With more than 25 years experience as an award-winning destination marketing professional and grass roots tourism advocate, Wini brings a passion for tourism and a love for all things Maryland! Originally from Cambridge, Maryland, Wini served as the tourism director of Dorchester County from 1994-2001 and was instrumental in the revitalization of the Chesapeake town.
She was a founder of Sailwinds Park and worked with local and state lawmakers to bring the waterfront development project to fruition, including the multi-million dollar visitor center, the public park, and event space.
She also helped galvanize the Dorchester County community around the concept of heritage tourism and began the planning process that has led to the county’s designation as a Certified Heritage Area and resulted in the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom scenic by-way and Harriet Tubman State Park.
Roche later moved to the northern part of the Bay where she created a tourism program for the City of Havre de Grace and established the town as a destination for weddings and leisure travel. In 2006, she became the tourism and marketing manager for Harford County Government and brought the county notoriety with the “Harford County Love it!” campaign and her popular video blog series, “Where’s Wini?”
She worked to increase local tourism funding and helped secure a local lodging tax that would be dedicated to tourism marketing activities. She led the charge to create Visit Harford!, a conference and visitors bureau that would become a public-private partnership and would ultimately be funded with revenue from the hotel tax.
In August 2015, Roche launched her own tourism and marketing consulting firm, Roche & Associates. Her company was contracted to manage the Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit, MTC’s signature event, held at Turf Valley Resort last October. Roche & Associates recently fulfilled a 2 year contract as the management firm for MTC where she advocated on behalf of small business including the craft brewery industry successfully lobbied for a school start after labor day and a million dollar increase to the Maryland’s tourism budget.
She also served a term on the gubernatorial-appointed Maryland Tourism Development Board and was a board member of the Maryland Tourism Coalition for more than 13 years where she volunteered to promote awareness of the tourism industry through the Tourism Works for Maryland Campaign. She was the organizer of Tourism Day in Annapolis since 2010 where hundreds of industry leaders convene in Annapolis during the General Assembly Session to meet with elected leaders and heighten the awareness of the tourism industry.
Roche and her husband Mark reside in Havre de Grace, with children Michael, Alex and Andrew. She enjoys musical theater and is a board member of the Tidewater Players.