Sunday, September 7, 2014

Celebrating 200 Years of the National Anthem in Baltimore

The whole country is celebrating, and the party is in Baltimore. It will be 200 years since Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner on September 14. At least one million visitors are expected to join the people of Baltimore beginning on Wednesday to remember the War of 1812 and the Battle of Baltimore.
Francis Scott Key

Businessmen, including Frank Storch of Baltimore, are ready for the descent on the city; similar to the event which took place two years ago when 1.54 million people came to Baltimore in 2012 for the Sailabration, which marked the beginning of the war. Organizers of the event say that the Sailabration was a kind of ‘dress rehearsal’ for the real celebration this September.

"These are going to be unprecedented crowds and the largest tourism event in our city's history," predicted Tom Noonan, CEO and president of Visit Baltimore, a business that promotes tourism in Baltimore. 

Noonan said the impact of the War of 1812 celebrations will have a similar impact to holding a Super Bowl every day for a week.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Closing Costs Low in Maryland

Frank Storch pleased at good housing news
Good news for Baltimoreans, including businessman Frank Storch. A new study has found that Maryland ranks sixth in the United States for the lowest cost of closing on a home. reports that the average closing cost comes to $2,404 on a $200,000 home in Maryland. The national average is $2,539.

Washington, DC comes out in fifth place, narrowly beating Maryland by only $2. Nevada however, has the lowest closing costs in the country, averaging in it $2,265. Texas, on the other hand has the most expensive price for closing on a house: $3,046 on a $200,000 mortgage.

The country’s average of $2,539 represents a 6% rise in closing costs since last year, caused in part by a 9% increase in origination fees.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Improve Business Strategy: Give It Back

According to Celeste Amato, president of the Association of Baltimore Grantmakers, when companies make charitable contributions, they are not only helping the recipients of the largesse, but helping themselves as well.

Maryland businesses play a crucial role in the quality of life of the state. They provide jobs, economic stability, and support worthy charities, projects and programs that improve the community. Owners of businesses throughout Maryland say that corporate giving programs is a rewarding endeavor to everyone connected to their business.

According to studies, healthy, engaged communities have a strong network of educational and charitable organizations. Business leaders, like Frank Storch, know that maintaining a high quality of life helps to maintain a strong and healthy business environment.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The BBJ Picks its Best CFOs of the Year

Of interest to Baltimore businessmen, including Frank Storch, is the annual list of the Baltimore Business Journal’s Best in Finance CFO Award winners. Here is a partial list of this year’s winners:

Adrian Johnson: CFO at MECU of Baltimore Inc. a $1.4 billion asset credit union. He has been CFO for four years.
Stephen Baldwin: He has been the CFO for 13 years at the Children’s Guild.
G. Mark Chaney: Age 59, Chaney has been the CFO at CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield for 17 years.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Frank Storch Honors Baltimore’s Young Heroes

In an article written by Frank Storch for the Baltimore Jewish Times, Storch asks the question:

“How do you respond when your child does something incredible?”

Frank Storch
Perhaps parents reward their child with praise and a new-found respect, but in Baltimore, Frank Storch says, the community now has the ability to bestow recognition through the use of the Outstanding Youth Award for Exceptional Service.

Project Ezra and the Chesed Fund, both organizations in which Frank Storch plays a leading role, established this award, which invites all young people from the greater Baltimore Jewish community to participate in.

Frank Storch said,

“For the last 10 years, we have honored children in our community who have saved people’s lives or have risen above the call of duty to help others.”

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Surge in Baltimore Crime Has Some Neighbors Worried

A recent rash of crime in the Northern Park Heights area of Baltimore has some citizens concerned.

“I don’t remember for quite some time a crime wave of this magnitude, nor the brazenness of it,” said Avrahom Sauer, president of the Cross Country Improvement Association. “It reminds me of the times almost back in 1979, 1980. There was terrible crime [then], and you couldn’t walk on Park Heights Avenue at nighttime.”

Frank Storch
Not everyone is alarmed, although they are concerned.

