PRESENTERS     (click here to download the presenters' list as a PDF file)




Ghassan Aidi, PhD, President, International Hotel & Restaurant Association.

Dr. Ghassan AIDI, A 30 years veteran of the Hospitality Industry and Chairman and CEO of the Royal Regency International Hotels, Washington, DC He has been elected as a President of the International Hotel and Restaurant Association (IH&RA) in 2006 and since then he has been re-elected three times, the first time in the history of this organization that a President has been serving for 6 years. Dr. Aidi is also a Member of the Advisory Board of George Washington University in Washington, DC as well as Nottingham University in Great Britain. Furthermore, he is a Member of Business Advisory Board of the International Organization for Migration, as well as Member of the Board of United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for Affiliate members since 2006 and of the Steering Committee of the United Nations Foundation to define the Criteria for Sustainable Development. He resides between his home & office in Washington DC and Lausanne, Switzerland – the Head Office of IH&RA.

Subpanel 1

Rebecca Dougherty Goldman, Office of Tourism Development, Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development

Rebecca has managed the research program for the Maryland Office of Tourism since 2007. She is responsible for reporting on OTD and industry performance measures, as well as multidisciplinary projects with a range of collaborators, including but not limited to the Maryland Departments of Transportation, Natural Resources, and Planning; county and local partners; universities; and marketing and advertising firms. Rebecca has a master’s degree in urban affairs and public policy from the University of Delaware, a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Towson University, and a passion for developing good research that guides better decision making and improved programming within the public sector.

Mendy Nitsch, Director, Sister States Program, Department of State, State of Maryland

Mendy is responsible for advancing the international agenda for Maryland’s Secretary of State by directing the day-to-day operations of the Maryland Sister States Program (MSSP) which provides a forum to promote international cooperation and understanding. She also coordinates with global counterparts on citizen diplomacy exchange projects in areas of mutual interest including economic development, education, health care, governance, sports, and arts/culture. She has recently been a co-organizer of the U.S. - Balkans Business Summit, Baltimore, MD, March 2011 and of the Maryland and Baltimore Business and Trade Mission to China, Sept. 2010.

Rochelle "Rikki" Spector, Councilwoman, Dean, Baltimore City Council

Councilwoman Spector is the dean of the Baltimore City Council, serving her seventh elected term since her appointment in June 1977. She is a member of numerous boards and commissions including the Maryland Science Center, Comprehensive Housing Assistance, Inc. (CHAI), Chimes Maryland Foundation, Park West Medical Center, Women's & Children's Advisory Board of Sinai Hospital, and University of Maryland Harambee Treatment Center Community Advisory Board. Councilwoman Spector is the City Council Representative to the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo), the City Council Liaison to the Mayor's Task Force for Annapolis, and the Vice Chair of The Transportation Steering Committee of the National Association of Counties (NACo). She is a former President and current Legislative Committee member of the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) and National Association of Counties (NACo).

Lara Fritts , President, Annapolis Economic Development Corporation

Formerly the Director of Economic Development for the City of Cudahy, Wisconsin. Responsible for marketing, urban planning, organizational development and business recruitment, expansion and retention efforts for the City. Lara has over 15 years combined experience in economic development, management and technology. Served as the Executive Director of the Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation (SFDC) and was responsible for over $500M in new investment in the area during a three year period. Previously served as the President of the Washington DC Technology Council and was responsible for the management, direction, strategic development and growth of the association, comprised of over 400 corporate members. She has developed and led private sector economic development agencies at the regional and local levels. Experience includes being the Assistant Director of the Uptown Redevelopment in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Director of Downtown Development for the Wausau, Wisconsin Area Chamber, On Broadway Main Street Director, and Executive Director of the Greater Rockville, Maryland Partnership. Received a Bachelor's in Regional Analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and a Master's in Urban Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


Leslie Pattison , General Manager, O’Callaghan Hotel in Annapolis

Leslie serves as Director of Sales and Marketing and General Manager of the O'Callaghan Annapolis Hotel. She is with the company since 1992. Originally from Ireland, she is a graduate in Marketing from the Dundalk Institute of Technology.

Subpanel 2

Pete Rose, Partner, The Franklin Partnership, LLP

Pete Rose is one of the leading defense and appropriations consultants in Washington. Prior to entering the private sector and founding The Franklin Partnership, Mr. Rose worked on Capitol Hill for nearly ten years, most recently serving as the Legislative Director for retired Rep. Pete Geren (D-TX), formerly Secretary of the Army. While on Capitol Hill, Mr. Rose worked for members of Congress from the Michigan, New York, and Maine delegations. During this time he developed considerable expertise in the budgetary and appropriations process, with an emphasis on defense weapons systems, base closure, health care, tax, pension, benefits and transportation issues. Throughout his career, Mr. Rose has also worked on several Congressional and two Presidential Campaigns.

