Ruth Ravitz Smith joined New Hanover County in September 2015 to lead its external relations as the county’s first Chief Communications Officer. Her role encompasses media and government relations; outreach to community organizations; oversight of NHCTV, the county’s public television station; and marketing and branding of county activities.
Smith’s background of over thirty years of external relations experience includes government service at the federal, state and county levels, global responsibilities at major corporations, and representation of companies, associations, and non-profits.
In addition to owning her own consulting business, Smith has worked for GE, Alstom, The Travelers, Northeast Utilities, and the Aerospace Industries Association.
Smith received a M.B.A from Marymount University, and a B.A. in Law and Society from Hood College. She is certified to Teach English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and is an active mentor to college students and young professionals.
Media Production Coordinator, Mark Boyer, grew up in the small Western PA borough of Donora. He received his BA from Edinboro State University located deep in the Lake Erie Snow Belt. He began working his way south after a two year stint on the radio in Jamestown, NY.
Over the years, Mark reported on local government issues and other news in several other media markets and relocated to Wilmington in 1990 where he became News Director of WGNI radio. Mark earned state and national recognition for his broadcasting abilities before becoming New Hanover County’s first ever Public Information Officer. Since then, his biggest accomplishment is the construction and growth of New Hanover County Television (NHCTV). During that same time, he was appointed to serve a total of 10 years as a Trustee of UNC-TV. An avid dog lover, Mark’s leash is currently led by two NHC Animal Control adoptees.
Jessica Loeper began working with New Hanover County in February 2016 as the Communications & Outreach Coordinator. As a native to the area, Loeper has a great passion for New Hanover County and the many programs and services offered to residents. Her role includes coordinating all media for the County as well as outreach to community organizations.
Loeper’s background is in development and communications for nonprofits in both Charlotte and Wilmington. She most recently worked as the Director of Communications and Outreach for Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity. She received a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a concentration in Public Relations.
Among the many wonderful things to do in our County, Loeper loves going to the area’s beaches and being on the water with her family.