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AIANTA – national leader in tribal tourism – announces executive change

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association Executive Director Janice Skenandore-Hirth stepped down from her position at the end of July. Hirth announced plans to move back to her tribe and family, the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin, Inc.

During Hirth’s two year leadership, AIANTA opened its first national headquarters at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and co-hosted an inaugural celebration for President Obama at the Hard Rock Café in Washington, D.C. Under her guiding hand, AIANTA strengthened its relationships with tribes as well as federal and state agencies.

“Janice was AIANTA’s best ambassador and contributed a sense of wisdom and calm that I will miss,” said Board President Tina Osceola. “Janice is a colleague and a peer and her absence will be felt by all of her friends and colleagues. It is comforting to know that she will be only a few states away and we hope that she will continue to be an active part of AIANTA’s future. I understand the importance of family and send all my best wishes for her future.”

From 1986 to 2007, Hirth was actively involved with Oneida Tribe operations and served in various positions, including division director for the Internal Services and Enterprise Division; interim general manager and assistant general manager of the Oneida Tribe; president of Four Fires (Marriott in Washington, D.C.); general manager of the Radisson Inn Green Bay; general manager of the Oneida Bingo and Casino; chief executive officer of the Oneida Airport Hotel Corporation and a private entrepreneur of a retail card and gift shop.

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She holds an associate’s degree in Interior Design from Fox Valley Technical College, a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Communications from Concordia College, and is a Certified Hotel Administrator.

AIANTA has launched a national search for a replacement and hopes Janice’s tradition of respect and humor will be carried on.

The organization is currently getting ready for the 11th Annual American Indian Tourism Conference scheduled for Sept. 20 – 23 at the Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino in Santa Fe, N.M. This year’s theme is “Building Native Tourism: Pathways for Change.”

Speakers will include National Congress of American Indians President Joe Garcia; Colorado writer Sammye Meadows, editor of Enough Good People; and Sandra Necessary, the director of the U.S. Export Assistance Center of the U.S. Commercial Service in Santa Fe.