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Business Spotlight: Snowden Funeral Home

George R. Snowden, Jr. , Owner of Snowden Funeral Home

“A Legacy of Celebrating Life”

Could you share the origin and history of Snowden Funeral Home?

Snowden Funeral Home was established over one hundred years ago and has been operated by the Snowden family through four generations. The founder of the firm, George Russell Snowden, handled his first funeral service in 1909 in Howard County, Maryland. After graduating from the Hennard School of Embalming in New York City, he advertised that he was open for business. His hearse was a spectacle to see riding through the county, being drawn by four beautiful white horses. In 1926, Snowden Funeral Home established its Rockville location at North Washington Street. 

Because of ill health, Mr. Snowden turned the business over to his son, Robert L. Snowden, in 1936. Having worked with his father, from meager beginnings, Robert L. had to borrow money and equipment to maintain a properly equipped funeral home. In 1947, Robert L.’s wife, Alma P. Snowden, became a licensed Maryland funeral director and worked side by side with her husband Robert. Her active participation in funeral service ended when she retired in 1971. 

 The funeral home on North Washington Street has since undergone changes to its original structure. In 1947, the original wood structure was moved from its foundation, so that business was not interrupted, while a new structure was built. In 1947 a new brick building for the funeral home was built and an adjoining property was added to expand the business. 

 In 1974, Robert L. Snowden retired and turned the funeral business over to his son, George R. Snowden, Sr., and daughter, Irene Snowden Curry. After the passing of their father in 1979, George and Irene made it their mission to exemplify the same passion and concern for bereaved families which they learned from their parents. Today the Snowden family’s legacy of celebrating life is managed and operated by the leadership of George R. Snowden, Jr. 

How has your business adapted its services and practices over time while maintaining a connection to historical roots?

Although a lot of things have changed since the establishment of Snowden Funeral Home, such as using horse drawn hearse, having wakes at the residence of decease, and meticulously hand carving outer burial containers. What has not changed is our resolve to serve every family that God entrusts us to care for at life’s only inevitable stage.  
 
Today the Snowden family’s legacy of celebrating life is managed and operated by the leadership of George R. Snowden, Jr. In 2009 George R. Jr. along with his wife Dia H. Snowden took over the helm as the fourth generation, overseeing and managing the day-to-day operations of the funeral home.   

What makes Snowden Funeral Home unique?

Aside from being the only African American funeral home in Montgomery County, Snowden Funeral Home embodies its motto ‘Personal caring service.’  

It is the hope of the Snowden Family that the Funeral Home continues to operate as a family business in the generations to come, and to serve the people of the area with dignity and pride. The Snowden family exemplifies a family with deep roots of strength and unity. 

Are there any community events or initiatives that Snowden Funeral Home has been/will be involved in?

Through the years, the Snowden Family has been generous in their participation and collaboration with churches, community events as well as many charitable organizations. Snowden Funeral Home supports sports teams in the City of Rockville, donates to scholarship funds of many organizations in the County, contributes to many community promoted events and sponsors a back-to-school, Believe to Succeed, backpack campaign to help our youth start the school year off needed school supplies.  

What advice would give to new businesses aiming to become long-standing within the community?

First and foremost, having a heart of service is paramount to maintaining good relationships with others. Caring about their needs and making an effort to ensure that you leave an impression of making someone feel important and cared for. 

About Snowden Funneral Home

Founded by George Russell Snowden, Snowden Funeral Home P.A. has been family-owned and operated since the early 1900’s. Throughout four generations, Snowden Funeral Home continues to provide premier professional services to families at its Rockville location since 1926. Learn more at https://www.snowdencares.com/

Investments in Rockville companies exceed $455 million in 2023

In 2023, Rockville companies received $455 million out of $2.2 billion in investments throughout Montgomery County

Press Release published by Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC)

Montgomery County, Maryland, companies had a strong year of investment in 2023, with more than $2.2 billion generated through more than 100 deals. Companies in a wide range of industries, from life sciences and technology to manufacturing and real estate, brought in substantial investments, showcasing a positive economic direction going into 2024.

Life sciences companies in Montgomery County continue to be a powerful driver of investment, with more than $500 million dollars generated in 2023. Montgomery County anchors the thriving Biohealth Capital Region, which rose from #4 to #3 in the top 10 of U.S. biopharma clusters.

