Shockley and Sabia from Ocean City Recognized as Maryland Tourism Leaders


Greg Shockley, chairman of the Maryland Tourism Development Board, honored as Tourism Advocate of the Year. photo credit: KRR Photography

More than 200 tourism industry professionals convened for the 33rd Annual Tourism and Travel Summit sponsored by the Maryland Tourism Council (MTC) and the Maryland Office of Tourism Development (OTD). The three-day conference, held at The Hotel at Arundel Preserve, included education, networking and award ceremonies that recognize the best in the industry. A new line up of speakers presented on such topics as creating customer experiences, changes in travelers’ expectations, creating email and process improvements and the State of Maryland Tourism.

“This year’s Summit, designed to educate, inspire and empower, was a resounding success thanks to an amazing and dedicated team of event volunteers and staff,” said Sandy Maruchi-Turner, MTC’s outgoing chair and Tourism Manager for Cecil County. ”But more than great education, networking and awards happened at the summit. We experienced an engaged, expanded, and energized membership. When the tourism industry comes together, great things can be accomplished for Maryland.”

The Maryland Tourism Council has been the leading advocacy organization for Maryland’s tourism industry for over 50 years. MTC’s mission is to connect, educate and represent Maryland’s tourism industry. The only statewide membership association that represents all segments of the hospitality and tourism industry, MTC recently changed from being managed by an association management firm to a volunteer-driven organization with part-time administrative staff.

The Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit included award ceremonies presented by the Maryland Office of Tourism, the Maryland Association of Destination Marketing Organizations, the Maryland Tourism Council and AAA Mid-Atlantic.

“The future has never looked brighter for Maryland tourism. We are streamlining our organization, building alliances with industry partners and empowering our members,” said Ross Peddicord incoming chair of the Maryland Tourism Council and executive director of the Maryland Horse Industry Board. “Our voice is a strong voice, spanning the hotel, restaurant and attraction industries.”           


  • Tourism Advocate – Greg Shockley, chairman of the Maryland Tourism Development Board
  • New Professional of the Year – Sara Sabia, Harrison Group Hotels and Restaurants
  • Best Product or Event (Small) – Maryland Ice Cream Trail by the Maryland Department of Agriculture
  • Best Product or Event (Medium) – Family Reunion by Visit Baltimore and greiBO media
  • Best Product or Event (Large) – Attack on Havre de Grace, Havre de Grace Office of Tourism
  • Best Printed Promotional Material – The Potomac River Atlas, Hagerstown-Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Washington County, MD GIS Office and ICON Graphics
  • Best Destination Guide – Wineries of Maryland, Maryland Wineries Association
  • Best Media and Public Relations Campaign – Maryland In Flight and Media Campaign, Conference and Visitors Bureau of Montgomery County
  • Best Website – Annapolis Tours by Watermark
  • Best Use of Social Media – Plumpton Park Zoo
  • Best Use of Social Media – Maryland Park Service
  • Best Digital Campaign – “Download for Date Nights,” Howard County Tourism
  • Cooperative Marketing Partnership – Star-Spangled 200, Inc., Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, Maryland Office of Tourism, Havre de Grace Office of Tourism, Talbot County Office of Tourism, City of St. Michaels
  • Visionary Impact – Brigitte Peters, City of Havre de Grace and Havre de Grace Tourism
  • Audrey Davenport Hospitality Person of the Year – Sandy Turner, Cecil County Office of Tourism
  • Tourism Person of the Year – Wini Roche, Harford County Tourism

Maryland Office of Tourism Awards

  • Cultural Heritage Tourism – Maryland’s Heart of the Civil War documentary Film
  • Cultural Heritage Tourism – Battle of St. Michaels Bicentennial
  • Economic Engine – Maryland Live! Casino
  • Economic Engine – Ocean City Dew Tour
  • Green/Sustainable Tourism – James and Anne Robinson Nature Center
  • Green/Sustainable Tourism – Irish Restaurant Group
  • Visit Maryland Award – Anthem and Author Reunited, Tourism Council of Frederick County
  • Leadership Award – Senator John Astle

Maryland Destination Marketing Organizations Partnership Award

  • Maryland Tourism Development Board

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