Originally from Silver Spring, MD, Marlene has lived in North Carolina since 1995. She attended Towson State University and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Management and a minor in Sociology in 1989. 

During her college years she helped launch a new women’s club soccer program at the university and was Vice President of the organization. Marlene’s first job was in sales. She has over 25 years of sales experience in the tourism, hospitality, employment, education and wellness industries.

Most of her career has been spent working as a Director of Sales and Marketing in the hotel industry. She has extensive experience in hotel revenue management, staff development and training, providing excellent customer service, meeting planning and hotel operations. She worked 19 years for the same hotel management company.

Currently, Marlene has been the Director of Sales at the Chapel Hill/ Orange Visitors Bureau for the last six years. Her role involves developing relationships with local stakeholders, meeting planners, brides and visitors to promote the destination as part of the county’s Economic Development division.

Outside of her work at the Visitors Bureau, she launched her own business LiteEmUp Bottles in 2017. She recycles bottles and turns them into home decor products. She sells her hand decorated, hand-cut, and hydro dipped bottle collections at craft shows, events and online in her Etsy shop.

In 2015, Marlene became a Leadership Fellow after completing a 10 week leadership training course facilitated by the Chapel Hill/ Carrboro Chamber of Commerce. Through exchange of ideas, community experiences, and leadership skill-building sessions,  she developed specific interests in the concerns of our community and emerged equipped with the skills and knowledge to positively affect our communities.

Marlene also has had experience serving on other boards. While her kids were in pre-school she served on the board of the Children’s Cooperative Playschool for several years holding the roles of; Fundraising Chair, Secretary and Parent Director for two years. She was also on the Advisory Board for several years for Extraordinary Ventures Event Center, a non-profit which creates sustainable businesses operated by a neurodiverse workforce.