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Lisa Verhil, CTA

Visitor Services Manager
aka Welcome Wizard

Lisa is the driving force behind the Certified Tourism Ambassador™ program, an industry certification system that seeks to increase tourism by enhancing the visitor experience. She adapted the national model for use in Kent County and quickly built it into one of the country’s most successful CTA programs – more than 4,000 individuals from 460+ companies were trained as CTAs in the first five years of the initiative.

Lisa also supervises the visitor information function at Gerald R. Ford International Airport, training and supporting staff members to welcome visitors with warm hospitality and knowledgeable service.

Bio Bits:

  • Related to Nikos Kazantzakis, famed Greek author of Zorba the Greek and The Last Temptation of Christ
  • Recommends the salmon stuffed with ricotta and spinach at One Trick Pony
  • Ginger Cider from The People’s Cider Co. is one of her favorite thirst-quenchers
  • Heads to the Japanese Gardens at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park or her lake cottage north of Grand Rapids for peace and serenity

Lisa remembers getting into trouble as a three-year-old, when she would climb into other people’s shopping carts just to chat with them. She steers clear of carts these days, but, “I love that I now have a job that pays me to talk to people about Grand Rapids – and to encourage others to talk about Grand Rapids, too!”

Lisa Verhil, CTA, Visitor Services Manager

Lisa Verhil, CTA, Visitor Services Manager

Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids

Explore more about the Experience GR Staff.