Food Service & Agriculture, Human Resources, and Retail

Downtown Market names board members

May 19, 2014
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Downtown Market names board members
Dianna Stampfler. Courtesy Downtown Market

The Downtown Market has added two veterans of the tourism industry to its board.

Downtown Market said this month that Dianna Stampfler, president of Promote Michigan, and Brian Ryks, executive director of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, have joined its board of directors.

The Grand Rapids market now has 11 board members.

Dianna Stampfler

Stampfler, who was previously a member of the Downtown Market’s marketing advisory committee, launched Promote Michigan in 2004 and has established herself as a marketing representative for a variety of destination, lifestyle, culinary and agri-business brands.

Stampfler is also the executive director of the Kent County Lodging Association, serves on the Ferris State University Hospitality Advisory Board and the Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism planning committee, is a founding member of the Michigan Culinary Tourism Alliance and a Michigan certified tourism ambassador.

She will also soon take on the role of executive director of the Michigan Distillers Guild.

Brian Ryks

Since joining Ford airport, Ryks has overseen a comprehensive upgrade of the airport’s restaurant and retail offerings, including bringing Bell’s Brewery Bar, Great Lakes Tap Room and a third restaurant, Greens, to the main terminal.

Before arriving in Grand Rapids, Ryks was the executive director of the Duluth Airport Authority, overseeing the Duluth International Airport and Sky Harbor.

Ryks has held airport leadership positions at St. Cloud Regional Airport, Aberdeen South Dakota, Stapleton and Denver International airports and Metropolitan Airports Commission in Minneapolis.

Ryks is a Federal Aviation Administration safety counselor and a certified tourism ambassador.

He also serves on the board of directors for Experience Grand Rapids.

“Dianna and Brian bring a wealth of expertise to the Downtown Market board of directors, with deep knowledge and understanding of Michigan’s food and tourism industries,” said Mimi Fritz, president and CEO, Downtown Market. “The Market’s mission is to create a broad community of food businesses that connects with our local region, as well as visitors to Grand Rapids. Dianna and Brian will help us build and amplify our current activities.”

The market

The Downtown Market is quickly approaching the end of its first year, having opened its outdoor market last spring and its indoor market hall at the end of last summer.

The indoor hall has three remaining vendor slots available. It is also still planning to add a sit-down restaurant and microbrewery to its space.

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