February 13, 2002
Staff development director brings diverse background to Historic AreaThe new director of staff development for the Historic Area possesses a combination of skills and talents that will be a great asset to the foundation as he embarks upon his new journey. Bill Lupfer has worked in the hospitality industry for more than 26 years, including experiences in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors. His expertise is in youth education, human resources management, staff training, project management and quality guest service.
Lupfer was most recently interim executive director of the U.S. Space Camp Foundation. During his 11 years at that organization, he was responsible for developing curriculum and educational materials for Space Camp in Florida, directing the opening of the Astronaut Hall of Fame and coordinating the openings of space camps in California, Belgium, Canada and Turkey. Prior to the Space Camp, he held leadership positions at the Tropicana Casino and Entertainment Resort in Atlantic City, N.J., Heritage USA in Charlotte, N.C., and Walt Disney World Co.
The scope, scale and complexity of relating to visitors in a historic environment while maintaining the balance of authenticity and convenience requires a different level of consideration than dealing with guests in an amusement park environment, according to Lupfer. "I’ve done a lot of things over the last 26 years. My career has given me the opportunity to experience unique employers," he explained. "My position here at Colonial Williamsburg will allow me to incorporate all of those professional experiences."
As director of staff development, Lupfer will oversee recruitment, hiring, development and performance management of staff in six of the Historic Area’s interpretive units including orientation, group, African-American history, historical, character, and family and youth interpreters. Staff managers in each of the units report to Lupfer who in turn reports to Rex Ellis, vice president of the Historic Area.
One of Lupfer’s first goals is to develop a cohesive team with his six direct reports. "Once we all have a better understanding of the expectations, standards and accountability requirements we’ll be better equipped to reach our ultimate goal of presenting visitors with a quality, inspirational, provocative, educational and interactive experience," he said.
Lupfer, his wife, Anita, and their three home-schooled children had vacationed in Colonial Williamsburg three times before he applied for the position. "I often wondered what it would be like to work here. Now I’m thrilled that I’ll have the opportunity to find out first hand."
Lorraine C. Brooks