Meet Local Educational Forum & Tradeshow

We invite you to join us for a thought-provoking and inspiring discussion about Baltimore’s transformation and its impact throughout our neighborhoods and tourism portfolio.

Thursday May 10, 2018 • 8:00am to 10:30am

The Bygone
400 International Drive  •  Four Seasons Hotel, 29th floor
Complimentary valet parking at the Four Seasons 

8:00 - 9:00am Registration & Tradeshow (Exhibitor List)
9:00 - 10:00am  Breakfast & Panel Discussion
10:00 - 10:30am Tradeshow

Visit Baltimore believes that we can help more people discover Baltimore by building a collaborative, engaged, and informed local network. We’re bringing together the region’s decision makers, influencers, and thought leaders for the third annual Meet Local Forum & Tradeshow. Click here to RSVP Today, seating is limited.


Al Hutchinson (Moderator), President & CEO, Visit Baltimore

Al Hutchinson joined Visit Baltimore as president and CEO in November 2016. As the chief executive of the city’s official destination development and marketing organization, he is responsible for overseeing the promotion of the Baltimore region as a destination for conventions, meetings, leisure visits, day-trips, group tours and family reunions, in addition to serving as the hospitality industry’s liaison to the business, civic and local community, and demonstrating the impact of tourism on the City and the State.

Hutchinson brings more than 24 years of experience in the hospitality and destination marketing industry to Baltimore. He most recently served as president and CEO of the Visit Mobile, where he was recognized as the 2016 Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Alliance’s ‘Tourism Promoter of the Year,’ and in 2014 was the recipient of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners ‘Pioneer Award’.

Prior to joining Visit Mobile, Hutchinson served as the Vice President of Convention Sales and Services at the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau where, for more than 11 years, he led the convention sales and services team, directed the advertising agency and worked closely with community leaders, industry decision maker, elected officials and tourism partners. Hutchinson has also held previous leadership positions with the Greater Pittsburgh Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Charlotte Convention Center, the Park Hotel in Charlotte and the Richmond Metropolitan CVB.

Hutchinson is a graduate of the University of Alabama and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Destination Marketing Association International’s (DMAI) Destination & Travel Foundation; United States Travel Association (USTA); and is also a member of Religious Conference Management Association’s (RCMA) Executive Supplier Council. In the local community, Hutchinson serves on the Baltimore Hotel Corporation Board, the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore’s Board, and the Visit Baltimore Education & Training Foundation Board, in addition to leading the Baltimore Convention & Tourism Board, which oversees both Visit Baltimore and the Baltimore Convention Center seamless and effective sales process.

Marcus Stephens
Chief Brand Officer, Plank Industries
President, Sagamore Creative

Marcus Stephens is Chief Brand Officer at Plank Industries, the private-investment office of Kevin A. Plank, the founder, Chairman, and CEO of Under Armour. In this role, Marcus leads the marketing, creative and brand strategy for Plank Industries, Sagamore Development, Sagamore Spirit, Sagamore Ventures, Sagamore Farm, Sagamore Racing, and the redevelopment of Port Covington in South Baltimore. As President of Sagamore Creative, he leads an internal creative team of branding experts, art direction and graphic design, web development and account management.

In 1997, Marcus left his role as Senior Creative Director and Partner at Madison Design Group to join Under Armour as its fourth employee. Originating as the sole creative professional at Under Armour, Marcus eventually helped build the in-house, 40-person, creative team from the ground up, laying the foundation for the brand and culture that is Under Armour today. Marcus is responsible for designing the Under Armour logo, as well as refining and contemporizing the logo over the years to its current version. Marcus’ early marketing initiatives include brand-defining campaigns such as Protect This House, Click Clack and I Will. A defining moment of Marcus Stephens’ time at Under Armour was his direction of the company’s first and only Super Bowl commercial called “The New Prototype.”

In 2011, Marcus left Under Armour to launch his startup Repax, a reusable packing system that revolutionized the residential and commercial moving market. In 2014, Marcus Stephens was asked to join the Plank Industries team while it was still in its infancy. He was integral in the rollout of City Garage, the first center for manufacturing innovation in South Baltimore, as well as a prominent member of the master planning team for Port Covington.

In addition to being on the executive team at Plank Industries, Marcus serves on the Board of the Maryland Public Private Marketing Partnership, helping to re-brand the state to become more attractive for commerce. He is also on the Board of Trustees at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), working with university leadership to reimagine the curriculum for creatives.

Marcus earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Frostburg State University. He currently resides in Silver Spring, MD with his wife and three children.

Bill Cole, President & CEO, Baltimore Development Corporation

William H. Cole is the president and CEO of the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC), which serves as the economic development agency for the City of Baltimore. BDC’s mission is to retain and help expand existing businesses as well as attracting new opportunities, which will increase job opportunities and spur additional investment in city neighborhoods.

To advance BDC’s mission, Cole helped create the Innovation Fund, which provides catalytic funding to attract scalable, high growth small businesses to start and stay in Baltimore and increase job opportunities for its residents. He also led the business recovery efforts after the unrest April 2015, mobilizing BDC staff into the affected neighborhoods to assist businesses. Cole initiated two programs, Business Recovery Loans and Storefront Recovery Grants, to help businesses, which suffered property damage and/or inventory loss. He also worked closely with the White House Task Force on various economic development initiatives. Prior to his appointment at BDC in 2014, Cole was the associate vice president of Institutional Advancement at the University of Baltimore. He was twice elected to the Baltimore City Council and represented its 11th district from 2007 to 2014. Cole also served as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1999 to 2002 and was a special assistant to U.S. Representative Elijah E. Cummings from 1996 to 2003. In addition to his BDC responsibilities, Cole is active on more than a dozen civic and non-profit boards. He is the chair of the Baltimore Hotel Corporation board, as well as a member of the boards of the Downtown Partnership, Waterfront Partnership, Visit Baltimore, the Central Baltimore Future Fund and the Schaefer Center for Public Policy at the University of Baltimore. He previously served as co-chair of the Baltimore Opportunity Collaborative, the regional plan for sustainable development. Cole earned a B.A. in Government & Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park, and M.A. in Legal and Ethical Studies from the University of Baltimore. A native Marylander, Cole has lived in Baltimore City for more than 30 years. He and his wife Michelle are the proud parents of three Baltimore City public school students.

Alex Smith, Founder, President, Atlas Restaurant Group

Located in Baltimore's Harbor East neighborhood, the Atlas Restaurant Group currently owns and operates several of the city's top restaurants including Ouzo Bay Greek Kouzina, Azumi and Loch Bar; the latter two are located in the Four Seasons Baltimore.

In March 2017, Atlas also expanded its Ouzo Bay concept nationally to South Florida in Boca Raton's exclusive Mizner Park. In the summer of 2017, Atlas Restaurant Group opened two new concepts in Harbor East, including Tagliata: An Italian Chophouse. Then late in 2017 The Bygone opened on the top floor of the Four Seasons Baltimore. The Atlas Restaurant Group now own and operate 9 restaurants, 8 of them different concepts, employing over 500 people.