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Community says farewell to tourism director
July 14, 2011 Jerry Purvis   

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Kevin Howard (left) chats with Scottsbluff mayor emeritus Don Overman during a reception on Kevin's last day as director of tourism for Scotts Bluff County.

Kevin Howard said his grandfather used to say that preachers and teachers needed to be moved around once in awhile, and that it might also apply to tourism directors.

Howard has wrapped up his job as Scotts Bluff County Tourism Director and is headed to Alliance, where he will become tourism and promotion director for the city. “Don’t ask me if I have a staff or where my office is because I don’t know yet,” he said. “Alliance people are ‘doers’ and I look forward to working with them.”

Howard said he’s looked at Alliance for many years and has seen their ups and downs. When the tourism position came open, he believed he could make a difference.

Howard worked for his parents at the Oregon Trail Wagon Train in Bayard until January 1998, when he took over as tourism director for Scotts Bluff County.

In addition to his duties for the county, he’s served as marketing co-chair of the Platte Valley Attractions group and was a member of the Nebraska Travel Association’s Legislative Committee.

He was made an Admiral in the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska in 1999 and again in 2006. And in 2002, he was presented with the Henry Fonda Nebraskan Award for lifetime achievement in the state’s tourism industry.

In, 2005, Howard was also instrumental in helping make arrangements for the cast and crew when director Cameron Crowe and actor Orlando Bloom were in the area to film scenes for the movie Elizabethtown.

“We got on someone’s radar for that one, but I’m not quite sure who,” he said. “I think we’ll have more films out here in western Nebraska. If you hit on the right movie, your area could become another Bridges of Madison County or Field of Dreams.”

He said he’s learned a lot as tourism director for Scotts Bluff County and wants to bring that knowledge to his new position. Two areas he mentioned were website development and community signage.

He said he’ll miss the many friends he’s made during his time here, but he will still be working with many of them on projects affecting the entire region.
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