Hasseltine named Maryland Tourism Person of the Year | Sports Destination Management

Hasseltine named Maryland Tourism Person of the Year

Nov 18, 2022
MARS Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill presented by Brown Advisory wins Large Event Award at Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit

Maryland’s Sports Commission Executive Director Terry Hasseltine was named Tourism Person of the Year at the 2022 Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit, hosted by the Maryland Tourism Coalition (MTC), in Ocean City, Maryland November 15.  The announcement was made during the Awards Banquet, held at the Ocean City Fontainebleau Resort. Maryland Sports was also presented with the 2022 Best Product/ Event Award Large Category for the MARS Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill presented by Brown Advisory.

“There are so many incredible people in our industry across the state who are worthy of such recognition, so it means the world to me that I was selected by my peers and colleagues for this prestigious award. I am truly humbled to be chosen for such an honor,” said Hasseltine.

"Terry was one of the first people I met when I was introduced to MTC back in 2010 and he has become a mentor and a friend over the years,” said Ruth Toomey, Executive Director of the Maryland Tourism Coalition. “As a past recipient of the Tourism Person of the Year, it was a bit emotional to have had the honor to be the one to pin him as the 2022 Tourism Person of the Year!"

Hasseltine joins just 40 other tourism professionals who have received the honor, known affectionately as “Pineapple Person”. His selection came following a nomination process, and highlighted an incredibly successful calendar year for Hasseltine and the Maryland Sports Commission.  According to a press release from the MTC, Hasseltine’s selection was based on a number of major accomplishments in the sport tourism space over the past year, as well as his history as a leader in the industry, spearheading various “bid-development and event- support opportunities for the state related to the Maryland 5 Star, FIFA World Cup ™, Maryland Cycling Classic, AAU Junior Olympic Games, ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships, NCAA Men’s Lacrosse National Championships, World Football Challenge, Dew Tour, CONCACAF Gold Cup, IronMan, USATF Junior Olympics, Grand Prix, Army-Navy football games and more.”

In addition to his success in the event space, Hasseltine lead the effort to secure funding for the Maryland Sports Youth & Amateur Sports Grant and Micheal Erin Busch Fund - a grant program awarded to local Destination Marketing Organizations and Events Rights Holders to help offset the cost of hosting and executing sport tourism related events in Maryland communities.  He also played a pivotal role in the passage of the Major Sports and Entertainment Events Funding Program, in which the State will will provide up to $10 million a year in financial assistance to eligible recipients for the costs of advertising, promotions, operations and capital projects associated with attracting, hosting and organizing major sporting and entertainment events throughout the state through Maryland’s Sports Commission, and its non-profit arm, the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland.

Hasseltine has served as Executive Director of the Maryland Sports Commission since 2008 and the Vice President of the Maryland Stadium Authority’s Marketing and Communication since 2014. The Maryland Stadium Authority is the parent organization of the Maryland Sports Commission. In 2019 he became president of the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland, a new non-profit organization created to support the Maryland Sports Commission. 

"The Maryland Stadium Authority team is delighted that Terry Hasseltine has received this recognition from his industry peers for his successful efforts to attract and retain world-class and amateur sporting events to the state," said Tom Kelso, Chairman, Maryland Stadium Authority. "This year, through Terry's leadership, Maryland was elevated as a sports tourism destination with the Maryland 5 Star, Maryland Cycling Classic, and Baltimore-Maryland 2026 World Cup bid. With Terry’s guidance, newly introduced grant programs will support future sports tourism opportunities in communities across Maryland.”

Hasseltine also accepted the award for Best Product/ Event in the Large Category for the MARS Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill presented by Brown Advisory.  That award was presented to the Maryland Sports Commission which oversees the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland - the event’s parent organization.  

“This award is a testament to the work being done by the staff of the Sport and Entertainment Corporation who’ve delivered a truly world-class event two years in a row,” said Hasseltine.  “It is our honest opinion that we’re just getting started with the Maryland 5 Star and that that event will continue to grow to new heights in the years to come.”

“We’re thrilled that the Maryland 5 Star was recognized at MTTS as the Best Product or Event, large category. This amazing event put Fair Hill NRMA, Cecil County, and Maryland on a world stage, and is becoming an economic engine for our local tourism economy,” said Sandy Turner, Tourism Director, for Cecil County, Maryland. “The event is massive in scope, outstanding in execution, and visitors discovered our fabulous restaurants, vibrant towns, attractions, and shopping.  Congratulations to the Maryland 5 Star team!”

The MARS Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill presented by Brown Advisory is just the second event of its kind in the United States, and seventh in the world.  With tens of thousands of spectators visiting Cecil County in its first two years, the event is quickly becoming a perennial fixture in Fair Hill, creating big business for the local economy with visitors patronizing local shops, restaurants and hotels.  

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