to costumers, Naor explained.

Instead of filing complaints with the city, Naor knows the multilayered solution, which he believes includes fixing sewage leaks, improving storm-drain systems, educating kids statewide about harbor pollution and introducing dozens of floating wetlands to the harbor’s waters.

A floating wetlands, Naor said, is essential to cleaning up the harbor. To put it simply, Naor defines a floating wetlands as “a matrix that grows bacteria, which then eats allege,” biochemically cleaning the harbor every minute of every day.

Beyond the ethical reasons for cleaning the harbor, Naor spelled out the interconnected communal good that can come from a clean harbor.

“The more boats we can bring, the more business we can bring to the entire city of Baltimore,” he said.

Longtime business partner Dr. Steve Berlin noted that Naor’s “vision of the harbor creates very important concepts that will only enhance the harbor with new jobs and revenue for the city.”

Yet, Naor’s business is not solely confined to the Inner Harbor. In October 2010, Naor identified a problem and found a solution — in Israel.

Before Naor stepped in, when immediate trauma care was needed in the northern Golan or in the Southern Negev, patients would spend hours being transported by ambulance to the nearest hospitals in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or Haifa. In partnership with the Red Cross in Israel, Naor provided nine helicopters and 30 pilots; Red Cross provided the medics.

While at first the relationship was purely business, Naor now sees more to it.

“Will we make money? I don’t care at this point. The point is to save lives,” he said.

Since its inception, the medical evacuation has picked up around 1,300 patients.

Molly Polis, who has worked for Naor for the past 16 years, called him nothing short of “a visionary who is not afraid to take risks.”

Naor wanted to provide medical evacuation services for those in the Negev and the Golan. He did it. Naor wants to clean up the harbor so the economy can prosper and the harbor will be filled with boats. He’ll do it.

Theodore Herzl’s words ring true for this Israeli native: “If you want it, it is no dream.”

Justin Hayet is a JT intern jhayet1@binghamton.edu

Point. Click. Switch.

Jason Schwartzberg started PointClickSwitch three years ago — on the side. Today, it is his full-time gig, and it’s catching on. (David Stuck)

Jason Schwartzberg started PointClickSwitch three years ago — on the side. Today, it is his full-time gig, and it’s catching on. (David Stuck)

“The mystery is how you can make a few clicks and save money,” said Andrew Finkelstein, vice president of business development for Residential Title & Escrow Company and its affiliated Commercial Settlement Services, LLC in Owings Mills.
Finkelstein said he has saved more than $1,000 in just under three years — all in energy savings.

How did he do it? Point. Click. Switch.

That’s important information for people who are still using Baltimore Gas & Electric; as of June 1, the company’s cost per kilowatt hour of electricity took a spike and by the end of the month, users are going to be seeing that on their electricity bills.

PointClickSwitch.com started three years ago, the brainchild of three young local real estate businessmen, Jason Schwartzberg, Paul Clary and Phil Croskey. A few months ago, Schwartzberg, who was a member of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore’s Young Leadership Council and volunteers at Comprehensive Housing Assistance, Inc.’s annual volunteer days, left the real estate industry to work with the website full time.

Here’s how it works: PointClickSwitch allows users to comparison shop Maryland energy suppliers, choose a new product, fill out a web form and make the switch online. The company screens energy suppliers and features them on their website, favoring those with good customer services and prices. This is much more robust than what BGE or the Maryland Public Service Commission currently offers consumers on their websites; BGE offers links to all licensed energy suppliers, and PSC offers price listings of those suppliers.

Schwartzberg, who lives in Hunt Valley with his wife and 4-year-old son, said the business as of late has really taken off. Currently, Point-ClickSwitch has 2,500 customers and is confident more are on the way.

If not, they should be.

A visit to PointClickSwitch.com on a recent Monday found BGE’s rate at $.10474 a kilowatt hour, with prices from other companies as low as $.0829. Some suppliers had options to lock in rates for as many as 24 months.

“People think 10 cents versus eight cents is not a lot,” said Finkelstein. “But when your bill comes at the end of the month, the difference could be 20 percent.”

Some background.

In 1999, Maryland’s energy market was deregulated, which allowed consumers and businesses to choose their energy supplier, but not their distributor. By law, utilities that distribute electricity to homes are required to offer a baseline level of services and pricing to consumers and can act as both supplier and distributor of the energy.

In Baltimore, most consumers still pay for the supply and distribution of their energy from BGE, but that is slowly changing. Laurie Duhan, manager of energy services for BGE, said 325,000 (or 29 percent) of residential customers purchase electricity from a company other than BGE.

“This is not a new start-up we are worried about,” she said.

Duhan explained that BGE does not lose out when consumers opt for a different energy supplier. She said one’s BGE bill is divided into three major areas: customer charge, delivery charge and supply charge.

“It is the customer charge and the delivery that allows the utility [company] to recover its costs, maintain the call center, take care of pipes and wires, have employees to be there to handle the customers and earn a fair return,” she said, noting that BGE “likes having our customers have a choice. … We encourage people to shop and come up with a decision.”

In fact, BGE ensures that if a residence chooses a variant supplier, the bill will still be unified. The utility company works behind the scenes with suppliers to track and then bill the consumer — at no extra charge.

PointClickSwitch makes its money by charging the energy suppliers, who wish to make their rates available on the site, either an upfront marketing fee or a small percentage of the customer’s monthly bill.

“Some people clip coupons,” said Finkelstein, “but that takes a lot of time and energy. … I can’t think of any other few minutes that create that much value.”
Said Schwartzberg: “For anyone who pays a BGE bill, this is an opportunity.”

To learn more, call 888-826-1316 or visit pointclickswitch.com.

Maayan Jaffe is JT managing editor mjaffe@jewishtimes.com

Goldsmith Elected President of Har Sinai Congregation

062113_Joanne-GoldsmithJoanne T. Goldsmith was elected president of Har Sinai Congregation at its annual meeting last month. Goldsmith has served in several leadership positions in the congregation, including third, second and first vice president, as well as serving two terms as Sisterhood president.

Active on a national level in the Reform Movement, she has served on the executive committee of Women of Reform Judaism and as secretary of the Federation of Jewish Women’s Organizations of Maryland.

Officers serving with Goldsmith are Joseph DeMattos, first vice president; Anne Berman, second vice president; David Carp, third vice president; Dr. Kenneth Bell, secretary; Sam Dansicker, treasurer; and Craig Hoffman, assistant treasurer.

Blumberg Elected President of American College of Radiology

The American College of Radiology Council elected Dr. Albert L. Blumberg its president during the ACR’s recent 90th annual meeting and chapter leadership conference in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Blumberg is a fellow of the ACR, serves on the ACR executive council and is immediate past chair of the ACR Commission on Radiation Oncology. He is vice chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Greater Baltimore Medical Center and a practicing radiation oncologist with Radiation
Oncology HealthCare PA in Baltimore.