Seven New American Indian Tourism Leaders Nominated to Join AIANTA Leadership; to be Elected at Annual Conference
ALBUQUERQUE – The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) has announced nominations for new representation on its Board of Directors, to be elected at the 16th Annual American Indian Tourism Conference (AITC), taking place at the Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville, Louisiana this month.
While AIANTA’s Board had announced their nominations in August, additional nominations by petition were being accepted until September 1. One regional representative position is up for election or re-election in the Southwest Region, the Midwest Region, the Eastern Region and the Alaska Region.
Official Board nominations placed on the ballots are:
· Southwest Regional Representative: Emerson Vallo, Pueblo of Acoma – New Mexico
Southwest Regional Representative: Blessing (Autumn) McAnlis-Vasquez, Salt River Pima – Maricopa Indian Community – Arizona
Midwest Regional Representative: Michelle Danforth, Oneida Nation – Wisconsin
· Midwest Regional Representative: Ernie Stevens III, Oneida Nation – Wisconsin
· Alaska Regional Representative: Tony Azure, Ketchikan, Alaska
Alaska Regional Representative: Mario Fulmer- Huna Totem, Alaska
The AIANTA Board is composed of two representatives from six identified regions: Alaska, Eastern, Midwest, Pacific, Plains, Southwest and two At-Large positions to represent all of Indian Country. Each representative is elected by their respective region to serve a three year term and At-Large representatives are elected by the entire AIANTA membership. Each member of the AIANTA Board brings a multitude of varied expertise and resources to the national nonprofit organization.
Nominated for election as one of the Southwest Regional Representatives, Emerson Vallo from the Pueblo of Acoma in New Mexico is the director of the Sky City Cultural Center and the Haak’u Museum. Also running for a Southwest Representative position is Blessing McAnlis-Vasquez, Marketing Project Manager for Talking Stick, a cultural and entertainment destination.
Ernie Stevens III, Oneida Nation was nominated to fill the role of Midwest Regional Representative. Stevens is the Executive Director at Native American Tourism of Wisconsin (NATOW). Also from Oneida Nation, Michell Danforth, Tourism Director at Oneida Nation is running against Stevens for the Midwest Regional Representative position.
Uncontested to fill the currently vacant role of Eastern Regional Representative, Lora Ann Chaisson is the Vice Principal Chief of the United Houma Nation.
Tony Azure, member of the Ketchikan Indian Community, is up for re-election for one of the two Alaska Regional Representatives. Azure owns and operates Alaska Fish-N-Fun Charters, providing salmon fishing tour to visitors to Ketchikan. Also running for the Alaska Representative position is Mario Fulmer. Fulmer is currently the Visitor Programs Manager at Alaska Native Voices.
Current AIANTA Board of Directors:
Sherry L. Rupert, President – Southwestern Region
Rachel Moreno, Vice President – Alaska Region
Aimee Awonohopay, Secretary – Midwest Region
Jackie Yellowtail, Treasurer – Plains Region
Rowena Akana – Pacific Region
LaDonna Brave Bull Allard – At Large
Kirby Metoxen – Midwest Region
Tony Azure – Alaska Region
Emerson Vallo – Southwest Region
Janeé Doxtator – Eastern Region
Leslie Johnson – Pacific Region
William D. Lowe – Plains Region
James Surveyor – At Large