Our Team

Ocean Exchange Executive Team

Susan Zellers

Program Director

Susan Zellers is an accomplished dynamic leader, with a background in association management, workforce development, economic development, advocacy, community coalition building and event management.

For two decades, she led the Marine Trades Association of Maryland as their Executive Director.  In that role she worked as a state lobbyist for recreational boating interests, representing the boater and the trades.  She initiated the Marine Trades Industry Partnership for Workforce Development through a grant from the State of Maryland which was recognized nationally for pre-apprentice training.  She planned and coordinated conferences, trade shows and social events for the organization.

Prior to MTAM, Susan held the appointed position of Director of Economic Development for the City of Annapolis.  Here she served as a liaison with the business community while working to recruit new businesses to Annapolis and Maryland.

In December of 2021, she was awarded the ‘Chesapeake Bay Ambassador’ award by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.  One of the highest and most prestigious awards that the state confers upon citizens who are active leaders in supporting a better Chesapeake Bay. Through the pandemic, she served on the City of Annapolis’ and the State of Maryland’s business recovery task forces.  She has served on national task forces for recreational boating career marketing and been active in the National Marine Trades Council.  In Maryland, she chaired the Visit Annapolis board of directors and served on the Executive Directors Council to Maryland Tourism Development. 

Zellers is a graduate of The Ohio State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.  Go Buckeyes! 

With an empty nest and the new-found ability to work remotely, Susan relocated to Sarasota, FL in September of 2021. 

Contact Us

Ocean Exchange invites you to learn more about Awards Program, our ecosystem and success of our award winners and participants. Together, we can chart a powerful course to help ensure the future of our oceans and the Blue Economy.

“Ocean Exchange has a platform to enable people with information that they need to know about the ocean and then to showcase new technologies that are on the forefront of really helping the ocean and the planet.”

“The quality of the content and the people who are involved with Ocean Exchange is all high end.”

“Besides funding, Ocean Exchange provides access to a wide area network of incredibly talented people in organizations that really do just want to help people.”

“Ocean Exchange is really about helping the little guys grow and in so doing, helping the big guys be better ocean citizens.”

“Ocean Exchange seems to be much more focused on bringing to light under-capitalized, wonderful new technology ideas. And it’s all about two-way access to this new technology and to the people who can help with the experience to grow that technology.”

“Ocean Exchange is a force multiplier to enable sustainable innovation.”

“Ocean Exchange is a global, novel innovation forum that has a greater ability to attract a broader range of impactful stakeholders than any other event that’s out there.”

“Unquestionably, one of Ocean Exchange’s primary strengths is how it brings together people from different paths. That makes its event a delegator experience as well as experience for an innovator or awards nominee.”

“Ocean Exchange is entirely different from any of the other organizations that I’m involved in. It is about sustainable innovation. I think it’s also very different in the extremely broad range of stakeholders that it involves.”

“There’s nothing better than going to an event or engaging with people so you walk away and say, ‘Wow!’”