Professional Development

The Reinvention Convention
Professional Development Schedule


The professional development committee has developed a series of wonderfully engaging sessions. They have secured strategic speakers with fresh, compelling insights on what’s new-next in the travelsphere; orchestrated breakout sessions that appeal specifically to each of our member divisions: Actives, Associates, Photographers/Videographers; created sessions and content that represent both United States and Canada; and highlighted dynamic speakers and high-powered editors. This approach fits well into the Las Vegas convention title and theme: The Reinvention Convention.

Please note that details on these sessions may change. We will continue to update this page weekly as final speakers have confirmed.

 Professional Development Schedule 

Monday, October 5

Time Activity Location 
9:30 a.m. – 10 :30 a.m. Opening Keynote Speaker, Roger Dow, President & CEO of the U.S. Travel Association Reinventing Travel The Western

Tuesday, October 6

Time Activity Location 
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. A. Cuba Panel

B. Urban Renewal as a Viable Travel Story

The Venue*, Bugsy I&II

The Venue*, Grand Ballroom First Floor

10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. A. PRSA presents What the Trend?

B. What is the Future for Travel Photographers?

The Venue*, Grand Ballroom First Floor

The Venue*, Bugsy I & II

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. A. Pack to the Future: Pioneering New Frontiers

B. National Parks/ National Parks & The Great Outdoors

The Venue*, Grand Ballroom First Floor

The Venue*, Bugsy I&II

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. International Editors Panel General Session The Venue*, Grand Ballroom First Floor
3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Lee McCabe, Global Head of Travel & Education Strategy of Facebook, Navigating Travel in a Connected World The Venue*, Grand Ballroom First Floor

Opening Keynote Speaker, Roger Dow—Reinventing Travel


Roger DowDow is the president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, the national trade association that represents all segments of America’s $ 2.1 trillion travel industry. Since joining the U.S. Travel Association in 2005, Dow has led the transformation of the formerly fragmented organization into a united advocacy force now recognized as one of the most effective industry associations in the country.

Prior to joining U.S. Travel, Mr. Dow advanced through the ranks at Marriott International in a career that spanned 34 years. He joined Marriott International as a summer lifeguard at the sixth Marriott property and eventually rose to Senior Vice President of Global and Field Sales, where he led Marriott’s 10,000-person worldwide sales organization. His many accomplishments for the company include the development of Marriott Rewards, the world’s leading frequent traveler program.

Mr. Dow also served in the United States Army with the 101st Airborne
Division in Vietnam, where he received the Bronze Star and other citations.


Closing Keynote Speaker, Lee McCabe—Navigating Travel in a Connected World

Lee McCabeAs Global Head of Travel & Education Strategy at Facebook, Lee McCabe leads the development of a holistic strategy for how Facebook thinks about and works with travel and education marketers. Lee sets the course for how to best utilize Facebook’s family of apps and services. Prior to joining Facebook, Lee held several roles at Expedia. Notably, he oversaw and managed hotel partner strategy and operations across several regions including North America and Asia Pacific. With more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience, he has also held roles with eBay, Telstra, and Warner Music.

Technology is rapidly changing the travel industry, and mobile creates new opportunities and challenges on a daily basis. The closing keynote will look at implications for the travel industry including multi-device dynamics, personalization, changing consumer needs, and content consumption trends.



Breakout Sessions



Cuba is hot, hot, HOT! And come October, the travel landscape will have evolved even further. This panel explores in-depth the revised restrictions to realities of traveling in Cuba. Together the panelists represent decades of experience working in Cuba travel. Topics covered include definition of 12 travel categories, charter air travel, tours, cruising (large and small boats), banking (paying with cash, pesos, credit cards), the social economy in Cuba, etc.

