AIANTA Board Positions open in Alaska, Midwest, Southwest

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AIANTA Board Positions open in Alaska, Midwest, Southwest
American Indian Alaska Native Tourism

The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) Nominating Committee met on August 13, 2020 to nominate a slate of candidates recommended for each position on the AIANTA Board of Directors to be filled by election.

The elections will be held at the 22nd Annual American Indian Tourism Conference. Results of that meeting were:

Alaska Region – Mary Goddard (Tlingit)

Mary Goddard works with Sealaska and Allen Marine in Southeast Alaska as the Regional Catalyst for Regenerative Tourism. She is an advocate for helping small businesses and communities thrive in the tourism industry in a way that benefits all involved. She believes that when done correctly, tourism can help improve the environment, strengthen communities, celebrate culture and visitors can learn a great deal from Alaska Natives on values and nature cycles. Mary is known for her art. Her art includes contemporary carved and woven jewelry using traditional materials and metals, it also includes installation art, film and television projects. Mary’s hobby promotes knowledge and cooking tips utilizing indigenous foods from the rainforest to the ocean forest.

Midwest Region – Crystal Holtz (Oneida Nation)

In addition to currently sitting on the Board of Directors for AIANTA, Crystal Holtz has worked for her Tribe, the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, for more than 20 years in different capacities. The last position she held wih Oneida was the Advertising Director for the Oneida Nation Tourism Department. She is familiar with the development of Tourism in Indian Country from the ground up. This is not the same for all Tribes, as each Tribe is individually unique and needs differ from Tribe to Tribe.

Southwest Region – Emerson Vallo (Pueblo of Acoma)

Emerson R. Vallo hails from the Pueblo of Acoma and is currently the Principal Systems Engineer for the Air Force’s Distributed Mission Operations Center’s Modeling and Simulation enterprise. He was formerly the Chief Executive Officer for the Isleta Business Corporation. He is an Air Force veteran with more than 24 years of service. He has been an active board member of AIANTA for six years. Emerson was appointed to the New Mexico Tourism Department in 2014 as a Commissioner by then-Governor Susana Martinez and is the Native representative for tourism in the State of New Mexico and was recently reappointed by Governor Lujan-Grisham for another 6 year appointment. He has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Acoma Business Enterprises, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Haak’u Museum and Director for Sky City Cultural Center and Museum. His interests lie in the economic development of his pueblo, the welfare of his native lands, and the promotion of cultural tourism in New Mexico and all of Indian Country.

AIANTA bylaws provide the opportunity for additional Board applicants to also be proposed through a petition process. Should any member wish to petition, nominations may be made for any directorship by a petition signed by not less than 10% of AIANTA members in the respective region. The petition should state that the member nominated has agreed to the nomination.

The committee chair shall certify the ballot for candidates as proposed by the AIANTA Nominating Committee. Names of qualified applicants will be placed on the ballot and voted on during the AITC conference.


Petitions must be received no later than 15 days prior to the annual meeting. The deadline to submit is August 30, 2020. Send nomination applications accompanied by a completed petition to AIANTA Board Secretary James Surveyor at [email protected] and to the AIANTA Chief Executive Officer Sherry L. Rupert at [email protected]


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