David Grossman , Director, International City/County Managers Association (ICMA)

David Grossman brought 30 years of technical and managerial experience in international development to his position leading ICMA International when he took on that new position in January 2008. In addition to his experience in municipal development, he has expertise in such areas as finance, credit, and urban infrastructure. He began his professional career with the New York City Planning Commission, helping tenants to organize and maintain their buildings. After a year with the United Nations Development Program, he served for six years as a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Foreign Service Officer, in Honduras and Costa Rica. From 1984 to 1994 he worked in the USAID Office of Housing and Urban Programs, including serving as its chief operating officer (COO). He later held COO positions with USAID’s Global Bureau Environment Center and USAID’s Office of Development Credit. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science/Latin American studies from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a master’s degree in international affairs, with a specialization in economics and urban planning.

 Chris Babb , Representative, NTA (f. National Tour Association)

Born and raised in Washington, DC - J. Chris Babb is the president of The Group Tour Company, a receptive tour operator founded by his father in 1975.  NTA members since 1989, Chris has been actively involved with the organization for the past five years.  Chris serves on the boards of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and Leadership Greater Washington - an organization whose mission is to promote dialogue, cooperation and involvement that enables area leaders to find effective solutions to regional challenges.  The Group Tour Company has been involved in the NTA’s China Inbound Program since it inception and Chris has attended the Chinese Outbound Travel and Tourism Market in Beijing for the past 3 years.  Chris believes that travel is the best form of education, as it leads to broad-mindedness and tolerance.


 Daniel Lledo, President, Greater Washington DC Chapter, Latino Hotel & Restaurant Association; Managing Director & CEO, VLC Business

Since 2006, Daniel Lledo has been the Managing Director & CEO of the consultancy and private equity firm, VLC Business.  Daniel assists businesses with achieving their goals in capital efficiencies, financing, marketing, and operations management. The main industries of VLC Business are hospitality and real estate.  Also, Daniel is President of the New the Greater Washington DC Chapter of Latino Hotel & Restaurant Association.  Since 2009, Daniel has volunteered for Latino Economic Development Corporation assisting small businesses.  Prior from launching VLC Business, Daniel was a Financial Services Representative for New York Life from 2003 to 2006.  Daniel has a B.A. from University of Maryland, College Park.


Subpanel 3

Joseph Sirgy , PhD, Director, Management Institute of Quality-of-Life Studies (MIQOLS); Professor of Marketing, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech)

Joe Sirgy is a management psychologist (Ph.D., U/Massachusetts, 1979), Professor of Marketing, and Virginia Real estate Research Fellow at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).  He has published extensively in the area of consumer behavior, marketing/quality-of-life, and business ethics.   He is the author/editor of many books related to consumer behavior, marketing communications, marketing and society, and quality of life.     He co-founded the International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) in 1995, served as its Executive Director from 1995 to 2011, and is currently serving as Development Director.  In 1998, he received the Distinguished Fellow Award from ISQOLS.  In 2003, ISQOLS honored him as the Distinguished QOL Researcher for research excellence and a record of lifetime achievement in QOL research.   He also served as President of the Academy of Marketing Science from which he received the Distinguished Fellow Award in the early 1990’s and the Harold Berkman Service Award in 2007 (lifetime achievement award for serving the marketing professoriate).  In the early 2000’s, he helped co-found the Macromarketing Society and the Community Indicators Consortium and has served as a board member of these two professional associations.  Furthermore, he is the current editor of the QOL section in the Journal of Macromarketing and the editor-in-chief of Applied Research in Quality of Life. He received the Virginia Tech’s Pamplin Teaching Excellence Award/Holtzman Outstanding Educator Award and University Certificate of Teaching Excellence in 2008. In 2010, ISQOLS honored him for excellence and life-time time service to the society. Also 2010 he won the Best Paper Award in the Journal of Happiness Studies and in 2011 he won the Best Paper Award in the Journal of Travel Research.

Muzaffer Uysal , PhD, Professor of Tourism, Department of Hospitality and Tourism Ma  nagement, Pamplin College of Business, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech)

Dr. Muzzo (Muzaffer) Uysal is a professor of tourism in the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Virginia Tech. Dr. Uysal received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University, and an MBA from the University of New Haven and a BS from Ankara Academy of Economics & Commercial Sciences.  Dr. Uysal has extensive experience in the travel and tourism field, authoring or co-authoring a significant number of articles in tourism and recreation journals, book chapters, four books and four monographs relating to tourism research methods, tourist service satisfaction, tourism and quality-of-life research, and consumer psychology in tourism and hospitality settings. He also has conducted workshops and seminars on similar topics and field research in several countries. Dr. Uysal is a member of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism and the Academy of Leisure Sciences.  Dr. Uysal received a number of awards for Research Excellence, Alumni Award for Excellence in International Education, Teaching Excellence Award and Outstanding Research Award. His current research interests centre on tourism demand/supply interaction, tourism marketing, and quality of life research in tourism.

Margot Gotzmann , PhD, Head, Business and   Society Center;  President, GRL (Global, Regional, Local) Development

Margot is the Head of the Business and Society Center and President of the private, expert-based consulting company: GRL (Global, Regional, Local) Development Ltd. She is an international consultant, scholar, manager, social activist and problem-solver. She offers lectures on topics related to complementary education, modernization, quality of life, creative and syn-creative management, creativity in problem solving and sustainable socio-economic development. She has coined the term of 5-C Education and developed 5-C Education program for the Business & Society Center.

