By: Sharon Aron Baron
Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry has appointed Stacy Ritter as the next president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Ritter, who is currently a county commissioner representing Parkland, Coral Springs and Tamarac will leave an open seat in her district. Parkland Mayor Michael Udine told us today that he will be filing Monday morning for her commission seat.
In her new role, Ritter will work to improve the appeal of Broward County’s large and diverse tourism industry, advocate for Broward County on the local, national and international tourism scene, and provide the administrative leadership and support necessary for the GFLCVB and Convention Center to respond to current and future challenges.
“Stacy Ritter is knowledgeable and passionate about our community and the tourism industry,” said Henry. “She is a very competent administrator with a track record of achieving results in the public sector at both the local and state level, and she has existing relationships with stakeholders engaged in operating and promoting tourism infrastructure and destinations.”
Ritter wasn’t without her critics. A Sun Sentinel editorial that was recently was published said that she wasn’t right for the job and lacks the experience and background needed to be Broward’s next tourism chief. They wrote that Broward needed someone with experience running a convention center, with a track record of marketing a region and with a history of operating a large organization.
Ritter was selected by Henry after a public recruitment process including an interview panel consisting of County agency executives, industry subject matter experts, a member of the Tourist Development Council (TDC) and the retiring GFLCVB president, Nicki Grossman. Grossman, also a former County Commissioner, successfully led the GFLCVB since 1995, through some of its most progressive and productive years.
“I am honored to have been selected to serve as president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau,” said Ritter. “I look forward to working with the staff and collaborating with our tourism industry partners to build on past successes and make the most of future opportunities.”
Natasha Hampton-Clayton, a member of the TDC and the interview panel, said “Stacy Ritter brings passion and political savvy to this position, both of which are essential to the continued growth of tourism in Broward County. I fully support County Administrator Bertha Henry’s decision and look forward to working with Commissioner Ritter in her new role.”
“Stacy Ritter’s experience, skills, knowledge of the community and love of Broward County make her an ideal choice for this position,” said Henry. “She is the candidate who can best address the needs of our CVB and our community going forward.”
Ritter is expected to assume her new duties in June.