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Maryland Tourism Development Board

​​​​​​​​​​The Board's mission is to guide activities to develop and market the state as a destination. Created in 1993, the Board includes hospitality industry executives from attraction, retail, food service, transportation and lodging sectors. Board members are appointed by the Governor.

Co-Chair

Melonie Johnson photoMelonie Johnson is the President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of MGM National Harbor. In her leadership role, Johnson provides strategic direction and oversees daily operations of the property. She is committed to supporting the local Prince George’s County community and is dedicated to fostering an engaged and diverse local workforce. A graduate of the University of New Orleans with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Melonie’s gaming and hospitality career spans nearly 25 years, during which she held key leadership positions at major properties throughout the United States. Johnson has been with MGM Resorts since 2015, most recently serving as President & COO of Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa prior to her return to MGM National Harbor in 2022, which she had led from December 2017 through May 2020. Before making her move to the East Coast, Johnson started her MGM Resorts career with Gold Strike Casino Resort in Mississippi.

Co-Chair

Ben Seidel photoBen Seidel, Founder, President and CEO of Maryland based
Real Hospitality Group, (RHG) the industry’s 12th largest operator of hotels in the US has over 40 years of experience in both the hotel and convention center field. Today, his company, founded in 2010 manages over 100 hotels, taking an ownership stake in several, operating in 19 states and China serving as an approved or preferred hotel operator for Marriott International, Hyatt Corporation, Hilton Worldwide, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Singapore based Far East Hospitality and Aspect Hotels, also headquartered in Singapore.

Members

    • Robert Arthur; General Manager, The Ivy Hotel
    • Heather Braue; Director of Marketing & Public Relations, Royal Farms Arena
    • Ashley Chenault; Chief of Tourism, Charles County Recreation Parks & Tourism 
    • William C. Ferguson IV,  President of Senate,  District 46, Baltimore City
    • Dave Ferraro, Friends of Patapsco Valley State Park 
    • Tonya Fitzpatrick, Esq. CEO, World Footprints
    • Katie Fry-Hester, Maryland State Senator, District 9
    • Wayne Hartman; Delegate, District 38C, Maryland House of Delegates
    • Rick Howarth, Vice President of Hospitality and Strategy, Levy Restaurants
    • Juan Carlos Linares; General Manager, Tanger Outlets National Harbor 
    • Gerardo Martinez, Wild Kid Acres, LLC
    • James N. Mathias, Jr.; Director of Government Relations for University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES)
    • LeVern McElveen, McCloud Transportation and Associates
    • Chris Riehl, Rent-A-Tour
    • Al Spence; President/CEO, A.S. Midway Tours
    • Shelonda Stokes, President & CEO, Downtown Partnership of Baltimore
    • Sandy Maruchi-Turner, Manager of Cecil County Tourism
    • Cassandra M. Vanhooser; Director, Economic Development and Tourism, Talbot County
    • Melissa Wells, Delegate; District 40, Maryland House of Delegates

    Contact

    Julia Bouie, Office of Tourism and Film
    410-767-6273
    Maryland Department of Commerce
    401 E. Pratt Street, 1461
    Baltimore, MD 21202​

    Meetings

    • Friday, April 12, 2024
    10 AM - 12 PM
    BWI Sheraton
    1100 Old Elkridge Landing Road
    Linthicum Heights, Maryland 21090
    • Friday, June 7, 2024
    10 AM - 12 PM
    Meritus Park (formerly Municipal Stadium - Hagerstown)
    274 E Memorial Boulevard
    Hagerstown, Maryland 21740
    Note: Same date and location as MDMO meeting
    • Friday, September 13, 2024
    10 AM - 12 PM
    Location TBD
    • Friday, November 1, 2024
    10 AM - 12 PM
    Location TBD

    Meeting Minutes:

    Click here for more information.