All posts by shoreupdate

Front & Center: Jeanne Stap Nooney, PRS Guitars Public Relations, Events & Sponsorships Coordinator

For over six years, Jeanne Stap Nooney has handled public relations, sponsorships, partnerships and charitable donations for legendary guitar and amplifier manufacturer, PRS Guitars. In addition, she coordinates the company’s numerous major events, which include NAMM, festivals around the country, dealer events and more. Most recently Nooney traveled to Germany for the second annual GuitCon, where she represented PRS among guitar influencers, YouTubers and other industry professionals.

Below, we catch up with Nooney to learn more about her career and background in music.

To find out more about PRS Guitars, head over

WiMN: What inspired you to get into PR work specifically with guitars?

JN: I started playing guitar, piano, and flute early on and was always drawn to learning more about the people playing the instruments and the companies that made their “tools.” As a teen, I would gobble up the stories published in Guitar Player while drooling over the gear ads. This fun addiction stayed with me through my studies at Berklee College of Music. When I graduated, I had an offer for a position writing and scoring for a recording studio in Houston. Serendipitously, the job did not materialize, and I ended up managing and breathing new life into a struggling music store. It was my first real taste of PR, sales, marketing, and the power of promotion. I was hooked.

Five years later, after I had successfully doubled the store’s sales, and had made numerous connections in the music industry, I decided that I wanted to work for a musical instrument manufacturing company. I hooked a job with Kramer Guitars as their Promotion Manager where I worked closely with the Marketing Manager and lapped up any tidbit that I could. In addition to promotions and planning events, I‘d write and distribute press releases, pitch media outlets, oversee photo shoots for ads and anything else that I could dig into. Within a year, I accepted a promotion as the new Marketing Manager. I was in!

I left Kramer when it was time to start a family and then ended up working as Marketing Director for a promotion company for many years.

Six years ago, I found myself living on the very same island as PRS Guitars. PRS GUITARS!!! Those drool-worthy instruments that I’d see on stage, all over the internet and in magazines!!! While there was not a PR position open, I convinced Jack Higginbotham, then PRS President, and Judy Schaefer, PRS Director of Marketing, to “try me” for three months.

WiMN: What are some of your favorite events that you coordinated?

JN: 2018 has been amazing event-wise! We’ve been on site at numerous festivals with The Music Experience, sponsored events including the She Rocks Awards, been a part of Guitcon which is like a guitar-centric YouTuber convention, and have a myriad of successful dealer events but I guess if I had to pick a favorite, it would be our own Experience PRS where we had over 3,300 people on sight at our factory for a two-day Open House. 

This free-to-the-public event, which brought attendees from all over the world, included concerts, clinics, factory tours, interactive areas where attendees could play any PRS and much more. We had released five limited edition Experience PRS guitar models specifically for the event and had a dozen authorized PRS dealers on hand to help any end-user that wanted to take a PRS guitar home with them. In addition, we had the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center team spinning a prize wheel for the Living with Cancer program, our flagship charity. (To date PRS has raised over $4M for patients and families at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.) Our buddy, Tyler Larson from Music is Win, was our Social Emcee for the event and worked with our team to let folks that couldn’t attend the event get a taste of the fun. Logistically speaking, it was an enormous project but the end result came off without a hitch. We’ll host another Experience PRS in 2020 and are already working on ways to one-up ourselves!

WiMN: What part of your job are you most passionate about?

JN: I wear a lot of hats for PRS which is both challenging and fun. If I had to pick one area of the job that I am most passionate about, I would have to choose a program that PRS thankfully has let me develop which I unofficially call our “Influencer Program.” It’s through this program that we work with online guitar teachers and guitar-centric YouTubers. These Influencers have a such a powerful voice in the market. They organically engage and motivate the public in so many ways, building trust in their brand and PRS simultaneously. I enjoy looking for the synergy within the group and exploring ways we can work together.

