Alex Cooper Unveils Renovated Showroom

Alex Cooper Auctioneers has unveiled its renovated showroom at its facility on York Road in Towson. The $3 million update to the space marks another milestone in the company’s 90-year history.

Since its founding in 1924, Alex Cooper Auctioneers has concentrated its talents on the auction, real estate, appraisal and Oriental rug business. As its business continued to grow, the Cooper family continued to purchase showrooms until it unified all of its operations at its current space at 908 York Road. The current interior has not been updated since it was purchased in 1982. The renovation includes a new rug showroom and a 20,000-square-foot space for art and antiques.

“Our specialty is preserving and passing down pieces of history,” said vice president Paul Cooper. “We’re excited to unveil the renovation to our showroom, which we consider to be a milestone in our business’s history. We hope the renovation shows our commitment to the business and to the Towson community.”

MICA Awarded $600K Grant

The Maryland Institute College of Art has been awarded a three-year, $600,000 grant from the Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation to launch the development of Up/Start MICA, a collegewide entrepreneurship initiative that will capitalize on the unique talents of the college’s students and recent graduates.

“We are greatly impressed with president Samuel Hoi’s vision to encourage entrepreneurship among the students and alumni at one of the
nation’s finest arts and design schools,” said James D. Wright, co-trustee of the Ratcliffe Foundation.

MICA will use the funds to establish programming and provide guidance, support, tools and investment resources — of up to $100,000 annually — to students and recent graduates who are looking to grow businesses or launch startups.

This past fall, award-winning business owner and serial entrepreneur Monyka Berrocosa joined MICA as its “entrepreneurship evangelist.” Berrocosa works directly with students and alumni by providing expert business guidance and advice and cultivating resources and relationships to further the reach for these burgeoning ideas.

Yelp Awards SBLC $5,000

The South Baltimore Learning Center has received a $5,000 grant from the Yelp Foundation, having been nominated and voted in by community members in the Yelp Foundation Gives Local grant contest.

Of the many nonprofits considered for recognition, only three in the Baltimore area were nominated to participate, which awarded $10,000 total to local nonprofits. SBLC was the first-place winner.

“The Yelp Foundation’s support for SBLC’s adult literacy efforts means that more adults in Baltimore will have the opportunity to begin their journey toward achieving their Maryland high school diplomas,” said SBLC executive director Annmarie Westerfield. “These funds allow us to serve more learners through our off-site class partnerships. By bringing pre-GED and GED classes to Baltimore neighborhoods most in need of our service, we are able to remove the transportation barriers for our students and increase their access to education, life-skills training and
career counseling services.”

Runge Joins RS&F

Rosen, Sapperstein & Friedlander, LLC, a business consulting and accounting firm, has announced it has hired Andrew J. Runge as its director of forensic, litigation and valuation services.

With more than 25 years of experience in forensic accounting/investigation, economic damages, insurance and litigation support services, as well as business valuations, Runge joins RS&F from Circle Forensic Consulting, LLC, where he led a boutique forensic accounting, business valuation and litigation services practice. His practice spanned various service segments in regions throughout the United States.

With Runge’s hiring, Rosen, Sapperstein & Friedlander is expanding its forensic accounting, litigation and business valuations service offerings. The firm’s expertise in forensic accounting includes economic damage analysis, fraud determination and embezzlement, divorce property settlements,
reorganization and recapitalization, search for unreported transactions and assets, settlement negotiations, shareholder disputes, charitable contributions, compensation arrangements and goodwill impairment.

MTR Appoints Director

Maryland Therapeutic Riding, Inc. has announced the appointment of Cathy Rosenbaum as executive director of the Crownsville facility. Most recently, Rosenbaum was an integral part of the Mount Vernon Place Conservancy team, managing the $7 million restoration of the Washington Monument in Baltimore.

Rosenbaum’s personal horse was in a therapeutic riding program for several years, and she was fortunate enough to see firsthand the profoundly positive impact equine therapy can have in breaking down barriers and improving the lives of people with special needs.

