Name: Maryann Krisovitch
Title: Executive Director
Organization: Society of Lake Management Professionals
Location: Clermont, Florida
Birthplace: Scranton, Pennsylvania
Education: B.S. from Penn State 1988
• Administrative assistant, Florida Lake Management Society: 2005-2016
• Executive director, Florida Lake Management Society: 2016-present
• Executive director, Society of Lake Management Professionals: 2020-present
• Executive director, North Carolina Lake Management Society: 2021-present
Growing up in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, Maryann Krisovitch was surrounded by the beautiful scenery the area is known for — including the numerous lakes dotting the landscape. She got her first taste of working in hospitality at one of the local resorts beloved by honeymooners.
“It had the champagne glass towers and heart-shaped tubs and all of that,” said Krisovitch. “I was going to Penn State and learning the hospitality industry from the inside out. I worked my way up through the spa, the nightclub, and finally ended up at the front desk — and all these years later, it gives me perspective in planning meetings and working with hotel staff, to see their perspective as well.”
After graduation, Krisovitch, a self-described extrovert, wanted to escape the snow and cold of the Northeastern winters and live someplace that fit her sunny disposition. She chose the Sunshine State. She became a Florida master gardener, which led to her position as a volunteer coordinator for the St. Johns River Water Management District and an environmental educator in Lake County. It was there that she connected with the Florida Lake Management Society.
“One thing led to another, and it has all been connected,” she said. “I love being able to share knowledge and resources.”
Krisovitch started working with the Florida State Management Society as an administrative assistant, helping register attendees for conferences, but as she took on more responsibilities, she moved into different roles. Today, she is the executive director of the Society of Lake Management Professionals, the Florida Lake Management Society and the North Carolina Lake Management Society — and coordinates events and meetings for all three.
With so many irons in the fire, Krisovitch relies on hotels and resorts to put meeting packages together, then consults with the local convention and visitors bureau to source great options for unusual off-site events so attendees can best enjoy a destination. The biggest priority in her role is to welcome guests as if they were family.
“The camaraderie and the friendship — the way you make people feel when they come to your event — is what people remember,” said Krisovitch. “I want people to say, ‘I learned a lot and there was awesome networking, but they made me feel at home even though it was my first time there.’”
Another priority for Kristovitch’s is strategic communication. Since each organization is different, their communication needs vary, and the leader’s communications strategy has to keep up with changing trends — from newsletter to emails, social media to podcasts.
“We need to customize our communication to have member retention,” she said. “I’ve also found working with small market meeting destinations is something I love — they’re able to offer personalized service and can work within tight budgets with great results.”
Krisovitch didn’t set out looking for an executive director position at three organizations. Rather, she kept doing what came naturally to her and let the acquired skills lead from one thing to the next.
“For people who are just starting out, don’t be afraid to start small,” she said. “Eventually you’ll figure out what you’re really good at, and that’s the niche you stay in, and that’s the key.”
Tips from Maryann Krisovitch
• Attend association executive meetings and networking events. You’ll always learn something new.
• Think outside the ballroom. You don’t have to have all your meals and breaks in the same location.
• Talk to the CVB and hotel staff about small local vendors near your event.