Christopher P. Baker

Chris BakerThis California-based SATW Active (Lowell Thomas Award 2008 ‘Travel Journalist of the Year’) has been described by National Geographic as One of the world’s leading authorities on Cuban travel and culture. Christopher has visited Cuba more than 100 times during three decades and has met Fidel Castro and a pantheon of Cuba’s other leading cultural and political leaders. He has traveled Cuba end to end numerous times. His six books about Cuba include Moon Cuba and National Geographic Traveler Cuba guidebooks, plus the award-winning literary travelog Mi Moto Fidel: Motorcycling Through Castro’s Cuba. His countless magazine articles on Cuba include for Caribbean Travel & LifeRobb Report, and National Geographic Traveler. He appears frequently on radio and television talk shows speaking on Cuba, including for CCTV, CNN, Fox News Channel, and NPR; and has been honored to speak on Cuba to the National Press ClubWorld Affairs Council, and National Geographic Live!, among other
prestigious organizations. Christopher is a ‘National Geographic Resident Expert
on Cuba. He escorts tours and workshops for National Geographic Expeditions,
MotoDiscovery, and Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. In 2013 he led the first
group motorcycle tours of Cuba for U.S. citizens since the Revolution. He has
also consulted for many organizations in their successful applications to receive
OFAC licenses for people-to-people travel to Cuba. He is currently partnered with
actor/director David Soul in the production of a cinematic feature documentary:  Cuban Soul.


Chris Gray FaustChris Gray Faust, senior editor at Cruise Critic

Chris oversees all of the Cruise Critic website’s port and destination content, as well as cruise news and The Lido Deck blog. Creator and publisher of Chris Around The World, Chris has won a Lowell Thomas Travel Writing award for blogging and has more than 20 years of journalism experience. Staff positions include editing and reporting positions at the (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, the Philadelphia Inquirer and USA TODAY, where she served as travel editor. She lives in a renovated barn in Bucks County, Pa. with her husband, two cats and a papillon dog, and is ideally situated to understand Cuba as cruising ports of call.


Vivian Mannerud, president and owner of Airline Brokers Company, Inc.
Vivian Mannerud
Considered one of the pioneers of the charter air service to Cuba, Mannerud began there in 1982 with Airline Brokers. Her clientele is comprised of various VIPs, celebrities, humanitarian organizations, group travel and government officials. In addition, Airline Brokers has assisted several cruise lines in securing charters for cruise passengers. Mannerud’s work has served the U.S. Olympic Committee, Cuban political refugees immigrating to the U.S. and Elian Gonzalez’s family. Mannerud has been involved with many humanitarian projects including traveling to Capitol Hill to allow donations to Cuba after devastating hurricanes, rebuilding of catholic churches and assisting the Daughters of Charity with hospitals in Cuba. Recently, Vivian was able to obtain permission to allow charters to travel around Cuba, to cities such as Camaguey, Cienfuegos, Holguin and Santiago.


Mimi Whitefield, Cuba correspondent for The Miami Herald
Mimi Whitefield
As an international business writer for The Miami Herald, Whitefield has chronicled everything from gold mining in the Amazon (she was once the only woman in a camp of 30,000 gold miners) and free trade pacts to the World Cup in Brazil, the new U.S.-Cuba policy, and the expansion of the Panama Canal.  Whitefield has been involved in international coverage for more than 25 years and has reported from more than two-dozen countries in the Americas. She was The Herald’s South American bureau chief, based in Rio de Janeiro, in the mid-1980s, and was the paper’s full-time Cuba writer from 1989 until January 1995. In October 2014, she reported from Japan as a Foreign Press Center Japan fellow, but is now spending most of her time on the evolving relationship between the United States and Cuba. Whitefield has won national reporting awards for coverage of human rights in Cuba, real estate, and drug trafficking in Latin America, and was part of The Herald team that won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize
for coverage of the Elián González story. Whitefield has a B.A. in Latin American
studies from Cornell University and an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University.


