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Maryland Names First Group of ‘Outdoor Recreation Ambassadors’

Public, Private Sector Partners will Promote State’s Status as Recreation Destination

Photo of man on a paddleboard with two dogs

Photo by Norma Broadwater, submitted for 2018 Maryland Natural Resources Photo Contest.

The Maryland Department of Commerce and Maryland Department of Natural Resources have announced that 18 Marylanders from the public and private sectors have been named as the state’s first Outdoor Recreation Ambassadors. As part of their responsibilities, the ambassadors will work to enhance the state’s status as a leading destination for outdoor recreation.

The ambassadors all served as members of the Maryland Outdoor Recreation Economic (MORE) Commission, which was established by Governor Larry Hogan in 2017 to develop strategies and make recommendations to strengthen the state’s outdoor recreation industry and help ensure increased investment in our state’s outdoor recreation resources. 

“Deputizing” ambassadors was one of the recommendations from the commission to create an opportunity for word-of-mouth social media campaigns that could be used among the partners to amplify messages. The secretaries of the departments recognized them at a virtual event and plan to announce additional ambassadors in the coming months.  

“We are very pleased to recognize these individuals for their work with the MORE Commission and for their ongoing efforts to promote outdoor recreation in Maryland,” Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio said. “They are important partners as we work to promote Maryland as a premier destination for year-round recreation and expand economic development opportunities in our state.”

“Maryland is rich with an abundance of outdoor recreation options, from our federal, state and local parks, to our Atlantic beaches and Chesapeake Bay, and mountains to the west,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. “We are so excited to have all of these outstanding Marylanders help us shine a light on our outdoor recreation industry and its importance to Maryland’s economy and quality of life.”

The ambassadors are: 

Cathleen C. Bramble – Tolchester Marina Inc.

Hamilton Chaney – Herrington Harbor

Kelly Collins Choi – Casey Trees (former Maryland Department of Natural Resources staff)

Richard W. Decker – U.S. Army

Joel Dunn – Chesapeake Conservancy

Paul C. Edwards – Garrett County Board of County Commissioners

Walter Ficklin – Bladensburg Town Council

Deanna Flood – Providing Outdoor Recreation Services

Liz Fitzsimmons -Office of Tourism, and Film, Maryland Department of Commerce

Steven G. Green – High Mountain Sports

Scott Knoche – PEARL Laboratory, Morgan State University

Thurmond L. Jenkins – Muddy Marsh Outdoors

Matt Liddle – Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI)

Sean E. Mann – Sean Mann Outdoors

Tamika Newkirk – District of Columbia Department of Housing and Community Development

William Pickrum – Kent County Board of Commissioners (former)

Brian N. Raines – Calvert Design Group, Inc.

David Sutherland – Maryland Sportsmen’s Foundation

The MORE Commission met numerous times in 2018 and 2019 with local representatives of every region of the state, getting an in-depth view and analysis of the state’s outdoor recreation facilities, businesses, and possibilities. 

Sec. Riccio and Sec. Schulz recognized them at a virtual event April 6 and plan to announce additional ambassadors in the coming months.