AIANTA Announces Additions to Board of Directors

Mary Goddard, Linda Cooley Join AIANTA’s Board of Directors

American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association logo

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO (September 15, 2020) — The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) is pleased to welcome two new members to its Board of Directors, the re-election of two members amd the realignment of a third board position.

Joining the AIANTA Board of Directors for AIANTA’s Alaska Region is Mary Goddard (Sitka Tribe of Alaska), who serves as the Regional Catalyst for Regenerative Tourism in Southeast Alaska in partnership with Sealaska and Allen Marine. A small business advocate, Mary Goddard is also an acclaimed artist who works with carved and woven jewelry using traditional materials and metals.

Goddard also runs Forest Fresh Alaska, a website promoting the use of indigenous foods from the rainforest to the ocean forest. Goddard was elected to serve a three-year term on AIANTA’s Board, starting Tuesday, September 15, 2020, during the association’s annual American Indian Tourism Conference.

Other changes to AIANTA’s Board of Directors include the re-alignment of Travis Owens (Cherokee Nation), who previously served as an At-Large Director but has now shifted into the position of Plains Region Director in response to a vacancy in that position. Owens, who oversees cultural tourism development and community relations for Cherokee Nation Businesses, will complete the term of the prior director and will be eligible for re-election at the end of that term.

Assuming the vacant role of the At-Large Director position is Linda Cooley (Yurok Tribe). The Deputy Director for the Yurok Economic Development Corporation and COO of Mad River Brewery, owned by the Yurok Tribe, Cooley is responsible for developing cultural tourism and adventure travel marketing plans for Yurok Country.

Additional Board announcements include the re-election of Emerson Vallo (Pueblo of Acoma), who serves as a Southwest Region Director—and is also AIANTA’s Board President–and Crystal Holtz (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin), as a Midwest Region Director.

AIANTA’s Board of Directors is comprised of fourteen members, including two representatives from six identified regions: Alaska, Eastern, Midwest, Pacific, Plains and Southwest. Two additional directors serve in “At-Large” positions, representing the entirety of the United States. The board is led by four officers, President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.

AIANTA’s Board representatives are elected for a three-year term and eligible for re-election at AIANTA’s annual conference, now in its 22nd year.

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About AIANTA

For nearly two decades, the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) has served as the national center for providing tourism and recreational travel technical assistance, training and capacity building to American Indian nations. AIANTA is a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit association of Native American tribes and tribal businesses and was incorporated in 2002 to advance Indian Country tourism. AIANTA’s mission is to define, introduce, grow and sustain American Indian and Alaska Native tourism that honors traditions and values.

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