Mary D. Kane is a proven leader in state, federal and global organizations and joined the Maryland Chamber of Commerce as President & CEO in October 2021.
Kane has a rich professional history, most recently at the U.S. State Department as Director of the National Museum of American Diplomacy. An attorney, she also served as Secretary of State in Maryland from 2003-2007 and as Executive Director at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce from 2008-2011.
During her tenure leading the National Museum of American Diplomacy, Kane repositioned the organization by successfully reviving fundraising efforts and lobbying Congress to re-name and re-brand the museum to increase its public profile and interest in the history and significance of the U.S. State Department.
Kane also served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of Mount St. Mary’s University from 2016-2021, and as President and CEO of Sister Cities International from 2011-2017, the national membership organization for individual sister cities, counties and states across the United States that promotes citizen diplomacy through partnerships in more than 140 countries.
“I am honored and excited to lead the Maryland Chamber of Commerce at this critical time,” said Kane. “The pandemic has reminded us of the importance of our community and the need for strategic thinking. With the support of the Chamber’s impressive Board, talented team of professionals and outstanding members, I look forward to strengthening the Chamber’s position as the leading voice for business in Maryland.”
Whitney Harmel is a dedicated philanthropist and volunteer who joined the Maryland Chamber of Commerce in December 2017 as the director of strategic partnerships and was promoted to the role of vice president of membership and development in November 2019. In November 2021, she advanced to executive vice president and was simultaneously named executive director of the Maryland Chamber Foundation.
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.”
Andrew Griffin is the senior vice president of government affairs at the Maryland Chamber and leads advocacy efforts on behalf of the 6,400+ members of the Chamber before the Maryland General Assembly and at the federal level. He develops, leads and executes the legislative strategy of the organization and maintains the Chamber’s positive working relationships with key elected officials and members of the administration to build a better understanding of and appreciation for business issues. Andrew joined the Chamber in 2019.
Andrew is a Maryland native and has worked on multiple local, state and federal political campaigns. Prior to joining the Chamber, he was the Director of Advocacy for the University of Maryland, College Park. In that role, Andrew 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.
Andrew is an avid outdoorsman and received his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park. He currently lives in Annapolis with his wife, young son and Boykin Spaniel named Huck.
Laura Gordon is the Director of Operations and Finance 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.
Abbi Ludwig is the Director of Marketing and Communications at the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, where she leads the Chamber’s marketing and communications efforts, including strategies designed to engage, understand, support and strengthen Maryland’s business community.
Abbi comes to the Maryland Chamber of Commerce after spending six years at Port Discovery Children’s Museum in Baltimore, where she was responsible for overseeing and enhancing brand identity, attracting new and returning visitation and expanding marketing and communications efforts designed to champion purposeful play for children and families. Previously, Abbi managed communications efforts for organizations including Montgomery Parks, Delaware Technical Community College Jack F. Owens Campus, and Wicomico County Parks, Recreation and Tourism. She holds Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Mass Communication and in Public Relations from York College of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Arts in Communication from The Johns Hopkins University.
Abbi lives in Baltimore, Maryland with her husband and two dogs, and enjoys paddleboarding, horseback riding, exploring new places and enjoying the outdoors in her spare time.
Theresa Montano is the Director of Member Engagement at the Maryland Chamber of Commerce. In this role, Theresa works closely with current members, ensuring that their needs are being met and their voices are part of our important advocacy efforts. She also builds relationships and connects with other Maryland businesses that could benefit from the Chamber’s work to help make the state better for business.
An accomplished sales and chamber professional, Theresa has worked in sales for much of her career, most recently working with the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce. She looks forward to using what she’s learned about business, operations and more to help support the Chamber’s members.
Theresa is thrilled to be back in Maryland, where her son, daughter-in-law and almost two-year-old grandson Mathew lives. She plans to spend her spare time playing with Mathew, exploring farmers markets, cooking and gardening and cheering on local sports teams in the years to come.
Hannah Allen joined the Maryland Chamber of Commerce as the government affairs associate in December 2022.
Prior to joining the Chamber, Hannah served as policy advisor in Governor Hogan’s office from April 2019 to December 2022. Hannah directly supported the deputy chief of staff focusing on policy issues including environment, agriculture, natural resources, energy, planning, lottery & gaming and more.
Hannah was responsible for driving strategies to advance the Governor’s agenda amongst agencies, local governments, the federal government and the private sector. Hannah successfully created and fostered important stakeholder relationships to gain support for policies.
Prior to joining the Hogan Administration, Hannah worked in the financial sector as a mortgage loan originator and sales team leader where she specialized in VA home loans and assisted veterans with purchasing homes in various states. Hannah is a graduate of York College of Pennsylvania where she received her Bachelor of Science in business administration and minor in management.
She grew up in Dover, Delaware, and moved to Maryland after graduating from York. Hannah and her husband live in Annapolis, where they enjoy exploring the outdoors, horseback riding, playing lacrosse, dining downtown and spending time with family.
Hannah looks forward to advocating for the Chamber’s pro-business policies.
Michaela Bussey joined the Maryland Chamber of Commerce as the Events and Programming Manager in December 2021. In this role, she is responsible for all Chamber events, including Meet of the State, Inspire MD, Chamber Cup and many more.
Michaela was born and raised in Maryland and earned her Bachelor of Science in event planning from Bowling Green State University. She began her professional career in the event planning industry in Chicago, and in 2019 returned to Maryland. With over seven years of event planning and execution experience, Michaela is extremely passionate about producing thoughtful and meaningful events that bring people together and achieve goals. Most recently, Michaela worked at the largest association management company, SmithBucklin, where she planned and hosted annual conferences and trade show exhibits for more than five clients, with 500-3,000 attendees from all over the US.
Michaela and her husband just purchased a home on the eastern shore and are enjoying exploring their new community. Michaela considers herself an expert when it comes to ‘Gilmore Girls’ trivia and is the happiest with a cup of coffee and her rescue dog, Oliver.
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.
Sawyer Cornelius joined the Maryland Chamber of Commerce as Marketing Coordinator in January 2023. In this role, he assists with all marketing and communications efforts and strategy.
Born and raised on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Sawyer earned his Bachelor of Science in marketing from Salisbury University where he served as an editor for The Flyer student newspaper. He began a professional career in his hometown of Rock Hall by overseeing marketing, communications and branding at Haven Harbour Marina Resorts for four years.
Sawyer enjoys boating, hiking and running, as well as spending time at his family’s farm in Kent County with loved ones.