Urban Renewal as a Viable Travel Story

While few places have mastered the art of reinvention like Las Vegas, a host of other dynamic cities have also grabbed international attention for their distinctive approaches to urban renewal. This panel of experts from across the US and Canada will help us understand how urban development relates and contributes to the special story of a place. We’ll hear from each and learn how revitalization translates to a great experience for travelers to a city, making it a more compelling place to visit and write about.

Actives will come away with a reinvented view of how to cover urban destinations, while Associates will discover new ways to tell their city’s story through the reinvention lens.


John G. Jung chairman and co-founder of Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
John Jung
The moderator of this panel, John Jung, understands smart community. In addition to serving as head of the ICF global think-tank, he is the executive director of ICF Canada and president of the Intelligent Community Forum Foundation, which represents 134 world communities. He serves as CEO of Canada’s Technology Triangle and is a registered urban planner, urban designer and economic developer. A noted author and global speaker on planning, development, urban design and economic development, especially as they related to smart/intelligent cities, Jung is also the former head of a private-sector consulting firm. He has directed significant and unique development projects in Canada, USA, Brazil, the UK and Hong Kong.


John Curran, associate at Resort Gaming Group, Las Vegas Downtown Project
John Curran
The Downtown Project is a $350 million, privately funded effort to redevelop and revitalize Downtown Las Vegas through collisions, co-learning and connectedness. Curran assists with real estate acquisition, development and property management, as well as navigating the city Planning Department with an eye on entitlement issues, compliance and licensing requirements.  Born and raised in Las Vegas, Curran spent eight years living and learning in Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and New York City before moving home in 2013. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Studies and Master’s Degree in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. His interests include sustainable development, governmental affairs and the Minnesota Vikings.


Patrick Quinton, executive director for Portland Development Commission (PDC)
Patrick Quinton
Quinton is responsible for the overall leadership and management of the Oregon city’s economic development and urban renewal agency. Under his direction, PDC’s best-practices approach is aimed at making Portland one of the most prosperous, equitable and desirable cities in the world. Quinton also has served as PDC’s Business and Industry Team Manager, helping land high-profile Portland employers and playing a critical role in the formation of the Portland Seed Fund. Following 19 years in the banking and commercial finance industries, he managed the 402-acre North Macadam Urban Renewal Area on Portland’s South Waterfront. Quinton holds a bachelor’s degree in Government from Dartmouth College and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Chicago.


Cleve Ricksecker, president of Special Improvement District Public Services Association
Cleve Ricksecker
Ricksecker is a noted expert on how commercial development, special improvement districts, consensus-building among stakeholders, walkability and even homeless outreach build great places to live, work, play and visit. He operates two business improvement districts in downtown Columbus, Ohio, and also has served as executive director of the Riverfront Commons Corporation, creating development plans for the Scioto and Olentangy riverfronts in downtown Columbus. Prior to that, he directed development for the Short North Business Association, a fast-growing, vibrant arts district. A true urbanite, Ricksecker has lived 54 of his 62 years without a personal vehicle.


Greg Smith, executive director of Austin Revitalization Authority (ARA)
Greg Smith
To promote community well being, Smith leads revitalization and historic preservation efforts aimed at engaging commercial, residential and cultural development in the capital city of Texas. All ARA efforts are focused on respecting the people, institutions and history of East Austin and other underserved communities. With an eye on preservation and good urban design, ARA’s vision is to maintain its commitment to and support of underserved communities by creating neighborhoods that are more attractive with vibrant business corridors and distinct cultural assets. ARA’s initial funding came from the City of Austin, but has leverage that with private investment to become financially independent.

What the Trend? 2015 Trends You May Have Missed and 2016 Trends on the Horizon

Travel trends are a fast-moving target. Just when you caught up to a destinations food truck movement, or the hotels that switched to extra fluffy, all-white linens, or the restaurants that developed a menu of craft cocktails using only locally-sourced, small-batch spirits, the world has already moved on to the next big thing. This panel brings you up to speed on the 2015 travel trends you may have missed, as well as help give you a head start on the biggest fads for 2016 and beyond. From hotels, restaurants and bars to online booking channels and how tech will affect travel, we’ll cover every aspect of our fast-changing industry.