WiMN: What is some advice you’d offer to a young woman pursuing a career in the industry?

JN: Jump in and intern as soon as you can. Find a mentor, stay positive, and above all, be honest.

At PRS Guitars, by the way, a majority of the Director positions are held by women. Opportunities abound!

WiMN: Has there ever been a time you felt discriminated against in your field because of your gender? How did you overcome that?

JN: On a professional level, I’m very thankful that dedication, enthusiasm, and staying genuine has brought many opportunities my way. The gender roadblocks, that one often reads about, don’t seem prevalent in my life. I find that when I act professionally, I receive the same in kind. I know that this is not the case for every person in the field, but I find it a useful maxim to orient my behavior.

I do find it funny however that when I arrive at a new venue with my band, that people assume I’m a singer instead of the utility player covering tenor sax, alto sax, flute and keyboards. 

WiMN: What’s next for PRS Guitars? 

JN: I am so looking forward to 2019. Over the past few years, PRS Guitars has been enjoying a healthy growth rate which, I believe, is a direct response to the leadership, dedication, and vision of Paul Reed Smith with help from every craftsperson, salesperson, director, manager, and everyone here at the factory. We have a ton of great events planned, strategic new product releases, new artist alignments and I’m, of course, chopping at the bit to tell the world. Stay tuned!

Local Aging at Home Solution owner earns Nationally Recognized Dementia Educator, Teepa Snow, Positive Approach to Care (PAC) Trainer Certification.

Dementia is a progressive brain disease that is projected to affect 13.5 million Americans and 1.2 million Canadians by mid-century. Today, over 5 million Americans are living with the most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, including an estimated 200,000 under the age of 65. By 2050, up to 16 million will have the disease. Characterized by memory loss and a cognitive decline that interferes with daily life, dementia progressively weakens a person’s thought processing ability, ultimately causing drastic changes in mood, memory, and behavior. Family members caring for a spouse, parent, or other loved one with dementia, are at high risk for depression and anxiety, making it difficult or impossible to care for the person affected by dementia.
You know the diagnosis, now what do you do? Nationally recognized dementia educator and trainer, Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA has helped thousands of people by sharing her dementia care philosophy and caregiving techniques. Her training program and book are reflective of her education, work experience, medical research, and first hand caregiving experiences. In addition to her work as an Occupational Therapist and 30 years of experience in Geriatrics, Teepa served as the Director of Education and Lead Trainer for the Eastern N.C. Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, and as a clinical associate professor at UNC’s School of Medicine, Program on Aging. She is an advocate for those living with dementia and has made it her personal mission to help families and professionals better understand how it feels to be living with such challenges and change. Teepa’s teaching style integrates facts about the brain and what happens to someone when doing, thinking, reasoning or processing becomes difficult. Her teaching style is unique, entertaining, and energetic. She is a sought after speaker for professional organizations across the United States, Canada, and Australia.
Amy Keller owner of Aging at Home Solution, Easton, MD recently earned her Positive Approach to CareÔ (PAC) Trainer Certification. She has demonstrated the ability to train others in Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to CareÔ philosophy…teaching awareness, knowledge, and skill development in a classroom, community, or support group setting. This experiential and interactive course provides dementia related awareness and knowledge, an in-depth look into various learning styles, and facilitation techniques that engage learners. Certification requirements include 6 hours of online training, 16 hours classroom training, and post training follow up. All of Aging at Home Solution support staff and Care-Partners will be trained by Amy and will receive a Certificate of Attendance along with Continuing Education Units (CEUs) credit.

The Mary Kay Foundation℠ AWARDS Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence $20,000 GRAN

[Easton, MD] (November 6, 2018) – In support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, The Mary Kay FoundationSM announced it is awarding $3 million in grants to 150 domestic violence shelters across the country. The Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence (MSCFV) is one of 150 domestic violence agencies nationwide that has received a $20,000 unrestricted grant to support local survivors of domestic violence in Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot Counties.

