Meet Our Invited Speakers

Toby Bloom

Toby Bloom

Toby Bloom, National Program Manager, Travel, Tourism, and Interpretation, Forest Service, Recreation, Heritage and Volunteer Resources A native of the DC Metropolitan area, Toby Bloom is the National Program Manager for Travel, Tourism and Interpretation for the US Forest Service. She develops programs and tools to promote visitation to the National Forests and Grasslands, based on...
Sherry L. Rupert

Sherry L. Rupert

Sherry L. Rupert, Co-Chair and President American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) Sherry Rupert is Executive Director of the Nevada Indian Commission, appointed by Governor Kenny Guinn in 2005. Rupert was sworn in by Governor Brian Sandoval as the first American Indian woman appointed to his Cabinet. With more than 20 years of tribal...
Seleni Matus

Seleni Matus

Seleni Matus, Executive Director, International Institute of Tourism Studies at The George Washington University Seleni Matus is the Executive Director of the International Institute of Tourism at the George Washington University.  She has spent more than 15 years designing and directing large, multi-stakeholder initiatives that have mainstreamed sustainable tourism principles into key sectors of the tourism industry....
Scott R. Vele

Scott R. Vele

Scott R. Vele, Executive Director, Midwest Alliance of Sovereign Tribes The Midwest Alliance of Sovereign Tribes, (MAST), founded in 1996, represents the 35 sovereign tribal nations of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan. Altogether, MAST represents nearly 134,000 American Indian people. MAST’s mission is to “advance, protect, preserve, and enhance the mutual interests, treaty rights, sovereignty, and...
Sarah Klavas

Sarah Klavas

Sarah Klavas, Deputy Secretary for Wisconsin Tourism Want an example of why the Midwest is called “the heartland”? Meet Sarah Klavas. Sarah is a balanced assemblage of family, work ethic, service, and leadership. Sarah grew up in Iowa, graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with degrees in marketing and communications and then moved to...
Sandra Anderson

Sandra Anderson

Sandra Anderson, IT & Website Development Coordinator,   NativeAmerica.travel, AIANTA Sandra is a citizen of the Navajo Nation and originally from Fort Defiance, Arizona. She is from the Towering House clan and born for the Towering House clan. Her maternal grandfather is from the Meadow People clan and her paternal grandfather is from the Bitter Water...
Sally Butts

Sally Butts

Sally Butts, Acting Division Chief, Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) National Conservation Lands. Sally oversees about 36 million acres of specially-designated lands across BLM-managed lands, including National Monuments, Wilderness, Wild and Scenic Rivers, and National Scenic and Historic Trails.  Prior to coming to the BLM, Sally worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in...
Ron Erdmann

Ron Erdmann

Ron Erdmann, Deputy Director, Research, National Travel & Tourism Office Ron has over 25 years of travel and tourism research experience and has conducted primary survey research work, and expert on the international travel market to and from the United States. He has delivered numerous presentations at industry trade shows, annual Governor’s Tourism Conferences both...
Rick MacLeod Farley

Rick MacLeod Farley

Rick MacLeod Farley, Macleod Farley and Associates Rick’s presentation, “Securing Financial Partnerships for your Tribal Tourism Project”, will highlight Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s recent success at securing more than $2 Million in funding for their Akwesasne Tourism Industry Development initiative. Rick MacLeod Farley has been extensively involved in Indigenous tourism and ecotourism development for the past three...
Rick Hill

Rick Hill

Executive Producer, BRIGHT PATH, THE JIM THORPE STORY Rick Hill is the two-time Chairman of the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin (1990-1993, 2008-2011). During Rick’s first term, the Oneida Tribe was the first tribe to enter into a gaming compact with the State of Wisconsin. He simultaneously served as a founding member and Chairman of the...
Rick Cain

Rick Cain

Rick Cain Vice President, Longwoods International USA Inc. With more than 30 years of both client and supplier side experience that spans consumer packaged goods, retail, restaurants, and travel, Rick brings a wealth of marketing and research expertise to Longwoods, where his focus is business development, client service, and marketing strategy. He has conducted research...
Richard (“Dick”) Basch

Richard (“Dick”) Basch

Richard (“Dick”) Basch (Clatsop-Nehalem Vice Chairman) is currently the American Indian advisor to the Honoring Tribal Legacies project. Dick is the American Indian Liaison to the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, of the National Park Service. He has been involved with the Honoring Tribal Legacies project since its inception in 2010. He is one...
Rachel Moreno

