Benchworks Named to Inc. Magazine’s 35th Annual List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies


For the second time, Benchworks appears on the Inc. 5000 list

Chestertown, MD, August 23, 2016

Inc. magazine recently ranked Benchworks, a comprehensive marketing services agency, No. 1005 on its 35th annual Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the fastest-growing privately held companies in America. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the U.S. economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses.

Photo: Thad Bench

Thad Bench – Contributed Photo

The 2016 Inc. 5000, unveiled online at, 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

“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.”

This year marks the second time Benchworks has been included on the Inc. 5000, appearing alongside such companies as Pandora, Domino’s Pizza, LinkedIn, Yelp and Timberland. Benchworks’ ranking is based on its three-year sales growth of 395% and revenue of $31.1 million.

Thad L. Bench, Sr., CEO of Benchworks, commented on the achievement, saying, “At Benchworks, our goal is to provide measurable results for our clients through a relentless focus on marketing strategy, quality and service, all with a spirit of graciousness. I am very proud that our team has been successful in accomplishing that task through their tireless dedication while the Benchworks leadership team has skillfully managed sustainable growth.”

Companies on the list will be honored at the annual Inc. 5000 conference in October in San Antonio. The event recognizes these companies for their remarkable achievements and contributions to the economy. The event will feature inspirational speakers and networking opportunities.

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September’s History Happy Hour Carolyn Cooper Talks about her New Book

Historical Society of Kent County
August 23, 2016

Every once in a while, Kent County produces a work based on local history which is truly impressive. The 548 pages of Historic Homes of Kent County certainly fits that description, and now it has happened again.

After countless years of research, Carolyn Cooper has published Descendants Day: History of the Center of Kent County, Maryland [Worton Hundred] & Its Inhabitants.

This 551 page work traces the history of the residents and lands of Worton from the very beginning. Come to the Bordley History Center on September 2nd and hear Carolyn explain her motivation and the effort it took to complete this incredible work of history.

This First Friday, History Happy Hour Lecture will begin at 5 PM which is a change from our regular time in order to allow residents to attend both our lecture and the ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Sultana building which will take place at 4 pm.

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Washington College’s Volleyball Season Preview

Washington College Athletics
August 23, 2016

CHESTERTOWN, Md. – The past three seasons have been some of the best years for the Washington College volleyball program as they have achieved three consecutive winning seasons and a 55-28 overall record. However, despite the overall record success the goal of reaching the Centennial Conference Tournament has eluded the Shorewomen. Even though the team went 17-10 in 2015 and 5-0 at home in Centennial play last fall, including a win over reigning conference champion McDaniel, the team was unable to duplicate the success on the road in conference play and just missed conference tournament.

This season the Shorewomen seek to reach their first-ever Centennial Conference Tournament and notch their fourth straight winning season under fourth-year head coach Jamie Leventry. Washington has not had four straight winning seasons in volleyball since 1976-79, the first four seasons of the program.

For the Shorewomen to reach the tournament, to overcome the losses of two of the most decorated players in program history in Jess Daunoras and Kristin Lee. Lee concluded her Washington College career second all-time in kills and digs and sixth in service aces and Daunoras finished her time with the Shorewomen tops in blocks and fifth in kills.

Three seniors who have been key contributors since arriving in Chestertown in the fall of 2013 are back for the 2016 season. Libero Audrey Utchen (San Ramon, Calif./Monte Vista). Utchen had a career-high and team-best 436 digs as a junior and also led the squad at 4.32 digs per set, while also adding 34 service aces, which was good for third on the squad. Utchen ranked sixth in the conference in digs and eighth in digs per set. Right-side hitter Alexis Jordan (Royal Palm Beach, Fla./Seminole Ridge) had 120 kills and 37 blocks as a junior, while Rachel Baker (Downingtown, Pa./Central Bucks West) had 209 digs and 25 aces. Jordan was one of five Washington players with 100 or more kills in 2015 and Baker was fourth on the team in digs. Baker, Jordan and Utchen are three of the 10 players Washington has back from the 2015 team that went 5-5 in Centennial competition.

