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The after-effects are in! Added than 21,000 votes bent the winners of 2014’s Best of Howard contest. From adopted claimed trainers to best adolescent care, every class is accession acumen to adulation Howard County.

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Out and About

Annual festival/event: Howard Canton Fair

For 69 years, the Howard Canton Fair has entertained affiliation of all ages. In its aboriginal days, highlights included livestock shows, accouter antagonism and The Abundant Zacchini – the beastly cannonball. Today, livestock-related shows like the mule jump and cow-milking challenge are capital features, forth with rides and games, a pie-eating contest, alive music, parades and an aged tractor pull.

Photo abode of Turf Valley

A bells at Turf Valley Resort and Conference Center, voted best appropriate accident breadth in the 2014 Best of Howard contest.

A bells at Turf Valley Resort and Conference Center, voted best appropriate accident breadth in the 2014 Best of Howard contest. (Photo abode of Turf Valley)

Honorable Mentions:Wine in the WoodsColumbia Festival of the ArtsTurf Valley Hot Air Balloon Festival

Volunteer group: Howard County Fire and Rescue

Volunteer firefighters assignment duke in duke with the county’s career firefighters, operating 12 stations above the county. In accession to angry fires and accouterment emergency medical services, abounding of the about 900 career and advance providers additionally advise blaze and abrasion blockage and host affiliation challenge at their stations.

Celebrated Ellicott City’s Capital Street.

Historic Ellicott City’s Capital Street.

Honorable Mentions:Grassroots Crisis Intervention CenterThe ARC of Howard CountyNeighbor Ride

Special accident venue: Turf Valley Resort and Conference Center

This 1,000-acre a endemic and operated resort is home to two golf courses, a spa, Alexandra’s American Fusion restaurant, added than 40,000 aboveboard all-overs of activity amplitude and hundreds of appropriate challenge anniversary year, such as alfresco weddings and the anniversary Hot Air Balloon Festival. Brides adulation Turf Valley’s breathtaking golf advance ambience and generally affectation for photos a the course’s pond and fountain, says Regina Ford, Turf Valley spokeswoman. “The minute you see a helpmate alfresco with the swans, you apperceive it’s Turf Valley.”

Honorable Mentions:The Abundant Allowance at Savage MillHoward Canton ConservancyWaverly Mansion

First date: Historic Ellicott City

With its old-world and bohemian charm, its cafes, bistros, adjacency to the Patapsco River and akin chilling apparition tours, celebrated Ellicott City is an ideal abode to go on a aboriginal date, says Rachelina Bonacci, CEO of Howard Canton Tourism and Promotion. “Whether it’s your aboriginal date or your 50th, Celebrated Ellicott City is the best abode to get aing to that appropriate someone,” she says. “There’s article for everyone, so whatever you do, it will be a date account repeating.”

Honorable Mentions:Columbia lakefrontIron Bridge Wine Co.Clyde’s of Columbia

Kids’ activity: Clark’s Elioak Farm

Between April and November, families and schools from above Maryland army to this Ellicott City farm, accepted for its animals, hayrides, pony rides, cuddle farm, pine-tree maze, fairy-tale-themed attractions from the above Enchanted Forest and, in the fall, its attic patch. The farm, endemic by the Clark family, additionally hosts appropriate challenge anniversary season, including a bounce egg hunt, babyish beastly weekend, attic chunking, gem mining and geode cracking.

Honorable Mentions:Sky Zone ColumbiaSplashDownColumbia Affiliation Sports Park

Park: Centennial Park

This 337-acre Ellicott City esplanade is a abiding admired of canton and accompaniment affiliation alike. With four capital areas, the esplanade has aggregate from pavilions, playgrounds, baseball fields and hiking/biking paths to tennis courts, a skate esplanade and a 54-acre counterfeit lake, breadth visitors can angle or analyze by boat. Throughout the summer, the canton additionally hosts Sunset Serenades at the park, breadth visitors can adore alive music and a barbecue about the Centennial stage.

Honorable Mentions:Rockburn Annex ParkSavage ParkCedar Lane Park

Place to adore the arts: Toby’s Banquet Theatre

With abstract from “Fiddler on the Roof” to newer favorites like “Memphis The Musical,”  Toby’s Banquet Theatre in Columbia combines award-winning Broadway and aboriginal musicals with a buffet-style dinner. Now in its 35th season, this theater-in-the-round produces several shows anniversary year, complete with a alive orra. It additionally runs an alive adolescence amphitheater program.

Honorable Mentions:Ellicott City ArtwalkColumbia Art CenterThe Rouse Co. Foundation Gallery


Consignment shop: Charity’s Closet

All items in this flush resale bazaar for women and adolescence amount $5, with gain activity against Success In Style — an alignment committed to allowance disadvantaged men and women dress for success at job interviews while architecture their self-esteem. The shop, now in its sixth year, is amid central Celebrated Savage Mill and is run by volunteers.

Honorable Mentions:GreenberriesVintage Bliss BoutiqueMcAdoodle

Antique shop: The Aged Center at Celebrated Savage Mill

With added than 150 dealers and 20,000 aboveboard all-overs of aged furnishings, jewelry, art and added collectibles, The Aged Centermost is arranged with abeyant treasures. In accession to affairs antiques, the bazaar holds chargeless appraisals throughout the year, breadth you can ascertain aloof how abundant those allegorical ceramics plates, argent accoutrement and akin books are worth. 

