Get to know Anthony Cordo, executive director of Howard County Tourism and Promotion

For Howard Magazine

Anthony Cordo relocated to Ellicott City from Texas in April to lead the Howard County Tourism Council, which operates the Welcome Center and Visit Howard County website. The Ohio native has worked in the tourism industry for 10 years. Cordo, 33, shared some interesting personal facts with us, like his penchant for do-it-yourself projects and weakness for frozen coffee drinks.

1. He enjoys “flipping” houses.

Cordo and his wife, Danielle, have bought three fixer-uppers to live in during their nearly three-year marriage, and then sold each of them at a profit after completing the makeovers themselves.

He finds handyman work therapeutic. “When you hammer, everything feels great,” he says.

2. He loves old cars and trucks.

Seven years ago, Cordo flew into Baltimore from Ohio to check out a 1972 Land Rover for sale at a rock-bottom price. After a five-minute test drive, he bought it and drove it back to Ohio — with tools he’d stashed in the trunk, just in case.

“It had a patina and a character all its own,” he says of the vehicle, which he has since sold.

3. He’s discovered Maryland crabs.

Cordo is almost reverential as he describes the first time he cracked open a blue crab. And nothing compares to Old Bay seasoning, he says. Though his wife is allergic to shellfish, he still manages to crack a crab or two and to savor the Chesapeake mac and cheese with lump crabmeat at Turf Valley Resort.

4. He’ll go to any beach, anywhere.

With relatives and friends in Florida, Michigan and Texas, Cordo has built-in options for beach and lakefront vacationing. While a recent trip to the Dominican Republic was a high point, give him a waterfront setting with a pool bar nearby and he’s in heaven.

5. He appreciates culture.

Cordo takes frequent advantage of the county’s access to the cultures of Washington and Baltimore and, as a country music fan, especially enjoys the numerous live-music venues. “We in Howard County are at the center of so much to see and do,” he says.

6. Korean-American cuisine is tops.

Cordo relishes the authenticity of ethnic eateries on U.S. 40, where quite a few immigrants have opened businesses. “Some of the restaurants are unapologetically Korean — with no English explanations on the menu — and I love that,” he says. He eats Korean barbecue regularly.

7. Walking is the way to go.

With his office in the Welcome Center on Main Street, walking around the historic mill town has become a near obsession. He and his wife also favor strolls in Patapsco Valley State Park and along the Howard County Living Farm Heritage Museum trail in West Friendship.

8. He’s a diehard college football fan.

An Ohio University alumnus, he thrives on watching Big 10 football games and especially enjoys Ohio State University’s storied rivalry with the University of Michigan. It makes it “interesting” that relatives across Michigan are rooting for the opposing team.

9. He’s cut the cable TV cord.

It began as an experiment of sorts in 2004, but the growing list of streaming options that augment network programming has made it easy to quit cable, he says. “Sherlock,” a modern retelling of the adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective, and another PBS show called “Endeavor,” which is set in 1960s Britain, are favorites.

10. He limits himself to a weekly Frappuccino.

Frozen coffee drinks, “which are basically adult milkshakes,” are a weakness, he says. He looks forward to Fridays, when he allows himself to indulge at the end of a hectic work week. He does skip the whipped cream on top, he likes to point out.

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