On May 17, we have the opportunity to meet, and hear from, the Executive Director of the Nebraska Tourism Commission, John Ricks.
 
John Ricks is the Executive Director of the Nebraska Tourism Commission. He joined the Commission in January of 2017.
 
John has helped increase excitement surrounding tourism in Nebraska with the new marketing campaign, “Nebraska. Honestly. It’s not for everyone.” The new campaign garnered press worth over $7.1 million in the month after the unveiling and has since continued to receive attention nationally and internationally ever since.
 
John has spent more than 25 years working in tourism destination marketing for a number of different states. As an advertising agency executive, he led marketing efforts for Wisconsin and Wyoming. Working with Wyoming, he led strategy efforts that created the award-winning “Forever West” campaign. Previously he was Associate Director of the Colorado Tourism Office where he was architect of the very successful “Come to Life” marketing strategy that resulted in five consecutive years of record-setting results in terms of visitation, visitor spending, tax revenue generated and marketing ROI.
 
Son of an Army officer, he was born in the Philippines and has lived in destinations around the world including Hawaii, Japan and Okinawa, where he graduated from high school. He’s also an adventure traveler having trekked on Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco, the wide open spaces of Patagonia and in the foothills of the Himalaya Mountains in Bhutan.