Larry Hajime Shinagawa , PhD, Chair, Commission to Study the Impact of Immigrants in Maryland; Asian American Studies Program, University of Maryland College Park

Larry Hajime Shinagawa is an Associate Professor of American Studies and the Director of the Asian American Studies Program. For the past 30 years, he has been involved in the fields of sociology, American Studies, multicultural education, ethnic studies, and Asian American Studies. Prior to coming to the University of Maryland, he was the Director of the Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity and Associate Professor of the Sociology Department of Ithaca College. As the Center Director, he was responsible for the development of academic programs in African New World Studies, Asian American Studies, Latino Studies, Native American Studies, and Comparative American and Ethnic Studies at Ithaca College. His research areas are in the social demography of racial groups in the U.S., intermarriage, multiracial identity, and Asian American culture and community. His public policy studies and research for national civil rights and Asian American advocacy organizations has led to improvements in health care, redistricting, census counts, and reforms in police practices. He is currently on the Board of Directors of the National Association for Ethnic Studies and participates as a board member for other national and regional non-profit community-based organizations and research organizations. He has one book forthcoming, From Where I Stand: Readings in Multicultural America, and another to be published by Cornell University Press, Asian American Intermarriage and the Social Construction of Love. Most recently he received the ($2.4 million) Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (ANAPISI) Grant from the U.S. Department of Education.


Joseph Sirgy, , PhD, Director, Management Institute of Quality-of-Life Studies (MIQOLS); Professor of Marketing, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech)

For bionote see earlier page (Main Session).

Subpanel A1

Dan Nataf, , PhD, Center for the Study of Local Issues , Anne Arundel Community College

Originally a resident of Los Angeles, California, since 1995, Dan Nataf has been director of the Center for the Study of Local Issues at Anne Arundel Community College where he is also an associate professor of political science.  He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science which he obtained from the University of California, Los Angeles.   As director of the Center for the Study of Local Issues, he has organized and researched the many projects which the Center performs on behalf of non-profit organizations as varied as the City of Annapolis, the Annapolis and Anne Arundel Chamber of Commerce, and Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources.  He is responsible for the Center’s semi-annual surveys which the local press reports.   Due to his expertise in local politics and public opinion, he is quoted about those topics by the Baltimore Sun, the Annapolis Capital, and the Washington Post.  He also discusses politics on radio and occasionally on television.

Larry Hajime Shinagawa , PhD, Chair, Commission to Study the Impact of Immigrants in Maryland; Asian American Studies Program, University of Maryland College Park

For bionote see earlier page (Main Session).


Lily Qi , Special Projects Manager, County Executive's Office, Montgomery County

Lily Qi was appointed Special Projects Manager by Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett in July 2011, after serving as the County Executive’s Liaison for Asian and Middle Eastern Communities for three and half years. In her new role, Lily manages several priority initiatives including establishing a public-private partnership called BioHealth Innovation to turn the central Maryland region’s unrivaled research assets into economic success and developing international partnerships with Asian and Middle Eastern countries and regions.  A communication and public affairs professional, Lily has broad managerial and executive experience in economic development, community engagement, public communication, strategic partnerships, training, and organizational cultural competency. Her career path includes serving as the Public Information Officer (spokesperson) for the DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking and Vice President of Business Development for Washington, DC Economic Partnership for business attraction, retention, and marketing.   An active community leader and cultural broker, Lily is a member of the Suburban Hospital Board of Trustees and the Vice Chair of Maryland Governor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs. She served on the Leadership Montgomery Board of Directors and the Nominating Committee of Montgomery College Board of Trustees. As President of the Organization of Chinese Americans Greater DC Chapter, she worked with community leaders and legislators to make the Lunar New Year an official Day of Commemoration in Maryland.

Dick Lahn ,  Director, Annapolis Sustainable Business Alliance

Since June 2008, he is the Director of the Annapolis Sustainable Business Alliance (ASBA), working in support of local independent businesses in greater Annapolis area. ASBA’s mission is also to work to create a sustainable local economy to maximize the amount of money staying in the Annapolis area and minimize money bleeding out elsewhere; support the local, organic food movement; educate the public on the value of buying locally; create public places which result in having local businesses thrive and to create a sustainable region by working for local business success, environmental protection, and social justice.  Dick also serves as the Director (since 2001) of The Chesapeake Bay String of Pearls Project (established to honor those who protect and preserve land forever in the Chesapeake Bay watershed through public donation or conservation easements).

Karen Riley, Director, External Public Affairs, Visit Baltimore

Karyn is a member of the executive staff (Director of Public Affairs) of Visit Baltimore, the official sales and marketing organization for Baltimore that generates economic benefits for stakeholders through the attraction of convention, group and leisure visitors, currently under the leadership of its President & CEO, Tom Noonan. Karyn is also a Participant of the America's Leaders of Change Cohort III at National Urban Fellows. In recent past she taught as Adjunct Professor at Community College of DC and served as consultant at K.Riley Strategies. She has also been the Assistant City Manager at New Carrollton, Maryland. She is the graduate of Syracuse University College of Law and Hampton University.

