2022-23 Alaska Travel Industry Association Board of Directors Candidates

At-Large Candidates
3 year term, 1 seat available

LALANYA (LANIE) DOWNS
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Alaska

Thanks to the support of so many Alaskans, cruise ships are once again bringing visitors to experience what this state is all about – the people, the beauty, and a world class destination. Tourism across Alaska is rebounding in significant ways and together with our partners, we are all rebuilding and proving how resilient this industry truly is. Though we are facing challenges, I am confident Alaska’s future in tourism remains bright and will keep bringing incredible opportunities. Looking ahead, it is important to keep this a sustainable and growing industry, focusing on our environment, maintaining quality of life for our residents, and managing tourism responsibly. I look forward to working together to meet these initiatives and would love the opportunity to continue serving and supporting the members of ATIA.

Click here for campaign flyer.

JIYEON JUNO KIM
Ovibos Consulting

I made Alaska my home after seven years of destination marketing while traveling to 65+ countries. For the last five years, I’ve utilized my expertise in marketing and business development to support Alaska businesses. Through Ovibos Consulting, a marketing and business development consulting agency, our mission is to support small businesses on the national and international levels. As an ATIA Board Member, I will use my international marketing and travel experience to obtain more funding while focusing on building back post-pandemic Alaska tourism for businesses big and small. Embracing Alaska’s diversity is crucial. We attract worldwide visitors and are, ourselves, a vibrant community of Alaska Natives, native Alaskans, out-of-state arrivals, foreign nationals, as well as immigrants from around the world, such as I am. I currently serve in ATIA’s Cultural Enrichment Subcommittee and Marketing Committee. I’m excited to bring more diversity and an alternative perspective to ATIA’s board of directors.

TONI WALKER
Logistics LLC

Tourism WORKS for Alaska – this statement sums up my life in Alaska.  Moving here and attending APU, I went to work at the Hilton Anchorage and in 1996 founded Logistics LLC.  As a small business owner for over 26 years, I have had the opportunity to work with partners throughout the entire state.  I know the difference a strong voice, focused marketing plan and collaboration with members and like-minded organizations can make to our industry.  I currently serve on the Alaska Wildlife Conservation and Visit Anchorage Board of Directors and have also served on the ATIA Marketing Committee in the past. ATIA will face challenges and opportunities over the next few years, and I would be honored to represent your voice in helping our industry and your business continue to thrive.  I would appreciate your vote.

Interior Candidates
3 year term, 1 seat available

HEATHER DUDICK
Alaska Railroad

Alaska has my heart. I’ve lived in other states, but nothing comes close to the beauty and grandeur of this beautiful, wild land. This is why I chose to raise my family here—and based on my experience, insight, and love for our tourism industry, I ask for your support in seeking a position on the Alaska Travel Industry Association Board of Directors. My motivation is simple: keep our industry strong and growing.

I have board experience and expertise in transportation, sales, trade & international and year-round marketing, to name a few. I am ready and equipped to assist ATIA to even more success. I look forward to exploring new opportunities to bring economic growth to the state, while protecting the resources we so value: our wildlands and local wildlife, rich cultural heritage and history—and our unique Alaskan lifestyle. I love our industry and pledge to advance ATIA’s mission.

Click here for campaign flyer.

VANESSA JUSCZAK
Discover Denali Visitor Center

For the past 5 years, my role as E.D. for Denali Chamber of Commerce has been to support the local business community, with an emphasis on the tourism sector of the Denali Borough. Through local and statewide partnerships, I’ve worked to address issues such as road access and planning for Denali National Park & Preserve, long term parking and access solutions for Denali Park Canyon, tourism and Covid, workforce shortage and the creation and operation of our new visitor service organization, Discover Denali Visitor Center.

Advocacy for statewide investment in tourism marketing, statewide infrastructure to support tourism and resident needs, workforce programs and regional marketing have been my primary focus. I have experience in both board service and management, and would welcome the opportunity to continue working for Alaska’s tourism industry with thoughtful and sustainable practices and planning.

Outside Candidate
3 year term, 1 seat available

ELIZABETH HALL
John Hall’s Alaska

Elizabeth Hall currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer of John Hall’s Alaska, focusing on transportation and multi day tour packages visiting all throughout Alaska.  For the past 20 years, Elizabeth has worked alongside her family to continue to share Alaska’s culture, history, wildlife, and scenery including everywhere as far north as Kaktovik and Utqiagvik down to Ketchikan and Metlakatla. The Hall Family, combined with over 100 Alaska businesses, aim to maintain a deep pride for Alaska’s unique offering and sharing Alaska’s true experiences to visitors.  John Hall’s Alaska focuses on year-round small group unique experiences, global promotion of Alaska to potential visitors and ensuring guests experience partnerships throughout Alaska, including the people, businesses and organizations setting Alaska apart.  Elizabeth has previously served on the ATIA Board of Directors and currently represents the motorcoach and group tour industry federally with the American Bus Association.

Click here for campaign flyer.

Outside Candidate – Cruise
3 year term, 1 seat available

DAN ROUGH
Holland America Line

I have been honored to serve as an ATIA board member for the last 3 years, including serving as co-chair of the marketing committee. As a board member, I have brought my knowledge of consumer demand behavior for Alaska allowing ATIA to ensure that Alaska remains a destination of choice for both North American and international markets. I have worked in the travel industry for over 13 years for both airlines and cruise lines. For 9 of those years I’ve focused on bringing guests to the State of Alaska—3 years with Alaska Airlines and 6+ years with Holland America Line. As the VP of Revenue Management at Holland America Line, I have commercial responsibility for—and great pride in—our Alaska product, both cruise and cruisetour. I look forward to supporting ATIA to continue making Alaska a top visitor destination.

