Business Notes: EagleBank names new chief real estate lending officer

Business Notes: EagleBank names new chief real estate lending officer

Plus: Potomac toy store closing after 41 years; Gene and cell therapy company moves to bigger space in Rockville

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EagleBank names new chief real estate lending officer

Bethesda-based EagleBank has named Ryan Riel as its new executive vice president and chief real estate lending officer.

Riel has worked at EagleBank since 2001, most recently in an oversight role of the bank’s commercial real estate lending group, according to a press release.

In his new role, Riel will supervise more than 50 lending professionals and oversee more than $5 billion in commercial real estate loans, the press release stated.

Toy Castle closing in Potomac after 41 years

Toy Castle, in Potomac’s Cabin John Mall, is closing after 41 years due to various challenges the store has had recently.

Co-owners Brian and Claire Mack and Carlos Aulestia wrote on the store’s Facebook page Monday that they decided to close the store due to various financial challenges such as reduced in-person shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic, construction at the mall, mounting bills and the “advanced ages” of the owners.

“Over our many years in the mall, we have seen several generations grow, and have been thrilled to help families that include adults who shopped here as children back in the 80’s and 90’s. Several on our staff have been involved with the store since it opened in 1979, and many former employees still stop in to say hello,” the owners wrote.

The store will be open for a few more weeks, the owners wrote. During that time, there will be a clearance sale with all items in stock 50% off.

The store is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

News of Toy Castle’s closure was reported by Robert Dyer on Tuesday morning.

American Gene Technologies moves to larger space in Rockville

The gene and cell therapy company American Gene Technologies has moved less than a mile from its Rockville office. It is now in a larger building near the National Cancer Institute and the Shady Grove campus of Johns Hopkins University.

The company announced in a press release last month that it would be moving to 9713 Key West Ave., Suite 500.

The new space is 27,000 square feet and features expanded lab space for work on treatments for infectious diseases, monogenic disorders and cancers, according to the press release.

Bernadette Reyes, the executive assistant to the CEO, told Bethesda Beat that the company moved to its new space on Monday. But most employees are teleworking due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.

Big Train baseball team picks general manager

The Bethesda Big Train baseball team’s ownership has chosen Chris Rogers as its new general manager.

Rogers was the assistant general manager for two seasons. He started with the team in 2015 as a writing intern.

Also, the team’s board of directors has chosen six new members:

  • Katelyn Engen, a native of Kensington, who is an athletic trainer at the University of Maryland
  • Manny Hidalgo of Silver Spring, the executive director of Shepherd’s Table
  • Marjorie Lane of Potomac, a marketing consultant and co-owner of Bruster’s Real Ice Cream in Gaithersburg
  • Ramin Nejaddehghan, a Potomac native now living in Washington, D.C., who practices commercial real estate finance law at Krooth & Altman LLP
  • Emily Waldman of Bethesda, the Big Train’s host family co-coordinator since 2016
  • Donnie Wright, a Bethesda native living in Chevy Chase, who is a managing director of investments at Wells Fargo Advisors in Bethesda. He was the Maryland Gatorade Player of the Year for baseball while a student at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School.

They join the founding board members:

  • Bruce Adams, president
  • Eric Cole, vice president
  • John Daniel, secretary-treasurer
  • Rebecca Crowley
  • William Hickman
  • Richard Lipsky
  • Rachel Northridge
  • Alex Thompson

Managing Editor Andrew Schotz contributed to this story.

Dan Schere can be reached at

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