Godfrey Pratt , PhD, Hotel & Restaurant Management Department, University of Maryland Eastern Shore

In 1990 Dr. Pratt received his Masters Degree in Tourism Development & Travel Administration from the George Washington University in Washington, DC. A year later he joined the Maryland Office of Tourism Development as the manager of Special Projects. There he coordinated Maryland’s Minority Tourism Development Initiative; spearheaded a task force for the 1995 White House Conference on Travel & Tourism, and redeveloped Maryland’s convention sales effort for sustained growth and profitability.  He received his doctoral degree from the George Washington University in 1996, and was recruited by Morgan State University to engineer the opening of the hospitality and tourism management program. While there Dr. Pratt authored chapters for the following textbooks: Caribbean Tourism Visions Missions and Challenges, and Tourism & Hospitality Education & Training in the Caribbean. Dr Pratt also published an article in the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management entitled: “Terrorism and Tourism: Bahamas and Jamaica Fight Back.” (Pub. 2003). He undertook substantial research in the area of sustainable economic and environmental development within a tourist culture. In 1998 he delivered a paper entitled: Preparing Caribbean Youth for Leadership in Environmental Conservation & Preservation, at the 2nd Annual Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Development Conference in Trinidad, sponsored by the Caribbean Tourism Organization.   Dr. Pratt is a lead consultant on a three-phase hotel development and hospitality management project in the Bahamas. He has held key administrative positions in the undergraduate and graduate programs at Baltimore International College, and served as an adjunct instructor in DeVry Keller University’s Graduate online program. He is a visiting professor for Tourism subjects at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and serves on the faculty for Family & Consumer Sciences at Morgan State University.

Daniel Lledo , President, Greater Washington DC Chapter, Latino Hotel & Restaurant Association; Managing Director & CEO, VLC Business

For bionote see earlier page (Main Session).


 Jules Smith , Co-Proprietor, Maryland Renaissance Festival

The first large-scale Renaissance Festival opened in California more than thirty years ago. Today there may be as many as thirty-five such festivals around the country, each modeled after the original, but independently owned. One of the early festivals was built in Minnesota, on the land of one of the new towns popular in the 70’s, It was in Chaska, just west of Minneapolis, the hometown of Jules Smith, Sr., and his family.  In 1981, the festival moved to a family farm in Crownsville, where on a 25-acre wooded site with 85 acres of free parking, they created a 16th century English village and named it Revel Grove. The festival is in its 29th year with Jules Smith, Sr. President, residing in Minnesota, and his four sons as on-site managers. “I don't want to be Disneyland,” Jules Smith said. “I want to fill another niche.”


Ahmed Farrukh , Proprietor, Motel6 in Ashland, VA

Subpanel A2

Chris Babb , Representative, NTA (f. National Tour Association); President, The Group Tour Company

For bionote see earlier page (Main Session).

Clay Hickson , Director, TowsonGlobal Business Incubator, Towson University;  Chairman Emeritus , Maryland China Business Council

Clay E. Hickson is Director of TowsonGlobal Business Incubator, Towson University’s incubator for early-stage companies.  Previously, Mr. Hickson was managing Director of Rhôton Hill Group, a management consulting firm he established, which provided international marketing, corporate communications, strategic planning and cross-cultural communications services.  Mr. Hickson has developed and taught training programs, seminars and college courses that have prepared executives for doing business in international environments.  He is Chairman Emeritus of the Maryland-China Business Council, serves on the board of directors of the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce, serves on the advisory board of the Asian Arts and Culture Center, and serves as Vice President of the Maryland Business Incubation Association.  Mr. Hickson received his MA in International Relations from the School of Advanced International Studies at The Johns Hopkins University and received his BA in International Relations from The George Washington University.  He also studied Chinese at Columbia University.

 Peter Savage , Founder, Passport Health

For almost 15 years associated with Passport Health, Inc., a nationwide network of travel vaccine clinics, offering comprehensive travel counseling, a full range of vaccines and travel products where he served as its Vice President. One of his achievements there was to establish the travel intelligence services necessary to complement Passport Health’s medical services. He worked for many years as independent consultant, providing travel security to corporations and institutions whose personnel travelled extensively. He is also an accomplished US Foreign Service Officer. Peter is an author of The Safe Travel Book, now in a third edition and 20th printing with 200,000 copies sold through 2010.

Jorge Eduardo Castillo , MBA, Member, Board of Directors, MD Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Mr. Castillo is the founder and chief strategist of CSS, a referral-based company which assists businesses and corporations with meaningful and impactful business strategies. He develops strategies and tactics that encompass the whole business cycle, including Organizational Development, Process Reengineering, New Economy Public Relations, Branding and  iBusiness Marketing.  Prior to CSS, Mr. Castillo worked in a number of consultative roles, most recently as a business development executive for Passport Health, the nation’s largest provider of travel medical services and immunizations. During his tenure, he was responsible for leading the team which grew an entrepreneurial concept into a nationally and internationally recognized brand. As a strategist, Mr. Castillo recognizes the value of emphasizing quality of life issues whilst building or revamping the organization. Mr. Castillo gained experience in the restaurant and wine industry where he served in almost every role, including as wine consultant, waiter staff captain and opening manager. He has been a speaker at various national and international conferences and has written extensively for travel publications, travel health blogs and travel magazines.  He has been a guest lecturer at Towson University, Loyola University Maryland and New York University.  He is a Phi-Beta-Kappa graduate of Goucher college with a  degree in Biological sciences with a  pre-medical concentration.  He received his Master of Business Administration degree for the Joseph E. Sellinger School of Business and Management at Loyola University Maryland and serves in various boards. He was born in Lima, Peru and currently resides in Baltimore, MD.

