*Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson, a Sparks-based consulting engineering company, has acquired Kupper Associates, an engineering services company based in Piscataway, N.J. Terms weren't disclosed. The combined company has a staff of more than 700 with offices in Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.
*Nicholas J. D'Ambrosia, owner/broker of GMAC Real Estate/Real Estate Center in Largo, has been named chairman of the state Real Estate Commission. D'Ambrosia was appointed to the board three years ago by then-Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. He will serve as chairman for a one-year term that ends in July 2009.
* Mullin/Ashley Associates , a Chestertown public relations and market research firm, received two awards in the Healthcare Advertising Awards national competition. It won a Bronze Award in employee communication for a booklet produced for Anne Arundel Medical Center summarizing results of an employee survey. It won an Award of Merit for a special publication for the Maryland Hospital Association on the state's projected nursing shortage. The competition is conducted by Healthcare Marketing Report magazine.
*Erickson Retirement Communities, the Catonsville-based developer and manager of retirement communities, has named BBDO Atlanta to be its first advertising and marketing agency of record. Erickson chose BBDO after a competitive review that included 12 top marketing firms. Erickson previously handled advertising in house.
*Smith Island Cake Co. will officially open for business Aug. 8 on the site of the former Driftwood General Store on Smith Island. The business is owned by Theresa R. Siejack. It will sell Smith Island cakes as well as other bakery items at retail, wholesale and by mail order.
*A Little Bit of Tuscany, a retail shop with wine and espresso bar, is opening in Westminster at 84 E. Main St., a building that dates to 1865. The store is owned and operated by Rose and Kirk Seaman. Its hours will be Tuesday through Saturday from midmorning through early evening.
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