Recent highlights for Montgomery County’s ongoing life sciences success include:

  • Deka Biosciences closed $60 million to continue developing drugs for patients suffering from cancer and autoimmune diseases;

  • Welcoming Amgen to Montgomery County through a $28 billion acquisition of Horizon Therapeutics, now building its North American technical center in Rockville;

  • The impact of two life science leaders and soon-to-be neighboring companies:  MilliporeSigma and Horizon Therapeutics, together represent more than $500 million invested in new facilities;

  • Selecta Biosciences merging with Cartesian Therapeutics, which included a $60.25 million private financing deal for Cartesian.

“Deka Biosciences has grown exponentially as part of Montgomery County’s Business Innovation Network,” said Deka President & CEO John Mumm. “We wouldn’t be where we are without them. They have completely enabled us to grow faster than I’ve ever grown a company before,” he explained about the incubator facility.

Nine companies in the manufacturing sector received funding in 2023, including MasPanadas, a home-grown success story. With a recent influx of investment, MasPanadas is in the process of building a space that will triple its square footage to 18,000, while adding another 70 employees.

“Our company continues to thrive here with exceptional growth in annual sales and our client base including having our products in national grocery chains,” said Margarita Womack, founder of MasPanadas. “Montgomery County has been a great partner providing connections to programs, tax credit assistance and funding. We are excited about our growth and expansion plans.”

Another highlight in the manufacturing arena is Eat the Change, which received a $14 million venture capital investment. Co-owner Seth Goldman, who is also co-founder of PLNT Burger and Honest Tea, said: “Downtown Bethesda may not be Silicon Valley or Route 128, but with its active startup community and experienced workforce, it has served us well as the perfect location to launch and scale a mission-driven tea brand…twice! Our success with Honest Tea helped us launch Just Ice Tea in 90 days, and then close our Series A $14 million financing in just 60 days. Just Ice Tea, a product of mission-based Eat the Change, is now the nation’s top-selling organic tea brand and we look forward to continued expansion into mainstream channels.”

Technology leaders continue to thrive in Montgomery County, with close to 50 companies receiving funding. Companies include Quantum Xchange, GivHero, and Aledade. Rockville-based N5 Sensors received $2.5 million in funding for its proprietary cloud-connected ecosystem of smart sensors to keep people safe from environmental hazards. N5 Sensors’ CEO Abhishek Motayed says the company has grown from seven people to over 25 in their three years in Montgomery County. “We plan to open a second facility, a high-tech semiconductor manufacturing center, to support advanced R&D and product delivery for different critical markets from defense to environmental detection.”   

Montgomery County is a welcoming home to businesses with a diverse economy, top talent pools, access to funding and anchored by major federal agencies including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

“By many measures, 2023 was a very good year for the Montgomery County economy and I applaud the successful efforts of the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “We are expanding our economy by building on our strengths as well as opening our doors to new opportunities. We are better equipped to address challenging issues, and we are making progress. This was reinforced during our economic development trips to Taiwan, India, and Vietnam last year. People, around this nation and throughout this world, know Montgomery County, Md., as a welcoming and diverse place with a wealth of talent and plenty of possibilities. I am looking forward to more economic success in 2024.”

“The robust investment in Montgomery County companies is a testament to our pioneering spirit, diversity, and exceptional climate for business growth,” said Bill Tompkins, president and CEO of Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation. “While the country as a whole has experienced a downturn in funding, investments in Montgomery County businesses, especially in life sciences, continues to be strong.”

Here are the Rockville companies that raised funding through IPO, private funding and venture capital in 2023:

Accelerator/Incubator
Grant
Initial Public Offering (IPO)
Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A)
Private Equity
Seed
Venture Capital (VC)

 


 

View the entire list of Montgomery County companies here: Montgomery County, MD Investments in 2023

View the full press release here: https://thinkmoco.com/blog/2023-moco-investment

Business Spotlight: Lion Solutions

Taija "Taj" Thomas, President/Principal of Lion Solutions

“We Listen, We Observe, We Collaborate, We Deliver.”

What services does Lion Solutions offer?

Lion Solutions is an Enterprise Information Technology Services and Solutions company that delivers technology modernization for public sector government, non-profit and private organizations across Infrastructure Operations for Managed IT Services, IT Professional & Support Services, Operations & Maintenance, Data Center Management, IT Project Management, Continuity & Contingency Planning, IT Hardware & Software Procurement and IT Staffing.