 Humberto Ho , Vice President, Ho Brothers Development LLC    

Mr. Humberto Ho was graduated from University of Illinois holding a Master Degree in civil engineering, currently he is a licensed Professional Engineer practicing in United States, specializing in geotechnical study and site development. He has over fifteen years of general contracting experience in commercial construction and development in the United States.   With well diversified construction background, Ho Brothers Development will continue its family pride and tradition in both construction and real estate arena.



Muzaffer Uysal , PhD, Professor of Tourism, Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Pamplin College of Business, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech)

For bionote see earlier page (Main Session)

Subpanel B1

Ellen Moyer , f. Mayor, City of Annapolis

As a community activist, she was the founder of Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, served as president of the Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre, and developed the Parks and Paths for People program. She represented Ward 8 on the City Council from 1987 to 2001. During her tenure as alderman, she was responsible for founding GreenScape and the Maryland Maritime Heritage Festival, initiating the Street End Parks, promoting the Barge House Museum and the Eastport Historic Walking Trail, developing an innovative zoning overlay to protect the maritime industry, and bringing the world famous Whitbread yacht race to Annapolis. Ellen has been named three times as one of Maryland's Top 100 Women by The Daily Record. In 2004, she received the Spencer P Ellis Award for outstanding commitment and contribution to the environment by the American Society of Landscape Architects. Ellen received appointments from five different governors to state boards, including the Maryland State Board of Education and the Maryland State Racing Commission. While performing her duties as Mayor of Annapolis, Ellen Moyer served on the Advisory Board for the East Coast Greenway Alliance, the Adventure Sports Center Board, the Baltimore Area Council of Girl Scouts, Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Conference and Visitors Center Executive Committee and advisory boards for the Heritage Area and Annapolis Alive! Charter 300. Ellen Moyer's commitment to community and citizen involvement and the quality of life is her legacy of public service.


Bob Agee , Partner, The Faux Group, Inc.; f. City Administrator, City of Annapolis

Bob has been recently serving as Administrator at City of Annapolis.  He is an accomplished government relations consultant. Currently is a partner at The Faux Group, Inc. a landscape architectural practice privately owned and operated. The group has completed design and planning efforts throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and South America. The Faux Group has evolved into a technologically advanced practice, delivering useful products, on time, within budgets. The Faux Group is caring of the environment, devoted to great design and driven by process. It runs international training projects in the area of city/zone planning, land use, waste management and others. Most recently completed project has been procured in China.

L isa Craig , Head, Historic Preservation Commission, City of Annapolis

With 20 years of experience working in historic preservation and property redevelopment, both in the public and private sectors, my measure of success is the thousands of properties and dozens of communities I’ve helped to rebuild, the economic value I’ve created for the organizations I’ve served, and the relationships I’ve maintained with hundreds of professionals across the country. From saving a historic downtown in Virginia to rebuilding an entire military housing community in Colorado, to developing model public outreach programs from Washington DC to Hawaii, I’ve practiced a professional philosophy that supports the sustainable and economically viable reuse of older properties while building quality communities through partnering with others. I have a broad range of skills – from negotiating project agreements to conducting regulatory compliance review, from building public/private partnerships to crafting business and strategic plans, from developing marketing programs to providing responsible financial oversight for project and government budgets. Utilizing all of my skills to support sustainable reuse projects that contribute to an enhanced quality of life for individuals, families and communities is my continued career goal.

 Sarah Wilkerson , Proprietor ADEK Productions; Proprietor, Destination Annapolis

Sarah operates a successful full service Multimedia Production Company in Annapolis with her partner and husband Chanssez Wilkerson. ADEK Productions provides event support services, primarily audio and visual, to many community related events both in and around the Annapolis area and many of the surrounding areas. Much of what we do is in support of the Community, tourism and local overall enhancement.   Destination Annapolis was created as a visual outlet for tourism in Annapolis. ADEK uses its resources to support this very exciting project that supports local businesses with free and very low cost video infomercials, while at that same time providing a virtual experience for the visitor.   Sarah has served on the Economic Development Transition Committee that served as an integral part in the founding of the Economic Development Corporation, as we now know it. She has also served on the Charter Revision Committee and strives to serve the Community for the betterment of the consumer and business experience alike within our City.

 William Small , Transportation Board, City of Annapolis; Proprietor, Will Get I.T. Done

William Small is a native of Annapolis, MD.  While attending Anne Arundel Community College Will worked in database management and began his career as owner of Will Get IT Done with a series of referrals.  The company has grown beyond himself, with several part-time employees with various specialties. Will's vision for the company is to provide excellent computer support for local businesses and individuals.  Will is also involved in the local community, serving on the Annapolis Transportation Citizens Advisory Board and working with the Anne Arundel Green Party.  He enjoys sailing, bicycling, gardening, and spending time with his family.

