2018 Board of Directors Nominees
CEO Garrett County Chamber of Commerce
Nicole Christian is a Certified Chamber Executive (CCE), one of only 450 in the country, and has been in the Chamber industry for 22 years. She has held senior level/CEO positions at three different Chambers and helped lead her Chamber of Commerce in Davenport, Iowa to the coveted designation of 2008 Chamber of the Year by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE).
Throughout her career, Nicole has worked with many diverse populations from small businesses to international companies and from small rural communities to large metro areas. She has a special affinity for entrepreneurs and has helped many reach gazelle status. Much of her career has required a concentration on public affairs, which she enjoys immensely but her work in Florida and Garrett County have had a significant focus on tourism which has become a real passion for her.
Over the past 22 years she has earned many awards and accolades for her work in the Chamber profession and for her community service. In 2017, Nicole was named the Maryland Chamber Executive of the Year by the Maryland Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (MACCE). In 2005, Nicole was designated as one of the Cincinnati Business Courier’s Forty Under 40, recognition of the top young professionals under the age of 40 in the Greater Cincinnati area. She’s received several Awards for Communication Excellence from ACCE and in 2003 was the winner of the “Best Idea” from ACCE’s 60 Ideas in 60 Minutes.
Nicole is a graduate of the Institute for Organization Management and is an active member of ACCE. She serves on the Board of MACCE and on the Legislative Affairs Committee for the Maryland Tourism Coalition. She is a past ACCE board member and currently serves on the Certified Chamber Executive Commission. Nicole is also very active with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce serving on the Council on Small Business and participating in the TradeRoots program. Her commitment to United Way has carried over to all of the communities in which she has lived and she currently serves on the Board of United Way of Garrett County.
Nicole attended the University of Kentucky where she studied Political Science and Advertising. Her initial interest was political campaigns but she quickly developed a passion for chamber of commerce work within the first months on the job and has never looked back.
She is a native of Ft. Thomas, Kentucky and an avid Kentucky Wildcats basketball fan but her and her cat, Kentucky, now call Garrett County home.
Dr. Ernest Boger
Hospitality & Tourism Management (HTM) Department
School of Business & Technology
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
A native of Tampa, Florida, is the University of South Florida’s first Black graduate. He earned the MBA from the University of North Texas, received Doctoral credits in International Management from Nova Southeastern University and earned the Doctor of Management (DMgt.) as a Sodexho USA Corporate University Fellow, via the Canadian School of Management-Revans University and International Management Centres Association (IMCA), of Buckingham, England. Over the past 40 years, he has held various operational and academic positions in the hospitality industry. These include, founding Director, Hospitality Management Degree Program, Wiley College, Marshall, Texas; Executive Director of the Resort Hotel Casa Monte-Jamaica Hotel School, Kingston, Jamaica; and Senior Lecturer, Tourism Marketing Management, University of the West Indies, Nassau, Bahamas. In 1984, he earned Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) status, and then Certified as a Hospitality Educator (CHE) in 1994, both by the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Certification as a Foodservice Management Professional (FMP) was received in 1991. Dr. Boger is CEO of the consulting company, VIP Hosts Internationale, Inc. and is Associate Professor in Hospitality Management with (IMCA)-Revans University, having served as Advisor to the Caribbean Doctoral Set.
Director of Marketing
Michelle Torres joined Phillips Seafood Restaurants on July 16, 2002 as the Corporate Marketing Manager. At the time she headed up the company owned restaurant’s marketing initiatives. In 2004 she was promoted to Corporate Director of Marketing where she maintained the role of overseeing the marketing but now her responsibilities included the group sales department. In January 2006 she transitioned to the franchise division as the Corporate Director of Marketing and Training. As of January 2007 Ms. Torres overseas the marketing for our company owned and franchise restaurants and training for the franchise division.