Rachel Moreno

Rachel Moreno AIANTA Vice President She currently serves as the Alaska Regional Representative and the board of Directors Vice President for the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA).  She also serves on the Board of the Arts, Cultural and Heritage Chapter of the Alaska Tourism Industry Association and is a newly elected Board Member...
Rachel Cromer-Howard

Rachel Cromer-Howard

Rachel Cromer-Howard, Public Relations and Media Specialist AIANTA As AIANTA’s Public Relations and Media Specialist, Rachel is a PR professional focused on delivering results. She has helped national and global organizations and companies achieve their goals by building solid media relationships throughout the country and implementing unique communications strategies for a diverse array of clients....
Pati Martinson

Pati Martinson

Pati Martinson Member Leadership Council at Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance (NAFSA) Pati Martinson has worked with her sister Terrie Bad Hand for over 30 years, since working together at the Denver Indian Center Development Corp. They are responsible for the creation, development and implementation of numerous innovative projects and programs that are cutting edge...
Norie Quintos

Norie Quintos

Norie Quintos, Editor at Large and Independent Consultant, National Geographic Travel Media Norie Quintos is a consultant for the travel industry on communications strategy, media relations, custom content, and messaging. She helps emerging destinations and like-minded travel companies find and tell their stories, through communications audits, seminars and training, coaching, and print and pixel projects....
Nina Alexander

Nina Alexander

Ms. Nina Alexander, Senior Special Projects Manager, US Department of the Interior, Indian Arts and Crafts Board Nina Alexander is a senior special projects manager with the United States Department of the Interior. She has over 28 years of government experience working in regulatory policy and procedure, training, and education, with over 12 years working to...
Myrna Gardner

Myrna Gardner

Myrna Gardner, Manager of Business & Economic Development, Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska She is a George Washington University Certified Contract Manager and holds an Industry Certification in Contract Management Federal Level I from the National Contract Management Association. Gardner brings over 15 years of management experience in business development, logistics, customer service, and operations.   “Tlingit...
Michelle Danforth-Anderson

Michelle Danforth-Anderson

Michelle Danforth-Anderson, Marketing & Tourism Director, Oneida Nation in Wisconsin Responsible for developing and executing creative concepts in the areas of tourism and marketing for a variety of enterprises within the Oneida Nation. Regularly liaising with a variety of businesses, tribal departments and local organizations to ensure the execution is consistent. Manage the Marketing/Tourism team...
Melody McCoy Esq.

Melody McCoy Esq.

Melody McCoy Esq., Native American Rights Fund (NARF) Melody joined the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) as a staff attorney in 1986. At NARF, Melody has worked primarily in the areas of jurisdiction in Indian country, tribal rights in education, tribal intellectual property rights, and tribal trust funds. Melody is a past Co-Chair of the...
Mary Motsenbocker

Mary Motsenbocker

Mary Motsenbocker, President, International Tourism Marketing A native of Colorado, Mary takes great pride in the state she calls home, founding International Tourism Marketing, Inc (ITM) in 1990 –a firm that specializes in destination marketing for the western USA and Chinese tourism. Ms. Motsenbocker works with destinations to develop marketing and promotion strategies while balancing...
LeRoy Gishi

LeRoy Gishi

LeRoy Gishi, Chief, Division of Transportation, Office of Indian Services, Bureau of Indian Affairs. Mr. Gishi has served in this position since 1996. The chief serves as the principal authority on the Bureau transportation programs. Mr. Gishi has worked with the Transportation program of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior, since 1986....
Keith Henry, B. ED

Keith Henry, B. ED

Keith Henry, B. ED, President & CEO, Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada Mr. Keith Henry is a Métis person that was born in Thompson, Manitoba and raised in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Mr. Henry achieved a B.Ed. from the University of Saskatchewan in 1995. Mr. Henry began his career in 1995 with teaching positions and has become well...
Hannah Peterson

Hannah Peterson

Hannah Peterson, AIANTA Development Director Hannah is a dedicated development professional excited to work toward furthering the mission of the AIANTA.  In her new role of Development Director, she brings extensive experience in working with a wide variety of nonprofits to help them realize their program outcomes and resource development goals.  Hannah is committed to...
Gail E. Chehak

Gail E. Chehak

Gail E. Chehak, Outreach Coordinator, AIANTA Gail E. Chehak (Klamath Tribes) serves as AIANTA’s Outreach Coordinator, working with the membership and assisting with development. She has worked extensively in the areas of tribal arts, environmental protection, economic development and tourism for a number of tribal organizations, including the National Congress of American Indians, Affiliated Tribes...
Florian Herrmann

Florian Herrmann

Florian Herrmann, HMS-Global, Visit USA Parks Topics: – How to develop and effectively tell your story within your company/organization – How to use social media effectively – How to share your story digitally “The Seven Steps of Story Telling” and how to reach your audience – Photography – the importance of images and the basics of...
Fawn Sharp

Fawn Sharp

Fawn Sharp, President, Quinault Indian Nation Fawn Sharp, a member of the Quinault Indian Nation, received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Washington, School of Law. She also holds an advanced certificate in International Human Rights Law from Oxford University. President Sharp attended Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, where she received a Bachelor of...
Ernie Stevens, Jr.