Tony Spencer , Vice President, Social Integration and Community Development Association (SICDA); Public Information Officer, Fire Department, City of Annapolis; Proprietor, Enrapture Records

Tony Spencer has until recently served as Director of the Office of Youth and Community Affairs for the Mayor’s Office in the City of Annapolis. His community involvement presently is as Community Service Lane Director for the Annapolis Rotary Club, member of the Sojourner-Douglass College Southern Maryland Campus Alumni Association, director on BB&T's Board of Advisors, serves on the Anne Arundel Community College’s Advisory Board on Diversity, Boys and Girls Club of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Board of Directors. Formerly he has been involved with Frontiers International Annapolis Club, 1996 International Olympic Torch Bearer: one of four Annapolitans to carry the Olympic Torch in Annapolis, lighting the caldron at the City Dock, former vice president of the Anne Arundel County Public School Board (1999-2004), secretary and treasurer of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE, 2001-2004), member of the Culture Arts Foundation of Anne Arundel County, and member of the Maryland State Arts Council. Tony is also an accomplished Independent Vocal Performer in the areas of Signatory, Recording Artist / Poet / Model / Composer / Storyteller and Founder of Enrapture Records; performs gospel, jazz & R&B; (1965 to present).

Subpanel B2

Cy Paumier , Urban Design Consultant

Paumier grew up in Canton, Ohio. Paumier received his bachelors in Ohio in landscape architecture. From there he went to Harvard for his masters in urban design. He has been involved in multitude of urban design and re-design projects throughout the world, including Manchester (Great Britain), Nun's Island (Montreal, Canada) and Columbia, MD (with Rouse Company) and many others. He is also an accomplished author of few books: “Creating A Vibrant City Center. Urban Design and Regeneration Principles” and “Designing the Successful Downtown”.

Joann Vaughan , Executive Director, The Maryland Federation of Art

Joann Vaughan’s career in nonprofit organizations spans more than 20 years. For the past four years, she has served as the executive director of the Maryland Federation of Art, the oldest artist-run arts organization in Maryland. Prior to this position she was the director of the Annapolis Book Festival at the Key School. She has worked for two international nonprofit organizations and served on several nonprofit and governmental boards. Joann holds a master’s degree in human resource development from University of Maryland University College and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Virginia. She is married with four children.


Jim Martin , Proprietor, Freestate Press Inc.

Born and raised and still living in Annapolis, Jim has a passion for ecology matters that goes back decades. Martin has been an active environmentalist since the 70's, when the whole concept of recycling wood, metal and paper was new. He's a past president of the Severn River Association and a current member of the Scenic Rivers Land Trust. He is one of the most active social leader and philanthropist in Annapolis, organizing the famous First Sunday Arts festivals. He has been hands-on involved in successful 30-year long private-public program to redevelop upper West Street in Annapolis.


 Vince Magnini , PhD, Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Pamplin College of Business, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech)

Dr. Vince Magnini is an associate professor and undergraduate program coordinator in the hospitality and tourism management department and Virginia Tech. He was recently ranked as one of the top 20 most prolific hospitality researchers worldwide and holds editorial board appointments on nearly all of the top-ranked research journals in the field. Further, he is a U.S. Fulbright Scholar. His unique interactional approach to customer service led him to co-author a book titled Tourist Customer Service Satisfaction: An Encounter Approach published by Routledge in 2010. His research has also been featured twice on National Public Radio’s With Good Reason and cited in the New York Times.

Subpanel C1

Danielle Dimitrov , Ed. D., Hotel Management, Hospitality Sales, Sustainable Tourism, Hospitality HRM, Facilities Management in Hospitality, School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism, Tourism and Event Management Program, George Mason University, CEHD

Dr. Danielle Dimitrov is an alumna of the George Washington University, majoring in Human Resources Development. She serves as a: part-time professor at the Carey Business School, The Johns Hopkins University; part-time professor at the department of Recreation, Health, and Tourism, George Mason University; and as an Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Business and Technology, UMUC. Her professional career marks over 12 years of experience in the field of Hospitality & Resort Management and Corporate Training. She has served on numerous research and hospitality management projects and consulted several organizations on HRD and Change Management. Her research interests include the concepts of: the Humane Organization, Meaning of Work, Work-Life (Work-Family) Balance, Cross-cultural Diversity, Talent Development, and others.

Carol de Rosa , Senior Vice President, Passport Health; Member, Board of Directors, Maryland-China Business Council

Carol joined the Passport Health team full time in 2000 as the Executive Director and Corporate Trainer. Her responsibilities included the training of all clinical staff in the local and national network. She has worked to develop and strengthen partnerships in private industry, the CDC, pharmaceutical companies and DOD. As an educator, she is a frequent contributor of articles to travel agencies, journals, and the Passport Health website.   Prior to working with the Passport Health team, Carol worked in hospital settings in the emergency rooms in New York City, public health in Philadelphia, and in home health and child abuse forensics in Maryland where she came to live with her husband and three sons in 1986. While in Massachusetts, she was recognized by the state Legislature for her work on children’s health issues; work that would later translate to advocacy work on the hill with the National Military Family Association in D.C. She is GCP certified and is a member of Maryland Association of Nurse Executives, International Society of Travel Medicine and Optimist International. Her published articles have appeared in Home Health Review, Nursing Spectrum, Bottom Line and the DHH publication of the Centers for Substance Abuse and Treatment. In 2011 Carol DeRosa was appointed to the Maryland China Business Council Board of Directors as a Board Member.

