Brian Wolak


Which Orioles do you Follow on Twitter?

Outfielder Xavier Avery, posted the above picture on his Twitter account.

Courtesy Citybizlist – Let’s explain that picture before we do anything else. (Yes, it was a devastating loss last night that we will not speak of.) This is what you’re missing out on if you’re not following  Baltimore Orioles outfielder Xavier Avery. He posted it back in September with the heading “Rookie Hazing…lol.”

Fortune Mag Focuses on Mondawmin Mall to Illustrate Libor Impact


Courtesy Citybizlist – Fortune Magazine writer Katie Benner penned a recent article headlined, “Baltimore: the city that sues the banks.”

She was trying to ascertain the impact of the Libor scandal (where some banks are alleged to have manipulated interest rates) on cities and municipalities.

“One might think that low rates would help a borrower, just as they help a mortgage or credit card holder, but in this case the opposite is true. Baltimore is not a rich town. The triple punch of the credit crisis, housing crash, and recession has forced the city to choose. Fire departments or afterschool programs? Police or libraries? As the first municipality to seek reparations in response to this alleged scheme, Baltimore was my destination to see how the Libor scandal was playing out.”

Kevin Plank’s Stake in Under Armour Up to $1.25 Billion


Courtesy Citybizlist – Kevin Plank owns 21.6 million shares in the company he created, Baltimore based Under Armour, according to a new regulatory filing disclosing his stake after the company’s 2 for 1 stock split.

Maryland LIve! Casino Pays $23.7 Million in Gaming Taxes to State


Courtesy Citybizlist – Maryland Live! Casino reported paying more than$23.7 million in gaming taxes to the State of Maryland after its first full month of operation. July 2012 taxes were based on the State’s 67% portion of $35,408,769.62 in gaming revenue generated by the facility, a win per machine per day of approximately $351.54.

Maryland Ranks Seventh for Women-Owned Biz


Courtesy Citybizlist – Move over Marissa Mayer,  Maryland ranks 7th in the country for women owned businesses in terms of growth and economic clout, according to a report commissioned by American Express OPEN.

Titled The State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, the second annual study indicates that the growth of businesses led by female entrepreneurs surpasses that of “all but the largest, publicly-traded firms” over the last 15 years.

Maryland ranked particularly high for overall growth in the number of firms and employment.

The following stats show how Maryland fared against other states for women owned firms between 1997 and 2002 for growth and economic clout.

Read more at citybizlist

The Baltimore Sun Lifts Paywall for Twitter and Facebook Links


Courtesy Citybizlist – Eight months after charging readers to access website content, The Baltimore Sun said that its paywall no longer will apply to articles accessed through social networking links.

Read more at Citybizlist

Inside Office Space: Reznick Group


Courtesy of Citybizlist – Citybizlist continues its Pictorial Tour feature, in which we spotlight a local company’s office through pictures, with accounting, tax, and business advisory firm Reznick Group.
As readers of citybizlist know, Reznick Group and J.H. Cohn announced plans last month to merge and become the 11th largest firm in the country with more than 2,000 employees, 25 offices and combined revenues of more than $450M.

Reznick Group’s Baltimore office, located at 500 East Pratt Street, is led by co-office managing principals Mary Beth Norwood and Ira Weinstein.

The firm’s Baltimore office is home base for Reznick Group’s New Markets Tax Credits practice as well as practice areas focused on hospitality, financial institutions, private foundations and state and local governments.

Please enjoy the tour through Reznick Group’s Pratt St. office.


Front Desk – Welcome to Reznick Group’s Baltimore office. Dot will always greet you with a big smile!

Inside Office Space: Highlandtown’s Vitamin


Citybizlist continues its Pictorial Tour feature spotlighting  a local company’s office through pictures, with Baltimore design and marketing boutique Vitamin.

Founded in 2002, Vitamin provides brand strategy, print design, web design, and public relations services.

Its studio is located in Highlandtown among row houses filled with locally owned businesses, including the Creative Alliance at the Patterson Theatre. The studio was built out in 2005 to create a space that inspires a culture that is current, intelligent, relaxed, and goal-orientated.

Vitamin is led and owned by president and CEO Amanda Karfakis and COO Mike Karfakis (husband and wife team).

Its client roster includes Saint Agnes Hospital, Hamilton Bank, and 1st Mariner Arena, among others.

Without further ado, enjoy the digital tour through Vitamin’s Highlandtown office.

