When Broward County tourism head Nicki Grossman retires in June after 21 years at the helm, she’ll be succeeded by a new face to the tourism industry: Broward County Commissioner Stacy Ritter.
Broward County announced the appointment Friday, after a public recruitment process for Grossman’s replacement. Ritter will begin her new position as president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau on June 6.
County Administrator Bertha Henry chose Ritter from a field of 52 candidates, noting that Ritter is “knowledgeable and passionate” about the community and the tourism industry.
“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,” Henry said in a release.
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Ritter, a Democrat, has been on the commission since 2006 representing Coral Springs, Parkland, Tamarac and parts of North Lauderdale but has no experience in tourism or marketing. Ritter will lead a staff of 41 with a budget of $30 million at the tourism bureau.
“The county administrator decided the experience in tourism and marketing took a second seat to Stacy’s enthusiasm and passion,” Grossman said in an interview.
[Ritter] is the candidate who can best address the news of our CVB and our community going forward.
Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry
Also a former county commissioner, Grossman has led the bureau since 1995. Under her leadership, the number of visitors to Broward County nearly tripled. The tourism bureau won multiple awards, as well as recognition for its campaign to draw LGBTQ travelers.
Grossman was part of the panel that interviewed Ritter.
“I certainly got a chance to see her passion first hand,” Grossman said. “My advice [to Ritter] is just to look around at all the things that are working and she will have an opportunity to create her own vision for maybe the next 20 years.”