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Letter from the President

What a wild year it has been! I would like to thank all who served on the board for GADD during my time serving as president. You have made my time both memorable and uncomplicated! We have seen amazing growth with a greater diversity than ever before, which helps all our members, old and new, create valuable relationships in the design-build community.

Being able to fund the GADD Scholarship for Skilled Trades and Design/Build is the one thing that stands out to me as the accomplishment of the year. I believe it’s imperative to work with the next generation to get them interested and trained in trades important to the design/build community and to give them the knowledge that skilled trades are a career opportunity, not just a laborious job.

I would like to welcome our current VP, Andrea Wheeler, as our incoming President! She comes in at a great time as GADD’s broadening reach to both the commercial and residential consumer rises to new heights that benefit our entire community. I look forward to continuing my work with the board in an advisory or at-large position!

Enjoy your summer and may business abound for all!

Thank you for all your support,

Rob McKellar

ADU-Your Appliance Source

Business Spotlight: Fichtner Home Exteriors - Q&A

Founded in 1994 by Tom Fichtner, Fichtner Home Exteriors offers exterior home improvement services for builders and homeowners throughout the greater Annapolis area. Through a conversation with Tom, we learned the following:


How would you describe an ideal project?

An ideal project for us is an all-encompassing exterior remodel that upgrades the appearance and protects the home. You can achieve a cohesive aesthetic upgrade and a truly remarkable transformation by installing new windows, siding, a roof, and gutters simultaneously. 


Due to advancements in building materials, conducting a complete home exterior remodel all at once offers numerous benefits, such as heightened durability and superior water-tightness, ensuring long-lasting protection for years to come.


What business growth and niche services have you developed?

Our window and door department has experienced significant growth, providing high-quality products and installation to builders and homeowners. We now also offer porch and portico installation, improving the curb appeal and functionality of entrances. 


Additionally, we specialize in custom siding, roofing, and gutters that meet historic building guidelines, collaborating with builders for personalized, upscale exterior finishes.


What can one expect when they contact Fichtner for a service?

Fichtner is a place where beauty meets protection. Whether you want to replace your roof, siding, windows, doors, or gutters, enhance your home's curb appeal, or need skylights for natural lighting, we're here for you. Our process starts with an on-site visit, where we'll discuss our extensive range of products and services in response to your specific needs. 


Our recommendations always include conceptual images of options, finishes, and features that seamlessly integrate with your home's architecture. We take pride in offering honest pricing and transparency throughout the entire process, coupled with exceptional craftsmanship, to ensure a final result that surpasses your expectations and withstands the test of time.


For additional information, please visit

GADD Monthly Networking Breakfast (MEMBERS Only)

Date: Third Thursday of each month - Upcoming Dates: July 20, August 17, September 21

Location: Market House, 25 Market Space, Annapolis, MD 21401

Time: 7:30am - 8:30am

Cost: Free

Members are invited to an early morning networking hour the third Thursday of each month from 7:30-8:30a.m. at the Market House. Arrive a few minutes early to purchase a coffee and breakfast bite at Rise Up, located inside the Market House. Be ready at 7:30am to connect and collaborate.

Bright Light Design Center Open House (MEMBERS Only)

Date: Thursday, September 28

Location: 111 Chinquapin Round Rd., Suite 102, Annapolis, MD 21401

Time: 5:30pm-7:30pm

Cost: Free

Save the Date! It's the start of a new era: Annapolis Lighting has been retired and Bright Light Design Center begins in Annapolis at their new location. Members are invited to an Open House to network and tour their new showroom. More details and RSVP coming shortly.

Hosting (or cohosting) an event is a great way to promote your company's brand, services, or products. If you are interested in holding an Open House, Seminar, Product Learning Event or CEU at your business location/showroom or cohosting an event with another Design District Member, please go to or contact us at

Open Board Positions - Seeking Vice President and Treasurer

As of July 1st, we will have Board vacancies for Vice President and Treasurer.

Vice President

Functions as council to the President; assumes responsibilities as needed in the President’s absence; assists with carrying out specific duties delegated by the President; and acts as the contact point and advisor for sub committees. The Vice President will move into the role of President after one year.


Responsible for financial oversight; assists with annual Strategic Planning and Budgeting; maintains and oversees proper bookkeeping practices (whether

internal or subcontracted); works with the Administrator to handle funds; supervises the checking account; reports on the organization’s income, expenses, bank balances, and overall financial well-being; ensures that all taxes and forms are submitted annually; and maintains financial accountability to the Members.

Please email if you would be willing to serve in one of these roles.

New Grant-Loan Program Alert

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman and AAEDC Interim CEO Jill Seamon have announced a new initiative to complement AAEDC's Arundel Community Reinvestment (ACR) Fund - a loan program that offers business and property owners in the county’s 11 revitalization districts loans of up to $100,000 for improvements including renovation and upgrades to building exteriors and site improvements, including landscaping.

Now, for a limited time, approved applicants can receive a grant equal to 25 percent of their loan amount - meaning a grant of up to $25,000!


R.E. Robertson Plumbing & Heating, Inc. is offering a Diagnostic A/C Inspection for only $79.95.

Click HERE to redeem this offer.

Chesapeake Electric is offering a $200 discount on the installation of EV chargers. Call410-469-1324 or visit


Why You Should Clean Your Knife Block ASAP—Plus How to Do It

If you have a knife block, it’s probably something you use every time you cook. If you’re more of a take-out person, at the very least you see the decorative-yet-functional kitchen accessory on the countertop and don’t give it a second thought—but maybe you should. It turns out, those tiny little slots are likely harboring bacteria, which then goes into your food each time you slice a tomato or chop an onion.

The good news is, there are ways to keep your knife block clean and bacteria-free. Here’s what the experts have to say.

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