The Charles County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the 2021 Board of Directors and Officers. A virtual Inauguration Ceremony will take place on Wednesday, January 13, 2021. The event will be shown simultaneously on Zoom and Facebook Live.

Outgoing Board Chair Tom Blandford described the juxtaposition of the past year and the upcoming Inaugural Ceremony as “interesting”. He said his theme for this year was “2020: A Clear Vision”. “This has been unlike any year we’ve seen. No one could have envisioned the challenges our businesses have faced this year, nor could we have imagined the successes the Chamber seen”. Blandford laughed, adding, “It only makes sense to have a different kind of Inaugural Ceremony after a year like this”.

Incoming Chair John Chappelle acknowledged Blandford’s leadership during what has been a difficult year. “Tom helped the Chamber navigate the temporary closing of much of our business community, the loss of numerous businesses, and the struggles of learning new ways to operate our businesses.” Chappelle noted Blandford’s success in bringing together key community stakeholders to create guidelines for Charles County businesses to reopen safely, and his direction in acting upon the Chamber’s 2020-2025 Strategic Plan. He encouraged Chamber members and others to tune in for the virtual Inaugural Ceremony, noting details are forthcoming. Sponsorships will be available.

Chamber President and CEO Bonnie Grady said she’s looking forward to working with the Board members who are continuing their service, as well as those who were recently elected. “This will be a dynamic group of talented business and community leaders. This Board is composed of representatives from all over the county, from a variety of industries, with diverse skills and strengths. The Chamber’s Strategic Plan calls for the Board to be more representative of the community, and that’s what you’ll see in 2021.”

Incoming 2021 Board Chair is John Chappelle, Community Bank of the Chesapeake. Vice Chair is Leigh Ann Keller, Travel Leaders/Action Travel Tours. Greg Conklin with State Farm – Greg Conklin Insurance and Financial Planning and Mark Walker, Edward Jones – Mark Walker Financial Advisor, return as Treasurer and Secretary, respectively. Mike Bellis, United Way of Charles County, will serve a second year as Member At Large. Tom Blandford, eTrepid, is Past Chair.

Returning Directors are Joyce Cool, Wealth Management Partners; George Hawley, Maryland Department of Labor; Monica Kempson, Askey, Askey & Associates; Deadra McCarthur, Hilton Garden Inn – Waldorf; Lynette Starke, SMECO; and Christopher Zabriskie, Business Training Works, Inc.

New Directors for 2021 include Marlon Brown, Fresh Coat Painters of Waldorf; Peter Gardner, Swan Point Yacht & Country Club; Lamar Hinson, Landon’s Ices & Creams; Edward Holland, III, National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association; Alvin Stewart, Rebuilding Together, Charles County; Sandy Washington, LifeStyles of Maryland Foundation, Inc.; and Desirae Williams, BB&T now Truist.

Community Representatives to the Board are Commissioner Gilbert “BJ” Bowling, Charles County Board of Commissioners; Lucretia Freeman-Buster, Charles County Economic Development Department; Dr. Kimberly Hill, Charles County Public Schools; Sgt. “Pat” McCue, Charles County Sheriff’s Office; Chris Adams, Naval Surface Warfare Center – Indian Head; Ryan Hicks, Town of Indian Head; Mayor Jeannine James, Town of La Plata; and Vince Hungerford, Western Charles County Business Association.


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