About Vitamin
Vitamin® is the Cure for the Common Brand. The firm is a rare boutique that integrates brand strategy, print design, web design, and public relations all under one roof. Vitamin’s studio is located in the heart of Highlandtown, among row houses filled with locally owned businesses, including coffee shops, restaurants, and the Creative Alliance at the Patterson Theatre. Vitamin will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year. The studio was built out in 2005 to create a space that inspires a culture that is current, intelligent, relaxed, and goal-orientated. Vitamin is owned by Amanda and Mike Karfakis (husband and wife team); the firm employs 8, including a security officer, Alaz (Mike and Amanda’s German Shepherd).

Class Action Suit Against JoS. A. Bank Claims Merchandise is Always on Sale


Courtesy Citybizlist — 2 Days Only! … Final Day – 70% OFF EVERY SUIT! 50% … OFF Every Dress Shirt and more … JoS. A. Bank Clothiers commercials are known for their call to action.

It seems that the sense of urgency hasn’t set well with a pair of erstwhile customers.

A class action complaint has been filed against JoS. A. Bank alleging that the retailer’s merchandise is “perpetually on sale and the sale price is actually the price at which the merchandise is regularly offered.”

James Waldron and Matthew Villani, both from New Jersey, filed the complaint in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (Case 2:33-av-00001).

JoS. A. Bank Clothiers said in a regulatory filing that it intends to “defend this lawsuit vigorously.”

Citybizlist procured the court document (scroll down to view it in its entirety) and has excerpted a few blurbs of the accusation:

– “Jos. A. Bank’s misleading, inaccurate and deceptive marketing cultivates the perception that consumer (sic) are being offered a discount from the Company’s regular prices when, in fact, they are not. Plaintiffs and the Class were intended to and did rely upon Jos. A. Bank’s representations when they purchased Jos. A. Bank merchandise. Plaintiffs and the Class would not have purchased Jos. A. Bank merchandise, or would have paid significantly less for the merchandise, if Jos. A. Bank had not represented that the merchandise had a “regular price” that was well above the “sale” price. As a result, Jos. A. Bank has handsomely profited from its misrepresentations to the detriment of Plaintiffs and the Class …”

– “Jos. A. Bank uses this method of advertising knowing that consumers would rely on the misrepresentation that the Company’s merchandise is on sale, creating a false sense of urgency to purchase Jos. A. Bank’s merchandise. Accordingly, Jos. A. Bank’s advertisements and promotions to sell its merchandise are perpetually false and misleading.”

– “Each advertised sale is described as being of a limited duration, thus creating the false impression that the price of the merchandise will increase back to the ‘regular price’ if a consumer does not make a purchase by the end of the sale. To increase a consumer’s sense of urgency about the expiration of the sale, Jos. A. Bank’s advertisements use expressions such as ‘Final Day!’, ‘2 Days Only!’, ‘Monday & Tuesday Only!’, ‘Today Only!’, ‘1-Day Only!’, ‘Final Hours!’, etc. As a result, consumers are misled into believing that the ‘sale’ is a limited time event. However, there are no ‘final days’ to sales offered by Jos. A. Bank, as the Company places merchandise back “on sale” immediately after a given sale ends.”

Waldron asserts that he would not have:

– “purchased Jos. A. Bank merchandise during the Class Period. At the time of his purchase, Jos. A. Bank marketed, advertised and promoted its merchandise as being ‘on sale.’ However, in contrast to the manner in which Jos. A. Bank merchandise was marketed, advertised and promoted, the merchandise purchased by Mr. Waldron was not ‘on sale,’ and the regular price was not the actual price of the merchandise, as represented. As a result of Jos. A. Bank’s misleading, and/or inaccurate, and/or deceptive marketing, advertising and promotion of its merchandise, Mr. Waldron suffered an ascertainable loss. Had Jos. A. Bank informed Mr. Waldron at the time of his purchase that the merchandise he purchased was not ‘on sale,’ and that the merchandise did not have a ‘regular price’ that was well above the ‘sale’ price. He would not have purchased the merchandise or would have paid substantially less for the merchandise that he purchased.”

Read more at Citybizlist


Top 10 Venture Capital Deals in Baltimore-Washington


Courtesy of Citybizlist – Of the 40 venture capital deals involving Washington D.C. and Baltimore metro area companies in the first quarter 2012, the top 10 hauled in 81 percent of the committed capital with a combined $166 million.

The leader, Intrexon, which develops DNA control systems to enhance the safety and efficacy of biological therapeutics, is no stranger to large dollar investments. The company had already raised $145 million by last September.