“I think we probably are a lot better off than a lot of parts of Baltimore City,” Sandy Johnson, president of the Fallstaff Improvement Association said. “I like this area because there’s less crime than in other parts of Baltimore City.”

Frank Storch, an area resident, said he has not witnessed a comparable uptick in crime since 1981, when he was involved in forming the Northwest Citizens Patrol.

“It was important that the community would know that there is a group that’s going to be proactive and try to make sure that we stop the amount of incidents that were happening,” he said, “and work with the police department on trying to make the entire neighborhood safer.”

Storch asserted that the neighborhood had a “major decrease in crime” as a result of the founding of NWCP.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Hannah Storch, Mother of Frank, Honored at Breakfast Reception

Hannah Storch, mother of Frank Storch, was honored in October for her past and ongoing role as a community leader in the Baltimore Jewish community. The occasion was the 30th anniversary of the founding of Jews for Judaism, a brainchild of Hannah, her husband Leo, and a group of other concerned Jewish leaders in the early 1980s.

Hannah Storch
Hannah explained that when her, her husband and several others met to decide what to do about the increasing problem of missionaries targeting Jews, almost no one even knew this was an issue.

“We got together, five of us, at my home, and we decided to organize a group, go out and do something,” said Mrs. Storch. “This was something really new. Most people knew little about these missionaries; the only ones familiar with it were those hurt by it. I felt we had to do something right away.”

“She made it happen,” said Jews for Judaism Executive Director Ruth Guggenheim. “Hannah not only had the knowledge and the vision, but the wherewithal to start Jews for Judaism and the true commitment to the Jewish community that such an organization would be developed.”

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Smart Meters May Not Be So Smart

Not Everyone Wants a Smart Meter
As the Baltimore Gas and Electric gears up to install smart meters into the homes of its customers throughout Baltimore some citizens, including Frank Storch, are questioning the wisdom of such a move.

“While it is beneficial for BGE’s bottom line, it is not for us or our families,” said Pikesville-area resident Frank Storch. “We pay the price by exposing ourselves to a serious health risk and by compromising our safety and privacy.”

In addition, the Maryland Public Service Commission is debating whether utility companies have the right to charge its customers even if they decide not to have a smart meter installed.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Labor of Love for Frank Storch

A little more than a year ago Frank Storch, a safety expert from Baltimore, published a safety guide that has made an impact on schools all around the country. Storch’s 44-page booklet, called “Keep Your School Safe” gives advice and easy to follow instructions on how to upgrade the level of security in schools and other public facilities.

In Frank Storch’s own words “We have to protect the community,” it is easy to see why he worked hard to publish and distribute this guidebook, which was a labor of love. The booklet is available on-line and can be downloaded here: 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Remembering Hurricane Sandy with Frank Storch

Frank Storch
Frank Storch was in Israel with his wife when he heard that an unusually massive storm was on its way to the eastern seaboard. When he heard that Hurricane Sandy had wreaked unprecedented damage on New Jersey, New York and many other areas, Storch changed his travel plans and hurried home so he could help with the recovery.

When he arrived home to Baltimore, the following happened:

“A member of Hatzalah called, saying he was interested in taking some generators from Baltimore to New York. Instead of bringing just a few generators, I thought, Let’s make a large purchase of generators, gas cans, flashlights, batteries, lanterns—everything the communities would need.
“Home Depot in Baltimore was suspicious of the fact that we wanted to purchase hundreds of generators; they assumed we would be bringing them to New York to resell. I told them to speak with the attorney general of Maryland who knows me personally and could vouch for me. They contacted the attorney general and realized we had truly come to do a good deed. We ended up bringing 120 generators, 250 gas cans and thousands of batteries, flashlights, sump pumps, trash bags and more. With a caravan of four large rented trucks, one mini truck and my four-wheel drive, we left for New York with more than $150,000 worth of emergency equipment.”

With equipment and supplies Frank Storch and other volunteers drove up to New York and distributed he essential supplies, truckloads of clothing, thousands of cans of gasoline, and the life-saving generators. The tragedy of Hurricane Sandy brought out the best in many citizens, with the help of Frank Storch.