Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Let’s Dish closes Montgomery stores

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Let’s Dish has closed its food preparation stores in Gaithersburg and Rockville.

‘‘Despite a small group of terrific, loyal customers, we simply did not have enough revenue to sustain the business, especially in this challenging economy,” Rick Corcoran, licensee of the Burnsville, Minn., chain’s Baltimore-Washington, D.C., stores, said in a statement. ‘‘We are a small, family-owned company and we put off this decision just as long as we could.”

The company, which also has stores in Columbia and Timonium, plans to continue its prepared-meal delivery service in Montgomery County.

Publishers take Olsson’s to bankruptcy court

Major publishing houses have filed an involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition against Olsson’s Books Records, a longtime independent bookseller in the Washington, D.C., region.

The company, with headquarters in Silver Spring, was founded in 1972. It now has six stores in Washington, D.C., and Virginia, but one of them, in Penn Quarter, closed last week after 15 years.

Olsson’s downtown Bethesda store shut down several years ago to make way for an upscale condominium-retail development.

In a filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, publishers Random House, Penguin Group and Hachette Book Group USA cite claims totaling $386,541.

‘‘Olsson’s has not been served with any legal documents regarding this suit. Therefore, we cannot comment on the legitimacy of their claims,” the company said in a statement last week. ‘‘Our Penn Quarter store has closed because we were not able to renew the lease under terms conducive to our business plan. We continue to explore options to reopen a store nearby. No other aspects of our business have been affected by this action.”

People on the move

*Eleni Antoniou of Gaithersburg was recently honored in the 2008 Human Resource Awards of Greater Washington for her work in strategic alignment. She has been the human resources director at High Performance Technology Inc. for more than 10 years. She led a number of employee programs that helped the company win a 2007 award for its family-friendly workplace. Antoniou was also recently named a finalist for the country’s Best HR Executive in the American Business Awards.

*Three scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg were among 10 people who recently received the Arthur S. Flemming Award, one of the highest honors given to federal government staff.

*John Butler, of Gaithersburg, a NIST research chemist who is one of the world’s leading authorities in DNA-based human identification measurement, science and technology. The technology was used in the World Trade Center victim identification efforts and identification of victims of Hurricane Katrina and the war in Iraq.

*Eric L. Shirley of Gaithersburg, a NIST physicist won for advances that have allowed accurate optical diffraction corrections to scientists developing infrared radiation standards. Better mathematical models will allow researchers to make accurate predictions on how technologies such as lenses or computer chips can be improved, said Evelyn Brown, a NIST spokeswoman.

*Taner Yildirim of Frederick, a computational physicist at NIST’s center for neutron research, developed an innovative quantum-mechanical methodology that has changed the way scientists approach research problems and shifted thinking when addressing critical issues in materials science, according to NIST.

This report originally appeared in The Business Gazette.