What motivated you to start Lion Solutions?

I’m a native Washingtonian, raised in a single-family household and the oldest of 2 younger siblings. Technology was always an interest to me at a very young age, as video gaming with my Atari 2600 and Commodore 64 propelled my interest in technology. Through my middle-school and high school years I took any and every computer class that was available including “Introduction to Programming”, “Computer Applications”, “DBase” and “Early DOS 6.x”. I later attended Community College in Prince Georges County and transferred to Strayer College as a Computer Information Systems major. Later attended Computer Learning Center in Laurel, MD. and specialized in Network Information Systems and certified as Certified Novell Administrator – CNA back in 1997.

As I developed through my professional career as a subject matter expert, technical lead and mid-level manager which started in April 1998 through January 2016 across many disciplines in Enterprise IT Service delivery, it was time to take my next big step into the next level of leadership, which for me was Entrepreneurship. Lion Solutions was then born on January 19th, 2016.

What makes Lion Solutions unique?

Our approach and mindset to customer relationship building is key to our success as we have adopted the mindset of “We listen, We observe, We collaborate, We deliver” approach of doing business. My 26+ years of subject matter experience and technical leadership is the motivation to the way our team approaches “Leadership, Integrity, Opportunity and Network” LION which everyone is responsible for bringing this type mindset to the customer table. We also organically believe that “customer and community” are one in the same, so our community partners are just as important as our paying customer partners. We must engage and collaborate successfully with both audiences to truly drive change, opportunity and success!

Can you share a milestone that has defined your business’ presence in its industry?

We have a newer initiative that we are truly excited about that is scheduled for programming and launch in calendar Q2 ’24 called our “Career Catapult Bootcamp Program” which focuses on promoting and offering Information Technology training to minority and disadvantaged individuals who are either just newly interested in tech, seeking career change into tech, age discriminated in present job or justice impacted. This program is the bridge to tech-equity for those “who believe they can” or “wonder if I could” be that next tech professional. We focus on supporting and motivating the growth of filling the technology job shortage around technology professionals by providing this 12 – 15hr aggressive bootcamp program through our CompTIA Delivery Partnership. This program will be offered in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area as well as Charlotte, North Carolina in the later year. It’s going to be AMAZING outcomes in our community!

Why did you choose to run your business in Rockville?

I have been living in Montgomery County for almost 20 years and wanted to be sure my business was built in this community. I also spent most of my adolescence growing up in Prince Georges County (our neighboring county, much respect) and made a move to this community to be physically closer to my oldest child during her elementary years. There was a GovCon Incubator Program that provided the necessities, resources and business guidance to support the growth of small businesses that specialize in government contracting which brought our home base out to this specific Rockville community. We have most recently opened a second office presence in Silver Spring, MD.

About Lion Solutions

Lion Solutions is a certified disadvantaged small business that specializes in providing Enterprise IT Services and Solutions to public, private and non-profit organizations. With over 25+ years of experience delivering IT Enterprise Services to Federal Civilian Government we focus on delivering modernized solutions to support digital transformation efforts in driving those missions forward leveraging our customer collaboration focused approach of doing business into the future. Learn more about Lion Solutions at www.lionsolutions.com.

Renovus Capital Partners announce investment in Behavioral Framework

Behavioral Framework logo and Renovus Capital logo

Founded in 2017 in Rockville, Behavioral Framework helps children diagnosed with autism and their families understand, improve and lead functional productive lives

Philadelphia, Pa., Jan. 3, 2024 – Renovus Capital Partners announced an investment in Behavioral Framework, a leading provider of applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Behavioral Framework was founded in 2017 in Rockville, Maryland by Angela West, with the mission of helping children diagnosed with autism and their families understand, improve, and lead functional, productive lives. Behavioral Framework’s best-in-class clinical model leverages the scientific principles of ABA, a family-focused mindset, and an organization-wide commitment to excellence to unlock each child’s potential. Pathways, a division of Behavioral Framework, provides autism diagnostic services. Behavioral Framework’s dedicated team serves children and families across Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Renovus to Behavioral Framework and usher in the next chapter of our growth as we continue to build a world-class autism services organization focused squarely on the needs of our clients and their families,” said Kyle West, Behavioral Framework CEO. “There is a critical need nationwide for autism diagnostics and ABA therapy. Operating from our shared values and vision, the Renovus team will help us accelerate our growth and provide life-changing diagnostics and therapy to as many children and families as possible.”