Honorable Mentions:The Pink CabbageA Journey from JunkAntique Depot

Bookstore: Barnes & Noble

Every morning, afore Barnes & Noble in Ellicott City opens, agents associates authority a accumulation ataxia to altercate what’s accepted in the apple of books — and what Howard Canton barter are attractive for, says Omar Berryman, abundance manager. “When barter appear in, we’re aflame to allocution with them about what we love,” he says. And, he adds, to bout barter with aloof the appropriate book, annual or gift. In accession to actuality booksellers, agents associates are altercation leaders and out-loud readers during year-round abundance events.

Honorable Mentions:Daedalus BooksSecond EditionBooks-a-Million

Car dealership: Apple Ford Lincoln

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Located at the angle of Snowden River Parkway and McGaw Road, Apple Ford Lincoln is home to both new and acclimated cars, as able-bodied as a service, genitalia and accessories department. It’s additionally home to Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center, breadth factory-trained technicians accommodate aggregate from oil changes and anchor inspections to atom bung replacements and new tires — all afterwards an appointment.

Honorable Mentions:O’Donnell HondaAntwerpen Scion, Toyota and NissanJim Coleman Honda

Clothing boutique: Kokopelli

For added than 25 years, Kokopelli has awash accouterment and adornment from about the apple at its Mall in Columbia home. The bazaar specializes in “unique and absorbing clothes you can’t acquisition anywhere else, for a acceptable price,” says Jill Lehr, owner. Brands awash ambit from Lilly Pulitzer, accepted for its bright women’s clothing, to Alex and Ani, which produces eco-friendly jewelry, and Aid Through Trade, a fair barter importer of jewelry, cottony accessories and cardboard products. Already a month, the abundance additionally hosts appropriate arcade days, breadth a allocation of the day’s profits goes to bounded charities.

Honorable Mentions:Sweet Elizabeth JaneSerendipityKelsey’s Kloset

Furniture store: Oak Tree Furniture

More than 85 percent of the appliance at this Columbia family-owned and -operated business is American-made. Barter can acquisition aggregate from bed sets and ball centers to dining allowance tables and chairs with a arrangement of finishes. Oak Tree agents associates additionally accommodate custom designs for those tough-to-fill spaces. “We accommodate a acceptable service, a acceptable product, and we angle abaft aggregate we do,” says Joe Blanchfield, owner. In October, Oak Tree confused its exhibit to McGaw Road. (New address: 8895 McGaw Road, Unit J) The chiffonier bazaar and barn abide on Red Annex Road.

Honorable Mentions:Su CasaHavertysIndoor Furniture

Home adornment store: HomeGoods

Need a black-and-white book to adhere in the bedfellow bathroom? This off-price home abundance has it. How about a metal emphasis table for the active room? HomeGoods has several to accept from. What about blithe anniversary confined dishes for the banquet activity that’s appropriate about the corner? Of course! With added than a dozen departments central the abundance and new items accession anniversary week, HomeGoods’ adornment options are (almost) endless. 

Honorable Mentions:Pier 1 ImportsSweet Elizabeth JaneVintage Blue

Jeweler: Smyth Jewelers

The Ellicott City abundance is one of three Smyth Jewelers in the state. It has a avant-garde alternative of assurance rings, bells bands, bracelets, diamonds, watches and earrings. Smyth akin has its own signature assurance arena accumulating and offers a 100-day, 100 percent achievement guarantee.

Honorable Mentions:Fulton Station JewelersSergio’s JewelersEdward Arthur Jewelers

Pet supplies: PetSmart

Whether you’re a dog person, a cat being or akin a turtle person, PetSmart in Columbia sells the habitats, food, toys and akin clothes your pet needs. In addition, the abundance offers grooming, training, doggie day affected and brief pet affliction services.

Honorable Mentions:Bark!My Pet Abundance and MoreDogs & Co.

Food and Drink

Bakery: Great Harvest Aliment Co.

Jim and Karen Adomines admired the aliment so abundant at Abundant Harvest Aliment Co. in Columbia, they absitively to buy the place, Jim Adomines says. The husband-and-wife owners, who took over in the spring, plan to accumulate all breads on the menu, including favorites like challah, “high bristles fiber,” honey accomplished aureate and biscuit chip, and broiled candied treats like blueberry-and-cream-cheese scones and oatmeal-raisin cookies. They will additionally abide authoritative 100 percent stone-ground whole-wheat breads from aureate afresh formed in the store. “Great Harvest is a altered bread,” Adomines says. “We accept breads you can’t get anywhere abroad that everybody loves.” 

Honorable Mentions:Kupcakes & Co.Touché TouchetWegmans

Caterer: Putting on the Ritz 

After added than 30 years in the business, buyer Bobby Mitchell says he has apparent accouterment trends appear and go. “Tapas are actual accepted now,” he says. So are served commons instead of buffets, accumulated parties and accessible houses. Mitchell says he factors all that and added into applicant meetings, breadth agents associates adapt airheaded based on clients’ needs. One-on-one attention, accumulated with affection food, a committed agents and a ambit of amount options, is what makes the aggregation a success, he says. 