Cynthia Gossage , PhD, Chair, Department of Nutrition, Foods, and Hospitality Management, Prince George’s  Community College

Dr. Gossage is professor, and Department Chair of Nutrition, Foods and Hospitality Management.   As Chair she provides leadership within the department, coordinating new course development, developing articulation agreements with four-year institutions and high schools, and representing the college to Workforce Services Corporation, Prince George’s County Public Schools, Maryland Restaurant Association, and Maryland Community College Affinity Group on Hospitality. She was also former Co-chair, Employee Division, Major Gifts Campaign, and former member - College Wide Forum Executive Committee. Her teaching responsibilities include Introductory Nutrition, Introduction to the Hospitality Industry, and Introduction to Food Science and Technology. In her extensive community involvement work, she has served as the President, Metro-DC Society for Nutrition Education as well as Vice President for Gateway Community Development Corporation.

Brian Cahalan , Owner, 49 West Café, Winebar & Gallery  

Brian is not only an accomplished business owner and restaurateur, but an art patron and social activist. His signature business venture: 49 West Café, Winebar & Gallery has an ambiance that is replicated all through Europe and now available on Annapolis’ West Street – in the new Arts District.


Craig Sewell, Proprietor, A Cook's Café; Chesapeake School of Cooking

Craig Sewell, founder and owner of Annapolis’ A Cook’s Café, strives to exceed customers' expectations, and not just customers of the Café but of the Chesapeake School of Cooking as well. "It is my belief," says Mr. Sewell, "that more people would cook if they understood the nature of how ingredients work together - the basics of sauces, the heart of tidewater cooking or the chemistry of great baking." His "fusion" business concept of retail, catering and instruction stems from his many years of experience in the kitchens of four-star restaurants, as well as his years managing multiple facets of corporate and private catering. A Cook's Café is created with his concept of keeping good food and good cooking down to earth, inviting and intimate.

 Steve Lebowitz , Cooking Committee, Kneseth Israel Congregation

Steve is a research consultant and lobbyist running his own Steven Lebowitz Strategies. In his career he has served as Legislative Director at The Hon. Lewis J. Yevoli, also as Chair at NYS Assembly Commerce Committee. He specializes in litigation support, commercial and political research. By his professional hobby he is also a cook and caterer, heading the Kitchen Committee at local synagogue.


Raghu Suraj , Indies Restaurant

Raghu represents the family business of India’s, local Annapolitanean Indian restaurant. He is the son of Mr. Suraj Kumar who came to Washington, D.C. from Punjab, India. The Kumar family came to the Annapolis area in 1992 taking over the Indian restaurant on Main Street. After a fire destroyed the restaurant in 1997, the family opened the newer location on West Street a little more than a year later. The superbly trained chef is a close cousin, Zeenat Bhanot, who excels at preparing wonderfully delicious fare.

Gary Amoth, Proprietor, Hardbean Coffee & Booksellers in Annapolis

Mr. Gary has been the Director of Real Estate and Construction at the Crown Books and Discovery Zone where he was responsible for site selection, lease negotiation and construction oversight for major retailers. Graduated in business from Minnesota State University, Mr. Gary is well read, power boater, past commodore yacht club, excellent cook, and enjoys living in the minute.

Ted Levitt, Proprietor, Chick & Ruths Delly; Scotlaur Inn Bed & Breakfast

Ted has grown up working in the family businesses, The Scotlaur Inn and Chick and Ruth's Delly. He was only away for a few short years while attending college. One of Teddy's many fine accomplishments was graduating from the Culinary Institute of America and Florida International University. His wife, Beth, joined the family in 1981 when she and Ted exchanged vows. Together they operate the Scotlaur Inn, Chick and Ruth's Delly, and Uncle Teddys.


Subpanel C2

 Linnell Bowen, Executive Director, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

Apart of very successfully serving as Executive Director for the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, Linnell has also recently served as Executive Director for   Annapolis 300, A Capital Celebration. Before that she thought Fundraising for Historic Preservation at the Goucher College for Continuing Studies. She was the Director of Development/Public Relations and Director of Education of the Historic Annapolis Foundation.   Over the years, her professional work and her volunteer service have always been devoted to promoting the value of culture, arts, and education for all citizens of Anne Arundel County, thus encouraging economic growth and enhancing the quality of life for the community.  She is a member of the National Public Relations Society of America, Annapolis/Anne Arundel County Chapter Trustee, National Society of Fund Raising Executives, Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Conference and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors, Annapolis Chamber of Tourism, Anne Arundel Trade Council, Cultural Heritage Alliance Committee, Cultural Arts Foundation of Anne Arundel  County and Leadership Anne Arundel Program.


