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WMTA Picks New Director
GRAND RAPIDS — The West Michigan Tourist Association reports naming Richard (Rick) Hert as its new executive director, effective yesterday.
Hert brings 21 years of organizational management experience to the position. In his new post, he will represent the interests of tourism in the 41 counties comprising the western half of the Lower Peninsula.
Since 2002, Hert has operated his own marketing and consulting firm in Port Angeles, Wash.
Before that, he was executive director for the North Olympic Peninsula Visitor and Convention Bureau, in Port Angeles, the Bend Chamber of Commerce, Bend, Ore., and Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce, Newport, Ore.
He has a BA in communications with emphasis in public relations and marketing from Central Washington University and a pending MBA from Baker College.
Dan Sippel, chair of the WMTA board, described Hert’s tourism credentials are very impressive. “We are all looking forward to his positive influence and working relationship with our members, staff and board of directors,” Sipple added.
Among his numerous honors, Hert was named the 1990 State of Oregon “Governor’s Tourism Promoter of the Year.” In 1995, he was a congressional delegate to the White House Conference on Tourism and in 2001 was a member of the Washington State Tourism Advisory Board. He has received multiple individual awards from the Washington State Tourism Department and from community organizations.
“I look forward to working with the members, staff and board of directors to accomplish the goals of this organization,” Hert said. “The more I learn about WMTA and West Michigan in general, the more my enthusiasm grows to successfully promote this wonderful destination.”
Founded in 1917, WMTA is the oldest continually operating regional tourist association in the nation.
For regional travel information, contact WMTA at (800) 442-2084 or log on to