Honorable Mentions:Kloby’s SmokehouseSmokin’ Hot Bar & GrilleAbsolutely Perfect Catering

Health food/supplement store: Trader Joe’s

Fresh fruits and vegetables, both amoebic and nonorganic, broiled appurtenances with and afterwards gluten, nuts, attic oil, low-sodium soups, vegan entrees and melancholia items like attic atom confined are aloof a few of the appurtenances for auction at Trader Joe’s in Elkridge. The abundance additionally has a breadth committed to vitamins and supplements, with aggregate from amoebic beat oil and grape berry abstract to prenatal vitamins and soy, hemp and whey protein powders.

Honorable Mentions:Roots MarketDavid’s Accustomed MarketWegmans

Place to buy seafood: Wegmans 

The massive seafood administration at Wegmans is consistently abounding with a ambit of wild-caught fish, raw and fresh-cooked shrimp, oysters, clams, squid, agglomeration crabmeat and North Atlantic lobsters. In accession to alpha seafood, the abundance sells alone seafood meals, like apricot fillets with teriyaki booze and mushrooms, and backtalk cakes acute alone a quick pop into the oven afore dinner. And if you accept questions (What is a bounded fluke?), don’t be abashed to ask. The seafood agents knows its stuff.

Honorable Mentions:Frank’s Seafood (closed)Today’s CatchSea King

Beer, wine and/or liquor store: The Perfect Pour

At aboriginal sight, The Perfect Pour can be overwhelming. The Elkridge abundance has bags of beers, wines and alcohol on its shelves. But acknowledgment to its a staff, barter bound bound carve bags bottomward to a few already they’ve explained what they are attractive for, says Tom Bender, accepted manager. So whether you appetite accepted drinks like Smirnoff vodka, Kendall Jackson wine or Heavy Seas beer, or rarer breeds like Stawski Krupnik honey liqueur, Domaine la Blaque Pierrevert wine or Nogne O Horizon Tokyo Atramentous beer, affairs are Bender and his aggregation will accept it. “We strive to accept a all-inclusive selection, including hard-to-find items in all three categories,” Bender says. “We’re the accepted abounding service.” 

Honorable Mentions:Pine Orchard LiquorsJason’s Wine & SpiritsThe Wine Bin

Farmers market: Ellicott City Farmers’ Markets 

The bright arrangement of fruits and vegetables at the Wednesday farmers’ bazaar a the Howard Canton Library’s Miller annex is topped alone by the smells advancing from the alpha melancholia fruits, flowers, coffee, just-baked breads and cookies. About a dozen bounded farms, bakeries and coffee companies, including Woodbine’s Adulation Dove Farms and Glenelg’s Triadelphia Basin View Farm, consistently participate. The bazaar runs from May through November.

On Saturdays, Celebrated Ellicott City’s farmers’ bazaar takes over two locations off Capital Street — The Wine Bine parking lot and the courtyards of Tonge Row a parking lot D. Barter can banal their kitchens with the locally produced fruits, veggies and meats for sale, or they can grab a chaw to eat afresh and there from vendors affable on the spot. The bazaar will run May through October in 2015.

Honorable Mentions:Columbia Farmers MarketFrank’s Produce and GreenhouseGorman Farm

Health and Wellness

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Alternative wellness services: Quiet Time Hypnosis

Certified astrologer Patricia M. Sapp has formed with patients from ages 6 to 80 and older. “Hypnosis is a safe and accustomed action for everyone,” she says. Sapp’s training helps her advance patients acclaim through the allure action to advice them affected challenges, abate anxiety, admission adroitness and breach bad habits. 

Honorable Mentions:The Still PointMaryland University of Commutual HealthAwaken Wellness

Chiropractor: Howard Canton Chiropractic Spine & Sports Rehabilitation

The aggregation at Howard Canton Chiropractic is all about allowance patients affected injuries so they can do what they adore via a holistic, sports-focused admission to rehabilitation. “What makes us altered is our absolute admission — chiropractic, concrete therapy, acupuncture and beating all beneath one roof,” says architect Dr. Russel Antico. “It’s an commutual environment; we can move patients to the practitioner that will achieve the best aberration for them.”  Plus, he adds, “It’s aloof a fun, affable abode to be.”

Honorable Mentions:Morrison ChiropracticDabbs Rehab Centermost of MarylandChesapeake Ancestors Wellness Center

Dental practice: Roschella & Zinger Dental Group 

Visits to the dentist are not usually anyone’s abstraction of a acceptable time, but the patients of Dr. Karen Roschella and Dr. Ann Zinger don’t apperception at all. The duo has served the Howard Canton affiliation for added than 20 years, cartoon acclaim for their able and affable staffs and high-quality dental work. They calm those who are abashed of the dentist and achieve baby accouchement aflame about dental care. 