Keith Nowak, publicist for The Traveling Gnome, Travelocity
Keith Nowak
With almost 20 years of communications experience, Nowak has worked in PR long enough to remember faxing press releases and mailing 35 millimeter slides. In those two decades, he has worked across the technology landscape: from hardware to software to services. He began his career in the wireless industry, starting out in paging, then moving on to tenures at Nokia and HTC, where a hectic international schedule gave him firsthand knowledge of the travel industry–insight that proved invaluable when he joined Travelocity in 2014. Since then, he has immersed himself the world of travel tips, tricks and trends as he manages Travelocity’s ongoing communications efforts, and of course, to be the publicist for their superstar, The Roaming Gnome. Raised in
Dallas and a graduate of Texas A&M University, Keith is excited to be back
home after almost a decade in exile outside of the great state of Texas.


Jon EichelbergerJon Eichelberger, regional manager and head of development & strategy at Trivago
Eichelberger oversees all Trivago operations in North America including brand marketing, online advertising, content marketing, public relations and sales.
With more than 10 years of experience in new venture business development,
finance and marketing, Eichelberger rounds out his CV as an accomplished
musician, having performed on Broadway. He frequently travels the world
with his wife and two daughters.


Mark Jenkins, senior public relations program coordinator for AAA
Mark Jenkins
A former television news reporter, Jenkins now develops the public affairs strategy within the second largest AAA club in North America, The Auto Club Group (ACG). ACG’s 11 state footprint reaches 9 million members across the South and Upper Midwest, as well as Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. He applies his media experience by producing and attaching broadcast quality sound bites to AAA news releases, garnering tremendous results. Jenkins primarily follows gasoline and travel trends.


Jeffrey Ory, president of Il Stratega and board chair of PRSA Travel & Tourism Section IMG_1084
Jeffrey Ory’s experience includes work that has earned over 100 awards for its success including all three of the highest recognitions in the communication profession: The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Gold Quill Award and Jake Wittmer Research Award plus Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Best of Silver Anvil.

Jeffrey is one of only two professionals dually accredited in communication and public relations by the PRSA and IABC in Louisiana. He is the past president of both organizations on the local level—the first and youngest person to ever be president of both local professional organizations. He is also a current member of the Board of Directors for the Travel & Tourism Special Interest Section of PRSA.

Jeffrey is a highly sought after speaker/presenter for professional development organizations internationally and universities/colleges throughout the region. He is an adjunct professor at Loyola University New Orleans and the professional advisor for the Loyola Bateman Competition team which has advanced to the national finals the last 11 years and has taken home the 1st place, national title for seven of those years.


What Is the Future for Travel Photographers?

Making a living as a travel photographer has never been more difficult. Everyone is a photographer these days and there are great images on the web available for peanuts. This together with shrinking print markets has eroded our financial base. Editorial markets are disappearing. Stock sales are evaporating. So what is left? This panel will discuss the ways in which they have individually confronted this situation in order to stay in business and still maintain a foot in the travel industry. We think much of this also applies to writers. There have never been more outlets for our work, but, and it’s a huge but, there has never been so little money around to pay for it. So, how do we make money and survive? Every panel member has succeeded in doing this and will openly discuss how they have made it possible.


Robert Holmes, photographer
Bob Holmes
Holmes travel career launched with an assignment in the Karakorum Mountains of Pakistan for National Geographic Magazine in 1980.  He continues to travel extensively and specializes in covering wine tourism internationally.  He has also embraced film making as a source of income.  Bob has been the Bill Muster Photographer of the Year four times and this year, won both first and second place in the international Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year competition.