From 1998 to 2002, she was the Director of Marketing for Capital Enterprises, Inc, d/b/a Pizza Hut a franchise with 109 units headquartered in Wichita, Kansas. From 1997 through 1998, Mrs. Torres was the Regional Marketing Manager, U.S. for Speedy Muffler King, Inc. a Canadian based company with 198 US units. From 1988 through 1997, she was the Marketing Manager for DavCo Restaurants, Inc, located in Crofton, Maryland d/b/a Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers with 229 Wendy’s restaurants in the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and Southwest regions.
Wynnona Denise Ware
Program Director Hospitality, Tourism, Culinary Arts and Gaming/Adjutant Professor-Workforce Development
Hospitality and Tourism Institute – Prince Georges Community College
Denise is an innovative professional with over 30 years of progressive experience within the Education Sector, Hospitality Industry, Sales and Marketing and the Skills to drive business growth, capitalize on new revenue potential, and manage all aspects of daily Sales and Catering revenue.
In professional in account management, prospecting sales, yielding, marketing plans, budgets, and marketing promotions to drive profitable revenues, relationship building and needs assessment, marketing, financial management, purchasing, administration, and staff training, supervision, motivation and mentoring.
She is a proactive leader with refined business acumen and exemplary people skills. Facilitate a team approach to achieve organizational objectives, increase productivity and enhance employee morale.
Ocean City Hotel Motel Restaurant Association
Susan was hired as director of the HMRA in 1995. She singlehandedly puts together the OCHMRA trade show each March, which draws thousands of buyers and sellers to the Ocean City Convention Center. Under her leadership, the membership has grown to over 400 strong and the annual trade show has nearly doubled in size.
A lifelong eastern shore resident, Susan manages to juggle many tasks and always makes sure that each is executed flawlessly. She designs and disseminates the accommodations, restaurant, spring and fall brochures for the association. She arranges monthly dinner meetings, manages the business office of the OCHMRA and staffs the accommodations placement desk in the Visitor Center. Further, she creates initiatives that add value to the visitor’s experience. Additionally, she is the first point of contact in guest complaints, helps to answer the forever ringing 1-800-OC-OCEAN phone lines, and is the first to assist a visitor in need.
Two particularly important contributions Susan has made have happened in the last two years. She along with her board of directors increased the room tax in Ocean City by .5% so that the Town of Ocean City could enjoy increased advertising without expense to the taxpayers. By all accounts this initative has proven to be exceptionally successful in putting Ocean City on the map with other beach destinations that have much larger budgets. Additionally, she among several other tourism professionals helped found Harbor Day at the Docks, a maritime heritage festival which drew a crowd of over 3,000 people to the docks of the commercial harbor in West Ocean City this October.
MTC Proposed Board 2017- 2018
Mike Haynie – Board Chair (Maryland Center for Hospitality Training)
Marian Hrab – 1st Vice Chair (Southern Management)
Chris Riehl – 2nd Vice-Chair (Baltimore Rent-a- Tour)
Marshall Weston – Treasurer (Restaurant Assoc. of Maryland)
Joe Fernandez – Secretary (AAA Mid-Atlantic)
Kevin Atticks – Past Chair (Grow & Fortify)
Organizational Permanent Seat:
Maryland Office of Tourism – Liz Fitzsimmons)
Maryland Department of Natural Resources Park – Christine Holden)
Ex Officio Seat:
Maryland Tourism Education Foundation – Roseanne Souza)
Allison Burr-Livingston (Visit Baltimore)
Nora Campbell (National Aquarium)
Regina Ford (Turf Valley Resort)
Mike Gurevich (Cherry Hill Park)
Terry Hasseltine (Maryland Sports)
Steve Jones (Six Flags America)
Jackie Panowicz (Custom Media Options)
Susan Seifert (Seifert Associates Inc.)
Ruth Toomey (An Extraordinar Limousine)
Cassandra Vanhooser (Talbot County Office of Tourism)
Ernest Boger – Nominee (University of Maryland, Eastern Shore)
Nicole Christian – Nominee (Garrett County Chamber of Commerce)
Susan Jones – Nominee (Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association)
Michelle Torres – Nominee (Phillips Seafood)
Denise Ware – Nominee (Prince George’s Community College)