The Grand Canyon Resort Corporation has landed a veteran chief executive officer with more than a quarter century of high-level leadership and tourism/destination entertainment experience. Mark Mortenson joined GCRC on October 5, to take over the role of CEO.
Before accepting the GCRC position, Mortenson spent the last eight years as President and CEO of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences, an organization that manages the Buffalo Museum of Science and the Tifft Nature Preserve. A change agent throughout his executive career, Mortenson tripled attendance and membership for the Society while raising more than $7.5 million for capital improvements for the museum and the preserve.
Prior to that role, Mortenson spent 20 years working his way up the ranks at the Walt Disney Company, finishing as a Vice President of Global Operations Management. During his Disney career, Mortenson managed budgets of over $460 million and supervised hundreds of employees stationed around the world.
Camille Nighthorse, chairperson of the GCRC, expressed excitement at the prospect of such an experienced CEO taking the helm of GCRC and its properties, which include Grand Canyon West, the Grand Canyon Skywalk, Hualapai River Runners, and the Hualapai Lodge.
“Mark is exactly the new leader we need,” said Nighthorse. “He understands Arizona, he understands how to efficiently manage budgets and people, and he understands what makes a great tourism experience for visitors. We can’t wait for him to start.”
Mortenson, who holds an undergraduate degree and an MBA in Business Administration, says he intends to dig in immediately, crafting a strategic plan for GCRC aimed at growing the corporation’s bottom line and improving visitors’ experiences.
“I am so proud to be joining this team,” said Mortenson. “GCRC has a great Board and great people company-wide – dedicated people who have done a fantastic job running the organization for many months without a permanent CEO. I see us having a lot of fun and a lot of success in the years ahead. I want every area resident and every member of the Hualapai Tribe to be proud of what we accomplish together.”