Rising Sun – Celebrating the Past, Present, Future

  • 16 May 2017
  • Posted by Amarasco

Howard Bank Rising Sun Bank BuildingChartered in 1880, the historic Rising Sun Bank was one of a few Maryland banks that survived the Depression. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this bank anchors the past of Rising Sun to the present and the future. No one is more in tuned to the history and meaning of the bank than Charles “Chip” Slaybaugh.

The bank became part of the Howard Bank family in 2014. As a special assets collection officer for Howard Bank, Chip is continuing the connection of the Slaybaugh family to this historic institution. Chip’s great grandfather was president of the National Bank of Rising Sun - Check PresentationRising Sun, one of the previous identities of this institution, from 1912 until 1950.

Because of the high standards of the bank’s procedures, not only did the bank survive the Depression, it was the first in Maryland to reopen after the historic 3-day closing called for by President Roosevelt.

Images of all of the past presidents adorn the walls of the board room, and other historical items are on display. The celebration honors the history and preservation of the beautiful historic building that sits in the center of this little town with a strong sense of community.Rising Sun CelebrationMary Ann - Rising Sun ReceptionRising Sun - historical artifacts

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For the 10th Year in a Row, Howard Bank Supports Columbia Festival of the Arts. This Time at its New Location: Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods.

  • 06 Jun 2016
  • Posted by Admin

For the 10th consecutive year, Howard Bank is supporting the Columbia Festival of the Arts, which for the first time will be held at the Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods.CFA2006

In addition to the move, the Festival will explore India’s transformation into the modern world and feature author Nadia Hashimi. It will also formally launch the new Columbia Film Festival.

“The Festival of the Arts is excited to move to Symphony Woods this year given all of the development in Town Center,” said Todd Olson, Columbia Festival of the Arts Executive Director. “The renovated Merriweather Post Pavilion, the soon-to-be finished Chrysalis Amphitheatre, and the proposed Arts Center…all within a stone’s throw of each other will surely create a cultural epicenter in Howard County and all of Central Maryland.”

The June 10th – 26th event marks the Festival’s 29th year, and one of the biggest occasions in its history. Traditionally, the Festival has been held at the Lakefront.The Festival’s inaugural free “Weekend In The Woods” runs Saturday June 18th from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, June 19th from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.


Photo: 2006 CFA - Andrea Martinez, Mary Ann Scully, Steve Sachs & Chris Marasco

“It’s about giving back to the community,” said Robert Marshall, Marketing and Communications Director for the Columbia Festival of the Arts. “It’s not unlike Wine in the Woods. It’s part of the larger Festival of the Arts at Columbia.”

The festival also ushers in the start of summer, said Mary Ann Scully-President and CEO of Howard Bank. “The CFA means three

things to me - a legacy of community celebrations, bringing the arts to everyone, and the kickoff to summer in Columbia,” she said.

“Being a part of the CFA is a reminder of what makes Columbia such a spirited community,” added Chris Marasco, Senior Vice President of Howard Bank. “The festival entertains all elements of our community: races, ages, incomes, and genders.”

This year’s event highlights the community and its artists.  The Festival is providing a remarkably larger space for local artisans to showcase their wares to the public, and for Maryland residents to experience some of the area’s best musicians.

Weekend In The Woods headliners include Black Masala, a fast paced brass group from Washington, D.C., and the Glenelg Jazz Ensemble, a crowd favorite. The Glenelg Ensemble has not just been recognized locally, but on the national level, too.The high school performers have received more than 60 awards and first place finishes in the last 10 years alone. Other musicians performing during the free weekend are: Anthony “SwampDog” Clark, The Shrapnels, Elikeh, Samuel James, and La Unica.

The main theme of the event is “The Silk Road Stories.” On June 18, the Festival is hosting Mystic India: The World Tour Bollywood Spectacular! which is based on the concept of ancient India’s transition into modern India. Another highlight of the Festival is the June 26 event: Refugees on the Silk Road. Novelist Nadia Hashimi will read an excerpt from her new book, which places a spotlight on the recent refugee crisis.

The Columbia Festival of the Arts sponsors events and shows like this year round, and is using this year’s Weekend In The Woods to launch the new Columbia Film Festival. The inaugural event will produce and show films four times a year in a variety of genres, such as features, shorts, and documentaries. The Film Festival will also host student made films. The purpose of the Film Festival, according to the Columbia Festival of the Arts, is to, “Introduce Howard County audiences to the best in the world, national, and local cinema, and is dedicated to inspiring and reflecting the diverse community it serves.”

