Tourism leader plans to retire

HANCOCK COUNTY — Dave Scott, who’s served as the director of two county organizations designed to draw visitors to the area, recently announced plans to step down from his duties.

Scott will retire from full-time work with the Hancock County Visitors Bureau and its sister organization, the Hancock County Tourism Commission, at the end of the year, he said during this week’s tourism commission meeting.

Earl Smith, president of the tourism commission, which distributes revenue collected through the county innkeeper’s tax — collected from hotel patrons — to organizations striving to attract visitors to Hancock County, said the board plans to hire a full-time replacement for Scott by the end of the year.

Scott has served as the director of the visitors bureau since the organization was founded in 2002. He also was selected as the first director of the tourism commission when it was formed in 2011.

Scott said he’d like to continue managing the visitors bureau’s properties, including the H.J. Ricks Centre for the Arts and the new visitors center building at 119 North St., which is under construction and is expected to open in coming months.

Greg Carwein, president of the visitors bureau, said the board intends to hire Scott part time to continue managing the properties, but details about the number of work hours and wage for the job haven’t been decided.

Scott’s expertise managing both the technical components of the theater and booking acts — duties he’s performed since the theater opened in 2015 — make him a natural candidate for the position, Carwein said.

Scott has also overseen construction and renovations to the new visitors bureau building, which will serve as a welcome center for local visitors and also as a practice space for groups performing at the Ricks theater.

Carwein, who formerly served on the tourism commission, commended Scott for his work with both organizations, particularly his role in raising more than $600,000 through grant-writing and private donations to renovate the historic Ricks Theater, which re-opened in 2006.

Scott, a county native, worked for 21 years as a journalist at the Daily Reporter before transitioning to the position at the visitors bureau.

Carwein, who helped select Scott as the first director of the visitors bureau, said he stood out from other candidates because of media experience and institutional knowledge.

Smith said the tourism commission hasn’t decided what qualifications they’ll seek in a replacement for the position, though he said the board will likely look for candidates who have marketing experience.

The commission will post the position in coming weeks and will likely conduct interviews over the next several months, Smith said.

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Daniel Morgan is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. He can be reached at (317) 477-3228 or dmorgan@greenfieldreporter.com.