Since its creation in 1996, The Mary Kay Foundation has awarded more than $78 million to women’s shelters and domestic violence service providers, as well as cancer research programs and related causes throughout the United States. While the Mary Kay Foundation funding is for general operations, this honor is recognition of MSCFV’s holistic approach to providing services to victims of family violence and of the innovative programming that MSCFV has created to address the diverse obstacles victims experience on their way to becoming self-sufficient survivors. Some of the innovative programming recognized by the Mary Kay Foundation include MSCFV’s:

Economic Empowerment Center that addresses the results of economic abuse

Pet Safety Program that helps victims continue to take care of their pets throughout their Journey to Strength

Translation Program to provide translation services on the 24/7 hotline and in court hearings

“At Mary Kay, we believe in helping women improve their circumstances and live their best lives. One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime and it is our responsibility to support the women’s shelters that aid these survivors,” said President of The Mary Kay Foundation Board of Directors Michael Lunceford. “At the heart of The Foundation’s work is the shelter grant program which is actively supported by our independent sales force. We’re proud that our commitment makes such a powerful impact in local communities and in the lives of domestic violence survivors across the country.”

“MSCFV wishes to thank the Mary Kay Foundation, Mary Kay customers that provide the funding for these grants, and the Mary Kay consultants that continue to promote Mary Kay Ash’s Go-Give philosophy that an act of kindness leads to an atmosphere of trust, caring, and relationship building,” said MSCFV Executive Director Jeanne Yeager. “Every year, MSCFV serves over 350 victims of family violence and their 500+ children as they work to end their cycle of violence and build strong, self-sufficient and loving futures for themselves and their families. We are so thankful for this recognition of our efforts.”

About Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence

With the goal of helping victims end the violence in their lives, since 1980, the Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence (MSCFV) has been the central point of access for assistance on domestic violence within the counties of Maryland’s Middle Eastern Shore. The mission of MSCFV is to create healthy opportunities to break the cycle of domestic violence through intervention and prevention for victims and abusers; and by changing society’s attitudes and systems which permit and promote such violence against women, men and families. MSCFV provides services that span from crisis-focused hotline, legal services, and emergency shelter to counseling, education, economic empowerment programs and longer term transitional housing. To Contact our Family Violence Hotline, call 1-800-927-4673 (HOPE) To learn more about Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence, contact (410) 690-3222 or visit

About The Mary Kay Foundation

The Mary Kay Foundation was created in 1996 and its two-fold mission includes funding women’s cancer research and ending domestic violence. Over the course of more than two decades, The Mary Kay Foundation has awarded more than $78 million to women’s shelters and domestic violence service providers, as well as cancer research programs and related causes throughout the United States. To learn more about The Mary Kay Foundation and its mission, visit or call 1-877-MKCARES (652-2737).

Local Student to receive Governor Hogan Honorarium at Celebration of Charity event November 15

STEVENSVILLE, MD – Jeremy Todd, a Kent Island High School graduate and third-year medical school student attending Eastern Virginia Medical School, will be honored at the upcoming Chesapeake Charities’ Celebration of Charity luncheon being held on Thursday, November 15, 2018 at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club. Jeremy, son of Mark and Lesley Todd of Stevensville, will receive a $500 honorarium as part of the Governor Larry Hogan Scholarships for students interested in pursuing cancer research when they graduate from medical school. Jeremy will be recognized for the clinical research work he performed through the Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) Program at Johns Hopkins Medical Institute, which examined factors influencing patient enrollment in cancer clinical trials. The 2nd Annual Governor Larry Hogan Scholarship will be awarded to Amy Nemirovsky, a University of Maryland Medical Student pursuing a master’s degree in clinical research. Amy plans to become a urologic oncologist, focusing on patients with prostate, bladder, kidney and testicular cancers.   

