Mary Ellen Mason, FMP, is the Director of the Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Tourism Institute at Anne Arundel Community College. Prior to joining AACC, she owned and operated Occasion Extraordinaire, Ltd., a full service catering company. She joined HCAT as a part-time instructor in 1990, working in various capacities and becoming assistant director in 2001. During her tenure, she managed an American Culinary Federation chef apprentice program and award winning student culinary team, as well as established an active business advisory board. Her responsibilities include the strategic direction and management of the Institute’s daily operations. She directs the International Culinary Internship Program, which offers students ten weeks of training in world-class resorts on the Amalfi Coast of Italy. Active in hospitality organizations, Mary Ellen serves on the board of the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board Task Force for Hospitality and Tourism, the Restaurant Association of Maryland Education Foundation and the Maryland Tourism Education Foundation. Recent awards include the Education Excellence award in 2007 and the TWIN award, Tribute to Women in Industry in 2008. She is an active member of the American Culinary Federation. Mary Ellen holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and a Master of Business Administration degree from Strayer University. She also holds a Food Manager Professional (FMP) certification from the National Restaurant Association.