Alberta Strategic Tourism Council Members

The Alberta Strategic Tourism Council is the Minister's key advisory group and responsible for providing strategic tourism advice to the Minister and Travel Alberta. Guided by Alberta's Tourism Framework, the council works in partnership with business and government agencies to support tourism marketing and product development.

Biographies

Mac MaKenny Mac MaKenny, Chair: Mac is owner and part operator of Homeplace Ranch in Priddis and has served as Chair of the council for several years. He was an elected delegate with Tourism Calgary for eight years and the Calgary Restaurant Association for two years. In addition, Mac was President of the North American Dude Ranchers Association, as well as the Executive Director of the Alberta Outfitters Association and Chair of the marketing committee for eight years.


Doug McPhee Doug McPhee, Vice-Chair: Doug is the owner/operator of the Hertz Rent-a-Car franchise in Jasper and has served as Vice-Chair of the council for several years. He has been President of the Jasper Chamber of Commerce and the Skal Club of the Canadian Rockies. Presently, Doug is a board member of Skal International Canada.


Peter Bidlock Peter Bidlock: Peter is the co-owner of three hotel properties in the Edmonton area. He is a past Director of the Edmonton Airport Authority, a past Chair of the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, a past board member of the College of Licensed Practical Nurses and currently serves as Vice-Chair of Horse Racing Alberta. He has served as a Director of the Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association and continues to be active in the organization.


Crosbie Cotton Crosbie Cotton: Crosbie is Director of the National Park Ski Area Association, representing the common interests of the four internationally renowned ski resorts in Banff and Jasper National Parks. A former Editor-in-Chief of the Calgary Herald, he has 30 years of experience in journalism and is President of Crosbie Cotton Communications Consulting.


Frank Creasey Frank Creasey: A resident of Fort McMurray, Frank is the CEO for Fort McMurray Tourism. He has been a part of northern Alberta tourism since 2008 and has enjoyed working in all aspects of tourism for just over 25 years. His previous experience includes Senior Marketing Manager with the National Tourism Organization for South Korea and the Managing Director for Travel Alberta North.


Mike Day Mike Day: As a resident of Jasper, Mike has worked in Jasper's food and beverage industry for the past 25 years both as an employee and, for the last six years, as owner and operator of Evil Dave's Grill. He has served five consecutive terms as a member of Jasper Town Council, and as Council's representative has served on a wide variety of boards and committees including culture and recreation, museum and archives, community and family services, environmental stewardship, green space, Chamber of Commerce and the Strategic Marketing Advisory Board for Jasper Destination Marketing Committee. Mike was recently elected to sit on the boards of Tourism Jasper, and the Association of Mountain Parks for Protection and Enjoyment.

Dan DeSantis Dan DeSantis: Dan's work experience has been in the hospitality industry for the past 30 years, of which 16 have been in the role of General Manager. He is currently the General Manager of the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis, and has had the opportunity over the past six years to be the Chair and Councillor for Kananaskis Improvement District (KID Council). Dan's community involvement has been extensive in both Alberta and British Columbia as the Chair for Tourism Canmore Kananaskis and a previous board member of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association and Tourism Sun Peaks in British Columbia.

Jason Halwa Jason Halwa: Jason is part owner and Operations Manager at Country Roads RV Park in Grande Prairie. Jason sat on the Travel Alberta Board of Directors for the north from 2004-2010. He remains dedicated to growing tourism in northern Alberta and currently holds the position as vice-president of the Grande Prairie Regional Tourism Association.


Terri Kinsman Terri Kinsman: Terri is owner/operator of Rocking R Guest Ranch in Strathmore. She is currently involved with the Canadian Badlands Foundation, and has participated in the "Becoming a Community Builder Program" for the town of Strathmore and Wheatland County. Terri has also volunteered as a member of the Spirit Ridge Owners Association Board of Directors and the Health Region 5 Community Crisis Shelter.


Douglas Livingstone Douglas Livingstone: Douglas operates Val Terra Ranching with his family and also operates, along with his wife Cheryl, Red Feather Ridge, an Ag tourism facility located on the ranch near Vermilion. His community provides him with the opportunity to be involved with church activities, community groups and the Agricultural Society. Douglas is a past board member with the Vermilion Credit Union, and brings over 25 years of board experience including previous involvement as chair of the Alberta Agriculture and Food Council, and president of the Alberta Wheat Pool. His experience also includes agriculture consulting work with the Canada Grains Commission, the Canada-Us Joint Commission on Grain and the Canadian Wheat Board Review Panel.

David McKenna David McKenna: A resident of Banff, David assumed the role of President Brewster Travel Canada in January of 2014 and was leading the Brewster hotels and attractions teams from 2008-2013 as Vice-President of hotels and attractions. He also serves on the board of directors for groups including the Canadian Passenger Vessel Association, the Association for Mountain Parks Protection & Enjoyment, the Banff Lake Louise Hotel Motel Association, and the Banff Community Foundation.


Bridget Mearns Bridget Mearns: Bridget has over 20 years of professional experience encompassing all economic sectors (public, private, and non-profit). As a resident of Lethbridge, the last six years of her career have been dedicated to community service and strategic leadership through her position as Development Coordinator at Exhibition Park and three years as an elected councillor for the City of Lethbridge. Bridget is also a member of the Tourism Connection Committee of the Chamber of Commerce where she sits on the board of directors.

Andrew Nickerson Andrew Nickerson: Andrew brings over 15 years of experience in Canadian and international tourism, the majority in senior management roles focused on tourism product development. He is currently the President and CEO of Tourism Canmore Kananaskis, having successfully rebuilt the organization over the past three years, and is an active community member involved with various Town of Canmore committees and working groups. Andrew has previously served on the Tourism Canmore Kananaskis Board as treasurer and vice-chair, the Canmore Economic Development Authority Board, as well as the Banff Lake Louise Tourism International Working Group.

Tyler Riopel Tyler Riopel: Tyler is a native Edmontonian and is currently the Director of Marketing at Northlands. He has previously served as a board member for the Special Olympics Alberta, and currently chairs the board for the Edmonton Attractions Pass. Tyler's leadership development includes work with the Easter Seals Foundation, Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta and the Heart & Stroke Foundation as well as volunteer work with the Bissell Centre and the Glenora Rotary Club.


Ryan Robb Ryan Robb: Ryan is CEO of Treaty 7 Management Corporation & Treaty 7 First Nations Chiefs' Association, with offices located in Calgary and Morley. For the past 12 years, he has worked for these organizations (and their predecessor Treaty 7 Tribal Council) in a number of different capacities including as Director of Business Development and Information Technology. Ryan is also a member of the Banff Centre's Indigenous Program Council and the Institute on Governance's Indigenous Advisory Circle.

Leanne Shaw-Brotherston Leanne Shaw-Brotherston: Born and raised in Calgary, Leanne is the operator and part owner of the family owned Country Inn & Suites by Carlson Calgary-Airport. She has served on the boards of the Calgary Hotel Association, the Calgary Sports Tourism Authority, and currently serves as a Director of the Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association.


Alida Visbach Alida Visbach: Alida brings 30 plus years of hospitality and tourism experience, and currently holds the position of President and CEO at Heritage Park Historical Village in Calgary. As a tourism professional, she has served on numerous provincial and national tourism boards, associations and committees, including the board of directors for Tourism Calgary and as President of the SKAL International Club of Calgary.


Last reviewed/revised: June 11, 2014
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