Informational Webinar: AIANTA/USFS Request for Proposals

Informational Webinar: AIANTA/USFS Request for Proposals
August 23, 2022; 10 a.m. (Mountain)

AIANTA and the U.S. Forest Service will host an informational webinar regarding the Request for Proposals for NATIVE Act Tribal Projects and Initiatives on or Adjacent to U.S. Forest Service Managed Lands. The webinar will include a question and answer session specific to types of projects, timeline, the application process and implementation.

Speaker

Toby Bloom, National Program Manager, Travel, Tourism and Interpretation, USDA Forest Service

Toby Bloom is the Forest Service National Program Manager for Tourism and Interpretation. Her portfolio includes strengthening recreation economies in forest gateway communities; working with Tribes to promote authentic interpretation and responsible visitation to native heritage sites; innovative public lands and health partnerships; the National Forest Explorer Mobile App; and working with Interpretive Associations to improve visitor experience on the National Forests. Toby believes in nature as a key aspect of a healthy life, and was the first Forest Service employee to become a certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide in January 2019. As a Program Specialist for FS International Programs, and before joining FS, she worked with local communities to develop ecotourism projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. Toby started her career in tourism and interpretation as a tour guide through the US, Canada, and Mexico. Her master’s degree is in Sustainable International Development with a focus on ecotourism from Brandeis University.

Speaker/Moderator

Sherry L. Rupert, (Paiute/Washoe) Chief Executive Officer, AIANTA

AIANTA CEO Sherry L. Rupert (Paiute/Washoe) has nearly two decades of executive-level experience managing and promoting Native American tourism. Since joining AIANTA as CEO in 2019, she has spearheaded several initiatives, including the organization’s groundbreaking new Tribal Agritourism program and overseeing AIANTA’s first-ever virtual American Indian Tourism Conference, which drew a record number of registrants in 2020. As CEO of the only national association dedicated to indigenous tourism, she is the leading voice when it comes to advocating for travel and tourism as a significant economic driver in tribal nations. Prior to assuming the role of CEO, she served as President of AIANTA’s Board of Directors since 2010. During that time, she was instrumental in working with Congress to pass the Native American Tourism and Improving Visitor Experience (NATIVE) Act.