Honorable Mentions:Dobbin DentalColumbia Smiles Ancestors DentistryMenton Ancestors Dental Care

Eye care: Wilmer Eye Institute at Columbia

The Columbia appointment of The Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins is allotment of a world-class alignment that treats a arrangement of eye-related conditions. With 10 providers on agents and admission to the best advanced, top-of-the-line technology, the aggregation at Wilmer helps patients in charge of aggregate from optometry to austere eye surgeries.

Honorable Mentions:Columbia Eye AssociatesPhysicians Eye Affliction and Laser CenterColumbia Ancestors Eye Care

OB/GYN: Signature OB/GYN

With offices in Columbia and Eldersburg, Signature OB/GYN has been confined the greater Howard Canton affiliation back 1976. The convenance includes 12 gynecologists, seven certified abettor midwives and an continued agents including centralized nurses, abettor practitioners and sonographers. The aggregation prides itself on alleviative assorted ancestors of bounded women, accouterment high-quality alone affliction during all stages of life.

Honorable Mentions:Capital Women’s CareThe Women’s GroupJohns Hopkins Affiliation Physicians

Pediatric practice: Kenneth Klebanow & Associates

Dr. Kenneth Klebanow founded his convenance in 1982; today, it has developed to accommodate abundant pediatricians, abettor practitioners and adored patients from all over Howard County. Dr. Klebanow’s aggregation is accessible to attend accouchement — and their parents — through the trials and tribulations of growing up, from bairn visits through sports physicals and beyond.  

Honorable Mentions:The Pediatric CenterParnes, May, McKay, Lee & AssociatesEllicott City Pediatric Associates

Urgent affliction center: Patient First

With 54 locations throughout the Mid-Atlantic area, a Accommodating Aboriginal consistently feels, reliably, aloof about the corner. The Columbia convenance is accessible every day, including weekends and holidays, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. No accessories are required, and Accommodating Aboriginal has on-site X-ray, lab testing and decree dispensing capabilities, authoritative it a one-stop bazaar for bodies who abatement aback sick.

Honorable Mentions:AllCareRighttime Medical CareKinderMender Walk-in Pediatric Center

Veterinary practice: Triadelphia Veterinary Clinic 

The agents at Triadelphia Veterinary Clinic, led by ally Dr. Diane Jones, Dr. Heather Stup and Dr. Susan Oltman, handles all aspects of pet care, from wellness visits to circuitous surgery. The aggregation has ability in a avant-garde arrangement of beastly types and understands that altered animals crave altered types of care. And they adulation their jobs. “More than anything, we like allowance the affiliation and the bodies — and the animals,” says Dr. Stup. “It’s fun!”

Honorable Mentions:Countryside Veterinary ClinicCat and Dog Hospital of ColumbiaDunloggin Veterinary Hospital

Therapist/counselor: Together Couples Counseling

The three therapists of Together Couples Counseling, anniversary accurately accomplished to assignment with couples, specialize in alliance and ancestors analysis that absolutely works. “We absolutely seek to achieve abiding our audience are accepting allowances from alive with us,” says arch and architect Risa Ganel, MS, LCMFT. Ganel and her colleagues accept patients complete a abbreviate analysis at the alpha and end of anniversary session, and they use those metrics to clue accommodating progress. 

Honorable Mentions:Andrew StantonCongruent CounselingSheela Reddy

Salon: Mason & Friends Hair, Bark & Attach Salon 

Regular audience at Columbia’s Mason & Accompany apperceive that back they leave the salon, they will both attending and feel fabulous. The salon offers a avant-garde ambit of services, including hair, attach and bark treatments, and the always-friendly agents is acquisitive to do a abundant job. “We adulation what we do, and appetite them to adulation their beard and the casework they accept here,” says buyer Pam Mason. “Everyone pays a lot of absorption to detail.”

Honorable Mentions:Looks Salon & SpaVictoria & Albert Beard StudioCloud 9 Salon

Day spa: Skin Analysis Center

At the Bark Analysis Center, bark affliction is advised an basal allotment of a advantageous affairs — and article that should relax you, not add to the accent of a active day. In accession to bark care, from face-lifting treatments to anti-aging regimens, waxing and architecture assistance, Bark Analysis Centermost offers bloom coaching, creating alone diet and self-care affairs that advice their patients advance adorableness central and out.

Honorable Mentions:The Pearl Avant-garde Spa and BoutiqueLynn’s Day SpaThe Spa at Turf Valley

Medi-spa: AllCare 

Also a absolute burning affliction center, AllCare of Maryland offers a avant-garde ambit of bark treatments, including Botox, laser peels and physician-directed weight accident programs including Vitamin B12-based approaches and transderm mesotherapy. Dr. Victor Kim’s acquaintance as an emergency allowance physician provides him with the accoutrement to booty a accurate admission to his clients’ specific skin-care and weight-loss needs.

Honorable Mentions:Oasis Day SpaBetween the Lines MedispaPura Vida Medical Spa


Flooring and carpeting: Bode Floors 

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For over three decades, family-owned Bode Floors has provided high-quality attic options, from balk and coat to carpeting and tile, to the Howard Canton community. With ample showrooms in Columbia and Ellicott City and a agents able-bodied a in every attic option, Bode’s aggregation can airing barter through the new-floor process, from alternative through installation.

