26th Annual American Indigenous Tourism Conference Sessions & Speakers – More to Come!

Keynote Speaker: Alex Lasry, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Travel and Tourism, International Trade Administration

Alex Lasry is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Travel and Tourism at the International Trade Administration. In this role, he leads the National Travel and Tourism Office and is executing the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Strategy to enhance the international competitiveness of the U.S. industry and maintain America’s status as a top destination for international visitors.

Alex has been a business and community leader in Wisconsin with more than a decade of public and private sector experience. Most recently, he was a co-owner and Senior Vice President of the Milwaukee Bucks. He played a leading role in transforming the organization into one of the National Basketball Association (NBA)’s premier franchises both on and off the court, culminating in the team’s first NBA Championship in 50 years in 2021. He was responsible for the Bucks’ corporate citizenship efforts and spearheaded the public-private partnership to create the Deer District, one of downtown Milwaukee’s central attractions. He also led the organization’s workforce development efforts and successful negotiations for an historic project labor agreement, creating thousands of union jobs.

Alex led Milwaukee’s successful bid to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention. He served as the Chair of the Milwaukee 2020 Bid Committee and Finance Chair for the Democratic Convention’s Host Committee. Alex served in the Obama White House in the Office of Public Engagement & Intergovernmental Affairs as a Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff and later as Deputy Counselor for Strategic Engagement. He graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania and received his M.B.A. from NYU’s Stern School of Business. Lasry is married to a superhero wife and has one daughter.

Keynote Speaker: Erik Stegman, CEO, Native Americans in Philanthropy

Erik Stegman (he/him) serves as Chief Executive Officer of Native Americans in Philanthropy, a national organization advocating for stronger and more meaningful investments by the philanthropic sector in Tribal communities. Previously, he served as the Executive Director for the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute. He has held positions at the Center for American Progress on their Poverty to Prosperity team, as Majority Staff Counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and in the Obama administration as a Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of Education. Erik began his career in Washington, D.C. at the National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center. He holds a J.D. from UCLA School of Law, an M.A. in American Indian Studies from UCLA’s Graduate Division, and a B.A. from Whittier College.

“The Heart Speaks” Keynote Speaker: Lora Ann Chaisson

We are thrilled to announce that Lora Ann Chaisson will be presenting the signature AITC closing keynote address, “The Heart Speaks” on Thursday, October 31. Lora Ann is the Principal Chief of the United Houma Nation (UHN) and a current resident of Pointe aux Chene, Louisiana. She is the UHN’s National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Delegate as well as the Southeast Regional Alternate Vice President to the NCAI Executive Committee. She is also the Vice President of the Board of Directors for the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association as well as a current member of the United States Department of Labor Native American Employment and Training Council. Chaisson is employed as the Vice President of Tribal Solutions Group. Her work with Tribal Solutions Group encompasses a variety of divisions with solution-based services in areas such as education, gaming, medical, and broadband/ communications specifically for tribal nations, entities, and enterprises. During her free time Chaisson enjoys teaching friends and family traditional Houma Indian basket-weaving, jewelry-making, and cooking.

Bureau of Indian Affairs

Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail

Native American Agriculture Fund

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

Bureau of Land Management

National Endowment of the Arts

National Park Service

United States Forest Service