Worcester County Tourism Director Lisa Challenger was named Maryland Tourism Person of the Year at the Maryland Tourism & Travel Summit in November for her exceptional commitment to enhancing and perpetuating the Maryland tourism industry.
“I just believe in surrounding myself with really terrific people every day,” Challenger said. “I partner with a great bunch of people on a daily basis who make it possible to accomplish so many great projects that promote Worcester County.”
Known for her success in developing regional partnerships, Challenger was recognized by her peers across the state for her creativity and incessantly positive approach to identifying and developing new tourism markets. A few of the projects she has spearheaded include the Wilds of Worcester video series, Eat, Drink and Buy Art campaign, Worcester Green Award Program, Beach and Beyond website and mobile app, West Ocean City Commercial Harbor and African American historic markers, Delmarva Birding Weekend, the social media campaign that earned Berlin the title America’s Coolest Small Town, and inclusion of the Beach to Bay Indian Trail on the Department of the Interior’s National Recreation Trail.
“Lisa has gone above and beyond for many years, and she was certainly deserving of this coveted title,” said Susan Jones, Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association executive director. “Her dedication, coupled with her passion for Worcester County has helped generate new tourism and travel within the county.”
Challenger has headed up Worcester County’s tourism efforts since 1989. In 2014 she was appointed to the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority by Governor Larry Hogan. She is a founding-member of the Lower Eastern Shore Heritage Area, and current Maryland Association of Destination Marketing Organizations vice chair. She also organizes the Eastern Shore economic data handout to explain tourism’s value to the Eastern Shore Delegation.
“Having worked with her for almost two decades, I can attest to her devotion to tourism, desire to work with others in the industry to amplify the effect of any individual effort, as well as her regional approach and dedication,” said Ann McGinnis Hillyer, State Ventures, LLC chief executive officer and ShoreCraftBeer.com creator. “Lisa truly exemplifies hospitality and furthers tourism for her county, her region, the Eastern Shore, and the entire state of Maryland.”
Challenger is the third Worcester County professional to be recognized as Tourism Person of the Year. The title also went to Ruth Waters in 2004 and Susan Jones in 2009.
During the tourism summit, Worcester County Tourism also won the Best Digital Campaign Award for running an advertising campaign on WashingtonPost.Com that utilized cutting-edge, 30-second videos to connect with Washington Post readers on the site and across the web. The advertising campaign was recognized for its quality and the sheer volume of viewers and click-throughs.
For more information, contact Kim Moses, public information officer, at (410) 632-1194.