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Carol Ludwig is OP chamber’s executive director
By Dolores E. Pike

Carol Ludwig and her husband Jack were on their way home to Ocean Pines from a vacation in Disney World where they were pre-celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary (August 14) when Carol received the news that she was to be the new executive director of the Ocean Pines area Chamber of Commerce.

“I was pleased and surprised because I knew there were other candidates,” said Mrs. Ludwig when asked her reaction upon getting the good news.

As the new executive director she will be the spokesperson for the Ocean Pines chamber, coordinating the various activities of the organization on a full time basis.  After completing substitute-teaching commitments for the Worcester County school system made prior to her being hired, Mrs. Ludwig will assume the duties from the interim director, Cassie Mead, on April 4

“My expectations for the chamber are to make sure that the chamber remains in the community eye as well as the business eye, making it an organization that businesses will want to belong to.  We need businesses here. We need to respond to all of the families that are moving here and provide for all the businesses coming to the area.

“So many changes have happened in just the seven years I have lived in Ocean Pines. The families and businesses from other areas are looking for more opportunities and services so there are more demands on our area.  All of this growth has been wonderful and keeping our business community prosperous is very important to the stability of the Ocean Pines area, as well as the surrounding communities,” said Mrs. Ludwig.

And in that seven-year period since her arrival on the Eastern Shore she has not been one to sit around idle.  Having been involved in music since the third grade, it is, next to her husband, the love of her life and she always wears something testifying to that love. Her grandmother said to her early on, “If there is something that makes you happy you need to acknowledge it every day” and to this day Mrs. Ludwig wears something music-oriented every day.

Mrs. Ludwig will continue to conduct a women’s barbershop chorus, the Delmarva Chapter of the Sweet Adelines International who meet every Monday evening at the Ocean Pines community hall from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.  She will also continue conducting the First State Harmonizers who meet every Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. in Milford, DE.

“I have been a Sweet Adeline singer and coach for 30 years.  I have also been working with high school and middle school choirs all those years too,” said Mrs. Ludwig who noted that she hopes to find as much time as she can to coach and be one of the chaperones for the Stephen Decatur High School (SDHS) award winning choir as she has done in past years.

A commitment to her community is uppermost in much of what Mrs. Ludwig chooses to do and is the reason she ran for a seat on the Ocean Pines Association (OPA) Board of Directors last summer.  When asked if she had any regrets about not winning a seat on the board she answered simply, “No.”  She is on the OPA Comprehensive Planning Committee that meets once a month and feels this commitment can work well in a positive way in conjunction with her new position at the chamber.

A native of the Philadelphia area, she went to work for Bell of Pennsylvania which, after several deregulations down the line, eventually became Verizon.  She started out as a Teletype operator in the pre-computer era.  In 1972 when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission  (EEOC) sued several large companies in an effort to make upward mobility possible for all employees, Mrs. Ludwig became the first female storekeeper in the Bell’s Germantown District Office in Philadelphia.  This position included ordering and stocking supplies, including telephones, poles and everything else, in the garage.  As a pioneer of women in non-traditional jobs she moved on in the natural progression of the company’s jobs from being a storekeeper to an (as it was then termed) installer/repairman. 

“I can still see my mother driving down the crowded highway.  A flagman was controlling the traffic as I climbed a telephone pole to raise a wire across the road.  My mother was the second car in line.  She stopped, got out of her car and pointed up at me and said ‘That’s my daughter up there,’” said Mrs. Ludwig who went on to become the first woman technician in Pennsylvania to be promoted to supervisor.

With her infectious enthusiasm and ready laugh, Mrs. Ludwig is ready to move on to the next chapter of her interesting life, being in the forefront of the Ocean Pines area Chamber of Commerce.

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Uploaded: 3/28/2006