Honorable Mentions:A Plus Carpeting & FlooringThe Vertical Connection Carpeting OneMain Street Oriental Rugs

Garden center/nursery: River Hill Garden Center

Since 1992, River Hill Garden Centermost has been a go-to garden centermost and nursery for green-thumbed canton residents. “We booty pride in the affection of our articles and altered ability in our allowance shop,” says business specialist Sara Walters. “The holidays are our admired time of year. The absolute building, including the greenhouse, is adapted into the bigger Christmas bazaar in Howard County. It is absolutely magical!” 

Honorable Mentions:Frank’s Produce and GreenhouseSun NurseriesGrandfather’s Garden Center

Heating/air conditioning repair: BGE Home

BGE Home, an adjunct of Baltimore Gas & Electric, provides heating and cooling casework (as able-bodied as plumbing, electrical and upgrades like backup windows) to homes throughout Howard Canton and the blow of Maryland. Its agents is able-bodied a in the newest HVAC advantage and focused on how homeowners can get the best blast for their blade with energy-efficient systems and repairs.

Honorable Mentions:Environmental Systems AssociatesRon AirNo-Frost

Homebuilder: Ryan Homes

Nationally acclaimed architect Ryan Homes is the aggregation abaft abundant Howard Canton communities, including a mix of apartment types, from condos to single-family homes. The aggregation touts its charge to architecture not aloof abundant houses but able relationships with the bodies affairs those homes, too. They affiance to assignment carefully with homebuyers throughout the absolute architecture process; barter acclaim their admiration and absorption to detail. 

Honorable Mentions:Columbia BuildersWilliamsburg HomesTrinity Homes

Housecleaners: Merry Maids

A civic aggregation with teams committed to the Howard Canton area, Merry Maids provides absolute and constant home charwoman to every client. The aggregation offers accepted and customized charwoman options so audience can add specific casework back needed, from refrigerator charwoman to packing for a move. With the authoritative abetment of a ample aggregation but the bounded ability of cleaners who alive appropriate in the area, Merry Maids is a “best of both worlds” adjournment service. 

Honorable Mentions:The Charwoman AuthorityPioneer Custom CleaningHome Candied Home Charwoman Services

Landscaper: River Hill Landscape Design

River Hill Landscape Architecture has been a Howard Canton mainstay back 1983. River Hill offers a avant-garde ambit of both bartering and residential services, from aliment to designing and architecture aces alfresco spaces. The firm’s affiliation with River Hill Garden Center, voted “best garden center/nursery” for 2014, bureau that River Hill’s audience are covered for all of their blooming amplitude needs. 

Honorable Mentions:Rhine LandscapingMike’s Landscaping SuppliesOaklawn Landscaping

Plumber: Ken Griffin Plumbing Services, Inc.

Family-owned Ken Griffin Accouterments Casework has been a Howard Canton admired for over two decades. Barter await on the Ken Griffin aggregation for basal accouterments casework — they’re accessible 24 hours a day for emergencies — and additionally for their kitchen and bath adjustment expertise. An centralized architecture administration helps adjustment homeowners achieve the best of their spaces — and budgets. 

Honorable Mentions:Len the PlumberZepp Accouterments and HeatingMark Brew Plumbing

Remodeler: Cornerstone Remodeling

Cornerstone Adjustment owners A.J. Ballantine and Josh Nicodemus accept that adjustment can be stressful, but they accept it doesn’t accept to be. “We try to booty the all-overs out of an contrarily demanding endeavor,” says Ballantine. “We try to achieve it exciting. It’s declared to be fun to achieve your kitchen what you appetite it to be. ” The Cornerstone aggregation loves what they do — and acknowledgment to their high-quality assignment and a charge to bluntness and dependability, so do their customers.

Honorable Mentions:Cossentino and SonsKen Griffin Accouterments Casework Inc.Allan Homes Unlimited

Personal Services

Auto repair: Hillmuth Certified Automotive

Doug Hillmuth brand to ask his employees, “Did you achieve any accompany today?” It’s his way of authoritative abiding that his auto adjustment business, which he and his brother Bill launched in 1978 and now has four locations, maintains the acceptable chump relationships he believes are capital to a business’s success. “Making relationships and architecture assurance — that’s what’s activity to anatomy your future,” he says.

Honorable Mentions:Ken’s Account CenterBritish American Auto CareNeubauer’s Auto Repair

Child care: Bet Yeladim

Jodi Fishman, controlling administrator of Bet Yeladim, has a accessible acknowledgment for what makes her 37-year-old preschool — a abiding champ in the Best of Howard challenge — so popular. “First of all, our amazing educators,” she says. “And additional is the accurate faculty of affiliation we have. We accept accouchement actuality whose parents went here. We’re a affiliation aural the community.”

Honorable Mentions:The Goddard SchoolColumbia AcademyThe Adolescent School

Pet groomer: PetSmart

To PetSmart’s salon manager, Jennifer Kelch, chump account is what sets her abundance afar from added dog groomers. “It’s the adulation and affliction we accommodate for pets,” she says. “We appetite to achieve abiding every chump is adored with the grooming. And we all adulation animals.”  The Columbia abundance has a dozen groomers and three bathers who handle as abounding as 300 pets a week.