For many, the festival is a place to connect with people and help the broader community.

“The Columbia Festival of the Arts is where I started my volunteer career,” said Andrea Martinez, a Junior Loan Processor at Howard Bank. “Meeting new people, giving my time and energy to something bigger than myself has helped me grow as a human being and a person by leaps and bounds.”

The change of location means next year’s Festival will showcase musicians in the Chrysalis stage, a brand new amphitheater currently under construction. The Chrysalis will offer a permanent stage for performers and will seat more than 400 people. Despite the fact the Chrysalis stage is not complete, this year’s Weekend In The Woods is poised to be the best, most exciting one in the Festival’s history. The Symphony Woods location is a sprawling 16.5 acres of beautiful landscape. With an incredible new space and remarkably talented musical guests, the event is not one to miss.

For more information and/or to purchase tickets visit www.ColumbiaFestival.org.




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This Thanksgiving: A Choice

  • 25 Nov 2015
  • Posted by Admin


From all of us at Howard Bank we wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving.

It’s that time of year once again—the time when we offer our thanks for our blessings. In preparation for doing so, it’s important to remember that some have more thanks to offer than others, and to remember those when celebrating our own good fortune.

The subject of economic inequality is one frequently mentioned these days by government leaders and social scientists, not to mention Federal Reserve chairmen and countless economists. Despite the bank bashing that still occurs, eight years after the crisis, those of us who are community bankers spend much of our time, professionally and personally, trying to correct some of those inequalities through our age-old role as facilitators and intermediaries. We provide funding to those who are not liquid, but are seeking advantage, by responsibly investing the proceeds from those who are more liquid, if not more advantaged, into our own community. However we also spend a great deal of time trying to understand the larger picture—the reality of, the magnitude of and the root causes of inequality. 

From time immemorial, or at least since the Industrial Revolution, there have been “have” and “have not” countries, thus the nomenclature of the developed versus the undeveloped world. A book I recently read by Angus Deaton, “The Great Escape”, details the departure from destitution over time. Now, what many of us now find more disturbing, is the fact that there are great gaps within developed countries—including our own. Thomas Piketty’s tome, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” attempts to explain these gaps as an over rewarding of capital versus labor. In a society that has benefitted greatly over the centuries from capitalism, some of his theories are challenging. Nonetheless, the thoughtful questioning is positive. Only by acknowledging a problem can we begin to solve it.

A takeaway from both of these books, numerous articles, podcasts and debates is that perhaps the gap of most importance is the gap of choice. Only choice can offset chance. Those of us who live in the Greater Baltimore area see this particular gap as one root cause of all the other drivers of advantaged versus disadvantaged in our region. From one of the wealthiest counties in the country, to a city with some of the most troubled and non-upwardly mobile neighborhoods in the country, is a drive of less than 20 miles.

It’s true that the residents of even the most troubled neighborhoods have better medical care and access to utilities than someone in a developing nation, but do they have a choice? Which of us has the ability to choose our home, our occupation and our leisure activities? Only those of us who have been exposed to something beyond where we started, who have been granted both a view of the path to something better and a road map to navigate the path. All of those aspirations first involve an awareness of, and access to, alternatives—and then a willingness to change and a need to believe that our own hard work will move us forward. What’s so often missing is the awareness and access, not the willingness and belief.

So my thanks this season is that Howard Bank has had a choice to both grow, and to give back, and, in the process of seizing both choices, has made a difference in the lives of more colleagues, more customers, more communities and more shareholders than we did last year. We have a clear vision of the path and a roadmap to navigate it to something better. We acknowledge that it’s not always easy to make choices; sometimes it feels easier to let others make the choices. It’s certainly easier to blame others when our choices are bad than to blame ourselves—but I thank God every day for the ability to choose.

My challenge this season is to acknowledge that not everyone in our communities have these choices, and to recommit ourselves to opening up the world to those less advantaged by creating awareness through education at all ages and access to opportunities.

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Howard County Ten Oaks Cup Polo Match Returns to the Field

  • 22 Sep 2015
  • Posted by Amarasco

Join us to tread in the divots at the 10th Annual Ten Oaks Cup Polo Match this Saturday, September 26, at Marama Farm in Clarksville. This year marks Howard Bank’s fifth year as a proud sponsor of the Ten Oaks Cup.