“Kyle and Angela have established a strong leadership position in the growing ABA space with a unique focus on compassion for the people they serve and achieving measurable results on their behalf,” said Jesse Serventi, Founding Partner at Renovus. “We are proud to support a passionate team as we seek to advance the important impact Behavioral Framework is making in the lives of children and families affected by autism, while growing to reach new communities.”

“Our success in helping our clients achieve meaningful outcomes is built around holding ourselves to the absolute highest standards, individualized care, and a family focus,” said Angela West, Behavioral Framework Chief Clinical Officer. “Our decades of experience have taught us that strong leadership combined with research-based programming and compassionate care are fundamental keys to better outcomes for patients on their path to independence. Renovus shares this commitment and we look forward to their support in the coming years.”

A team led by senior banker Erika Haanpaa of Cain Brothers, a division of KeyBanc Capital Markets, served as exclusive financial advisor to Behavioral Framework.

 

About Behavioral Framework

Behavioral Framework is a leading family-owned and locally operated provider of ABA therapy, and an INC 5000 company, with a vision of providing exceptional care and better client outcomes for children diagnosed with autism and their families. Behavioral Framework was founded out of a strong desire to deliver consistent and superior care with a holistic and collaborative approach that serves the whole family. Learn more at https://www.behavioralframework.com/

 

 

Rockville businesses honored at GRCC’s 8th annual Rockstar Awards

Five clear, star shaped awards with GRCC Rockstar Awards logo centered on awards on a table
Image credit: Greater Rockville Chamber of Commerce/ACB Precision Photography

The Greater Rockville Chamber of Commerce (GRCC) celebrated local business excellence at its 8th annual awards

The Greater Rockville Chamber of Commerce (GRCC) celebrated local business excellence at its 8th Annual Rockstar Awards at the Manor Country Club on November 2, 2023. This annual event recognizes the outstanding achievements and contributions of businesses and individuals in the Rockville community. This year’s ceremony honored the entrepreneurial spirit and community commitment that thrives in Rockville.

Small Business of the Year

The Small Business of the Year Award was presented to Intelligent Office. This accolade honors a business with under $5M in revenue, operational for at least five years, and demonstrates flexibility, innovation, and a unique business and marketing strategy. Learn more about Intelligent Office at https://www.intelligentoffice.com/maryland/rockville

Large Business of the Year

Exemplifying a commitment to employees, customers and the community, DARCARS Automotive Group was honored with the Large Business of the Year Award. This award is reserved for businesses with over 50 employees and more than $5M in revenue, recognizing their commitment to the vitality of Rockville. Learn more at https://www.darcarschryslerjeeprockville.com/

Nonprofit of the Year

The Nonprofit of the Year Award was Comfort Cases, an organization that has set a benchmark for excellence among Rockville’s nonprofits. This award acknowledges their impactful and lasting contributions to the residents of Rockville. Learn more at https://comfortcases.org/

Entrepreneur of the Year

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award was claimed by Proudly. This award celebrates a business leader who demonstrates innovation, resilience, and a unique approach to addressing community needs. Learn more about Proudly at https://proudlygive.com/

Young Professional of the Year

Shane Senior of Cornerstone Montgomery was recognized as the Young Professional of the Year, an award highlighting an individual’s leadership and commitment to Rockville’s business community. Learn more about Shane and Cornerstone Montgomery at https://www.cornerstonemontgomery.org/

 
 
About the Greater Rockville Chamber of Commerce (GRCC)

The GRCC serves as the voice of the thousands of businesses that proudly call Rockville, MD (and the greater region) their home. It strives to create and support a thriving Rockville through educational programs, networking opportunities, and services; civic and business involvement in cultural and social programs and services; and advocacy for the interdependence of business and civic goals to expand economic vitality in Rockville. Learn more at https://rockvillechamber.org/

Rockville recognized as a top arts-vibrant community of 2023

Art gallery corridor with painting of yellow, stuffed plush toy duck on the left and abstract blue and white painting on the right. The corridor ends with an arched doorway showing a painting of a human eye and eyebrow with abstract accents
Glenview Mansion Art Gallery

The Arts Vibrancy Index measures supply, demand, and public support for arts and culture

SMU DataArts, the National Center for Arts Research, recently unveiled its Arts Vibrancy Index for 2023, and Rockville, in conjunction with Frederick and Gaithersburg, has been named the 7th most vibrant arts community in the large metropolitan area category across the United States.

