Tourism Day attendees at the Maryland State House.  Photo by KRR Photography

Maryland Tourism Day was held on Friday, February 10 at Rams Head On Stage! Due to circumstances out of our control, we were forced to find a new venue for Tourism Day and ended up with a SOLD OUT event with over 175 registered tourism professionals. We also had some VIPs stop by and talk about what Tourism means to them. We were joined on stage by Brooke Leirman, Comptroller of Maryland, Kevin Anderson Secretary of Commerce, Kevin Atticks, Secretary of Agriculture, and Tom Riford, Assistant Secretary of Commerce. Many members of the General Assembly also stopped by.  Attached is a copy of the Tourism Investment Flyer that was referred to during the Tourism Day Program.  Click here to view photos of the day, and feel free to share with credit to KRR Photography!

The Future of VAAAC:

Your Input Matters


On February 16th, we hosted our first-of-four focus group meetings to discuss the strategic roadmap we're developing to identify opportunities for meaningful and increased impact for our destination.

As valued partners of our organization, your input is a critical part of this process, and we thank the partners that attended yesterday's meeting at the Chesapeake Arts Center. If you have not yet signed up for a focus group, we ask that you do so that your input can be heard.

Each meeting will be approximately one hour and begin at 8:30 am. 

The remaining dates are as follows:

Thursday, February 23rd (The Vineyards at Dodon, Davidsonville)

Tuesday, February 28th (Location TBD, Crofton/Gambrills)

Thursday, March 2nd (Blackwall Hitch, Annapolis)

If you are available to join us, please reply to Christine McNichols with your preferred date.

If you are unable to attend one of the sessions, but would still like to provide feedback on our strategic roadmap, please contact us to schedule a separate time for a call.

Thank you, in advance, for continuing to help us thoughtfully plan how Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County can further our mission.  We are grateful for the opportunity to connect with you as we work together to ensure a welcoming destination for all and continue to promote the county to visitors. 

Calling all “group” partners! First come first serve, we have space for five partners to join us in Philadelphia on this experiential Culinary Adventure. We will be hosting Philadelphia-based planners from 5 pm-8 pm on March 14th and working alongside them to create some amazing dishes. The cost is $100 per person and you must be able to accommodate group business to attend. Contact Elizabeth Joyner if you are interested or have questions.


We shared this last week at the end of the newsletter, but wanted to make sure everyone is aware of this happy-sad news:

It is with best wishes that we announce that Susan Seifried, Director of Media & Community Relations, will be retiring from Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County on March 31 after nearly 19 years of service. None of us can imagine the organization without her.

Via press trips and familiarization tours; domestic and international deskside visits and media missions; news releases and community relations efforts; Susan has advocated for, pitched, and promoted our destination, the region, and the State. Her reputation across Maryland and throughout the industry is incomparable. She has not only represented our organization well, but she has also represented our many partners. We know we are not alone in saying Susan will be sorely missed.

Please join our entire team in congratulating Susan for her service to our mission and her next chapter!

In the News

As a media resource, VAAAC lends assistance and shares story ideas with journalists and media outlets to inspire coverage, increase visitation, and keep Annapolis and Anne Arundel County top of mind with area residents and visitors.

VAAAC Director of Finance and Administration Shannon Harcum shares Black History Month activities with Fox 45 TV’s Marc Clarke during a February 14 interview at the Banneker-Douglass Museum.

Celebrate Black History Month in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County

Thanks to a pitch by the Maryland Office of Tourism Development (OTD), Fox 45 TV selected Annapolis and Anne Arundel County’s Banneker-Douglass Museum for its Black History Month Hometown Hotspot on February 14. Via three live interviews, representatives from OTD, Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County, and the Banneker-Douglass Museum provided Fox 45’s Marc Clarke with insider scoops on ways to celebrate African American heritage and contributions to our nation during Black History Month and beyond.


VAAAC’s Susan Seifried; OTD’s Claire Aubel; VAAAC’s Shannon Harcum; Marc Clarke, Fox 45 TV; VAAAC’s Kristen Pironis; Channel Johnson and Jan Lee, Banneker-Douglass Museum.  

There's still place available - 

click here to register! 

March 21st | 8:30 - 10:30 am | Smashing Grapes Annapolis

With its vast waterfront, thriving state capital and booming airport, Anne Arundel County has too many assets to name. The Baltimore Business Journal will discuss how the county is trying to parlay these assets into more jobs, development and tourists.

Join us for networking and an in-depth discussion that will help you gain insight into this growing county.


Moderated by Melody Simmons, BBJ Commercial Real Estate Reporter

  • Kate Jordan SIOR, Principal, Lee & Associates
  • Wes MacQuilliam, Vice President of Business Development and Real Estate, Anne Arundel Economic Development
  • Kristen Pironis, Executive Director, Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County 
  • Stephen Rice, Economic Development Manager, City of Annapolis
  • Gina Stewart, Executive Director, BWI Business Partnership, Inc.

For more information and to register, click here.

Every day, nearly 600 hospice patients and more than 1,000 supportive care patients turn to Hospice of the Chesapeake for help, support, and care at a heartbreaking time. Please support this year’s Hospice of the Chesapeake Gala by donating your Annapolis- or Anne Arundel-based experience, venue, attraction, or service to the Silent Auction. Each year, the Gala attracts more than 500 guests. Funds raised ensure care and comfort for patients and families facing life-limiting illnesses. Sponsorship and underwriting opportunities are available.


Details: or call Lauren Thurston, 443-837-1531.  Thank you for helping patients and families at a truly difficult time.


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