Southcentral Candidates
Outside the Municipality of Anchorage
3 year term, 1 seat available

JENNIFER BRANDON-HANKS
Alaska Helicopter Tours

For over 35 years, tourism has been a part of my life. My mother was a flight attendant and my father was essential in helping create what Alaska Tourism is today with over 40 years in our industry. I have worked at large and small companies involved in Alaska Tourism and now am owner of a Lodge in the Mat-Su area and the Director of Operations for a successful helicopter flightseeing operation.

I understand the importance of structuring co-op marketing to cover all faucets of our industry. I also understand that as a small business, every dollar needs to have a return on investment and that tourism should be recognized as a leader in our states economy. Working together we can continue to grow our industry allowing other small businesses like mine to continue to flourish. I would be proud to serve as your voice on the ATIA board.

MANDY GARCIA
Salmon Berry Tours

I am running for the ATIA Board of Directors because I feel that I can bring balance by representing small local businesses that specialize in connecting with independent and small group travelers. A member of ATIA since 2006, Salmon Berry Tours is a year-round women-owned tour company with the main office in downtown Anchorage and satellite teams in the communities of Palmer, Talkeetna, and Fairbanks. We guide tours as well as curate itineraries throughout Alaska. I started out as a tour guide in 2009 and became a partner in 2015. I oversee sales & marketing as well as product development. I also hold a leadership position on the board of directors for the Beluga Whale Alliance. I am a solution-oriented person driven by high standards in customer service, collaborative partnerships, and creative problem-solving. A mom of two mini adventurers, I support sustainable and regenerative tourism initiatives.

Thank you so much for your consideration.

Southeast Candidates
Outside the City and Borough of Juneau
3 year term, 1 seat available

CAMILLE FERGUSON
Sitka Tribal Tours

I am seeking election to the ATIA board because I believe the visitor industry is vital to Alaska’s economic future.  ATIA needs experienced leadership to commit to sustainable tourism marketing solutions. I am a native Alaskan born and raised in Sitka and have vested interest in sustainable industry for our communities. For 37 years I have dedicated my work in economic development through the transportation, the tourism industry.  I worked in the capacity of tour guide driver to executive director of a national non-profit tourism organization. I will bring to ATIA a healthy perspective, network and lifelong experience to promote Alaska’s unique and diverse opportunities.

I ask for your support and vote to continue serving our membership as an effective voice and network builder for tourism in Southeast and all of Alaska.

MARY GODDARD
Alaska Dream Cruises

I am thrilled to run for the open Southeast Alaska seat on the Alaska Travel Industry Association Board. I am the Regional Catalyst for Regenerative Tourism in the Sustainable Southeast Partnership, and employed by Alaska Dream Cruises. This is a network position that keeps me actively involved in our state. I run the destination website and social media channels for Visit Southeast Alaska. Being from Alaska, I am keenly aware of the unique tourism opportunities we offer and can expand to offer to visitors. I have a rich background in my Tlingit culture, non-profit work, as well as media and production work.

I believe my experience as an Alaska Native artist, business owner and board member for a number of non-profits over the years makes me a prime candidate for this position. It is something that excites me and I know I will be fully engaged in.

SERENE HUTCHINSON
Juneau Tours and Whale Watch

Tour providers face a demanding and changing market with the constant strain of hiring, training and managing a vibrant and difficult-to-find workforce.

As candidate for the ATIA seat in Southeast Alaska, I will bring my hands-on experience as General Manager of Juneau Tours and Whale Watch for 10 years, leading a ground tours and whale watching business as it grew to be the largest independent tour company in Juneau, serving 130,000 passengers a year. ATIA has been a vital support reducing our cost of customer acquisition and advocating for businesses like ours. ATIAs expertise can be leveraged to grow access to viable employees who in turn can provide a superior customer experience.

What lucky people we are to work in tourism! I would love to be a part of the ATIA board to give back to the organization which has been such an inspiration and boon to our business.

LIZ PERRY
Travel Juneau

As a candidate for ATIA’s Southeast seat, my primary reason for running is the importance of the visitor industry to Alaska’s future.

ATIA has proven effective in good times and bad, and has stepped up to identify key issues facing our industry, including staffing issues that are running alongside high demand for visitor products and services. These issues require long-term thinking and leadership to put good ideas to practice.

As a director, I’ll work to develop and promote ways to attract new workers into the industry and incentivize seasonal workers. I’ll also help explore ways to engage with communities to overcome perceived capacity and quality of life issues, and encourage Alaska residents to visit parts of this great state that they haven’t visited in a long time, or at all.

I look forward to serving our industry on the ATIA Board of Directors and ask for your vote.

Southwest Candidate
3 year term, 1 seat available

STACEY SIMMONS
Kodiak Brown Bear Center and Lodge

I am ecstatic to announce my candidacy for the Southwest seat on the ATIA Board of Directors. I was born and raised on Kodiak Island and I grew up in the village of Old Harbor. My first job was in the tourism industry as both of my parents were also in the industry. I am the Director of Operations for the Kodiak Brown Bear Center, a remote bear viewing and fly-fishing lodge on Kodiak. I have served on the Board of Discover Kodiak, our local visitor’s bureau for over seven years. Four of them were as President. Since 2018, I have served on the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Public Advisory Committee in the Commercial Tourism seat. I have a strong passion for sustainable tourism in Alaska. It would be my pleasure to serve as a representative of our region and advocate for tourism statewide. Quyanaa (thank you).

Marketing

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