Two Alaskans Elected to Board of Directors of US Travel Association
FAIRBANKS, AK—Camille Ferguson, executive director of the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association, and Deb Hickok, president and CEO of Explore Fairbanks, were recently elected to three-year terms on the Board of Directors of the US Travel Association.
Ferguson is Tlingit from the Kiksadi Clan and a citizen of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska. During her 31-year career in the tourism industry, she has served as the Economic Development Director for Sitka Tribe of Alaska and on the board of the Sitka Convention & Visitors Bureau. Ferguson began the annual Alaska Heritage and Cultural Tourism Conference; and served as general manager for Shee Atika Corporation’s Totem Square Inn, a native-owned hotel. Under her leadership, AIANTA received national recognition when presented with the President’s “E” Award for Exports by the President of the United States for increasing exports. She served as interim executive director of AIANTA from July to December 2011 and became director in 2013.
Hickok has been professional in the field of destination marketing and management for nearly 37 years. She worked in Pennsylvania tourism until moving to Alaska in 1999 to become CEO of Explore Fairbanks. Throughout her career, Hickok has served in various leadership roles in both states. She previously served on the US Travel Destinations Council. Under her guidance, Explore Fairbanks has received numerous awards, including the Governor of Alaska’s Exporter of the Year Award and the Destiny Award from the US Travel Destinations Council. Hickok currently serves on two other boards of directors, the Alaska Travel Industry Association which she chaired in 2011 and the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce.
Both Ferguson and Hickok are recipients of the Denali Award from the Alaska Travel Industry Association which “is presented to a living individual for his or her outstanding leadership, professional excellence, and personal contribution to the Alaska travel industry.” They are the first Alaskans to serve on the US Travel board.
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Out of the Mine and into the Smelter
Mining has long been a key fixture of Alaska’s economy. On a small scale, people flock to the 49th state to tour different operations. Kennecott Mine was once a booming copper mining site and is now a National Historic Landmark, attracting tourists eager to visit the ghost town and get a feel of the Gold Rush era it once dominated.