The afternoon will include multiple Polo matches, concession stands, family-friendly activities, divot stomping and more. Gates open at noon, and matches begin at 2 p.m. Bring along blankets, lawn chairs and hey, even a grill for tailgating. 

The Ten Oaks Cup supports Catholic Charities and its Our Daily Bread Employment Center, which provides those in need with a hot meal, case management, job training and employment counseling. Catholic Charities serves 160,000 people, and nearly 350,000 meals each year.

Event tickets may be purchased online in advance. General Admission tickets, $50 per car, as well as Tailgate Spots, $150 per car, can be purchased at the gate, depending on availability. For more details and event information, please visit the event website.

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Saddle Up for the 28th Columbia Grand Prix this Saturday

  • 16 Sep 2015
  • Posted by Amarasco

This weekend, Howard Bank is excited to be sponsoring the 28th Annual Howard Community College Columbia Classic Grand Prix, held on September 19. The event benefits the HCC Educational Foundation, which provides scholarships to HCC students.

The day-long event, held on Marama Farm in Clarksville, will feature amateur horse riding and jumping, a classic and collector car show, activities for kids, food and drink in the Clyde’s Beer & Wine Garden, a raffle, and the Grand Prix horse race, which starts at 2 p.m.

Howard Bank has been a part of the HCC Grand Prix since our founding; this will be our 11th year sponsoring the event. Tickets are still available and start at $10 for general admission. Visit the event website for more details and to purchase tickets. See you there!

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Howard County Wine Masters is Back!

  • 03 Sep 2015
  • Posted by Amarasco

winemasters-e1441389991931This month, Howard Bank is proud to be sponsoring the 13th annual Howard County Wine Masters, benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The event will be held on September 12 on a private estate in Howard County and will feature delicious food, wine and craft beer, live and silent auctions and music.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world’s leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening, genetic disease affecting the lungs. CFF supports cystic fibrosis patients through research and funding to help find a cure and provide patients with resources to help them live more full and productive lives. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world’s leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis.

To purchase event tickets, donate, or learn more about the event, click here.

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Meet the (New) Guy in Charge of the Columbia Festival of the Arts

  • 27 May 2015
  • Posted by Amarasco


Howard Bank is thrilled to once again sponsor the 28th annual Columbia Festival of the Arts this year, which runs June 12-27, spanning three weekends. Last year, we gave you a rundown of facts about the festival you may have never known. This year, we dove even deeper

and talked to the festival’s Executive Director, Todd Olson. Read more below for an inside look at this year’s festival.

HB: How did you get involved with the Festival of the Arts? This will be your first Festival as Executive Director, right?

todd_olson Todd Olson, Columbia Festival of the Arts Executive Director

TO: I came to The Columbia Festival of the Arts last August after spending the last 11 years as Artistic Director at the American Stage Theatre Company in St. Petersburg, FL. Soon thereafter, the [Festival] staff tested out the notion of moving from one annual festival to quarterly festivals, and loved the idea. So this year’s event will be our last annual festival before we start presenting weekend-long festivals four times a year.

HB: What exactly goes into planning and putting on the show? How far in advance do you start planning?

TO: We’re constantly planning, booking, curating, and selling. We reached out to The Blind Boys of Alabama [a gospel/blues band that’s been together for 70 years since they were children; you may have seen them on The Colbert Report] my first month on the job and they’ll be one of the highlights of our Summer Festival. We already have some themes set for the next four festivals: “British Invasion” in October, “Beyond the Blues” in February, “Viva la Vida” in April, and “Silk Road Stories” next summer.

HB: Where did the Cross Currents theme for this year come from?

TO: Before we even had a theme, we had already booked two incredibly diverse performers: Pilobolus, a modern dance company, and The Blind Boys of Alabama. With the basis of the Festival set in groups with audiences young and old, hybrids became important – artists that were a little of multiple things. The way Hot Club of San Francisco is jazz but electrified by the element of film. Or the way PigPen Theatre is made up of musicians, actors, and authors. Or the way Second City is part standup, part improv, and part sketch comedy. All acts are energized with currents of multiple skills crossing through them.

HB: What value do you see business and brands getting out of participating in the festival, through sponsorships, etc.?