The Art Vibrancy Index analyzes communities based on metrics related to the supply and demand of arts and culture, as well as public support. It accounts for variations in population and cost of living, providing a balanced comparison across different-sized communities.

The Frederick-Gaithersburg-Rockville region has consistently ranked on the Arts Vibrancy ranking since its launch in 2015.

For a detailed overview of the criteria and to view the complete list of communities recognized, visit https://culturaldata.org/arts-vibrancy-2023/the-top-40-list/

Business Spotlight: Sheladia Associates, Inc.

Headshots of Sheladia leadership - Pravin Sheladia and Manish Kothari
Pravin Sheladia - Chairman; Manish Kothari - President & CEO, Sheladia Associates, Inc.

"Our philosophy has been 'In the success of others lies our own', and we strive to ensure all our clients, partners and communities share our success."

Can you walk us through the history of Sheladia Associates and how it has evolved over the years?

Founded in 1974, Sheladia Associates Inc. initially specialized in transportation design in the metro DC, Maryland, and Virginia areas, serving State and County governments. By the late 1970s, the firm expanded into water resources and architecture within the U.S. and took on its first international project in Haiti in 1979 through USAID. During the 1980s, as an 8(a)-minority owned business, Sheladia worked across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, mainly in the water sector. In the late 1980s, it branched into international transportation design and construction supervision.

In the early 1990s, the firm began collaborating with multi-lateral donor banks like the Asia Development Bank and the World Bank. To date, Sheladia has completed over 1,100 projects for 300+ clients in 80+ countries, covering fields like transportation, water resources, energy, architecture, and technical assistance. Recently, they added a Federal Services division to work with the U.S. federal government and DOD.

Domestically, Sheladia serves clients in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, as well as Washington DC, including agencies like WMATA, DDOT, and DC Water. They maintain offices in Largo, Maryland, focused on Third Party Design and Permit Reviews, and another in DC for Construction Management. In the last decade, major projects include work on the Dulles Corridor Metro Project and DC Water’s Tunnel Dewatering Pump Station, as well as design-build services for World Bank offices in Kabul and Laos.

 What are some milestone projects that have defined Sheladia Associates presence in Rockville?

Within Montgomery County we’ve completed:

  • Design engineering for Franklin Avenue
  • Design engineering for Upton Drive safety improvement
  • Washington Grove connector-Crabbs Branch way extension
  • Long Branch Library refreshment project
  • Damascus Library and Senior Center refurbishment project
  • Nebel Street Homeless Shelter design project

We’ve also worked on:

  • Dulles Corridor Metro project
  • DC Water Tunnel Dewatering Pump Station
  • World Bank – Kabul office project
Group of people behind a large table in a conference room
Sheladia Associates Inc. staff
How has the economic landscape of Rockville impacted your business’ longevity?

Economic growth of Rockville and the overall county has allowed us to recruit and retain the workforce which are and is the single most important element in our industry

What advice would you give to new businesses aiming to be longstanding fixtures in the community?

Our philosophy has been “In the success of others lies our own” and we strive to ensure all our clients, partners and communities share our success. Engage with the community you live and work in.

What role has the community of Rockville played in the success of Sheladia?

The community of Rockville has been integral to our success, giving us access to a wide universe of talented workers and providing us with proximity to our US clients as well as the international donors funding most of our international projects.  

About Sheladia Associates, Inc.

Sheladia Associates, Inc. is a minority-owned and operated business founded in 1974 and performs work throughout the Metropolitan area and around the world. We design and manage the construction of infrastructure — both physical and institutional — to support economic growth and strengthen the capabilities of our clients and partners. Sheladia is headquartered in Rockville, with international offices located in Asia and Africa. Learn more at https://www.sheladia.com/

Nonprofit Spotlight: Interfaith Works

Headshot of Interfaith Works CEO, Courtney Hall
Courtney Hall - Chief Executive Officer, Interfaith Works

"Rockville is an inclusive, welcoming place to operate as a nonprofit. It is also a convenient, centralized location that is easily accessed by Interfaith Work staff and by our clients."

Can you describe the mission of Interfaith Works and how it aligns with the Rockville community’s needs?

