SALISBURY — Maryland Capital Enterprises officials announced that out of 21 nominations they had 11 completed applications from four Eastern Shore counties in Maryland that have been nominated for the 2019 MCE Palmer Gillis Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Applicants came from Wicomico, Worcester, Talbot and Queen Anne’s counties.

Queen Anne’s County:

Eric Clough, owner of eShore Sports located in Stevensville

Talbot County:

Brenda Fike, owner of Bay Imprint in Easton

Wicomico County:

Brandon Brittingham, owner of the Maryland and Delaware Group of Long and Foster Blair Carey, owner of Shorecut Lawncare, RBR Homes, and Underbrite Properties Terri Mueller, owner of Beach Bounders Gymnastics in Fruitland

Jeff Merritt, co-owner of Minuteman Press in Salisbury

Lacey Coleman, owner of Coastal Comfort Heating and Air Conditioning in Salisbury Heather Hall and Shaina Bounds, owners of The Ugly Pie in Salisbury

William Smith, owner of Barefoot Willy’s Tees, in Pittsville

Worcester County:

Ryan Murphy, owner of RG Murphy Marine Construction LLC in Bishopville Lori McAllister, owner of the Daily Brew Coffee House in Berlin

Nominees must own a business in good standing in one of Upper, Central or Lower Shore counties, have 100 or fewer employees, run a for-profit business and have been in business for at least two years. Each nominee will be judged on a series of criteria which include: business formation, business growth, leadership skills, job creation, business philosophy and community involvement.

The goal of the award has been to raise awareness about entrepreneurship and recognize the risk takers. Previous winners have included Peter Roskovich, owner of the successful Adam’s Ribs restaurants and Black Diamond Catering, Ryan Miller, previous owner of The Deli & Last Call Liquors, Dr. Kerry Palakanis, previous owner of the Crisfield Clinic, Chris Eccleston, owner and president of Delmarva Veteran Builders, Johnny Shockley, co-owner of Hooper’s Island Oyster Company and Jaime Windon, owner of Lyon Distilling, and Jeremy Norton owner of Roadie Joes Bar & Grill.

This is the eighth year of the prestigious award named after Palmer Gillis, founder of the local general contracting firm, Gillis Gilkerson, which has been responsible for developing properties on the Lower Shore for over 30 years. Gillis is a model entrepreneur with his notable business success and involvement in community organizations such as the Greater Salisbury Committee, Salisbury University Foundation, Salisbury Wicomico Economic Development and Salisbury Downtown Association. The award has been growing in popularity each year with an increasing amount of applicants.

Three finalists have been chosen and are listed in no particular order:

Eric Clough, owner of eShore Sports in Stevensville

Lacey Coleman, owner of Coastal Comfort Heating and Air Conditioning in Salisbury Lori McAllister, owner of The Daily Brew in Berlin

The winner will be revealed at the Palmer Gillis Entrepreneur of the Year Award Banquet. The banquet will be held on Nov. 7 at Salisbury University.

Tickets are still available for the MCE Palmer Gillis Entrepreneur of the Year Award Banquet. To buy tickets, contact Lisa Twilley at or call 410-546-1900 x108.

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