Honorable Mention:The Dog WashHighland GroomeryThe Coventry Academy Inc. for Dogs and Their People

Doggie day care: Dogtopia

Day affliction is aloof one of the casework offered at Dogtopia, which serves dogs and alone dogs. The Clarksville location, opened in June 2007, additionally boards dogs brief and provides spa casework and able grooming. It all makes for a busy, occasionally noisy, abode with an boilerplate of 60 dogs on duke anniversary day. 

Honorable Mention:Camp Bow WowThe Coventry Academy Inc. for Dogs and Their PeopleClub Pooche

Bank/credit union: Tower Federal Acclaim Union

When Tower Federal Acclaim Abutment opened in 1953, it had seven associates who contributed $5 apiece. Six decades later, it is the bigger federal acclaim abutment in Maryland, with $2.7 billion in assets, 133,000 associates and 13 branches, including three in Howard County. But the banking academy still prides itself on claimed service. “It is allotment of our ability not alone to advice our associates enhance their banking well-being, but to assignment as a aggregation every day to strengthen our accord with associates through claimed contact,” says Martin M. Breland, admiral and CEO. 

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Honorable Mention:The Columbia BankM&T BankPNC

Florist: Wilhide’s Altered Flowers and Gifts

In business back 1937 and still family-owned and operated, Wilhide’s Altered Flowers and Ability prides itself on chump service. “We’ll angle over backwards for you,” says Jennifer Bivens, administrator of the Ellicott City florist. “We adapt aggregate for anniversary customer. That’s how we backpack on the name — aggregate is unique.” 

Honorable Mention:Clarksville Flower StationRaimondi’s FloristThe Flower Basket

Travel agent: AAA Columbia 

The AAA Columbia Car Care, Insurance and Biking Centermost is a full-service biking agency. The center’s six biking agents specialize in aggregate from biking planning and anxiety to adopted bill barter and authorization photos. Back it’s additionally a car affliction center, AAA Columbia can action an abnormal perk: Audience can accept their cars repaired while they book their vacations.

Honorable Mention:The Biking BoutiqueDestinations Inc.Monica Baker Travel

Family lawyer: Weinberg & Schwartz

This Columbia-based close headed by two women has a simple allegorical principle: Try to argue audience to assignment out their altercation afterwards activity to court. “I anticipate our audience acknowledge that — from a banking standpoint, from an affecting standpoint and from a family-child focus,” says Jolie Weinberg, who active the close with co-partner Marni Schwartz. “We’re both parents, so … a lot of what we do comes from the heart.”

Honorable Mention:Law Offices of Alisa G. CumminsMulinazzi Law OfficeLaw Appointment of Robert L. Flanagan

Accountant: Cardoni Waddell LLC

Founded in 1999 back two adept Columbia CPAs, Robert L. Cardoni and Edward L. Waddell, aing forces, Cardoni Waddell is a full-service CPA and administration consulting close with audience throughout the Baltimore-Washington breadth and into Northern Virginia. Their audience are in industries alignment from architecture and busline to government and nonprofits, including such arresting Howard Canton institutions as the Columbia Foundation.

Honorable Mentions:Keith Dorsey, CPA, Dorsey Accounting & Tax Casework Inc.Jeffrey D. Ring, CPA, MBA, Fisher Arena LLCCoale, Pripstein & Associates P.A.

Financial adviser: Brian Avrunin 

He’s alone 36, but Brian Avrunin has spent about 15 years in the claimed accounts business, aboriginal as an adviser, afresh managing added admiral and, back 2010, as an adviser again. He now owns the Columbia authorization of Ameriprise Banking Services, a civic banking planning company. “I absorb a lot of all-embracing time with my clients, accepting to apperceive them and what they’re aggravating to achieve with their finances, their situations, their goals — and their claimed lives,” Avrunin says.

Honorable Mentions:Gary Williams, Williams Asset ManagementBaltimore Washington Banking AdvisorsGeier Asset Management

Interior designer: Classic Interiors 

Since she opened in 1978, Carolyn Gaughan’s business has acquired from a country abundance affairs ability and appliance in The Mall in Columbia to a aggregate appliance abundance and autogenous architecture bazaar in celebrated Ellicott City. She now employs three designers who action aggregate from window treatments to amplitude planning. She credits her success to adamantine work, her “creative, talented” agents and “the adherence of my admirable customers.”

Honorable Mentions:Terra Maria Home InteriorsDrury Lane InteriorsThe Decorating Therapist

Real acreage agent: Bob Lucido, Keller Williams

Bob Lucido, 56, has been affairs homes anytime since, at age 18, he became the youngest absolute acreage abettor anytime accountant in Maryland. Now with Keller Williams and alive out of Ellicott City, the Howard Canton built-in runs the 40-agent Lucido Team. Over his career, Lucido has awash about 27,000 homes, according to his babe and business director, Lauren Lucido. “But added important than the homes awash is his spotless record,” Lauren says. “He’s congenital his business on integrity.” 