TO: For myriad reasons, businesses want to set up shop in communities where the arts are strong. It has to do with quality of life for their employees and families, and the kind of cultural affluence they want in their customer base. Exceptional companies support not-for-profits in their community, because without any community involvement they might as well set up shop in rural Iowa (I can say that, I was born and raised in Iowa). Businesses want to be in Howard County because there is a cultural richness here.

At Columbia Festival of the Arts we like to showcase the many corporate partners we have, in any way we can. We’re lucky Howard Bank is involved in the Festival again this year. More banks should take Howard Bank’s lead in community efforts.

83886a The Blind Boys of Alabama, all suited-up.

HB: Which event in this year’s festival are you most looking forward to?

TO: I have to say The Blind Boys of Alabama have been on my “bucket list” ever since I heard them on the Original Broadway recording of The Gospel at Colonus. They have won five Grammys, recorded with just about everyone, and are true living legends. Everyone should take advantage of having them in our community for one night to witness a little bit of musical history– they’ll be glad they did.

Are you a HoCo resident/native?

TO: I am. My wife Charlotte and I live in River Hill. Our daughters Corinna and May attend Lime Kiln Middle School, and our son Jonas is finishing up his first year at Atholton High School.


Thanks to Todd for giving us some inside information on this year's festival. Hope to see everyone there in June!


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This Thanksgiving: A Thank You and a Promise

  • 26 Nov 2014
  • Posted by Amarasco

MaryAnn Scully

On behalf of everyone at Howard Bank, I’d like to wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving.

Although it’s customary to focus on our blessings on this specific day, I hope all our employees and customers know just how thankful and appreciative I am for them all year round. As a quickly growing, community-centered bank with an ever-increasing presence in the central Maryland region, it’s obvious that our success is not due to any one person or initiative–the success is shared and we’re all part of it.

To our incredible Howard Bank employees, I want you to know that I see your hard work and dedication. Thank you.

To our fantastic customers who have helped make Howard Bank what it is today, thank you for trusting us on your financial journey.

This year we proudly celebrate our 10-year anniversary and we are excited to have so many new customers joining us at such a special time in our bank’s history. I assure you that each and every Howard Bank employee will work hard to help you feel right at home during your transition to our bank. We’re thankful for the opportunity to serve our new customers and communities as well as welcome many new staff to the Howard Bank team.

To those of you who have been with us a long time (many since the beginning), know that I count each one of you as part of our recipe for success and together, we’ll see another fantastic year together.

While it’s hard to believe that 2014 is coming to an end, Thanksgiving is a timely reminder that we can’t lose our spirit of gratefulness in the midst of all the busyness.

From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.

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The Columbia Festival of the Arts: 27 Years Strong...

  • 05 Jun 2014
  • Posted by Admin

Columbia Festival of the Arts

For the past several years Howard Bank has had the privilege of sponsoring The Columbia Festival of the Arts held at the Lakefront in Downtown Columbia.  The mission of the festival, held since 1987, is to “present a world class celebration of the arts and entertainment that attracts, engages and inspires the broad and diverse community it serves.”

Howard Bank will be sponsoring this great event again (June 13-28) and we encourage everyone in the area to attend the Festival and to visit the Howard Bank booth, meet the team and enter to win a prize. The Festival is a rare opportunity to experience a grand scale of arts and entertainment in a setting just intimate enough to make it truly unforgettable. Here are 10 fun facts about the Festival you may not know:

• The original name of the event in 1987 was “Hail Columbia.”

• Each year there is a chalk art competition called “Chalk it Up.” Prizes this year are $750/category.

• The festival celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2012, drawing more than 30,000 guests to downtown Columbia.

• The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra was the festival’s original main attraction.

• Recognizable past performers include: Aretha Franklin in 1998, Bo Diddley in 2003, and Harry Connick Jr. and the Indigo Girls in 2004.

• The festival has featured over 150 performers since it began.

• The festival includes a local authors book fair where guests can meet and greet authors who have local ties.

• The name for Lake Kittamaqundi is a Maryland tribal Native American word meaning, “friendly meeting place.”

• Statues of Columbia’s founder, James W. Rouse, and his brother, William G. Rouse were installed at Lakefront in 2001; the statue pair is named “Dealings.”

• This year’s Festival features over 26 different events and 10 performers over 16 days.


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