By Sam Shelton
Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writer
Nancy Hafford doesn’t know the meaning of working a “nine-to-five.” As executive director of the Towson Chamber of Commerce, Hafford’s job keeps her constantly on the move, jumping between meetings and community events.
“My job is incredibly diverse,” Hafford said. “So, it’s a little bit of a mixed salad, I guess you would say. A little bit of everything.”
On Monday, Hafford spend four hours in a meeting about an upcoming building development in the community.
“We want to have, not just buildings and places, but activities to support the people that are going to be living here and the businesses that are coming in,” she said.
Tuesday saw her meet with representatives from Towson University to discuss potential future Center Stage performances to be held on campus.
Thursday, Hafford ran the Towson Farmer’s Market, an event that typically draws around 5,000 people, according to Hafford. That night, she worked the chamber’s annual Taste of Towson event, wherein local food vendors prepared samples of their dishes for over 400 attendees, until 10:30 p.m.
She was back in the office at 6: 30 a.m. the following morning.
“I always enjoy everything I do,” Hafford said. “I won’t do it if I’m not going to have a good time doing it. There are some aspects of my job which are a little more challenging than others, but I always have a good time.”
Hafford has been involved with the chamber and its activities for 16 years, first as a volunteer and then as executive director. She has been in her current position for nine years.
“She was just a breath of fresh air as well as just a fireball that came in and was like, ‘We are going to do some stuff here in Towson,’” said Deb Moriarity, Towson University’svice president for Student Affairs and a member of the chamber’s Board of Directors for more than nine years, including two as its president.
“There was a different executive director when I first started and it wasn’t quite as robust an organization,” Moriarty said. “As soon as Nancy came in as executive director, it was clear that we were going in a new and very exciting direction. That’s when I really increased my volunteer commitment to the organization.”
According to Moriarty, Hafford possesses communication skills that allow her to effectively work with different constituents.
“One of the things that makes Nancy as successful as she is, in addition to her energy and enthusiasm, is [she is] one of the few individuals that I’ve met that interact effectively across a wide-variety of constituents,” Moriarty added. “I think that’s just a unique skill, to be able to treat people across the board as pretty much the same. She’s very respectful to people and very open-minded and I really believe that’s a lot of what contributes to her success.”
Baltimore County Councilman David Marks, whose Fifth District represents Towson, said he talks to Hafford two to three times a week and believes she is one of the area’s best representatives.
“She is Towson’s biggest cheerleader,” Marks said. “She is hardworking, intelligent, extraordinarily active and a great representative of Towson. She’s everywhere. She’s extraordinarily active.”