Governor Appoints Idaho Travel Council Members

NEWS RELEASE:  For Immediate Release


Contact: Kayla Ruiz

Idaho Commerce



Governor Otter Appoints New Members to Idaho Travel Council

Idaho Travel Council (ITC) Advises the Director of Idaho Commerce on tourism policy and grant awards


BOISE, Idaho—January 23, 2015—Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter has appointed two new members to the Idaho Travel Council.  Matthew Hunter was appointed to serve as the Region V representative on the Idaho Travel Council (ITC)and  Rick Shaffer was appointed as the At Large representative.In addition, Courtney Ferguson, owner of Yellowstone Bear World in Rexburg, was reappointed to represent Region 6 for a second term.

Mr. Hunter currently lives in Pocatello and has an impressive business resume centered on the hospitality industry.  He is the current President and CEO of the Pocatello-Chubbuck Chamber of Commerce and the Board Chair for Visit Pocatello. His experience in the lodging industry spans 25 years, and includes General Manager and management positions with Red Lion Hotels in Pocatello, Bend, Yakima, Pendleton and Portland.  Mr. Hunter also served as the General Manager at Cavanaugh’s Fourth Avenue Hotel in Spokane, WA and as Food and Beverage Director at the Bend Golf & Country Club in Bend, OR.

Mr. Hunter is a member of the Pocatello Rotary Club, and a board member for the Bannock Development Corporation, Pioneer Country Travel Council, Partners 4 Prosperity and the CommUniversity Committee.  He was also named the 2003 Volunteer of the Year by the Pocatello-Chubbuck Chamber.

Mr. Rick Shaffer resides in Wallace and has worked in the tourism industry for over 22 years.  He is currently Director of Operations for the Magnuson Hospitality Group and oversees operations at the Wallace Inn, Stardust Motel and the Jameson Restaurant & Saloon. His hospitality positions have spanned the country, and include Hospitality Consultant at the Ramada Renaissance Times Square, NY, Director of Services at the Ramada Renaissance Hotel, NJ, and Director of Housekeeping at the Four Seasons Olympic Hotel in Seattle, WA and the LaCosta Hotel and Spa in Carlsbad, CA, among others.  

Rick retains the Historic Wallace City Council charter as the Prime Minister of Hospitality and Goodwill and serves as the Wallace Chamber representative on the North Idaho Travel Committee, past President and Marketing Chair for the Historic Wallace Chamber of Commerce, and he is a board member for the Idaho Hospitality and Travel Association and Idaho Recreation and Parks Association.  He is also a member of the Scenic Byways Committee, and president, board member, director, actor and master of ceremonies for the Sixth Street Melodrama in Wallace.  Mr. Shaffer received the Governor’s Take Pride in Idaho Award for tourism marketing in 2007 and was named the 2012 Hotelier of the Year by the Idaho Lodging & Restaurant Association.

“We are thrilled to welcome these two new members to the Idaho Travel Council,” said Idaho Department of Commerce director Jeffery Sayer.  “Both Matt and Rick bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the council that will support our efforts to enhance Idaho’s position as a premiere destination for travelers seeking a variety of unique experiences.”

The Idaho Travel Council’s main purpose is to advise the Idaho Department of Commerce-Tourism Development activities and program.  The council also awards grants to applicants of the Idaho Regional Travel and Convention Grant Program.  Additionally, council members work closely with tourism organizations and businesses on viable marketing opportunities and represent their interests to state government.

The council consists of eight members, appointed by the Governor, with one member appointed from each of the state’s seven tourism development regions and one member appointed at-large.

For a full list of Idaho Travel Council members, click here:

Posted in Communities, Travel