Ernie Stevens, Jr.

Ernest L. Stevens, Jr. Chairman, National Indian Gaming Association Stevens is currently in his eighth two-year term as the organization’s leader, which is a position elected by the member tribes of the National Indian Gaming Association. As Chairman of NIGA, Stevens represents the Indian gaming industry. In this role, he has worked to educate Congress,...
Edward H. Hall III

Edward H. Hall III

Edward H. Hall III, Co-Chair and Transportation Specialist and Tourism Coordinator Bureau of Indian Affairs, Transportation Division Member Leadership Council at Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance (NAFSA) Edward Hall joined the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Division of Transportation in January of 1992 as a Transportation Specialist. His role is to manage programs related to...
Dr. Kristin Lamoureux

Dr. Kristin Lamoureux

Dr. Kristin Lamoureux, Visiting Professor of Tourism Studies Virginia Tech University Dr. Lamoureux has been a leader in the area of professional and academic education for almost 20 years. Most recently, she was the executive director of the International Institute of Tourism Studies (IITS) and a research professor of business and tourism studies at The...
Dr. Hannah Messerli

Dr. Hannah Messerli

Dr. Hannah Messerli, Eisenhower Professor of Tourism Policy, George Washington University. How can the benefits and trade-offs of tourism in emerging and developed countries be harnessed for economic vibrancy and social benefits? This is the focus of Dr. Messerli’s academic and professional experience. Grappling with the development complexities of tourism in today’s rapidly changing destinations,...
Dr. Gavin Clarkson

Dr. Gavin Clarkson

Dr. Gavin Clarkson, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development – Indian Affairs Dr. Gavin Clarkson, a citizen of The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, was appointed by Interior Secretary to be the new Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development – Indian Affairs within the Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs,...
Donatello Osti

Donatello Osti

Donatello Osti, U.S. Consulate, Milan Italy Donatello Osti is a Commercial Specialist with the U.S. Commercial Service, based at the American Consulate in Milan, Italy.He has extensive knowledge of the Italian Travel Marketplace through his work in promoting the U.S. in Italy in association with the Visit USA Association Italy. Donatello brings a depth of...
Donald Leadbetter

Donald Leadbetter

Donald Leadbetter, Tourism Program Manager National Park Service Donald Leadbetter is the Tourism Program Manager for the National Park Service, where he coordinates engagement with the travel and tourism industry and facilitates collaboration on relevant issues in support of sustainable tourism that benefits parks, resources, visitors, communities, and the economy. In addition to providing external...
Dawn A. Melvin

Dawn A. Melvin

Dawn A. Melvin, Tribal Tourism Relations Manager, Arizona Office of Tourism Ms. Melvin who is Navajo and Hopi has worked as the Tribal Tourism Relations Manager for AOT and the designated Tribal Tourism Liaison for the Governor’s Office for the past eight years. She was recognized for her efforts in providing consistent and excellent customer service...
Dan Moore

Dan Moore

Dan Moore Dan is the CEO of Pandion Consulting & Facilitation, a travel industry consultancy based in Seattle, Washington. Pandion’s mission is to raise the standards, quality, and sustainability of the travel industry. This is accomplished through facilitating community development workshops, designing and delivering industry training, and direct consulting with businesses and destinations. Pandion is...
Dan Cornelius

Dan Cornelius

Dan Cornelius, Intertribal Agriculture Council Dan’s primary responsibility is helping Indian Tribes and Native producers gain better access to USDA programs, which extends to providing general support on a host of food and agriculture issues. Much of the work is focused on strengthening regional connections through workshops, development of joint efforts, and a new Mobile...
Chrystal Denys

Chrystal Denys

Chrystal Denys is a Commercial Specialist with the U.S. Commercial Service, based at the American Embassy in London. The U.S. Commercial Service helps American Companies in their export needs and supports Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the United States. Chrystal’s current industry portfolio includes Education & Training, Financial Services, and Travel & Tourism. She has...
Christopher Thompson

