Ray Wernecke Joins CSM’s Foundation Board Directors

Ray Wernecke

Ray Wernecke, a lifelong resident of Southern Maryland and the chief operating officer of Cherry Cove, has joined the College of Southern Maryland’s Foundation Board which provides support to the college and its students through the funding of scholarships, technology and arts, health/wellness and educational opportunities.

CSM announced Wernecke’s appointment to the CSM Foundation Board of Directors in August. “Each new director brings his or her own unique personal, business and community experience to the Foundation and adds to our continued success through their generous donations of time and commitment to the college. The participation of our members ensures that the dreams and goals of CSM’s students are put into closer reach,” said Jane Loughran, CSM’s director of development.

Ray Wernecke graduated with a bachelor of science degree in physical education from Towson State University. Wernecke is the chief operating officer of Cherry Cove, a full-spectrum lodging and real estate development company based in Lexington Park. He previously worked for nearly 20 years in various customer service related positions for the United States Navy, most recently as the Director of Corporate Operations for the Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC) at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Maryland. He is a member of the St. Mary’s County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Community Development Corporation. Wernecke lives in Leonardtown with his wife Helen and two children. He is an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church.

“I’ve always appreciated the fact that CSM really is the college of Southern Maryland, in that, so many people have benefited from the services the college provides whether it is corporate training, job-skill development or earning a degree. Over the years, CSM’s partnerships, like the one with NAVAIR, have shown their dedication to meeting the workforce development needs of the community,” said Wernecke, who noted that his employer, H. Thomas Waring has also been a long-term supporter of the college.

“Education has always been important to my family. Education is not just a personal mission; it is something everyone should have access to. Encouraging access to educational opportunities is something I look forward to working with the CSM Foundation Board on,” said Wernecke, who noted that he would like to help the college develop an educational program for careers in the hospitality industry.

In the last few years, the CSM Foundation has raised:

·        Over $500,000 in private funds to build the St. Charles Children's Learning Center at the College of Southern Maryland, La Plata Campus.

·        Over $200,000 in support of athletic equipment and programs.

·        $600,000 in scholarships for CSM students.

·        $550,000 in matching funds for technology.

On Sept. 22, the CSM Foundation invites the community to join them for the second annual Celebration of the Arts, an evening of visual and performing arts on the Prince Frederick Campus. Proceeds from the silent auction and ticket sales will benefit CSM’s Arts Endowment, which seeks to develop and expand fine arts program offerings in Southern Maryland. Tickets are $75. For information on the CSM Foundation or Celebration of the Arts call 301-934-7649 or 301-870-3008, Ext. 7649 for Charles County; 240-725-5499, Ext. 7649 for St. Mary’s County or 443-550-6199, Ext. 7649 for Calvert County or visit http://www.csmd.edu/alumni_foundation/.