Christine A. Ross joined the Maryland Chamber of Commerce as president and CEO in July 2016. Ross has been in the Chamber industry and practicing economic development since 1999. She sits on the Maryland Cybersecurity Council, the Maryland Manufacturing Advisory Board and the Maryland Comptroller’s Business Advisory Council. She is actively involved in broad-ranging legislative advocacy focused on regulatory reform, improving the state’s competitive business climate, ensuring a quality workforce and developing an adequate talent pipeline to support the state’s growth.
Ross earned an MBA and a master’s degree in marketing from the University of Maryland University College. She earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
In 2014, she received the coveted Certified Chamber Executive (C.C.E.) status from the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. In 2017, she was awarded the Distinguished Alumna Award from the University of Maryland University College, and was selected for the Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100 (CCC100), an elite group of chamber executives that represents the perspectives and needs of chambers and their members to the U.S. Chamber. She has also been named one of Maryland’s Most Admired CEOs by The Daily Record, an annual award that recognizes talented business and nonprofit executives throughout the state.
Christine has three adult sons. She lives in Annapolis with her husband, Robert, who teaches high school chemistry, and a wonderful Irish Red and White Setter named Astor.
Ashley Duckman is the Vice President of Government Affairs at the Maryland Chamber. As the VP, she leads advocacy efforts on behalf of the 4,500+ members of the Maryland Chamber before the Maryland General Assembly and on the federal level. Duckman’s responsibilities include developing, leading, and executing the legislative strategy of the organization and maintaining positive working relationships with key elected officials and members of the Administration in order to build a better understanding of and appreciation for business issues.
Previous to joining the Maryland Chamber, Duckman served as senior director of governmental affairs and public policy for the American Gas Association. In this capacity, she assisted in managing AGA’s federal government relations goals and programs. This included advocacy and outreach on Capitol Hill on energy and environment issues including infrastructure, energy efficiency, and the role of natural gas in a lower carbon future. Previously, Duckman was responsible for AGA’s state legislative and regulatory portfolio. This included outreach to state policymakers including governors, attorneys general, state legislators and public utility commissioners across the country.
Prior to joining AGA, Duckman served as legislative assistant for former National Republican Congressional Committee Deputy Chairman Dan Mattoon at Mattoon & Associates where she assisted clients on issues ranging from telecom to education on projects and initiatives on Capitol Hill.
Duckman has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics from Washington College in Chestertown, MD.
Andrew Griffin is the senior policy analyst at the Maryland Chamber. He grew up on the Eastern Shore and has worked on multiple local, state and federal political campaigns. Prior to joining the Chamber, Andrew was the Director of Advocacy for the University of Maryland, College Park. In that role, he managed the grassroots outreach supporting the most pressing policy and budgetary issues that impact the state’s flagship university. Andrew also served in Governor Hogan’s administration, both in the Appointments Office, where he oversaw gubernatorial appointments to over 500 state boards and commissions, and as Assistant Director of Government Affairs at the Maryland Department of Agriculture. He is an avid outdoorsman and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Whitney Harmel is a dedicated philanthropist and volunteer who joined the Maryland Chamber of Commerce in December 2017 as the director of strategic partnerships. In November 2019, she was promoted to the role of vice president of membership and development.
Her career lends her expertise in small, large, local and international business.
As a sales executive for NAPC, Inc. she handled national business development for a marketing platform and a cybersecurity software solution. She was also integral in launching a new brand and product for NAPC.
Harmel previously served as an associate vice president of business development at Intero Advisory, business development manager at Experis IT and sales supervisor and executive at Advance Business Systems.
She earned her Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech.
“I’m excited to share the Maryland Chamber mission with both new and existing members,” Harmel said. “They are the pulse of Maryland’s business economy, and I’m ready to work with them to make Maryland stronger for everyone.”
Nicole Seay joined the Maryland Chamber of Commerce as the member services coordinator in March 2019.
Seay comes to the Maryland Chamber from PEAK Grantmaking, a nonprofit organization where she worked for over three years. In her role as member services coordinator, she was the key link to members, educating them as needed to ensure their success with the organization offerings. Seay managed over 350 organizations and more than 2,000 individual members. She played a vital role in, not only membership, but assisting the education, events, regional chapter and communication teams. Prior to being in the nonprofit arena for over seven years, she was a licensed insurance agent.
Seay said, “I am inspired by the Maryland Chamber’s stance on advocacy for small business and the community.”
Born and raised in Flint, Michigan, Seay went on to earn her bachelor of science in human services and management from the University of Phoenix.
Laura Gordon is the Director of Office and Human Resources at the Maryland Chamber of Commerce. In this role, Laura manages all day-to-day office and administrative operations for the Maryland Chamber. Prior to joining the Chamber in January 2018, she worked in the insurance, staffing and manufacturing industries.
Laura is a United States Navy Veteran having served aboard the USS Jason (AR-8). As a surface warfare officer, she made several deployments, including the Gulf War in support of Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. Laura is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science.
Laura is a dedicated and passionate volunteer with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation both locally and nationally. She serves as the Advocacy Chair of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Board of Directors (Maryland Chapter), and on the board’s National Leadership Council. She also leads the Annapolis Great Strides Walk and ShamRockin’ for a Cure, events that raise awareness and funds for the treatment and care of those living with CF, and for research to find a cure.
Lacey Williams joined the Maryland Chamber of Commerce as the Sales Account Executive in August 2020. In this role, Lacey drives business development and membership initiatives with leading Maryland companies to enhance relevance, reach, and state-wide engagement. Working closely with the Vice President of Membership & Development, Government Affairs, and Marketing, she provides strategic support and planning within membership, programming, and events.
She earned her Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity from UMGC and has over 10 years of sales experience working for several Maryland businesses in multiple industries. Prior to joining the Maryland Chamber, Lacey directed and coordinated cyber training for Inovious Technologies, LLC., establishing long-lasting partnerships with organizations and individuals seeking to enhance career development. She also effectively developed a pipeline of opportunities for FatCat Studios, LLC., utilizing techniques with businesses that include negotiating sales, activating relationships, and executing marketing campaigns for desired outcomes.
Her appreciation for the business community started early while she grew up working for her family’s small business on the Eastern Shore. Lacey has a passion for creating solutions and helping companies achieve their full potential.
“I’m proud to be a part of an organization that strongly advocates for its community,” Williams said. “The Chamber is dedicated to making Maryland work better for all Marylanders and I look forward to supporting that mission, ensuring our members have every opportunity to not only succeed but to thrive.”