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  • Destination
    Neighborhoods
  • Downtown
    Enjoy a huge range of entertainment, dining, shopping and sightseeing opportunities, all within an easy, eye-catching 10-minute walk.
    West Side
    From tigers and coffee to meat markets and Mexican restaurants, the West Side is a fascinating mix of old-school and up-and-coming.
    Heartside
    Grit, growth and creativity characterize this downtown neighborhood, which boasts unique galleries, clever dining spots and many pleasant…
    Heritage Hill
    One of the nation’s top old-house neighborhoods – with 1,300 buildings dating back to 1844 – is just a five-minute walk from downtown.
    Medical Mile
    This world-class health-sciences corridor is spurring new retail and residential developments well beyond its namesake mile.
    North Quarter
    The city’s largest park, tiniest burger joint, oldest sweet shop and newest best-bar winner are just a few of the pleasures that await visitors.…
    Southtown
    Diversity is the hallmark of Southtown, with numerous ethnic groups contributing to a vibrant mix of restaurants, shops and events.
    Uptown
    An eclectic mix of specialty shops, galleries, restaurants and entertainment venues reflect this area’s friendly, funky, fabulous character.
    Choose from our curated Personas.

    Lisa Verhil

    Lisa Verhil, CTA

    Visitor Services Manager

    AKA: Welcome Wizard

    LVerhil@ExperienceGR.com
    (616) 459-8287 ext. 3578

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    Focus:

    Manages and builds support for the visitor services functions for Experience Grand Rapids. Specific programs include the airport visitor information area and the county-wide Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) program. These efforts directly impact the expansion of a visitor-centric destination. A visitor focused destination helps to attract and expand tourism and convention bookings.

    Education:

    MBA in Educational Administration and Leadership from MSU
    BS in Secondary Education from CMU
     Major: Recreation and Parks Administration/Community Ed.
     Minor: Interpersonal and Public Communication
    Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA)
    Secondary Teaching Certificate
    Facililitating

    Volunteer Associations:

    Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce Ambassador, Primary Contact for new Members and participate in Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies.
    Kids Food Basket

    Professional Associations:

    Kent County Hospitality Association
    Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce Ambassador

    How long have you worked in the Tourism Industry?

    For over 10 years, 3 at Experience Grand Rapids.

    How did you become a part of the Tourism Industry?

    When I starting dating my husband and worked with him in the restaurant.  I got reaquainted with my Greek Hospitality gene and the restaurant became to small.  I reached out to Doug with an idea to train the front line and over a cup of coffee the idea of the CTA Program was started in 2009.  Thanks to the hoteliers who raised the room tax in 2012, we stated the CTA program in 2013.

    Favorite Vacation Spot?

    I really don't have a favorite, but I love to travel and learn about other cities.

    One piece of advice or tip you would give to a first time visitor to Grand Rapids?

    Thank you for coming to Grand Rapids, tell others what a great place we have here and come back soon!!!!

    There is something for everyone here with many attractions and events that transend age. Just let us know what is of interest to you, and we can direct you there!

    What are you looking forward to in 2016?

    Moving Downtown and walking to work!!!! I am truly looking forward to engulfing myself in the downtown community and experiencing the diversity of the many cultures in my new neighborhood.