Also back in the fold this season is junior setter Taylor Horan (San Diego, Calif./Point Loma). Horan had a strong sophomore season as she had 899 assists, 286 digs, 52 kills and 36 blocks. In the conference, she ranked second in assists per set (8.99) and third in assists. Horan had 16 double-doubles in 2015, including consecutive streaks of five and six matches. The junior is third all-time in program history in helpers with 1,668.

Leventry has two other impact players back in the mix this season in junior middle hitter Alaina Geissberger (Lake Villa, Ill./Grayslake North) and sophomore Kaitlyn Marino (Redding, Conn./Joel Barlow). Geissberger had a breakout sophomore season last fall as she had 141 kills, a .260 hitting percentage and 80 blocks, while having nine matches of four or more rejections in 2015. In the conference, she ranked third in blocks, fourth in solo blocks (21) and blocks per set (0.80), sixth in assisted blocks (59) eighth in hitting percentage. Marino had a strong rookie season with 220 kills, 2.18 kills per set and 33 blocks. Marino had one double-double last season at Goucher.

Junior setter/defensive specialist Sarah Bentley (Hagerstown, Md./North Hagerstown) was a key contributor last season as she had 154 digs for a clip of 2.05 digs per set and also chipped in with 18 aces. She had five matches of 10 or more digs last season, including a stretch of three straight matches with double-digit dig totals from September 24-30.

Other returnees that are expected to contribute on a high level are juniors Emily Houck (Plymouth Meeting, Pa./Plymouth-Whitemarsh) and Amy Rohn(Paoli, Pa./Conestoga) and sophomore Lizzie Baden (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park). Rohn had 49 digs in 16 matches last season as she earned the team’s Most Improve Player award.

The team has two freshmen this season in outside hitter/defensive specialist Cassie Kowalski (Wilmington, Del./Delaware Military Academy) and defensive specialist Olivia Portera (Parkton, Md./Institute of Notre Dame).

Leventry is joined on the bench for the second straight year by assistant coach Morgan Hoover.

Washington for the second straight year will open its season on Friday, September 2 at the DeSales Invitational where they will play Gwynedd-Mercy (5:00 p.m.) and Baruch (7:00 p.m.) in the first day of the two-day invitational. The next day during the second and final day of the invitational, the Shorewomen will play host DeSales (12:00 p.m.) and Rutgers-Camden (2:00 p.m.).

The Shorewomen will open Centennial Conference play at Bryn Mawr on September 17 at 1:00 p.m. and two days later have their home opener versus Arcadia at 7:00 p.m.

In conference play, Washington will host Johns Hopkins (September 28), Muhlenberg (October 1), Swarthmore (September 4), Franklin & Marshall (October 22) and Haverford (October 26) and will travel to in addition to Bryn Mawr, Gettysburg (September 24), Dickinson (October 15), Ursinus (October 19) and defending conference champion McDaniel (October 29).

Out of conference, in addition to Arcadia, WC will host Salisbury on October 22 as part of a tri-match with F&M. Washington will step outside of CC play to play at Alvernia (September 10), Marymount (September 14), Catholic (September 21), Neumann (October 7) and Wesley (October 11) and will also play Immaculata at Alvernia (September 10) and Penn State-Behrend at Neumann (October 7) and Rowan and King’s (Pa.) at Neumann (October 8). Washington has seven home matches, 11 road matches and seven neutral site contests.

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Coach Kergaard in the County

August 22, 2016

Many in Kent County fondly remember David Kergaard. First as a coach, teaching and coaching first at Rock Hall High School and then Kent County High School. Then as a Principal at the High School, often termed as the best Principal the school ever had and finally as an Administrator at the the Central Office.

This weekend he returned to Kent County from his home in Delaware where he retired.

