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Sam Rogers, the executive vice president of Visit Baltimore, will leave after the new year.
Sam Rogers, the executive vice president of Visit Baltimore, will leave after the new year.

For the past decade, Sam Rogers has been the executive cice president and chief marketing officer of Visit Baltimore. He will be departing our city for a new position in Norfolk, Va., right after the first of the new year.

Being an organization's "second" rarely brings much notice, but Sam has earned the love, respect and admiration of the arts, culture and heritage community in Baltimore like none other. Unlike previous leaders of Visit Baltimore, Sam connected with all of us within weeks of taking the position in 2007. It's not unusual for convention and visitor bureau executives to be obsessed with "heads in beds," the tax upon which pays their salaries. Sam sought not to just sell conventions and hotels but to strengthen Baltimore's cultural treasures, understanding that the more vibrant and alive our museums, attractions, performances and events were the more people would flock to Baltimore. He organized cultural leaders, held regular meetings, fostered collaborative efforts between institutions, gathered the cultural community for blockbuster events and was always looking for a new idea, a better idea, a new way to do something old.

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In good times and bad in Baltimore, Sam was always forward looking, positive, supportive and willing to listen to us. I think I speak for all of us by wishing Sam our very best as he moves into his new position. He will be sorely missed and his shoes painfully difficult to fill.

Courtney B. Wilson, Baltimore

The writer is executive director of the B&O Railroad Museum.

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