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American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association Announces New Executive Leadership
New President Has a Grand Vision for the Future of Tribal Tourism
Sherry L. Rupert was nominated and accepted by accession as the new president of the Board of Directors. Ms. Rupert is a prominent member of the American Indian travel and tourism industry. Her leadership will be invaluable in supporting the board's efforts in raising awareness for AIANTA'S programs, events, and fundraising efforts.
Ms. Rupert, AIANTA's southwest regional representative, has a record of notable service on AIANTA's board of directors as treasurer, vice-president, and now as president. Last year, Ms. Rupert was named to the prestigious U.S. Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB).
In her capacity as executive director of the Nevada Indian Commission and cabinet member to Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, Sherry has been fortunate to work with all 27 tribal nations in Nevada to bring essential training and industry information to their communities through the Nevada Tribal Tourism Conference that she established. She believes that all tribes large or small have an opportunity and can benefit through tourism. Ms. Rupert, along with Governor Sandoval's support, was instrumental in developing and installing the first American Indian cultural exhibit at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. She also assisted the Nevada Commission on Tourism in identifying and including American Indian dancers into their summer and winter ad campaigns to market the State of Nevada, another first for the state. Currently, under her leadership as the chairperson for the Nevada Indian Territory, a marketing arm of the Nevada Commission on Tourism, Sherry is spearheading a photo library of Nevada's tribal lands, tribal events and tourism offerings and developing a marketing video for the Historic Stewart Indian School located in Carson City, Nevada.
"AIANTA understands that tourism is an economic engine for our native nations. As president, I will push forward to ensure that AIANTA remains active in its work on the highest policy levels, partnerships, and recruitment and retention of its members," said Sherry L. Rupert.
"One of the exciting projects for 2014 is the development of a destination website. The website will market tribal destinations and help our tribal members reach a world-wide audience. This year AIANTA is also expanding its national and international outreach at ITB Berlin, IPW in Chicago, and AITC in Marksville, Louisiana," said Sherry L. Rupert.
Sherry is an American Indian of Paiute and Washoe heritage. She is also a proud native Nevadan, born in Carson City and raised on the Washoe Reservation in Gardnerville, Nevada. Now residing in Carson City, she is a wife and mother of two, with her eldest son proudly serving in the United States Navy.
Rachel Moreno was elected as vice president of the board of directors. Serving on the AIANTA board since 2011, Rachel also serves on the Sitka Tribe of Alaska Tribal Council, and has served as AIANTA secretary. She has attended ITB 2013 and Destination Capitol Hill 2013 both on behalf of AIANTA and the Alaska region.
"I am honored to progress in this organization and look forward to our success in our future endeavors," said Rachel Moreno.
Rachel Moreno has worked in the retail industry in Anchorage for more than five years as the manager of two Alaskan gift shops catering to visitors. She was elected to the executive committee and Accreditation Governing Body for the SEARCH Board. Currently she serves as chair on the following standing committees; Health Committee, Enrollment, the Boys and Girls Club, Sitka Tribal Enterprises, of Audit and Finance and holds the position on the tribal council as secretary/treasurer.
Aimee D. Awonohopay was elected to serve as AIANTA secretary. She is currently an elected official of the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin as a St. Croix Tribal Council Member, focusing on economic development, cultural preservation and ethics.
"I am excited to serve in my new role as the AIANTA secretary. The organization represents progress in Indian Country economic development. I am honored to be part of this organization and look forward to continue working hard for the tribes with the AIANTA leadership" said Aimee.
Aimee D. Awonohopay joins the AIANTA board of directors with more than 17 years of experience in marketing, Indian gaming, tribal public relations, intergovernmental affairs and tourism. Aimee was the Native American Tourism of Wisconsin (NATOW) director and resides in Cumberland, Wisconsin.
The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) is a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit association of American Indian tribes, tribal tourism, cultural and private sector representatives, representatives from the tourism industry, Federal, State and local governments, colleges and universities, and friends that was incorporated in 2002 to advance Indian Country tourism. The association is made up of representatives from six regions: Alaska, Eastern, Midwest, Pacific, Plains and the Southwest. AIANTA's mission is to define, introduce, grow and sustain American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian tourism that honors and preserves tribal traditions and values.
The purpose of the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association is to provide our constituents with the voice and tools needed to advance tourism while helping tribes, tribal organizations and tribal members create infrastructure and capacity through technical assistance, training and educational resources. AIANTA serves as the liaison among Indian Country, governmental, educational and private entities for the development, growth, and sustenance of Indian Country tourism. By developing and implementing programs and facilitating economic development opportunities, the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association helps tribes build for their future while sustaining and strengthening their cultural legacy.
American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association
Page Updated Last on: Jan 31, 2014