Maryland Therapeutic Riding is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life of children and adults with special needs through equine-based therapies and activities. In 2015, MTR’s certified instructors, licensed therapists, volunteers and specially trained horses provided more than 3,000 equine-assisted therapy hours.

Gordon Feinblatt’s Rahl Honored

The law firm of Gordon Feinblatt LLC has announced that Christopher R. Rahl has been named a recipient of the 2016 Client Choice Award.

Established in 2005, Client Choice recognizes those law firms and partners around the world that stand apart for the excellent client care they provide and the quality of their service. The qualifications for this recognition focus on a lawyer’s ability to add real value to clients’ businesses above and beyond the other players in the market. Law firms and partners can be nominated for the award only by corporate counsel.

Rahl is a member in Gordon Feinblatt’s Financial Services Practice Group. He provides legal advice concerning a broad range of legal issues
including compliance with federal and state statutes and regulations applicable to financial institutions and debt relief providers; transactional matters; corporate governance issues; and litigation avoidance and management. Rahl advises clients in connection with lending, deposit, debt adjustment/management, credit service business, money transmission and privacy statutes and regulations.

Sless Named Home Point Branch Manager

Home Point Financial Corporation has announced that Steven J. Sless has joined as branch manager of its Towson branch to focus on the continued expansion of its reverse mortgage channel. Sless will manage the day-to-day operations, hold local events and connect with potential borrowers by expanding on his innovative seminar series.

Previous to his new position at Home Point Financial, Sless was a managing partner at Bayshore Reverse Mortgage and an originator with Maverick Funding’s Reverse Mortgage Network. He has built a reputation as a skilled communicator through public workshops, industry publications and
national media spotlights.

GBCA Announces New Board Members

The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance board of directors have announced the election of seven new members, as well as the appointment of Julia Marciari-Alexander, executive director of the Walters Art Museum, as president, and the appointment of Sheri Parks, associate dean for research, interdisciplinary scholarship and programming at the University of Maryland, as vice president.

The new board members are Chuck Adkins, chief financial officer at Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts; Kevin Apperson, chief information officer at Maxim Healthcare Services; Randi Benesch, senior managing director at Gordon Center for Performing Arts; Navasha Daya, performing artist and co-founder/director of Youth Resiliency Institute; Hana S. Sharif, associate artistic director at Center Stage; Lee Kappelman, principal at m/Oppenheim Associates; and Ron M. Melton, chief operating officer at Visit Baltimore.

Carroll Hospital Honored

SC&H Capital, an investment banking and advisory firm focused on middle market and growth companies, has announced that one of its 2015 deals, the Carroll Hospital Center Merger with LifeBridge Health, has been named a Deal of the Year finalist by the Association for Corporate Growth ñ Maryland Chapter.

SC&H Capital served as the exclusive adviser to Carroll Hospital Center in its affiliation agreement with LifeBridge Health. In this agreement, LifeBridge Health made a commitment to implement Carroll Hospital Center’s strategic plan for growth and advancement in areas such as cardiovascular, cancer, hospice/ home care, surgery, women and infants and outpatient services.

ACG’s Deal of the Year award recognizes the transactions that have taken place over the past year that stand to have the most impact on the economy in Maryland. ACG will announce the winners at its 11th Annual Deal of the Year Gala on March 16, at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. Since 2007, SC&H Capital has represented 13 ACG Maryland Deal of the Year award finalists and the past five winners.

MIDC Welcomes Lipert

The Maryland/Israel Development Center has named Adam Lipert its MIDC’s business development manager.

Adam grew up in Washington, D.C. He moved to Israel, served in the Israel Defense Forces and completed a Bachelor of Arts in government at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzilya. Lipert holds a master’s degree in global security from Johns Hopkins University.

Upon completion of his master’s, Lipert moved back to Israel and was drafted into the Israeli army and served two years as a non-commissioned officer in the Economics and Commerce Department for the Coordination and Liaison Administration for the Gaza Strip. In 2015, he returned to the United States and lives in Washington, D.C.