(Cambridge, MD) — The Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area (HCCHA) Board Chair Midge Ingersoll and Dorchester County Tourism Director Amanda Fenstermaker announced that Cambridge resident Julie Gilberto-Brady has been hired as the county’s new Heritage Area Manager. Gilberto-Brady assumes this role as the HCCHA Board embarks on a strategic planning process that includes opportunities for community feedback.

Julie Gilberto-BradyGilberto-Brady, who was appointed in March, brings extensive experience in communications, social media, project management, advocacy and grant writing to the position. She previously served as the North American communications coordinator for the international congregation of the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND). Gilberto-Brady holds a B.A. in Communications from Virginia Tech and a Master’s in Communications from Northwestern University.

Rashaan RhodenAlso hired in March is event manager Rashaan Rhoden who will coordinate special activities in the Sailwinds Park amphitheater. He will oversee all aspects from the pre-planning stage to the post-event stage. Rhoden graduated from Frostburg State University with a B.S. in Recreation and Parks Management, and he will be pursuing a Master’s in Hospitality and Tourism Management this fall at the University of Central Florida.

“With Julie and Rashaan, we have expertise and energy to move forward with new projects that support and promote heritage tourism in Dorchester County,” said Fenstermaker. “Julie has been passionate about the Eastern Shore since growing up in Northern Virginia and chose to buy a second home in Cambridge’s historic district while living in Chicago. She and her husband, Jim Brady, are now full-time residents of Dorchester County.”

Gilberto-Brady began by reviewing and writing Maryland Heritage Areas Program grant applications for several projects within Dorchester County. She also is working with the HCCHA Board on a new five-year master plan to strengthen and expand the county’s heritage tourism assets to attract visitors, increase economic impact and guide the Board’s priorities, actions and resources.

The planning has brought together dozens of individuals from different backgrounds, organizations and interests, to share their suggestions for strengthening tourism in the County. The process also includes an online survey where residents can detail their experiences and recommendations, said Ingersoll.

“Through this process we have not only been reminded of the amazing progress accomplished here in the past 15 years, but we are inspired by the creative ideas presented by the citizens of Dorchester for the future of the County,” Ingersoll said. “The process will lead to the development of many goals and projects that will further strengthen our heritage area and tourism economy going forward, leading to job growth, visual improvements and a greater understanding of our heritage and cultures.”

The survey is open to all Dorchester County residents and visitors and can be completed online at here. The survey will be online through April 30.

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