Ocean City Chamber’s Pursel Named Maryland Chamber Executive of the Year

May 12, 2016

Paul Frey, 2016 MAACE President
President/CEO, Hagerstown/Washington County Chamber

Melanie Pursel, Executive Director of the Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce, was named Maryland Chamber Executive of the Year today.  The award is presented annually by the Maryland Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (MACCE), a professional development organization of 35 local chamber leaders in the state.

In announcing Pursel’s award, 2016 MACCE President Paul Frey said, “Melanie is an extraordinary chamber executive.  Not only has she led the Ocean City Chamber to high levels of effectiveness and success, but she also served as MACCE President in 2015, providing new energy and direction for our volunteer organization.”  Frey serves as the President/CEO of the Hagerstown/Washington County Chamber.

Pursel was nominated by the chairman of her board of directors Brett Wolf, who is President of Professional Mortgage Services, Inc. in Ocean City.  He noted, “Melanie works tirelessly on a day to day basis to improve our chamber in all facets of operations.”  He noted the wide variety of challenges facing any chamber executive in dealing with a diverse membership base and multitude of events, committees and activities local chamber manage.  “We typically don’t have major challenges,” he said.  “That is a testament to Melanie’s preparation and diligence.”

In addition to gaining financial success and extinguishing a mortgage for her Chamber, she led the effort this past General Assembly session for the Longer Summer initiative. The initiative was a public relations and advocacy campaign calling for a post-Labor Day school start.  While the bill failed to get out of committee due to a 5-5 vote, Pursel was pleased with amassing partners and funding from throughout the state on an issue that dramatically impacts tourism and other economic opportunities in Maryland.

Pursel has grown the Ocean City Chamber to nearly 900 dues-paying members, and has formed important partnerships with a variety of organizations including the Wallops Island Space Coast Tourism Initiative from whom she won its Cooperative Partnership Award.  She served as 2015 MACCE President and represented that organization on the Maryland Chamber of Commerce board until this week when Frey took the volunteer position.

Pursel serves on the Salisbury University Perdue School of Business Executive Advisory Board, Ocean City Economic Development Committee, and the Tri County Tourism Committee and Tri County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy team.  She served four years as the Chair of the Tourism Advisory Board.

Pursel first joined the Greater Ocean City Chamber in July 2007 after serving as the Director of Undergraduate Programs in the Perdue School of Business at Salisbury University and other employment at the Tri-county Council for the Lower Eastern Shore and the Maryland Department of Transportation.  She earned a master’s degree in applied psychology from the University of Baltimore and a bachelor’s degree in psychology summa cum laude from Salisbury University, and lives in Berlin with her husband and two children.

Frey will present Pursel with her award at the Maryland Chamber’s Business Breakthrough Awards Luncheon at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, June 3, at the BWI Westin.  More information and registration for the event can be found here.






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