Organization: Mise en Place
Committee Position: Member
Maryann Ferenc has spent her lifetime in the restaurant industry, beginning her career in her parents’restaurant in Detroit as a bus girl. A passionate advocate for independent businesses, Maryannestablished Mise en Place in 1986, along with co-proprietor Chef Marty Blitz.
Maryann received a degree in theater from Wayne State University, while managing a gourmet healthfood restaurant. In an effort to use her minor in theater management, she left the restaurant businessand worked as an assistant to the director of Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. During her time there,Maryann worked in the food and beverage department and founded the hospitality division.
Maryann helped introduced New American cuisine to Tampa Bay and was involved in the downtownrenaissance when she moved Mise en Place to Kennedy Boulevard at Grand Central Avenue in 1992,occupying a space that dates back to the early 20th century. Mise en Place is now Tampa’s premierrestaurant for Modern American cuisine, 30 years later. Mise en Place Hospitality group expandedrecently with the addition of Cafe by Mise en Place located at Tampa International Airport, the soon tobe open, Montados at Sparkman Wharf and a boutique hotel property, the Berkeley Beach Club inPass-A-Grille.
Maryann’s charitable work involves feeding the hungry while actively supporting downtown and Tampa'sindependent businesses network. A visible and powerful presence in Tampa Bay, Maryann is indeliblylinked to multiple community organizations, including Feeding America Tampa Bay, Taste of the NFL,Visit Tampa Bay, Tampa Independent Business Alliance, Tampa Downtown Partnership and the GreaterTampa Chamber of Commerce where she is currently serving as Treasurer.
This year, Maryann and Mise en Place have engaged in the issue of mental health, recognizing thismeaningful need and the missing piece of our care of the community and our employees. She recentlyjoined the Tampa Bay Mental Health Foundation Board and is committed to this cause.
“Mise en Place is really a combination of passions which, over the course of 30 years, have built a lifeI’m happy to live. Marty, myself, my parents (rest their souls), our staff and clients make us the restaurantcompany we are today,” Maryann said, “and I do not lose sight of that.”
Maryann served three two-year terms on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board which advises theSecretary of Commerce and the President. In that role, she was co-chair of the drafting team for theBoard’s recommendations regarding the USA’s Five-Year Tourism Strategy. Maryann also sits on theWomen in Travel and Tourism Board, the US Travel Association board, is past chair and current memberof Visit Tampa Bay and current board member and immediate past chair of VISIT FLORIDA. As co-chairof the Start Up Scholars Committee of the Tampa Chamber of Commerce and a member of theUniversity of Tampa Entrepreneurial Center Advisory Board, Maryann continues to work to improve thelandscape for small business in Tampa Bay.
Maryann is the proud recipient of numerous awards, including most recently, the Feeding AmericaTampa Bay Hunger Hero Hall of Fame and the Tampa Bay Beaches Tourism Person of the Year. Pasthonors include the eWomenNetwork of Tampa Bay’s 2009 Women in Business Lifetime AchievementAward, the 2009 Lou Groza Let's Kick Hunger Award, the 2011 Tampa Bay Business JournalBusinesswoman of the Year award, the 2014 Gonzmart Family Ambassador of the Year award, and the2016 Tampa Chamber of Commerce Leadership Award.