Marcus Hinz, Executive Director
Marcus Hinz brings a passion for the outdoors and creative, systems thinking to his role as executive director. Originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin, Marcus moved to Oregon in 1996 to attend Portland State University, where he earned a graduate degree in public administration and completed 65 hours of graduate level conflict resolution training. Soon after graduating, he accepted the position of director of continuing and community education at Tillamook Bay Community College.
During his tenure there, he launched the Watershed Activities To Estuary Recreation (WATER) program to educate locals and visitors about Tillamook County’s abundance of waterways and scenic beauty. The successful program garnered the 2005 Gene Leo Memorial Award at the Oregon Governor’s Conference on Tourism.
Today, as executive director of OCVA, Marcus is responsible for meeting the objectives outlined in the Regional Tourism Plan. He continues to build OCVA’s host of business and marketing services for tourism operations, helping people more effectively participate in the tourism economy and align their efforts with state and regional tourism priorities. Marcus is known for his ability to bring people from diverse backgrounds together to meet common goals. This is best exemplified by the annual People’s Coast Summit, which convenes stakeholders from the entire 363-mile long Coast.
Marcus currently lives in Oceanside. When not working, you’ll likely spot him wandering through Oregon’s forests, paddling our coastal estuaries or just staring into a fire at the beach.
Katera Woodbridge, Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katera joined OCVA as sales and marketing coordinator in September 2017, bringing a wide range of experience in marketing, design and promotion. She’s leading OCVA’s marketing and digital media efforts to expand the Oregon Coast’s tourism economy, including creating compelling marketing materials that engage a diverse audience to learn about the many activites available year-round along the Coast. Katera is also helping OCVA ramp up its capacity to participate in sales missions in key markets across the globe.
Her outgoing and friendly demeanor is equally matched by a focused, analytical side. “Katera is a sharp, creative problem solver who really listens to people,” says Marcus Hinz, OCVA executive director. “Her experience will be invaluable to our tourism partners.”
Katera currently lives in Waldport, not far from where she grew up with her Boston Terrier, Squirt. When she’s not working Katera is likely cooking, woodworking or avoiding the gym.
Dave Lacey, Destination Coordinator
Gold Beach, Oregon
Born and raised in Poughkeepsie, New York, Dave Lacey is a seaman at heart. A fisherman, kayaker, snorkeler and amatuer naturalist, Dave has lived in Gold Beach, Oregon since 1995, where he’s done everything from commercial fishing to carpentry. In 2012, he founded South Coast Tours as a way to share his love of the outdoors with others. The company employs four guides who lead people on kayaking, fishing and stand-up paddle board trips and teach surfing lessons.
Dave joined OCVA in 2016 as destination coordinator. He assists businesses and organizations located between Reedsport to Brookings creating world-class visitor experiences. Dave is supporting the development of many new recreational trails systems such as the new mountain bike trail system in Coos County and creating marketing tools for the Coast fat biking industry. He is the visionary behind the proposed Coquille River Water Trail. And he’s creating fun events as a way to attract people to explore new outdoor recreation opportunities along the Coast.
Destination development requires a strong ability to cultivate relationships — something Dave does with ease. “Dave is supernaturally likeable,” says Marcus Hinz, OCVA executive director. “He’s sincere, dependable and follows through.”
Dave currently lives in Gold Beach with his wife and two kids where he coaches soccer and fly fishes as much as possible when he’s not sneaking away to his favorite surfing spot.
Elizabeth Gronert, South Coast Tourism Development Project Coordinator
Originally from Urbandale, Iowa, Elizabeth has always loved the outdoors, food and animals. While her love for food and animals ran in the family, Elizabeth’s passion for the environment was a gradual discovery that began in grade school and led her to study environmental science and anthropology in college. While studying abroad in Belize during college, her time at The Belize Zoo made her understand the strong role that tourism can play in environmental conservation.
Elizabeth joined OCVA in September 2017 to support the activities of the action teams that emerged from the South Coast Rural Tourism Studios. She is completing an 11-month AmeriCorps program known as Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) through the University of Oregon. Her strong organization and communication skills make her a huge asset to these volunteer committees. Elizabeth works with OCVA staff to organize and facilitate action team meetings. She also assists with specific projects such as a the South Coast Farm Trail and the proposed Coquille River Water Trail.
A graduate of the University of Iowa with degrees in environmental science and anthropology, Elizabeth is enjoying living on the South Coast. When she’s not working, Elizabeth is likely baking a pie, hanging out at Bandon Brewery with friends, or wandering around the forest or beach with her Husky, Lola.
Arica Sears, Strategic Communications Coordinator
Tierra Del Mar, Oregon
Raised in Tillamook County and currently living in Tierra Del Mar, Arica is very well-versed in the opportunities, challenges and issues facing the Oregon Coast. She graduated in 2015 from the University of Oregon with a degree in International Studies, where she gained experience storytelling through filmmaking, community organizing and event planning. Arica, who is fluent in Spanish, is a liaison between OCVA and a wide range of stakeholders, including businesses, nonprofits, government agencies and officials, and Travel Oregon. You can reach her at [email protected].