Two Finalists For New OC Tourism, Business Development Director Post

Two Finalists For New OC Tourism, Business Development Director Post

OCEAN CITY — Ocean City is moving closer to finding its new Director of Tourism and Business Development, a quarterback of sorts to direct the town’s sales and marketing strategy.

In January, the Mayor and Council signed off on a major overhaul of Ocean City economic development and sales teams and directed City Manager Doug Miller to define a job description for a new leadership position within the tourism department. With an emphasis on economic development and sales in order to attract more family-friendly events, sports teams and groups to Ocean City to fill the resort’s hotel rooms and accommodations, the town is looking for a single individual, or perhaps a small team of individuals in the future, to go out and market the resort and all it has to offer.

Although they wrestled somewhat with the semantics of the title of the new position, council members agreed on the job description and gave Miller his marching orders to begin interviewing and eventually filling the position earlier this year. After posting the employment opportunity, the town received over 100 applications and has now winnowed the list down to two finalists.

“We had over 100 people apply,” said Miller this week in an email. “Of those, we Zoom-interviewed eight. From there, we had four come in for in-person interviews. We are now down to two finalists. This should wrap up very soon.”

The vision for the new position is to hire a dynamic point person to serve at the top of the town’s talented team that includes communications and marketing, special events, the convention center and recreation and parks, all under one umbrella. While the town already has talented and dedicated people at the head of those departments, the new position would serve as a team leader of sorts.

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While the new position would oversee those departments, the real goal is sales. Essentially, the new Director of Tourism and Business Development would focus more on the latter. The intent is for the new hire to hit the streets, knock on doors and really sell all the town has to offer with the goal of bringing more economic development to the resort such as conventions, large groups, sports tournaments and the like.

During earlier discussions, Councilman Lloyd Martin used a football analogy to describe his vision of the new position.

“We already have a great team,” he said. “This position can be like getting a star quarterback. We just need a good team player to pick up the ball and bring it back home. The people we have in place are outstanding.”

For Mayor Rick Meehan, the new position is all about sales.

“The primary goal of this position is somebody who goes out and really sells the town,” he said. “We want this position to have a defined role. We don’t want to put them in a box. We need them to really go out and sell.”

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.