Tickets to the luncheon can be purchased from the Chesapeake Charities website at

The luncheon will open with a video greeting from Housing & Urban Development Secretary, Dr. Ben Carson, followed by the Governor Larry Hogan Scholarships, and then the awards for Philanthropist, Nonprofit, and Volunteer of the Year. The keynote address will be given by Rob Scheer, founder of Comfort Cases, who shares his inspiring story of growing up in the foster care system and how his nonprofit works to restore dignity to children in foster care by giving them a proper bag filled with comfort and essential items they can keep on their journey to a forever home.

Linda Kohler, Chesapeake Charities Executive Director said, “This luncheon will focus on hope and healing. From future physicians devoted to curing cancer, to one man on a mission to restore dignity to often forgotten children.” The theme of the luncheon is “Breaking the Cycle of Poverty” and the honorees are being recognized for their work to lift Maryland families out of poverty. The 2018 honorees are Mark Freestate of Centreville, Volunteer of the Year; The Wills Group of La Plata, Philanthropist of the Year; and The Light House Homeless Prevention Support Center of Annapolis, Nonprofit of the Year.

Jodie Gray, Chesapeake Charities board member and committee co-chair said, “because of the generosity and hard work of our 2018 honorees, families are getting the help they need to break out of poverty and enable the next generation to thrive.”

More details about the event can be found at tickets can be purchased online for $100 each.

Sponsors for the luncheon include the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club, the Rural Maryland Council, WHBG Certified Public Accountants, GTI/Rise Maryland, The Star Democrat, Shore United Bank, Avon Dixon, The Marksmen Company, Customer Relationship Metrics and Chaney Enterprises.

Chesapeake Charities is a community foundation in Stevensville, Maryland that supports over 90 nonprofit funds that impact a range of charitable causes including animal welfare, arts, education, health and human services, and the environment. To date they have generated more than $25 million in investment and grant funding for charitable projects in eight counties: Anne Arundel, Calvert, Caroline, Charles, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot. For more information, contact Chesapeake Charities at (410) 643-4020 or, or visit Chesapeake Charities is accredited by the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations.

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

Finally some campfire worthy weather! We do a lot of camping, and I love to cook meals and desserts over an open fire. A fire pit in our back yard allows me to cook over the fire whenever I want and I’m very thankful for that. Before I get in holiday mode I thought I’d share a perfect fall Campfire Apple Cobbler recipe. Enjoy!

Campfire Apple Cobbler

*7 Quart Cast iron Dutch oven is needed.

3 20 oz. cans of apple pie filling

1 box yellow cake mix (Gluten free works perfectly too!)

1 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup unsalted butter (cut into squares)

2 tsp. cinnamon, divided

After your fire is well established, line the inside of the Dutch oven with foil. With butter, grease the foil well. Dump or spoon all three cans of apple pie filling into the bottom of the Dutch oven. Next sprinkle brown sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon on top. Pour dry cake mix on top of apple pie filling mixture then sprinkle the remaining 1 tsp. cinnamon on top. Place small pieces of butter all over the top. Cover with lid. Place on outskirts of the fire and “bake” for 30-45 minutes. (Baking time will depend on how hot the fire is and will require keeping an eye on it.)

*Keep in mind while doing this recipe that no stirring is required. 

*This recipe can be made with other pie fillings, such as blueberry or peach without changing a thing!

Front Porch Orchestra to perform Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker with a twist of bluegrass


Dreading another season of canned Christmas music? Fear not. Inspired by genre-bending artists like Chris Thile and The Piano Guys; Front Porch Orchestra is giving six Delmarva-area performances of their crown jewel: 17 movements of Pytor Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet played bar-for-bar on banjo, violin, viola, two guitars, string bass and percussion. In lieu of dancers, the music is accompanied by a frumpy narrator telling a satirical rendition of the ETA Hoffman story in bits between each movement.

