Columbia newsmakers

July 14, 2011

Patuxent Toastmasters, a Columbia-based club, honored Barbara Barnow and Affan Osman, two club members who recently completed speech requirements that advanced them to the next level of competency on the Toastmasters International track.

Barnow presented five speeches from the "Humorously Speaking" manual and five from the "Persuasively Speaking" manual, earning her certification as an Advanced Toastmaster/Bronze, a second-level achievement. Barnow has served the club as vice president of public relations for four terms.

Osman completed all 10 speeches in the first manual and received recognition as a Competent Communicator. Osman previously served as president and sergeant-at-arms of Patuxent Toastmasters, and he also competed in an area-level speaking contest.

John Keeney, president of Keeney Financial Group, a comprehensive wealth management firm located in Columbia, announced that the firm added Michele McAllister Peele as director of client services and Steven Stern as client service associate.

Before joining Keeney Financial Group, Peele served as a senior registered client associate with Merrill Lynch for seven years. A Westminster native, Peele resides in Columbia.

Stern joins Keeney Financial Group after five years as a sales and marketing representative for Ryan Homes. He earned a Bachelor of Science in finance from University of Maryland, College Park, and resides in Baltimore.

Employee benefit consulting veteran Larry Devitt announced the launch of Columbia-based CapellaTax Network, which provides group pre-paid tax preparation and advice services. Through CapellaTax Network, employers of all sizes can offer their employees discounted access to a network of qualified, credentialed certified public accountants for tax preparation and year-round tax advice.

Based in Columbia, CapellaTax Network is founded by president and CEO Devitt, a former senior vice president and senior consultant with Kelly & Associates Insurance Group.

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