Aquaculture is Transforming Maryland’s Oyster Industry

Choptank Communications’ Partner Brent Burkhardt explored how aquaculture is transforming Maryland’s oyster industry. The article showcases how Dorchester County – a traditional oystering region – has become a hub of oyster farming in Maryland. Ask the nation’s seafood lovers about where the best tasting oysters are found, and choices from Long Island, New England, Prince Edward Island and the Pacific Northwest frequently come to mind. If Dorchester County’s local oyster farmers have their way, bivalves from the waters of the Choptank and Hooper’s Island will soon join that list. Dorchester is the hub of Maryland oyster farming. The county outpaces all others with a total of 64 shellfish aquaculture leases out of 322 statewide, according to Karl Roscher, Aquaculture Division Director for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Included are 22 leases issued since 2010 for farms coming into production. They represent a quarter of new leases in Maryland. An additional 12 Dorchester leases are under review.
By |November 1st, 2014|News, Public Relations|Comments Off on Aquaculture is Transforming Maryland’s Oyster Industry|

Customer Outreach Promotion Delivers Results

On October 6, 2014, we stood in the audience with more than 50 employees of Cambridge Engineered Solutions  and looked on as CEO Tracy Tyler launch the “Heavy Metal Tour” as she unveiled a customized RV. Choptank PR worked with Cambridge to develop this unique customer outreach and appreciation campaign. Developed to introduce new product lines at plants across the U.S., the Heavy Metal Tour combined elements of a musical tour with today’s popular food trucks. See article below or the comprehensive feature in the Star Democrat by Dustin Holt. “My favorite experience with Choptank would have to be the idea to do a Heavy Metal Tour. From the initial idea to brainstorming with our internal teams, Choptank led this effort which included buying an RV, turning it into Cambridge’s “Heavy Metal Tour Bus”, and taking it all over the U.S. as a way to show our appreciation to our customers.” Tracy L. Tyler
By |October 6th, 2014|Events, News, Public Relations|Comments Off on Customer Outreach Promotion Delivers Results|

Lively Arts Scene Draws Visitors & Residents

While working on Dorchester Economic Development’s Water Moves Us campaign, we were struck by the strong role the arts played in Cambridge. We wrote the following article that appeared in the Banner, Mid-Shore Business Journal, Chamber newsletter and When Mickey Love arrived in Cambridge in 2007 to run the Dorchester Center for the Arts (DCA), she saw firsthand how the beauty of the environment inspired people to create amazing art. As she rolled up her sleeves to join the board and staff to plan DCA’s expansion and relocation to the historic Nathan building, she quickly discovered that the arts would be a key player in growing Dorchester County’s creative economy. “I used to say when I first moved here that you couldn’t throw a rock in Dorchester without hitting an artist,” she laughs, adding, “The arts have quietly and quickly become an economic and employment force in the county, creating artistic enterprises, supporting restaurants and retailers, and attracting tourists.” Since August 2008, the landmark Art Deco Building at 321 High Street has been home to the Dorchester Center for the Arts. With approximately 500 members, a world-class artisans’ shop, more than 100 classes and workshops, a dozen performances, and over 5,000 visitors each year, it is the anchor of the county’s arts industry. The 14,000-square-foot former Nathan’s Furniture Store was renovated in two stages. The recently completed second-floor performance and rental space will increase visitors and visibility. Love points to the county’s successful application for Cambridge to be one of the earliest state-designated Arts & Entertainment Districts in 2003 as the opening act of a three-act play. Spearheaded by a small group of downtown pioneers including Joie de Vivre Gallery owner Joy Staniforth, artist Greg […]
By |March 14th, 2014|News|Comments Off on Lively Arts Scene Draws Visitors & Residents|