This concert is unlike any other performance of classical music. The arrangements retain the dynamics, countermelodies and nuance that make it a brilliant composition, while framing it in a way that keeps the average music-listener tuned in. Studio recordings can be streamed via

Front Porch Orchestra formed in early 2017 in Easton, Md. After refining their sound for almost two years and giving successful local concerts, they will for the first time share their music outside of Maryland’s mid-shore.


Bluegrass Nutcracker performance dates:

12/1 @ 2pm: Academy Art Museum in Easton, Md

12/8 @ 2pm: Milton Theatre in Milton, De

12/14 @ 8pm: Chesapeake Arts Center in Brooklyn, Md

12/15 @ 2pm: Church Hill Theater in Church Hill, Md

12/16 @ 2pm: Jammin Java in Vienna, Va

12/21 @ 8pm: The 447 in Cambridge, Md


For all inquiries, contact Ray via


Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Announces Apprenticeship Program

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md. recently announced its Apprentice for a Day Shipyard Programs, taking place now through April 2019.

Programs take place on weekends and select weekdays, and include a variety of programs for every interest and age. Programs include Timber Frame Raising; Electronic Navigation for Non-Technical People; Boating Essentials; Plane-Making; Intro to Woodworking; Lofting; Open Boatshop; Chart Navigation; Three-Strand Rope Splicing; Recommissioning your Outboard; Bronze Casting; and more.

This year, CBMM’s Shipyard will also host special days when the public can help with the restoration of the 1912 river tug Delaware. Participants will work with CBMM shipwrights to learn some of the fundamentals of boatbuilding by taking part in the stem-to-stern restoration of the historic wooden tug. Participants will have the opportunity to work on the project from lofting to her launch.

CBMM’s Apprentice for a Day Shipyard Programs take place year-round, and offer demonstrations, workshops, intensives with visiting master craftsmen, on-the-water experiences, and customized programming.

Participation in each program is limited, with advanced registration needed and more information about each program at CBMM members receive a 20% discount on all registration fees.

For more information, email or call 410-745-4980.

Adkins Arboretum Receives Chesapeake Bay Trust Mini Grants, Support for Chesapeake Conservation Corps Members


Support from Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT) and the CBT Chesapeake Conservation Corps program has made several exciting projects possible at Adkins Arboretum.


In 2016-2017, Corps member Kathy Thornton (now the Arboretum’s Land Steward) organized an All Hands on Deck workshop for the Conservation Corps to learn from renowned landscape designer and author Claudia West and to help her install a 4,500-plant plug design for the Arboretum Entrance Garden. What used to be mostly mulch was transformed into a living matrix of purple love grass, butterfly milkweed, aromatic asters, nodding onion, broomsedge, columbine and small’s ragwort. A CBT Chesapeake Conservation Corps mini grant and a CBT All Hands on Deck award provided funding for plants, and Conservation Corps members volunteered to plant the garden in early summer 2017. Now, a year after its installation, the garden is lush, thriving and a haven for birds and pollinators. West, North Creek Nurseries, New Moon Nurseries and numerous private donors also made generous contributions to help create the garden.


Earlier this year, Corps member Blake Steiner created a citizen-scientist phenology program at the Arboretum. With support from a CBT Mini Grant, Steiner held two training workshops for volunteers interested in phenology, the study of cyclic and seasonal natural events. He also developed a phenology walk that included eight species of focus. Data collected by staff and volunteers are submitted to Nature’s Notebook, the National Phenology Network’s data platform, to be shared and publicly accessible nationwide.


The Chesapeake Conservation Corps program has also matched the Arboretum with two full-time Corps members for 2018-2019. The Corps is a green jobs program created by the Maryland Legislature, and administered by the Chesapeake Bay Trust, to educate and train the next generation of environmental stewards. The program matches young people ages 18–25 with nonprofit and governmental organizations for paid one-year terms of service that focus on improving local communities and protecting natural resources. Corps members Emily Castle and Nathaniel Simmons joined the Arboretum staff in August. Both are 2018 graduates of Washington College in Chestertown.