Interfaith Works helps more than 35,000 Montgomery County neighbors each year through vital programs that provide our neighbors with a pathway to stability. That includes thousands of Rockville residents. Essential IW programs located in the Rockville community include: the IW Clothing Center; IW Food Pantry; IW Connections; IW Vocational Services Program; IW Women’s Shelter at Taft Court, an emergency shelter serving women; IW New Leaf, an inclusive emergency shelter, and our newest program. Lon’s House, which provides a supportive, welcome environment for senior men who have experienced homelessness. For people facing a range of challenges in the Rockville community, including job loss, food insecurity or homelessness, IW’s programs are here to welcome and help them, responding to their needs on a tailored, individualized basis.

How has partnering with local businesses enriched Interfaith Works’ impact?

Local businesses and organizations have been extraordinarily generous, both through donations and volunteering. They have provided a range of support for our programs. Including: holding drives for essentials like toiletries, coats and school supplies. volunteering at our programs; and providing donated meals for the residents of our shelters. These businesses and organizations include Snyder Cohn, National Institutes of Health, Original Pancake House, Rockville Rotary Club, Immunocore, and Aurinia Pharmaceuticals.

Can you share a success story or program that epitomizes your work in Rockville?

Mr. Johnson, a Rockville resident since the 90s, is a kind-hearted senior who found himself struggling to make ends meet. He contacted Interfaith Works Connections (located in Rockville at the IW Essential Needs Center) after being connected with the IW Food Pantry (also at the Essential Needs Center).

He reached out to IW Connections for utility assistance, as the burden of bills was becoming overwhelming. A Resource Coordinator quickly assessed his situation and determined that he qualified to receive a grant towards his past due balance. With the support of IW Connections, Mr. Johnson now has peace of mind, knowing that his utilities are taken care of.

What are some of the volunteer or partnership opportunities available at Interfaith Works?

Interfaith Works offers a range of opportunities, including:

  • Schedule time to volunteer as an individual or in a group, sorting clothes or helping arrange food staples at the IW Essential Needs Center
  • Hold a drive for us – we welcome travel-sized toiletries at some of our shelters, for example; our IW Clothing Center would welcome winter coats
  • Share your knowledge and skills with our Vocational Services Program, including helping people with resumes and interview practice
  • More options are listed here: https://www.iworksmc.org/volunteer
Why did Interfaith Works decide to operate in Rockville?

Rockville is an inclusive, welcoming place to operate as a nonprofit. It also is a convenient, centralized location that is easily accessed by IW staff and by our clients. In addition, Interfaith Works has been in Rockville throughout its history and is proud to continue that tradition. That includes IW largest programs at the IW Essential Needs Center, which is home to Interfaith Works’ Clothing Center, the only large-scale free clothing distribution program in Montgomery County.

About Interfaith Works

Interfaith Works responds to the needs of our neighbors by offering four program areas: Emergency Shelter, which serves people experiencing homelessness; Supportive Housing, which provides housing insecure people with housing assistance and supportive services to help them maintain stability; Essential Needs, located in Rockville, which includes the IW Clothing Center, the IW Food Pantry (which provides access to free food and diapers), and IW Connections, which links our neighbors to essential services through counseling and education; and Vocation Services Program, also located at our Rockville headquarters, which helps un- and underemployed people find sustainable job opportunities with an array of services that include resume assistance, interview practice, and training opportunities. Learn more at www.iworksmc.org        

Business Spotlight: Best Western Premier Rockville Hotel & Suites

Jeff Wilder - Owner, Best Western Premier Rockville

"We embody a caring spirit by putting guests first with teamwork, respect and an entrepreneurial spirit..."

How does Best Western Premier Rockville align with or enhance the overall local hospitality and tourism landscape?

Our property is the only Premier in the DC Metro Area, and is an art-filled full-service hotel that puts an emphasis on value, with exceptional amenities, finely appointed upscale guest units, a more contemporary experience of comfort and luxury, and friendly professional service. Simple and elegant, it’s a prestigious expression of the premium accommodation guests have come to expect and deserve.

What special services or amenities does your hotel offer to make it stand out?

Our private 2nd Floor Wing is a unique experience for bridal parties, mitzvahs, and business VIP travelers. Having completed a multi-million-dollar renovation in 2023, the building modernization qualified the hotel for the Montgomery County MD-approved PACE (property assessed clean energy) financing.  By expanding the use of C-PACE in Montgomery County, the hotel is contributing to private sector investment in the community, clean energy job growth and improvement in building quality. This renovation is further evidence of our commitment to our valued guests and the Rockville community. 

