Michael Haynie

Michael E. Haynie, Sr. is very humbled to have been chosen as the first “Face of Tourism,” by the Maryland Tourism Coalition. Haynee is the CEO of Global Training Center LLC and the Maryland Center of Hospitality Training. Congratulations my dear friend. Well deserved. Courtesy photo

Hello everyone, hoping my words find you and your family safe and healthy. I hope you all are still wearing your mask and staying socially distanced whether you have had your vaccine shots or not. I believe the light is at the end of the tunnel— just hang in there.

Now I want to talk about two friends of mine that I am so proud of. I want to mention them to you so that you can give them the standing ovation they deserve. They did well and Baltimore is even more special because of them.

First, I am going to talk about Michael E. Haynie, Sr. Let me tell you, he has taken Baltimore to its highest in the hospitality industry. Prior to launching Parkway, the Northeastern University graduate served as vice-president and managing director of Baltimore’s Tremont Hotels, spearheading the debut of the historic, award-winning Tremont Grand events venue.

In addition to a highly successful career as an hotelier, Haynie has been a major force in a wide variety of industry, political and community organizations serving as an officer or president of over a dozen state and community based organizations chief among them, the establishment of Baltimore’s National Academy. Foundation High School (NAF), as co-chairman. Mr. Haynie is the CEO of Global Training Center, LLC and the Maryland Center of Hospitality Training.

I really could go on and on about this guy who recently this month, was chosen as the first “Face of Tourism” by the Maryland Tourism Coalition. Michael I am so proud to call you my friend. All of this you deserve, God knows you worked for it.

I also want to tell you about another good friend of mine. Her name is Edna Lawrence. She is a gifted and talented artist. She is a quilt maker among many other things. “Grandmother Edna,” as she prefers to be called has a passion for the educational and social development of all children. She says she is a proud descendant of the Bamile’Ke’ people from the highlands in Cameroon.

Recently, Grandmother Edna received nominations for her art of a quilt. Her double award is for a hand-sewn quilt she made honoring Griot mother Mary Carter Smith. Absolutely, beautiful! Congrats to you Grandmother Edna.

I am telling you, Baltimore is “jumping up and down, doing the James Brown.” We have some very gifted and talented people in Baltimore and we should always give them their praise.

That also includes another one of our Baltimore well-known figures, Umar Marvin McDowell, the executive director, founder and president of Umar Boxing Program from 1996 to present. He was the head coach from 2006-2008 for the East Central Region 2 boxing team. He has been involved in boxing since 1972.

McDowell started the program to provide hope and opportunity to Baltimore City’s at-risk youth. He is also a former professional boxer and member of Maryland’s Boxing Hall of Fame. It is a true pleasure to have such an activist in our town. Well done, Umar! Well done! Thanks for having such passion for our youth.

Well my dear friends, I have got to go, I had a very busy day. Shorty and I went to Dante’s farewell party at his restaurant in Randallstown. It was so great getting out and socializing a little bit. We had a couple of cocktails and dinner with our dear friend and journalist partner in the nightlife, Valerie Fraling. We will tell you all about it next time. We had a BALL!!!

Remember if you need me, call me at 410-833-9474. NOT TEXT, but call or email me at [email protected]



Edna Lawrence received nominations for her art. Her double award is for a hand, sewn quilt she made honoring Griot Mother Mary Carter Smith. Congrats to you Edna! Courtesy photo

Umar Marvin McDowell

Umar Marvin McDowell with Vincent T. Pettway at New Shiloh Baptist Church. Vincent Pettway is the former IBF Junior Middleweight champ. He did a presentation for the youth in the organization, mentoring young males in the hood in Baltimore, sponsored by Cameron Miles. Courtesy photo