Honorable Mentions:Creig Northrop, Long & Advance Absolute EstateTim McIntyre, Coldwell Banker


Dance lessons: b.funk Ball Company

At the family-owned b.funk Ball Aggregation in Ellicott City, they like to say acceptance are not aloof dancers, they’re “part of the b.funk family.” They’re additionally allotment of a flat that offers an all-embracing arrangement of ball styles, including ballet, avant-garde dance, tap, hip hop and breach dancing, for anybody from 3-year-olds to adults. The flat additionally has two ball companies that represent b.funk at assorted competitions.

Honorable Mentions:Backstage Ball StudioStudio DansArabesque Ball Studio

Golf course: Turf Valley

Turf Valley is not your archetypal golf course, at atomic not in Maryland. Besides 36 holes, it has four putting greens, a huge active ambit and a convenance ability for abbreviate games.

“We’re a actual ample property,” says Nick Spinnato, Turf Valley’s administrator of golf and a able golfer. “There are actual few 36-hole courses in the state, and with all the added accessories — it’s aloof immense here.”

Honorable Mentions:Hobbit’s Glen Golf ClubThe Timbers at TroyWaverly Woods Golf Club

Gym: Life Time Athletic Columbia

Part of a civic chain, Activity Time Athletic (formerly Activity Time Fitness) is a 125,000-square-foot behemoth (not including the amphibian center) that offers all the classes, accessories and trainers a being could want. “And we do it in a resortlike setting,” says accepted administrator Joel Schlossberg, abacus that the gym works adamantine to accumulate its ability cutting-edge and neat. “We attending aloof as acceptable as we did on the day we opened.”

Honorable Mentions:Columbia GymSupreme Sports ClubDancel Ancestors Centermost Y

Martial arts classes: American Academy of Aggressive Arts 

“We’re not aloof blame and punching,” says architect Julie Elrod of her 30-year-old aggressive arts flat in Columbia. “We advise a accomplished aesthetics about account and discipline, about architecture aplomb and walking abroad from a fight. It’s about authoritative you a bigger person.”

One of the bigger aggressive arts studios in the country, and with a abate annex in Maple Lawn, the academy is additionally a ancestors affair, run by Julie, bedmate Ron, son Wyatt and babe Kami. All four authority atramentous belts in at atomic two aggressive arts.

Honorable Mentions:Klotz Institute of KarateWKD Karate for GirlsHwarang Aggressive Arts

Music lessons: Mike’s Music

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Mike’s Music in Ellicott City sells and rents agreeable instruments and employs 42 agents who action music acquaint in 24 rooms. But what best excites Haley Gordon, who started the business six and a bisected years ago with bedmate Mike (he’s the artist bisected of the pair, appropriately the name), is seeing their adolescent musicians perform. 

“You see these kids who’ve never played a agreeable instrument, and they’re up there in advanced of all their accompany arena — that’s the best affair ever,” she says. “That appreciative attending is appealing priceless.” 

Honorable Mentions:Damon Foreman Music AcademyMusic & ArtsOlenka Academy of Music

Pool for kids: North Saint John’s Swim & Tennis Club

This Ellicott City ability goes out of its way to allure both adults and accouchement with such challenge as a backtalk feast, appropriate boyhood nights and pre-school days, and bathe and diving teams for a arrangement of age groups. Turning 50 this year, the North Saint John’s Bathe & Tennis Club includes some associates — and their families — who accept belonged back the club opened. 

Honorable Mentions: River Hill PoolLife Time Athletic (formerly Activity Time Fitness)Swansfield Pool

Yoga studio: The Yoga Centermost of Columbia 

Despite the growing acceptance of yoga and an accretion cardinal of bounded studios, The Yoga Centermost of Maryland charcoal a constant champ in the Best of Howard Canton competition. As buyer Kathy Donnelly puts it, the centermost succeeds because it has “yoga for every body. … We accept 115 classes a week, so we can appealing abundant abode any person’s situation,” she adds. “Our agents are awful trained, and we do a lot of affiliation outreach.”

Honorable Mentions:The Still Point (now Yoga Love)Bikram Yoga ColumbiaGogo Guru Yoga Flat and Store

Workout class: Life Time Cycle at Activity Time Athletic (formerly Activity Time Fitness)

Indoor cycling is one of the best accepted classes at Columbia’s Activity Time Athletic, and accepted administrator Joel Schlossberg knows why. Aboriginal of all, he says, it’s“very egalitarian,” acceptation participants charge alone assignment as adamantine as their age and fettle levels allow. Also, he says, the cycling amplitude is “terrific,” with a capital complete arrangement and a slanted, stadium-style attic that allows anybody to see the instructor. Finally, he says, cycling is a “great workout,” beneath arrant than abounding others and article aloof about anybody can do.

Honorable Mentions:BodyPump at the Columbia AssociationBodyPump at Supreme Sports ClubVinyasa Flow at Gogo Guru


Blog: HowChow

Discerning affiliation apperceive breadth to apprehend about aliment in Howard County: HowChow, a blog that is all about breadth and what to eat. As the blogger (who prefers to abide anonymous) brand to say, howchow.blogspot.com “is meant to be a fun abode to allocution about aliment in Howard County.” It is absolutely that, with common mentions of the opinions and tastes of his wife (“Mrs. HowChow”), announcements of aliment festivals and restaurant openings and closings, and, of course, common reviews.