District Affords Income Tax Savings For Artists

by Andrea Vernot Mural artist Michael Rosato planned to build a painting studio at his home near Cambridge. Then he discovered the tax benefits of creating artwork in the studio he now owns in the City’s Arts and Entertainment District. The lure of working from home was attractive, but Rosato could not ignore the financial savings that came with being in downtown Cambridge. As a Dorchester County resident, he does not pay Maryland state income tax on the art he sells that is designed and produced in his A&E District studio. “It makes great financial sense,” says Rosato, whose artistic works include the new Chesapeake-themed mural along Cambridge Creek outside The J.M. Clayton Company. “I have affordable space in a supportive, pro-art community, and all the work I create here is free of Maryland state income tax. It’s a fantastic deal.”
By |December 1st, 2013|News|Comments Off on District Affords Income Tax Savings For Artists|

Choptank PR Promotes Oyster Industry

We were pleased to facilitate Tim Wheeler’s visit to five Dorchester oyster farmers to learn how aquaculture is opening up new business ventures for traditional watermen. Wheeler’s resulting article – “Passion Grows for Oyster Farming” – along with a wonderful photo gallery by Kim Hairston, appeared in the Baltimore Sun in November 2013.
Oysters may or may not be an aphrodisiac, but they sure bring out passion in those who raise them for a living. Tim Devine barely knew from oysters when he was growing up in Easton, not far from the Chesapeake Bay. Now he’s growing them on 10 acres of bay bottom near here that he’s leased from the state, and professing to love the hard work and challenges involved in cultivating and selling his prized bivalves.

“It just seemed like the stars aligned,” Devine, 37, said of his transition from commercial photographer in New York City to yeoman oyster farmer. Offering a sample to a visitor, he describes the glistening gray gob on a half-shell as if it was a fine wine, pointing to its mild, buttery taste, with just enough salt.
Read full article here. Photo credit Kim Hairston, Baltimore Sun.

By |November 26th, 2013|News, Public Relations|Comments Off on Choptank PR Promotes Oyster Industry|

Dorchester Unveils Mew Branding Campaign

Star Democrat — Choptank Communications has created a new branding campaign — “Water Moves Us” — for Dorchester County Economic Development (DCED) in conjunction with Dorchester County’s Tourism Office and Chamber of Commerce. The campaign was unveiled Oct. 1 at the Dorchester County Council meeting as part of a Dorchester Economic Development Week presentation. Created by Cambridge firm Choptank Communications, “Water Moves Us” serves as DCED’s new brand identity as well as a multi-platform, cooperative marketing campaign to promote Dorchester’s assets and opportunities. The word mark, logo and creative executions emphasize stories of innovation and industry against a backdrop evoking Dorchester’s beautiful environment and water-shaped landscape. “Water Moves Us symbolizes how people feel about Dorchester; it captures resident pride, embraces visitor appreciation, and reinforces the positive and critical position the landscape plays in our economy and culture.” said Andrea Vernot, president of Choptank Communications and former assistant secretary and chief marketer for the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.
By |October 15th, 2013|Brand Marketing, Economic Development, News|Comments Off on Dorchester Unveils Mew Branding Campaign|

West County Stakeholders Get Down to Business

We were pleased to work with the Charles County Commissioners to facilitate an economic development roundtable for Indian Head. Southern Maryland News reporter Rebecca Barnabi was on hand and delivered this report.

A business roundtable in Indian Head on Thursday morning brought together about two dozen hand-picked community members and local officials to discuss a shared concern: Stimulating the economy in the western side of Charles County. The roundtable was hosted by the Charles County commissioners and the Western Charles County Business Association.

“I really think it’s the start of something big,” Commissioner Debra M. Davis (D) said. “I’m excited about the quality of conversations.” Davis, working in conjunction with the Charles County Department of Economic Development and representatives from business organizations, selected panelists for the event. She said that when she called people to ask them to participate in the roundtable, the commitment expressed stood out to her.

The commitment at Thursday’s roundtable also stood out to facilitator Andrea Vernot, president of Choptank Communications. Vernot, who has more than 25 years of experience in economic development marketing,” said that the process of planning moves economic development forward “in a way that’s so much stronger and so much more efficient.” The communication of ideas spurs the economy, Vernot said. The participants in the roundtable learned from each other that they shared the same challenges and problems of the western side of the county. “This was a really important step,” said Vernot, who worked at the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development and was chief operations officer for the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts (before launching Choptank).

By |September 11th, 2013|News|Comments Off on West County Stakeholders Get Down to Business|