Are there any upcoming initiatives or partnerships that you’re excited about?

We have recently been designated as a Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB)! We are the only hotel in the DC region with this distinguished designation, providing Montgomery County with a unique, value-oriented, superior product.

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Best Western Premier Rockville team
Can you share some insights into the leadership style and values that guide Best Western Premier in Rockville?

The Best Western Premier Rockville Hotel & Suites inspires travel through unique experiences by delivering service in a friendly, courteous, and helpful manner. We embody a caring spirit by putting guests first with teamwork, respect, and an entrepreneurial spirit upheld by our commitment to excellence and each team member taking ownership.

Best Western Premier logo
What makes Rockville the ideal location for operating your hotel?

We provide the easiest access to all that Montgomery County has to offer. From Gaithersburg to Bethesda, you can reach your destination in a timely manner.

About Best Western Premier Rockville Hotel & Suites

The Best Western Premier Rockville Hotel & Suites is a completely renovated, full-service contemporary hotel in the heart of the biotech corridor and owned by a U.S. Army veteran. Ideally situated at the intersection of I-270 and Rt. 28 West Montgomery Avenue (Exit 6B), the BW Premier Rockville provides visitors easy, close, and convenient access to virtually all local destinations in Montgomery County and the Nation’s Capital. The newly renovated hotel is just 12 miles from Washington DC and 10 minutes from the Rockville Metro Red Line to/from DC. Learn more at www.bestwestern.com/rockville

Business Spotlight: Omega 3 Nutrition

Bright Djampa - Owner, Omega 3 Nutrition, Inc.

"We are striving to change the way people think about brain health and nutrition. Our goal is to offer products that proactively promote brain health through food. "

What was the inspiration behind starting Omega 3 Nutrition?

I launched Omega 3 Nutrition after my freshman year of college when I realized there was a massive gap in the market space for food that takes care of one’s brain health. I realized that, as a society, we were being reactive about our brain health and not proactive. It was then that I decided to partner with my professors to get help in creating a product that was affordable, accessible, and absolutely delicious, all while working to naturally and proactively take care of one’s brain health.

Can you share some of the challenges and successes you’ve experienced in your first few years of operation?

It was really challenging to secure funding to support the growth of our business. Fortunately, we were able to win three pitch competitions that played a crucial role in getting us to the level where we are today. Additionally, we faced initial difficulties in finding an affordable location to manufacture our Omega 3 products. We started in Hagerstown, then moved to Hyattsville, and finally found our home in Rockville. Here, we are not only content but can also operate at a high level and access the abundant resources that Montgomery County and the City of Rockville offer to businesses.

Bright Djampa poses with Omega 3 Nutrition Mega O's cereal and granola bars
What sets Omega 3 Nutrition apart in a competitive market?

We are striving to change the way people think about brain health and nutrition. Our goal is to offer products that proactively promote brain health through food. We aim to make it more affordable, accessible, and delicious for individuals to take care of their brain health.

What factors led you to choose Rockville as Omega 3’s new home?

Rockville is a very safe community with numerous resources. I appreciate the presence of public transportation, making it easier for workers to commute to their jobs. Additionally, there is a highly developed pool of workers available for hiring, which greatly facilitates our ability to expand and increase our production capacity.

 
What are Omega 3 Nutrition’s plans for community engagement in Rockville?

Omega 3 Nutrition is committed to actively engaging with the Rockville community in multiple ways. We plan to give back through initiatives such as food drives and other community-oriented programs. Additionally, our presence will contribute significantly to the community by creating a substantial number of job opportunities.

About Omega 3 Nutrition

Omega 3 Nutrition is a brain-centric food company that creates affordable, accessible, absolutely delicious on-the-go food items that work to naturally sustain one’s brain health.  Omega 3 Nutrition creates both cereal and granola bar food items that are healthy, work to sustain one’s brain health through nutrients that have been scientifically proven to do so, and serve as a meal equivalent! Omega 3 Nutrition brain-boosting products work naturally and are meant for all ages not just (+18), our on-the-go nature makes our products more accessible and consumable, and we offer a unique packaging experience that we have patented. Learn more at www.eatomega3.com