Honorable Mentions:HoCo RisingTales of Two CitiesUK Desperate Housewife USA

Clergyperson: Monsignor Joseph L. Luca, St. Louis Catholic Church 

In his 18 years at St. Louis, Monsignor Joseph Luca has apparent the Clarksville aggregation abound from 2,200 families to about 5,000, and he’s overseen the accession of a newer, beyond abbey architecture that now celebrates seven Masses every weekend.

“Serving actuality has absolutely been life-giving for me,” says Luca, 71. One of his greatest pleasures, he says, has been seeing adolescent abbey associates “grow into admiring adults, adulatory their marriages and now baptizing their children. To see them become today’s lay leaders at St. Louis Abbey is such a joy.”

Honorable Mentions:The Rev. Matthew Buening – St. Paul Catholic ChurchThe Rev. Mark Norman – Grace Affiliation ChurchThe Rev. Paige Getty – Unitarian Universalist Aggregation of Columbia

Coach: Jimmy Creighton, Howard Aerial Academy boys lacrosse 

Jimmy Creighton knows lacrosse. He was captain of his academy aggregation at abiding lacrosse assertive Salisbury University, and his Howard Aerial aggregation won the canton championship aftermost year. But as a coach, he has added priorities besides teaching lacrosse. 

“The best important thing, abnormally at the aerial academy level, is to advance adolescent men into advantageous adolescent men abroad from the lacrosse field,” says Creighton, 30. “Lacrosse is great, but it’s not activity to put aliment on the table at the end of the day.” 

Honorable Mentions:Phil Lang – Oakland Mills Aerial Academy cantankerous countryJoseph Osbourne – Glenelg Aerial School JV boys soccerSamuel Lee – Hwarang Aggressive Arts

Elected official: County Controlling Ken Ulman

After four years on the Canton Council and eight added as Howard’s top adopted official, Ken Ulman is no drifter to canton residents. He’s additionally no drifter to “best-elected-official-in-Howard” awards, a multiple-time champ who took the appellation aloof aftermost year. The 40-year-old Howard Canton native’s cord ability accept hit a wall, however: Prevented by appellation banned from active afresh for canton executive, the Democratic controlling this year ran for abettor governor but lost. Afterwards the election, top aides said Ulman is belief “a arrangement of options for the future.” 

Honorable Mentions:State Sen. Allan KittlemanCounty Council affiliate Courtney WatsonState Del. Guy Guzzone

Personal trainer: Bonnie Pace, Columbia Gym 

She’s been a trainer at the Columbia Gym for added than a decade. But Bonnie Pace’s admission has acquired to accommodate added of a focus on nutrition, in allotment because she is now alive on a master’s amount in that discipline. A above aggressive anatomy builder, Pace, 53, works with audience of all ages but says abounding are like her: middle-aged women ambidextrous with time constraints and a anatomy that’s not absolutely what it acclimated to be. 

“My job is to achieve the contest not blot so much,” she says, adding, “I adulation what I do, and I feel so advantageous that I get to appear to assignment every day, assignment with admirable bodies and, in some baby way, accept an appulse on their lives.”

Honorable Mentions:Stephanie Dignan – The Boot Affected GirlMac Cassity – Extreme Fun & Fit Boot CampVic Selvaggi – Colosseum Gym

Police officer: Vic Broccolino Jr.

Sometimes, adolescence dreams appear true. Vic Broccolino Jr. grew up absent to be a firefighter and a badge officer, and afterwards four years with the Westview Blaze Station in Baltimore County, in 1993 he aing the Howard Canton Badge Department, breadth he is now a administrator in the communications division.

“I was aloft to affliction about others and my community,” says the son and namesake of the afresh retired admiral of Howard Canton Accepted Hospital. “Being a aboriginal responder gives me the best befalling to do that.” 

Honorable Mentions:Mary LevySteve WillinghamMike Johnson

Principal: Scott Ruehl, Mt. Hebron Aerial School 

Scott Ruehl is no drifter to Mt. Hebron. He accelerating from the aerial academy in 1987, accomplished there for 10 years, was abettor arch for four years and took the reins as arch in 2007. His parents still alive nearby. “I’m adored with abundant students, abundant agents and a abundant affiliation to assignment with,” says Ruehl, 45. “They achieve my job abundant easier.”

Honorable Mentions:Pat Saunderson – Reservoir Aerial SchoolMarcia Leonard – Hammond Aerial SchoolNick Novak – River Hill Aerial School

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Teacher: Kurt Krenzischek, Columbia Academy of Music

Kurt Krenzischek, buyer and architect of the Columbia Academy of Music, has been teaching in Howard Canton back 1969. During that time, he estimates he’s accomplished at atomic 5,000 students, instructing them in aggregate from piano and guitar to articulation and the cyberbanking keyboard. “It’s been a blithe ride,” says Krenzischek, 63. “I feel so adored to do what I’ve consistently capital to do, akin as a child.” 

Honorable Mentions:Chef Mark Waitsman – Howard County Department of Recreation and ParksTom Sankey – Mt. Hebron Aerial SchoolRobin Flood – Long Reach Aerial School

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