Spring Expo


1 – 2 pm — Registration & Expo
2:05 – 2:10 pm — Welcome & Recognitions, Wini Roche, Executive Director, MTC
2:10 – 2:45 pm — Grow Local with Grow & Fortify. Kevin Atticks of Grow & Fortify talks with Anthony Aellen, Owner & Winemaker, Linganore Winecellars and Peter Lee General Manager, South Mountain Creamery
2:45 – 3:10 pm — Presentation from Airbnb. Asya Kislyuk, Policy Mobilization Director, Washington D.C. Tobias Thom, Statewide Organizing Director, Maryland & Virginia.
3:15 – 4 pm — Destination Weddings Presented by Premier Bride. Johanna Chase, Director of Events, Vandiver Inn, Corey Frier, Event Planner at the National Aquarium & Frank DiVenti Chief Marketing Officer, Visit Annapolis.
4 – 6 pm — Network & Nosh with Sponsors
4:30pm — Guided tour of Linganore, Anthony Aellen- Optional

Thank you to our Sponsors


Linganore Winecellars • Brewer’s Alley • Isabella’s Taverna & Tapas Bar • Ayse Meze Lounge • Reina • Pistarro’s


Grow & Fortify • Premier Bride • Howard County Tourism & Promotion • Visit Frederick • KRR Photography • World MediaNet Solutions


Restaurant Association of Maryland • Cecil County Tourism • Interfuse Marketing • Maryland Box • Taste Frederick Food Tours • Amanda’s Florist


A Special Thank You to Our Spring Expo Presenters:

Kevin Atticks — Founder, writer, publisher, educator, promoter, lobbyist… these are a few ways to describe Kevin. He founded Grow & Fortify to do for entrepreneurs and organization what he helped do for the Maryland Wineries Association as its executive director since 2013: build and strengthen. He is the chair of the MD Tourism Coalition, past president of the MD Agricultural Resource Council, and past chair of the Wine America State & Regional Associations Advisory Council. Kevin holds a masters in environmental journalism from CU-Boulder, a doctorate in communications design from University of Baltimore, and a bachelors in journalism and music composition from Loyola University, where he teaches book publishing.

Anthony Aellen — Owner and winemaker, Linganore Winecellars. While he has always been a part of the family business, this was not the path Anthony planned to take. After graduating from high school in 1977, Anthony attended college as a pre-med major. While studying for an exam in his second year, he decided that he wanted to pursue a different career. After taking courses at UC Davis to learn about wine and winemaking, In the early eighties Anthony took over the winemaking responsibilities from his father, Jack.

Peter Lee — General Manager, South Mountain Creamery since 2012 where he focuses on Business Development, Marketing. He serves as Consumer Education and Adjunct professor for the Culinary School at FCC (Intro to Hospitality, Foundations of Lodging and Events and Catering) since 2011. Prior to that he was Director of Marketing and Business Development for the Light Group in Las Vegas until relocating back to the area to assist his parents.

Asya Kislyuk — Policy Mobilization Director with Airbnb’s Washington, D.C. team, where she leads engagement and advocacy efforts for the host and small business communities. Prior to joining, she managed democracy strengthening programs in Ukraine and Moldova at the National Democratic Institute for Foreign Affairs. She also worked on public diplomacy and political programs for the U.S. Department of State in Marseille, France. She has a BA in International Studies with minors in Business, Spanish & French from Indiana University, Bloomington. Airbnb.com

Tobias Thom — Statewide Organizing Director for AirBnB Maryland and Virginia. He guides the planning and execution of host engagement and advocacy activities. Prior to joining, Tobias worked for the Peace Corps in Morocco doing capacity and youth development. He has a BS in Political Science from the Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University.

Tula Stamas — Publisher, Premier Bride. Born in Rhodes Greece, Tula took her sales, marketing, and publishing skills prime time when she bought the rights to Premier Bride’s Baltimore market in 2001. Ten years later she partnered with other local publishers to buy the national rights to Premier Bride expanding to the Northern Virginia and D.C. markets. Bringing brides and business together, Premier Bride is now the premier wedding publication and multi-media platform in the mid-Atlantic.

Joanna Chase — Director of Events, Vandiver Inn in Havre de Grace. Jo began her career at the Waldorf-Astoria where she worked in various positions from Front Desk to Banquet Manager. She served as Event Manager at the Liaison Hotel, Washington DC a 200+ room hotel known for its destination events, and catering to a very high-profile clientele. After selecting Maryland (and the Vandiver) for her own destination wedding (over DC) she became the Vandiver Inn’s Director of Events where she has personally managed more than 150 destination weddings since joining the boutique inn 3 years ago.

Corey Frier — Meetings & Events Specialist at the National Aquarium. With a 14 year background in restaurant management, and catering, Corey has been with the Aquarium 5 years where he coordinates weddings, social gatherings, mitzvahs, corporate, networking, and provides logistical support for Aquarium sponsored events. He was recently awarded Outstanding Octopus by his peers, this is what they had to say: Corey Frier is the “friendly face of events” and a whiz when it comes to organizational planning. “…Always responsive, courteous, thoughtful and pro-active, he makes every experience the very best it can be….

Frank DiVenti — Chief Marketing Officer Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. With over 35 years of experience in advertising, communications, and marketing, Frank DiVenti joined VAAAC in 2012 as Advertising and Promotions Manager. The lifelong Baltimore City resident launched his career in the broadcasting and industry, while serving as V.P. /G.M of Baltimore-based Producers Video Corp and as Operations Director at The Commercial Refinery. He then honed his creative development skills with the communications consulting company, REAL Communications. In 2011, the promotions veteran served as Media and Operations Manager for a Baltimore City Mayoral Campaign.

Be in Touch

Maryland Tourism Coalition
626 C Admiral Drive, #311
Annapolis, MD 21401
(443) 563-1315