Castle served as president of the Washington College Campus Garden initiative, which created a flourishing sanctuary for wildlife and hands-on learning. She also has worked at Mt. Cuba Center and Longwood Gardens, and she is co-founder of the college’s Food Recovery Network, a program that transports leftover food from the dining hall to a local church to serve members of the Chestertown community at weekly dinners.

Simmons spent his college tenure working with Dr. Aaron Krochmal on a multi-year mark and recapture study on eastern painted turtles and snapping turtles. In addition to working year-round on his family’s Christmas tree farm, he worked as an intern for the college’s Foreman’s Branch Bird Observatory and is a certified 4-H Leader Volunteer.  

Chesapeake Mermaid’s Storybook Saturday Dec. 8th

CHESTER – Make it a season to remember with the Chesapeake Mermaid’s Storybook Saturday to be held December 8, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Chesapeake Heritage and Visitor Center.

Kids can dress as their favorite character for story time and learn about the history of the Chesapeake Bay from a mermaid’s perspective and then meet Larvey, the magical Bivalvian. Stay for one-on-one meet and greets, autographs and photo opportunities on an Queen Anne’s County pier backdrop. A mermaid face painter will also be present to help transform each guest into their favorite sea, or land creature.

All guests will be able to leave with free Polaroid photo with the Chesapeake Mermaid. Take home a copy of the book The Last Bivalvian. Story time is free. Books are $10 for a paperback and $20 for the hardcover, both of which may be purchased on site, or in advance from, or on Amazon. Attendees will also be able to enjoy Chesapeake Bay themed sweets and blue punch.

The Chesapeake Heritage & Visitor Center features a quarterly rotating artist series with an emphasis on the Eastern Shore, and a museum dedicated to the history, heritage, and culture of the area. Also located on the property is the entrance to Ferry Point Park which includes a 530 foot boardwalk that takes visitors over marsh and onto a trail leading to open space, a wooded area, and a beach overlooking the Chester River.


Dr. Lisa Damour To Speak at The Garfield Center

Kent School in Chestertown and The Gunston School in Centreville have partnered to bring renowned psychologist and author Dr. Lisa Damour, Ph.D., to speak at The Garfield Center for the Arts on Wednesday, December 12 at 6:00 p.m. Admission is free, and the public is invited to attend. The Garfield Center is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.

In her New York Times best seller, Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood, Dr. Damour pulls back the curtain on the teenage years and shows why your child’s erratic and confusing behavior is actually healthy, necessary and natural. Untangled explains what is going on, prepares parents for what is to come and lets them know when it is time to worry. This lecture is appropriate for parents of both boys and girls. Following her lecture, books will be available for sale and signing.

Dr. Damour writes the monthly “Adolescence” column for The New York Times, serves as a regular contributor to CBS News, maintains a private psychotherapy practice, consults and speaks internationally and serves as the Executive Director of Laurel School’s Center for Research on Girls.

Nancy Mugele, Head of School at Kent School said, “We are proud to work with The Gunston School to bring Dr. Damour to The Garfield. Her work is especially helpful to parents and all who work with adolescents and teens in our rapidly changing world. I encourage parents, educators and all who are interested in helping girls and boys to develop into healthy, responsible and empathetic young adults to attend.” John Lewis, Headmaster at The Gunston School added, “Over the years, I’ve read many books about raising adolescents, and Dr. Damour’s is among the very best.  Her work is grounded in research, is highly accessible, and very practical.”

Dr. Damour’s lecture is made possible by the Kudner Leyon Memorial Fund at Kent School, The Gunston School and the Garfield Center for the Arts. While admission is free, pre-registration is encouraged by calling 410-778-4100 ext. 100 or emailing

Kent School serves children from Preschool through Grade Eight on its scenic campus on the bank of the Chester River in historic Chestertown. For more information call 410-778-4100 ext. 110 or visit The Gunston School, located on the Corsica River in Centreville, is a coeducational day school serving students in grades 9 through 12.