AIANTA Announces New Members to its Board of Directors
Brian Wadsworth, Kate Anderson, Judi gaiashkibos and Darian Morsette join the AIANTA Board of Directors, which recently underwent a redistricting of its national map to expand national inclusion.
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO (October 27, 2021) — The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) is pleased to announce three new members to its Board of Directors.
Brian Wadsworth, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, Controller, Three Nations Management Corporation
Joining the AIANTA Board of Directors for AIANTA’s Great Basin Region is Brian Wadsworth Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, Controller, Three Nations Management Corporation. Mr. Wadsworth has a passion for working in Indian Country and is interested in assisting the further development of tourism opportunities for all sovereign nations. He is an aspiring Certified Public Accountant with more than six years of Tribal Government and Enterprise experience, more than three years of governmental auditing experience, and several years of fiscal leadership positions. Wadsworth’s experience also includes serving on the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribal Council. He is currently a Commissioner on the Nevada Indian Commission (NIC) and the Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) and the Treasurer for the Board of Directors for Numu, Inc.
Kate Anderson (Citizen Potawatomi Nation), Director of Public Relations, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians
Kate Anderson will represent the Southern California Region. Ms. Anderson is an indigenous communications professional who strives to give back to the greater Native American community. Anderson is an enrolled member with the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and the Director of Public Relations for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. She is a strong believer that when Native Americans tell their own stories -through words, images and in-person experiences- they can truly share the spirit of who they are as Native American people. As the Director of Public Relations for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, she has the opportunity to tell the Tribe’s story in a number of ways. One of those ways is through cultural heritage tourism with visitors from all over the world. Hundreds of thousands of visitors travel to Palm Springs each year. More than 150,000 guests visit the ancestral lands at the Indian Canyons and Tahquitz Canyon hiking areas. The Indian Canyons features more than 60 miles of hiking and walking trails and the world’s largest oasis of Washingtonia filifera palm trees, the only native palm tree to the California desert.
Judi gaiashkibos, Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, Executive Director, Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs
The third new addition is Judi gaiashkibos, representing the Central Plains Region. Ms. gaiashkibos serves as the Executive Director of the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs and regularly works on critical tourism projects that are specifically targeted towards encouraging tourism for their Native communities. She is incredibly passionate about the work she does in the State of Nebraska to advocate for Native people and issues and excited to bring that passion and excitement to the AIANTA Board to focus on tourism efforts. She has honed a unique skillset through her work at the Commission as well as through her service on numerous Boards and Advisory Committees that are in line with AIANTA’s mission.
Darian Morsette (MHA), Director, Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Tourism Department
Representing the Rocky Mountain region is Darian Morsette. Mr. Morsette is the Director of the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Tourism Department where he has served for 10 years. He is also the Board President on the North Dakota Native Tourism Alliance. He works to ensure that traditions continue to be revitalized. He believes in the mission to protect, preserve and educate the world about the living culture, history and environments. With this it brings economic development, so the ongoing premise of constantly developing and enriching our native lands, culture by providing an avenue to market and promote by providing maximum service in Native American Country is a high priority on his list.
“As we are continuing to grow at AIANTA, we are thrilled to welcome four new board members and welcome two former members back to the team,” says CEO Sherry L. Rupert. “I know this team will continue to do great work and our new additions will add to our successes.”
Additional Board announcements include the re-election of Travis Owens (Cherokee Nation) who serves as the Director of AIANTA’s newly formed Oklahoma Region Director and Jamie Sijohn, who will continue to serve as the Director of the Northwest Region.
AIANTA has recently announced a shifting of its national representation, boosting AIANTA’s regional map from six regions to 15. The new map means expanded representation on AIANTA’s Board of Directors.
The new regions are:
Central Plains: IA, IL, IN, KS, MO, NE, OH
Great Basin: NV, Eastern CA
Midwest: MI, MN, WI
Northeastern: CT, DC, DE, KY, NH, MA, ME, MD, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VA, VT, WV
Northwest: ID, WA
Pacific Northwest: OR, northern CA
Rocky Mountain: MT, ND, SD, WY
Southeastern: AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, eastern TX
Southwest: AZ, CO, NM, UT
AIANTA’s Board representatives are elected for a three-year term and eligible for re-election at AIANTA’s annual conference, now in its 23rd year.
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, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian tourism that honors traditions and values.
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