Business Digest

BUSINESS DIGEST

December 09, 2005

Ad agency changes its name, image

The Stern Agency, an advertising firm in Ellicott City, has changed its name to Redhead Companies and is promoting its new image with a formal launch that includes a mailing of bright red wigs to several newspapers and a party.

"It was really an agencywide idea to change the name," said Jane Stelboum, the company's president. "Some of us have gone and dyed our hair for this event, including myself."

The agency's owner, chief executive officer and writer, Ed Stern, a natural redhead, founded the company in 1991. A second company, Redhead Interactive, specializing in Web sites, digital video discs, CD- ROMS, touch screens and similar media, was started about five years ago, Stelboum said. The new name incorporates both core businesses while leaving room for growing initiatives that include a clothing division (Redhead Threads) and an expanded mentoring and internship program for youth (Redhead Ed).

An intern, Sandhya Subramanian, named the clothing division and will run it as part of a college project that requires hands-on experience in management. She will work with a team of young adults to design, produce, market and distribute the products (so far, mostly T-shirts, Stelboum said). Proceeds will help support Redhead Ed.

"Appreciating the perspective of the young kids means that we just like the way they think; they have fresh minds, they're not jaded," Stelboum said. "One of our clients put it best when he said, `They are the last bastion of unfiltered thinking.'"

Redhead Companies counts Howard Bank, the International Spy Museum, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, College Savings Plans of Maryland and Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse among its clients.

2 groups offering health insurance

The Baltimore/Washington Corridor Chamber of Commerce and Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce are working together on health insurance, transportation, networking, education and work-force development.

The two organizations will offer Corridor Care, a limited health insurance plan, to member businesses. Although the plan is not intended to replace major medical, it will provide coverage for office visits, diagnostic tests, child wellness visits, hospitalization up to a per diem limit and other benefits to businesses unable to afford traditional plans.

"Access to health care is what it's providing; many of them may not have that now," said Walt Townshend, president and chief executive officer of the the Baltimore/Washington Corridor Chamber of Commerce.

Applications sought for a scholarship

The Howard County Economic Development Authority's Committee for Business and Economic Diversity is accepting applications for the Howard County General Hospital Rising Business Star scholarship.

The $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a graduating Howard County public high school senior intending to pursue post-secondary studies at an accredited institution. The scholarship is intended for a member of an ethnic minority, a woman or an individual with a disability who has shown initiative in business.

Applications, which must be received by March 11, are available at www.hceda.org/the center/cbed.html, by calling 410-313-6177, or from school guidance counselors.

The recipient will be announced April 25.

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