On Friday afternoon he spoke to the Kent County High School football team prior to their practice. He spoke of standing in the very same locker room 45 years ago as a coach for the High School’s first football team. After telling a couple of stories including one where he discover that the Bruce Green he coached in High School was not the father, but the grandfather of Mar’quan Green.

Photos: David Kergaard talking with the KCHS High School Football team

David Kergaard talking with the KCHS High School Football team

On Saturday night he joined the Class of ’76 as they celebrated their 40th reunion. Many former players were there and they were delighted to see him. He spoke to the class. A little about his talk with this year’s team and recalled fond memories of the class.

David Kergaard speaking at the Class of '76 40th Reunion

David Kergaard speaking at the Class of ’76 40th Reunion

Thank You Coach Kergaard for all you have done for the education of so many students over the years.

Photos by SG Atkinson

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STRT1UP Road Show Bus Begins Its Fall 2016 Statewide Tour at Washington College

Washington College
August 22, 2016

Everyone, Start Your Businesses! The STRT1UP Road Show Bus Begins Its Fall 2016 Statewide Tour at Washington College on September 10, 2016

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Are you ready to pitch your killer business idea? Washington College’s Department of Business Management and the Upper Shore Regional Council are inviting entrepreneurs to join the 2016 STRT1UP Road Show and the Pitch Across Maryland, which is kicking off its annual statewide tour at Washington College on Saturday, September 10, 2016.

The STRT1UP Road Show bus—also known as the Startup Maryland bus—travels the state each fall in a quest for and celebration of entrepreneurship and high-growth innovation-centric startup companies. At each stop, entrepreneurs can video a pitch on the bus for their existing enterprises or their dreams of start-up ventures. These video pitches are uploaded by Startup Maryland to YouTube to be reviewed at the end of the tour by Startup Maryland panelists for possible entry to the annual TEDCO Entrepreneur Expo. In 2015, eight finalists out of more than 150 pitches won this opportunity.

At the Washington College event, the Department of Business Management and Upper Shore Regional Council are inviting participants to warm up by presenting to a live audience and a panel of judges from the local business community and the College. At the end of the event, the judges will announce winners of the best business pitch and best student pitch.

The event, based in Martha Washington Square and running from 2-4:30 p.m., is open to the public, so save the date and plan to attend to hear about the exciting projects your neighbors are pursuing. If you are seeking investment capital, want to promote your budding business, or just want to get feedback on your idea for a business, please sign up to pitch. Limited taping slots are available so contact Christy Rowan at or (410) 778-7877 as soon as possible to register.

For more information about the event itself, please contact Susan Vowels at or Doris Mason at More information about Startup Maryland can be found at

Photo: STRT1UP Road Show Bus

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Warning Re: Phone Scammer Who Says He Is A State Trooper And Demands Money

MD State Police
August 17, 2016

Maryland State Police are warning the public about a telephone scam in which the caller represents himself as a barrack commander and threatens the victim with arrest if money owed is not immediately forwarded.

A victim in her 70’s from Allegany County called the Maryland State Police Rockville Barrack last evening and reported she had received multiple calls from a man with a ‘heavy foreign’ accent. He told her she owed $800 and would be arrested if she did not quickly forward him the money. Fortunately, the woman said she hung up on the suspect each time.

The woman said when the suspect called her, the caller ID on her phone showed the number 301-424-2101, which is the publicly listed phone number for the Maryland State Police Rockville Barrack. The woman reported the suspect identified himself as Lt. Dan Pickett, who is the commander of the Rockville Barrack.

Citizens are reminded that the Maryland State Police does not collect fines for traffic or criminal offenses. All fines are collected by Maryland’s court system ( No one in the Maryland State Police would place a call to someone and threaten arrest if a fine was not forwarded immediately to the State Police.

The Maryland State Police Criminal Enforcement Division is investigating this case of fraud and telephone misuse. Anyone who may have received similar calls from someone saying they are from the Maryland State Police is asked to contact Sergeant Heath at 410-761-5130, or by email at The State Police Criminal Enforcement Division Tips Line is 888-210-1450. Callers may remain anonymous.

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