Charles County, Md. – Charles County Administrator Michael D. Mallinoff, Esq., ICMA-CM is pleased to announce the appointment of Debra L. Pence as chief of Tourism and Special Events. As of July 1, 2016, the Office of Tourism will move under the direction of the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism. Pence will begin her employment with Charles County Government on Monday, June 20.

As chief of Tourism and Special Events, Pence will be responsible for implementing marketing programs designed to increase the economic impact of tourism in Charles County. She will promote county tourism events and sites, facilitate special events designed to attract visitors, and maintain contact with area attractions and tourist/visitor services.

Pence has more than 28 years of experience in special events, outreach programs, and park/museum operations. Most recently, Pence worked as director of the Museum Division at St. Mary’s County Government for 12 years. She managed two fully operating, accredited park/museum sites and several county-owned auxiliary historic sites. As director, she increased attendance at these sites from 18,300 visits in 2003 to 58,000 in 2014 through enhanced capital improvements, marketing, exhibits, events, educational programming, and community partnerships. She also served as the executive director for Havre de Grace Decoy Museum from 2001 to 2004, and the Pennyroyal Area Museum from 1988 to 2001.

“I look forward to having Ms. Pence join our team.  Her strategic planning and historic preservation experience is a valuable bonus as we move forward with historic property improvements to increase Charles County’s tourism opportunities,” said Director of Community Services Eileen Minnick.

“I am excited to join the newly formed Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism. The divisions have great reputations for their commitment of service to the community and advancement of county facilities and attractions. It is my goal to unite and promote the county parks and recreation attractions and help to merge them with local business, and state and national park initiatives,” said Pence. 

Pence has a master’s degree in museum education from George Washington University in Washington, District of Columbia, and a bachelor’s degree in recreation/environmental education from Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland.