‘In Ocean Pines’ added after board received blow back from partners, others
By Cindy Hoffman, Staff Writer
(Jan. 4, 2024) The heat has been turned down a degree or two after the recent tweak to the name change for the newly minted Worcester County Chamber of Commerce in Ocean Pines.
The Ocean Pines Chamber of Commerce announced in December it was changing its name to the Worcester County Chamber of Commerce. After concerns were raised by other chambers, elected officials and the Ocean Pines Board of Directors, Ocean Pines was added to the name.
“We heard what people had to say and we understood that we needed to keep Ocean Pines in the name. Our chamber of commerce is the best chamber around. We concentrate in Ocean Pines but we are trying to get more economic development and people to come and use Ocean Pines,” Don Boger, a member of the board of directors of the chamber, said. Boger is also a resident of Ocean Pines and owner of Home Instead.
The addition of Ocean Pines to the name did not change the mind of Worcester County Commissioner President Chip Bertino, who originally stated “county government should not support, encourage, promote or engage in any activity or effort by the newly named Worcester County Chamber of Commerce that undercuts or diminishes the roles of the other chambers within their individual communities or interferes with the objectives of Worcester County Economic Development and Tourism or attempts to co-opt the relationships county government has with local, regional, state and federal partners and businesses.”
But Melanie Pursel, Director of Tourism and Economic Development at the Worcester County Economic Development and Tourism did not have significant reservations about the name change.
“Our team at the Worcester County Office of Tourism and Economic Development takes tremendous strides to work cooperatively and effectively with all of our stakeholders throughout the county, region and state in an effort to provide an exceptional level of service and resources to our new, existing and potential businesses.”
“We want to continue to foster and grow those relationships, so regardless of any partner organizations change in scope or name change we maintain a high level professionalism and spirit of cooperation.”
Rick Farr, president of the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors remained opposed to the name change.
“But we will continue to have a relationship with the chamber and support its events. Just because we don’t support the name change does not mean we are not going to support them.”
Others in the Ocean Pines community expressed their support for the chamber.
“The Chamber of Commerce that we have here, often bridges between the different chambers of commerce. They don’t just stay in their own neighborhood. They have performed a great support for this community. It is a valuable organization. I don’t believe a name change will negatively impact anyone in Ocean Pines, our residents, our businesses or the work that they are doing in our community,” Patti Stevens, a resident of Ocean Pines and representative of the biking community for the Maryland Commission on Transportation Revenue and Infrastructure Needs (TRAIN).
Worcester Chamber of Commerce in Ocean Pines will host an Open House at the Delmarva Discovery Museum in Pocomoke on Jan 23 from 5-7pm. All are welcome.