As Lisa Boulton leaves her role as executive director of the Calaveras County Visitors Bureau, Martin Huberty II steps into the position.
With a background in film and a childhood in Calaveras, Huberty was eager to bring his expertise to the region.
Enterprise reporter Davis Harper reached out to Huberty to help introduce him to the residents of the county.
Davis Harper: Where were you born and raised?
Martin Huberty: I was born and raised in Sacramento, however, I spent almost every weekend at the family ranch in San Andreas with my father and great uncles. I helped with chores and rode my go-kart on, what seemed at the time, endless dirt roads. Summers were spent at my grandmother’s cabin on the west end of Lake Alpine.
DH: How did you come to be in Calaveras County?
MH: The Huberty pioneer was John Huberty, who came to Calaveras in 1854 from Luxembourg. He settled in Moke Hill and married Marie Terese Burkhart from Baden Baden, Germany. She died in childbirth with their fifth child. Several years later, John remarried and had eight more children. So there were a lot of Hubertys in Calaveras County in the 19th century. I’ve always loved Calaveras and have never felt truly at home anyplace else.
DH: What led up to this point in your career before the Visitors Bureau, and what got you interested in this work?
MH: I worked in the film industry for 20 years in Los Angeles, producing feature films and TV movies. Then (I) worked in England for 10 years in a position that demanded a lot of diplomacy. When Lisa said that she would be leaving I thought, “There’s a job where I can utilize my skill set.”
DH: Can you talk a bit about the importance of tourism from an economic standpoint in Calaveras County, but also in the sense of bringing new people into the county to share the experience of what a place is?
MH: Since the discovery of the Big Trees, Calaveras has been a tourist destination, and tourism has been a backbone of the county. As long as I can remember, my parents have brought people from around the world to show them this great county. Their reactions to seeing the sequoias and the snow-covered peaks were no different to friends I have brought and continue to bring. My great-great-grandmother traveled to Calaveras in 1857. Her remarks in her diary echo this wonderment. “When we came in view of the Sierra, the summits covered in snow, contrasting beautifully with the green, it was sublime, it surpassed all description. I could not help but think how small and insignificant I was compared with all around me, and how little we deserve all the goodness of providence. If anything would awe us, and give us grand ideas, and make us truly noble, generous and good, surely all we see around us would.”
DH: How will your experience in the film industry translate to your work with the Visitors Bureau? Do you see Calaveras County as a good location for shooting movies?
MH: First, let me remind everyone that the position I’ve taken is executive director of the Calaveras Visitors Bureau and film commissioner for Calaveras County. Film is half the job. Calaveras is the perfect place to film, and I will be working hard to get film production back in the county. I am starting with building a strong film website that will cater to the industry and showcase the assets we have here for physical production. We’ve had a lot of filming in the past and there’s no reason why we can’t again.
DH: How will you work to market tourism opportunities across the entire county, as opposed to just the areas that have already seen a lot of success?
MH: Lisa Boulton and the CVB team have done a tremendous job over the past seven years promoting the entire county. I am developing a couple of initiatives that will hopefully bring more attention to parts of the county that are less traveled.
DH: Aside from the film industry, what businesses do you think the region lacks when it comes to attracting visitors?
MH: Statistics show the No. 1 draw to the county is for outdoor activities. I think our business community does an excellent job accommodating our visitors. I’d like to see more business growth in the tri-lakes area and updated infrastructure throughout the county.
DH: When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?
MH: This sounds like a canned response, but I promise you it’s true. I enjoy the two things that Calaveras is famous for: the people and the natural surroundings. I love spending time with friends at the lakes, rivers and on the trails.
DH: Do you have any talents that people might not know about?
MH: Not that I would want in print … thank you!