Shop Talk

Turning Point Real Estate Expands

Turning Point Real Estate launched quietly in the Urbana area about 18 months ago. This summer, Turning Point added Chris Highland, who said the company is unique in the real estate world in that it has depth in all the venues of real esate.

“It’s a unique combination of highly known agents in the community in residential real estate, as well as a business brokerage and development expertise to Frederick County consumers,” Highland said. “And [there’s] an environment for agents that’s supportive and encouraging.”

Coaching and training is why Highland was brought on staff. Highland has almost 19 years of experience in the industry from managing at Keller Williams to developing his own residential sales team, The Highland Group, which he began five years ago.

Highland will work as residential sales manager and mentor at Turning Point, where he will mentor and train agents, making sure they have the tools they need. Part of his role will be to make “sure agents have a level of professionalism that is required in this industry.”

Highland says he’s thrilled about the new position.

“I am really excited about it,” he said. “We are sesasoned professionals getting together to create an environment that can prove high levels of accounts and service to the general public.”

Highland said Turning Point was founded by three visionaries: Charles Seymour, co-owner and president; and Aric Ridden, senior vice president of commercial division; and Joe Anselmo, CEO and co-owner.

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Fire Department Facelift

It has been 17 years since the Urbana Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department banquet hall received any TLC, said Betty White, president of the Urbana Ladies Auxiliary of Urbana Fire and Rescue. But this summer, it was completely revamped.

“It is totally different,” White said, which includes new tile flooring, new crystal-and-gold chandelier and sconce lighting — and a completely new look.

Previously, the hall had wood-tone wainscoating, floral drapes and wallpaper speckled with blue-pink and green designs. Now, $75,410.77 later, the space has neutral-toned walls, white crown molding and chair rail, and a rennovated bar area.

Chief Jimmy May, who has been the chief at Urbana Volunteer Fire Department for 35 years, said this is the third time the room has been remodeled since it was built in 1977.

“It was just time for a change,” he said. “The most important thing [to note] is that the renovation for the hall is paid for the Ladies Auxiliary.”

In the last 30 years, the Ladies Auxhilary has donated more than $1 million to the Urbana Volunteer Department, White said. This year, the group decided to donate the funds and oversee the renovation of the space.

The hope is that the renovations increase business a little bit, May said. The space is available for rent for parties, anniversary and wedding events. Capacity for the hall is 350, and the fire staff even caters the events, he said.

“We are well known for our fried chicken,” May said. White added that other specialties included shrimp and roast beef. Catering is optional for renters, she said.

Photos of the hall’s new look can be seen at

Encore Consignment Shop

If you’re pulling out warmer clothes and find yourself with a pile of unwanted clothing items, Maeve McGrath invites you to bring them into Urbana’s Encore Consignment Store.

“We consider anything!” she said, adding that the shop shares profits with its customers on a 60/40 split basis. Each month, McGrath mails a check of profit sales to each consigner.

Encore Consignment Store is a small shop, but McGrath makes it a comfortable place to browse with her warm personality. McGrath says she opened the shop last November out of her own passion for thrifing, which she has been doing her whole life.

“It’s like treasure hunting. You never know what you are going to find!” she said.

The shop offers gently used clothes for the entire family and accepts men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, as well as accessories such as scarves, jewelry and handbags. Items in the store range from a pair of children’s red Keds lace up shoes in mint condition and a boy’s North Face black jacket, to a stylish gray-tunic sweater for girls and a brown suede Coach handbag with a gold buckle. The shop also has a selection of dressy gowns in an array of colors for homecoming or other events.

McGrath adds that clothes must be brought by appointment to Encore, but shopping can be done anytime Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., or Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Encore is located behind The Cracked Claw on Urbana Pike (3362-B Urbana Pike, Ijamsville or 240.699.0001).


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