February 13th, 2017

Passion for the Elderly Turns into an Entrepreneurial Journey to Owning a Business

When I first met Donna Harrity over a year ago, it was clear that she had a passion for the business she wanted to start. Donna Harrity’s drive to become self-employed started with a need she found in the community while working for 20 years as Director of Admissions at Calvert Manor. “People would call me more and more and say that a parent was ready to be in a nursing home and couldn’t live alone anymore. After a brief discussion, it became evident that their parent could stay at home if they were simply more aware of community resources available to them,” Harrity explains. She knew about the resources available to help keep seniors living in their own home longer and felt that she could be that resource connecting the dots for these families.
Harrity’s launched her small business Aging Life Guides with a mission to help seniors and their families make informed decisions to meet individual needs and to help maintain a high quality of life. The mission and drive came easy to Harrity, but she did not know where to begin when it came to formalizing the business. During an appointment at CCPL’s Small Business Information Center we discussed the process of starting a business in Cecil County.
“The brochure that the library provided on starting a business was an excellent step-by-step guide that really helped to lay the groundwork for creating an LLC. It simplified what I thought was going to be a complicated process.” Harrity credits the resources at the Cecil County Public Library as being instrumental in the early stages of her business.
“We were able to find pertinent demographic information from the library’s databases along with projections on my target population. The competitor analysis from Reference USA (another library database) also helped me to visualize where the current need for my services was not being met.” Harrity also praises the Gale Online Courses offered through the library’s website. She took a class on Healthy Aging and plans to take more in the future to stay current on both general business topics and topics specific to her industry.
Currently, Aging Life Guides provides assessment and care plans that evaluate a senior’s abilities and areas of concern as well as solutions. Harrity also assists families with home care providers, home equipment, managing medications, banking and bill paying. In addition, she can provide a transition plan when a senior is discharged from the hospital or rehab back to home. Her warm personality and experience in geriatric care a perfect combination for an entrepreneur in this industry. If you would like to contact Donna Harrity and discuss the services she can offer to your family, call 443-207-8834 or visit www.aginglifeguides.com or email her at donna@aginglifeguides.com.
Future goals for Harrity include connecting to more potential collaborators, like financial planners and eldercare lawyers. She plans to consult with the library in the future to help guide her along the way. Using the library’s free online database Reference USA, she now has a complete contact lists for all financial planners in Cecil County, so she is on her way to achieving these goals.
Another opportunity to benefit from Harrity’s eldercare knowledge involves a new collaboration with St. Mary Anne’s Church in North East. They are presenting a free, three-part series of workshops on Managing Senior Life: “Paying for Long-Term Care” on February 11 at 10am, “Staying Strong with Age” on March 11 at 10am and “Time to Give-up the Keys” on April 1 at 10am.
For more information about the free services offered by the Cecil County Public Library’s Small Business Information Center, visit www.cecil.ebranch.info/smallbusiness or call 410-996-5600 ext. 128 or email sbic@ccplnet.org. As the Small Business Librarian, I would be happy to meet with you one-on-one and assist you with your research needs in starting or running your small business.


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January 23rd, 2017

A Maryland Road Trip for Foodies

If tasting new foods and discovering Maryland’s diverse landscape is on your to-do list this year, try this 340 mile restaurant road trip.

We are starting out west — Patrick’s Pub in Cumberland. This place is clean, hip, and welcoming. The large windows lighten up the décor of green accents and pitch black wooden furniture. This is your American/Irish place for wings, burgers, sports, and friendly, knowledgeable bartenders. Their Yelp score speaks for itself.

92 miles east we are at Black Hog BBQ in Frederick. If you’re a history fan, check out Harpers Ferry which isn’t more than a 30-minute drive from here. Black Hog is a BBQ-lovers dream. Ribs, brisket, pulled pork, beer. Enough said. Come with an empty stomach.

32 miles from Black Hog BBQ is La Brasa Latin Cuisine in Rockville, wedged between Bethesda and Gaithersburg. This is an award-winning place, featured in several blogs and magazines as being a top restaurant for multi-cultural dishes, including food from Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, and Peru. Please try this place. The owner is from Salvador, and this deceptively small place has a more than competent cook staff.

Drive a half an hour northeast and we’re eating pizza. Oh, yes. Three Brothers Italian Restaurant in Colombia is that simple, family-friendly place so many Maryland towns have. Dine-in booths, pastas, pizzas, and calzones. Praise falls upon their lasagna like rain. For a quick Friday night pizza, there is certainly some flavor and good price to be found here.

Seventeen miles later we are in Baltimore City. Where you really want to go is Faidley’s Seafood. Family owned and operated since 1886, this place has fresh raw clams, oysters, and scallops, and has the best crab cakes in the city. “Coastal Living” said “Hands down, Faidley’s is where you should head for a crab cake if you have only one day in Baltimore.” You don’t last over 120 years in business for nothing.

Our second to last stop is in Aberdeen, MD. Georgia’s Carry-Out is the smallest “mom and pop shop” on the list but it’s full of heart. Nothing comes out of this Greek kitchen without love from the married couple running the place. They are both there, all day, piling mounds of fresh cut fries in their baskets of fried fish sandwiches and gyros. Georgia gives you a free sample of her soup-of-the-day if you dine-in. This is like having a wonderful aunt or mother cooking for you. It’s incredibly affordable and the tzatziki is extraordinary. It’s a grab-and-go place with Styrofoam containers and plastic utensils, and yet I recommend going there monthly… forever. I’m telling you, their fried jumbo fish sandwich has a myriad of unique spices. Move over salmon. I have a new favorite fish.

Lastly, 145 miles from Aberdeen, MD we come to our final foodie pit-stop. But at this stop I encourage you to stay a few days. Guido’s Burritos is a restaurant and bar that I accidentally discovered the year they opened. That was the last time you could easily get a table. Located right on the boardwalk in Ocean City, MD, if you like burritos stuffed with rice, meat, and cheese, and want a margarita as big as your head, come float your afternoon away at Guido’s. When the beach begins to cool in the early evening, nothing is better than a mixed drink, some spicy food, and a walk on the boards.

If you are inspired to take a road trip, check out these books and more!

Backroads & Byways of Maryland

Backroads & byways of Maryland : drives, day trips & weekend excursions
By Leslie Atkins

Maryland has so much to offer travelers and residents alike: indulge in exquisite seafood, enjoy recreational and spectator sports, search the beaches for shark’s teeth, trace Civil War troop movements, track the heyday of the railroads, and visit lighthouses that have guided countless boaters through the Chesapeake Bay. All you have to do is jump in the car–and take this book along! Ideas and options are clearly presented for short-trip itineraries to please everybody in your party. Destinations will appeal to foodies, history buffs, families with kids, couples, adventurers, hikers, bikers–in short, everyone.

 

Country roads of Maryland and Delaware : drives, day trips, and weekend excursions
By Lynn Seldon

Ramble through America’s rural heartland on winding back roads that lead to an endless variety of out-in-the-country attractions. Each title explores 10 or more meandering weekend tours, as authors share their intimate knowledge of people, places, and country life.

 

 

 

 

Fun with the Family : Maryland : hundreds of ideas for day trips with the kids.
By Karen Nitkin

From the round-the-clock hokeyness of Ocean City to the bucolic charms of Deep Creek Lake, the Old Line State packs in hundreds of kids activities and attractions in its compact 10,460 square miles. And this book describes practically all of them including mountains, hiking trails, beaches, amusement parks, cities, zoos and aquariums, parks, children’s museums, farms, festivals, and a wealth of history.”

 

 

 


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