Dorita Berger, PhD, MT-BC, LCAT, Owner, The Music Therapy Clinic

Dr. Berger is a concert pianist,  educator, Board Certified music therapist, and New York State Licensed Creative Arts Therapists.  Dr. Berger holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance from Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA) , a Master’s Degree in Music Therapy from New York University (New York, NY),  and a PhD in Physiologic Music Therapy from the Psychology Department of Roehampton University (London, UK), and additional piano performance  training at The Juilliard Conservatory in New York City. Dr. Berger has served on the faculties of Universities in Connecticut, New Jersey, and Florida, and continues to be called upon to provide clinical  supervision, seminars,  and presentations at International Conferences  in Europe, Canada, South and North America.    Dr. Berger was a recent recipient of a Fulbright Senior Specialist Grant to the Ukraine  to lecture on Music Therapy. She has also been a Fellowship recipient of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, Houston, TX, to participate in the week-long seminar “Exploring The Mind Through.   In addition to several journal articles and a book chapter, her publications include: Toward The Zen Of Performance  MMB 1999);  Music Therapy, Sensory Integration and the Autistic Child (JKP 2002);  THE MUSIC EFFECT: Music Physiology and Clinical Applications (JKP 2006, co-authored with Dr. Daniel J.Schneck);  and  Chapter (10), Developing Music Therapy Goals and Objectives For Treating Autism Characteristics;  in  The Use of Creative Therapies with Autism Spectrum Disorder (S. Brooke, Ed., 2009).    Dr. Berger is Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Biomusical Engineering, a new on-line publication.  Dr.. Berger’s expertise is in Physiologic and Sensorimotor Clinical Music Treatment for Autism,  Sensory Integration,  Stress and Anxiety Disorders,  and her clinical work often includes psychodynamic treatment for aging populations, trauma victims, neurologic impairments, strokes, Alzheimer’s and Dementias. Dr. Berger conducts a private practice, The Music Therapy Clinic, in Norwalk, CT.

Fabiana Franco, PhD LLC, Clinical and Consulting Services

Dr. Fabiana Franco provides psychotherapy, evaluations and consultation services for adults, children, and families with a wide range of disorders. Dr. Franco provides these services to individuals of diverse cultural backgrounds and speaks English, Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese.   She is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Maryland Psychological Association, the International Association for Cross Cultural Psychology, the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, the National Association of French Speaking Health Professionals, the Social Integration and Community Development Association, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Psychology and Law Society, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, the International Society For Traumatic Stress Studies, the National Latino Psychological Association, the District of Columbia Psychological Association, and the New York State Psychological Association. She is also a professional tango dancer and teacher.

Rabbi Moshe Weisblum, PhD, Kneseth Israel Congregation

Dr. Moshe Pinchas Weisblum is a scholar, a rabbi and social leader. Born and grew up in Israel, was a volunteer for the elite paratrooper unit in the Israeli Defense Forces and he finished his army career as a commissioned officer, with the rank of Major. He is an author of many books, including: ‘Table Talk: Biblical Questions and Answers’, ‘Ruth Talk’, ‘The Hermeneutics of Medieval Jewish Thought: Understanding the Linguistic Codes of Rashi and Nachmanides’. He serves also as a consultant to the media as commentator on social and political issues. He holds a doctorate in philosophy from Baltimore Hebrew University. Dr. Weisblum is also an accomplished businessman currently serving as Executive Vice President at Quick Home, and in recent past as Executive VP / Partner at AWK Ltd and Import/Export Manager & Executive Director at Chalmah International Foods, Inc

 Bozica Myers, Director, Holistic Health Coach, Atami Day Spa

Since 22 years Bozica is the holistic health coach. Being a professional aesthetician she lives organic lifestyle and is immersed in macrobiotic philosophy and macrobiotic teaching/practicing. She has also pharmaceutical background.

 Kathleen Glaser, educator, Center for Courage and Renewal 

Kathleen W. Glaser is a Center for Courage and Renewal facilitator who conducts Courage to Teach and Courage to Lead retreats. She has over thirty years experience in public schools, serving as a teacher, principal, college professor, and supervisor of student teachers. She received the Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Award and is a co-founder of the Chesapeake Public Charter School in southern Maryland. Her passion is creating trustworthy spaces for learning and community.

 Michael Glaser, f.  Maryland Poet Laureate; Professor Emeritus, St. Mary’s College

Michael S. Glaser served as Poet Laureate of Maryland from 2004 to 2009. Retired from St. Mary's College of Maryland where he served as both a professor and administrator for 38 years, Glaser also served as Maryland State Arts Council Poet-in-the-Schools for more than 20 years. He is a recipient of the Homer Dodge Endowed Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Columbia Merit Award for service to poetry. Widely sought as a speaker and workshop leader, he has edited two anthologies and published over 500 poems in a variety of venues. His most recent books are Being a Father, and the chapbook "Fire Before the Hands" which won the 2007 Anabiosis Press Chapbook contest. His next chapbook, "Remembering Eden" will be published by Finishing Line Press. Glaser has five grown children and six grandchildren. He is married to the educator, Kathleen W. Glaser, who works with the Center for Courage and Renewal.

< main conference page