Mise en Place, Inc.
Maryann Ferenc has spent her lifetime in the restaurant industry, beginning her career in her parents’ restaurant in Detroit as a bus girl. A passionate advocate for independent businesses, Maryann established Mise en Place in 1986, along with co-proprietor Chef Marty Blitz.
Maryann received a degree in theater from Wayne State University, while managing a gourmet health food restaurant. In an effort to use her minor in theater management, she left the restaurant business and worked as an assistant to the director of Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. During her time there, Maryann worked in the food and beverage department and founded the hospitality division.
Maryann helped introduced New American cuisine to Tampa Bay and was involved in the downtown renaissance when she moved Mise en Place to Kennedy Boulevard at Grand Central Avenue in 1992, occupying a space that dates back to the early 20th century. Mise en Place is now Tampa’s premier restaurant for Modern American cuisine, 30 years later.
Maryann’s charitable work involves feeding the hungry while actively supporting downtown and Tampa’s independent businesses network. A visible and powerful presence in Tampa Bay, Maryann is indelibly linked to multiple community organizations, including Feeding America Tampa Bay, Taste of the NFL, Visit Tampa Bay, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Tampa Independent Business Alliance and Tampa Downtown Partnership.
This year Maryann and Mise en Place have engaged in the issue of mental health, recognizing this meaningful need and the missing piece of our care of the community and our employees. She recently joined the TB Mental Health Foundation Board and is committed to this cause.
“Mise en Place is really a combination of passions which, over the course of 30 years, have built a life I’m happy to live. Marty, myself, my parents (rest their souls), our staff and clients make us the restaurant company we are today,” Maryann said, “and I do not lose sight of that.”
Maryann served three two-year terms on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board which advises the Secretary of Commerce and the President. In that role, she was co-chair of the drafting team for the Board’s recommendations regarding the USA’s Five-Year Tourism Strategy. Maryann also sits on the US Travel Association Board and is past chair and current member of Visit Tampa Bay. Maryann has been on the Board of VISIT FLORIDA since 2011, currently serving as Board Chair. The appointment to the Brand USA Board was the pinnacle of her career. As a small business owner, representing the entire restaurant industry is a particular honor. As co-chair of the Start Up Scholars Committee of the Tampa Chamber of Commerce and a member of the University of Tampa Entrepreneurial Center Advisory Board, Maryann continues to work to improve the landscape for small business in Tampa Bay.
Maryann is the proud recipient of numerous awards, including the eWomenNetwork of Tampa Bay’s 2009 Women in Business Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2009 Lou Groza Let’s Kick Hunger Award, the 2011 Tampa Bay Business Journal Businesswoman of the Year award, the 2014 Gonzmart Family Ambassador of the Year and the 2016 Tampa Chamber of Commerce Leadership Award.
- 1986 – Create Mise en Place restaurant and catering
- 1992 – Expand Mise en Place to full-service Modern American cuisine restaurant and full-service catering and event company
- 1992-2001 – Develop retail market, fine dining, on and off-site catering and Jazz Club
- 2001 – Grow to $10 million full-service restaurant, off-site catering and events and on-site hospitality services
- 2010 – Begin Sono Café and exclusive catering contract with the new Tampa Museum of Art
- 2012 – Open First Flight- a Wine Bar by Mise en Place in the Tampa International Airport
- 2015 – Form TPA Hospitality Partners to win bid on Tampa International Airport concessions
- 2015 – Invited to include upscale concept in Tampa’s Amalie Arena
- 2016 – Develop Berkeley Beach Club restaurant and vacation rental in St. Pete Beach, FL
- 2018 – Open the Cafe by Mise en Place in Tampa International Airport
• Founder of Tampa Independent Business Alliance TIBA – a cooperative effort by local, independent businesses to nurture and promote diverse, local independent businesses
• Member of AMIBA – American Independent Business Alliance – organized to help communities build economic vitality through maintaining local independent businesses
• Board of Directors for Visit Tampa Bay for over 15 years
• Board of Directors of Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Chair and founder of the International Business Committee
• Founding Member of Tampa Bay World Cup Soccer Committee
• Member of Tampa Super Bowl 2008/2009 Committee
• Participant in international trade shows and world travel expos for Tampa Bay & Company and US Department TTAB
• Board of Directors of US Travel Association – joined 2009
• Board of Directors of Visit Florida – appointed 2011, Board Chair 2017-2018
• Three two-year term on US Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB) – advising the Secretary and the President on issues of travel, tourism and hospitality
• Appointed to the Board of Directors for Brand USA in 2015 – the national destination marketing organization promoting all 50 states
Maryann supports numerous organizations in Tampa Bay but is most passionate about hunger relief with over 25 years of involvement in organizations including Share our Strength, Feeding America Tampa Bay and the Taste of the NFL.