Christopher Thompson

Christopher Thompson is the Director of the Office of Economic Development with the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe (SRMT). Christopher also worked at the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne (MCA) where he managed the Economic Development Program from 2012-2014. He moved home to Akwesasne in 2012 from London, Ontario where he was working for the Federal Economic...
Chris Taylor

Chris Taylor

Chris Taylor, President/CEO, 4D Products and Services, LLC Executive Producer, BRIGHT PATH, THE JIM THORPE STORY Chris Taylor is a proud member of the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana.  He has more than 15 years of Business Development experience on a wide range of projects in both the public and private sectors. Chris has committed his work...
Cheryl Stevens

Cheryl Stevens

Cheryl Stevens, CISP Advisory Council, Director Oneida Grants Office Cheryl Stevens has served as Grants Office Director for the Oneida Nation for 24 years and has worked for the Oneida Nation for 27 years. She oversees the operations of the Oneida Nation’s Grants Office in the development of grant applications, including grant compliance for the pursuit of...
Catherine Prather

Catherine Prather

Catherine Prather,  Executive Vice President, National Tour Association Catherine Prather joined the National Tour Association team in 1994 and currently serves as executive vice president. In this role, Catherine focuses on strategic continuity to ensure NTA’s long-term growth and viability. As executive vice president, Catherine’s areas of oversight include strategic development, membership growth, leadership and...
Carolyn McClellan

Carolyn McClellan

Carolyn McClellan, Assistant Director, Programs, Smithsonian Institution – National Museum of the American Indian I have extensive experience in managing museum collections, preserving heritage resource sites, tribal consultation and building collaborative partnerships between tribal communities and outside constituencies. In my position with the National Museum of the American Indian I attempt to give voice to issues...
Camille L. Ferguson

Camille L. Ferguson

Camille L. Ferguson, Executive Director AIANTA Camille L. Ferguson is Tlingit from the Kiksadi Clan and a member of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska. She studied business and village management at Sheldon Jackson College. She served as the Economic Development Director for Sitka Tribe of Alaska for 15 years, 1996-2012. She established, expanded and managed...
Bobbi  Rahder

Bobbi  Rahder

Bobbi Rahder, Museum Director, Stewart Indian School Cultural Center Stewart Indian School, Carson City, NV Bobbi Rahder is a museum professional with 25 years of demonstrated experience in museum management. With a Master’s Degree in Museum Studies, she has served as museum director, curator, and collections manager at several museums. For 13 years she worked at...
Anna Barrera

Anna Barrera

Anna Barrera Anna Barrera is a sustainable tourism and hospitality consultant with professional experience in strategic planning, product development, marketing, and capacity building. She has a passion for working with indigenous tourism organizations to drive economic development in Native communities. To this end, she has partnered with organizations including the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism...
Angie West

Angie West

Angela West – National Program Lead – Tourism & Community Service Bureau of Land Management Angela has worked for over 35 years in the field of natural and heritage resource management as a manager, program director, wilderness and outdoor recreation specialist, marketer, and National Travel and Tourism Program Manager for the Bureau of Land Management.  Angela’s...
Angie Brus

Angie Brus

Angie Brus, Carlisle Indian School Project (CISP) Executive Director Angie Brus has served as the Executive Director of The Carlisle Indian School Project since November 2016.  She has guided the organization in gaining its 501(c)3 status, developing strategy, budgeting and financial reporting, editing marketing materials, organizing fundraising events, completing state registration requirements, identifying and working...
Amber Paluch

Amber Paluch

Amber Paluch, Vice President of Community Engagement, Greater Green Bay Community Foundation Amber leads the organization’s grant programs and community knowledge efforts. Her focus includes advancing initiatives that impact local quality of life, including the 2016 Brown County LIFE Study and the regional Poverty Outcomes and Improvement Initiative, or POINT. Amber is involved in numerous...
Abraham Taylor

Abraham Taylor

Abraham Taylor, Founder of Pictureworks Entertainment Writer, Producer, BRIGHT PATH, THE JIM THORPE STORY Abraham most recently wrote and produced The Jerk Theory, starring Josh Henderson, Jenna Dewan- Tatum and Tom Arnold, released in June 2012. Abraham is currently writing and producing Bright Path: The Jim Thorpe Story, a feature-film on the life of legendary...
Aaron Wodin-Schwartz

Aaron Wodin-Schwartz

Aaron Wodin-Schwartz, Vice President, Public Policy, Brand USA. Aaron Wodin-Schwartz is vice president, public policy for Brand USA, the nation’s public-private partnership dedicated to increasing international visitation to the United States through marketing and promotional efforts. In this role, Aaron develops, executes, and leads outreach efforts to key stakeholders to promote and advance Brand USA’s...