Macduff Everton, photographer
Macduff EvertonMacduff Everton gives a sense of place, whether portraits or a landscape. At 17 he took off with his surfboard to Europe, and ended up hitchhiking around the world. He literally picked up a camera when an American took his off, exclaiming that he didn’t want to look like a tourist any longer. When he reached Japan he sold his first stories, one on Burma, the other on Southeast Asia. Returning to the U.S. at 19, he was hired by an educational film company to travel to Latin America to create college-level archaeological and anthropological filmstrips. When the company ran out of money, he returned to Yucatán and began documenting the living Maya, a culture in transition. In order to support his project he took a number of seasonal jobs that included wrangler, muleskinner, and white water river guide. Outdoor living honed his skills of observation and appreciation of light and weather. He spent six months in the backcountry, then returned to Yucatán, and later, the University
of California where he earned an MFA. In 2012 the University of Texas Press
published The Modern Maya Incidents of Travel and Friendship in Yucatán. There
aren’t many documentary photography projects that span more than forty years,
especially working with the same families. While most history chronicles the
famous, this book is about the lives of ordinary people who are the soul of their
culture. History only exists if someone documents it. Everton’s work is in the
collections of many public and private institutions.


Blaine Harrington, photographer
Blaine Harrington
Blaine Harrington’s path to becoming a travel photographer wasn’t a straight line. He began by shooting motorcycle racing in the U.S. and Europe before attending Brooks Institute of Photography, where he studied advertising photography. After stints shooting fashion in Europe and editorial photography for Time Inc. as well as variety of other publications in New York, Harrington turned full time to travel photography in the 1980s. His work has appeared in most major U.S. travel, news, business and inflight publications; as well as top European publications, such as the German and French editions of GEO. Many people dream of being travel photographers. Blaine has done it, through thick and thin. Today many people who shoot travel photography supplement their incomes doing other jobs. It’s just too tough to make a good living in photography any longer. Blaine says “one of the things I’m proudest of in my 40 years as a photographer is that I have always made 100% of my living
from photography.”


Nik Wheeler, photographer
Nik Wheeler started his photographic career as a combat photographer in Vietnam. He has worked in over 100 countries for most of the world’s leading publications and is the sole photographer of 18 photographic books. He currently supplies travel images to Corbis, Getty and Alamy online photo agencies.


Pack to the Future: Pioneering New Frontiers in the Travel Space

This forward-looking panel will not only look at the ways that technology is shaping the way we travel but also consider how the millennial mindset is changing our travel preferences. Based on the trends we’re watching today, we’ll paint a portrait of what the modern traveler may look like in 5 years, 10 years and beyond. We’ll find out what kind of travel experiences they’ll be searching for and learn about emerging technology that will be present every step of the way, from the inception of the trip and planning to the ride home from the airport. We’ll also consider the impact that technology and evolving preferences have on journalism as a whole.


Lauren MorenoLauren Moreno, public relations manager for TripIt

Lauren has launched startups, breathed life into tired brands, and generated national media coverage for companies of all shapes and sizes. As the public relations manager for Concur’s TripIt and ExpenseIt products, she’s responsible for keeping her hand on the pulse of the travel industry. Lauren is a frequent traveler and coffee fanatic who calls San Francisco home.



Lorraine Sileo, senior vice president of research for Phocuswright

Lorraine SileoLorraine launched the research division of Phocuswright Inc. in 1998. Phocuswright’s global marketplace intelligence is the industry standard for segmentation, sizing, forecasting, trends, analysis, and consumer travel planning behavior. She is quoted frequently in consumer and trade media and has authored numerous publications (including Phocuswright’s U.S. Online Travel Overview reports). Lorraine has testified at hearings held by the National Commission to Ensure Consumer Information and Choice in the Airline Industry, charged by Congress to examine the impact of online distribution on the travel industry. Lorraine was previously an adjunct professor at New York University’s Graduate Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management. She has analyzed the business and consumer electronics marketplace for various publications and media companies for over 20 years.


Nick Vivion, reporter for Tnooz

Nick VivionBased in New Orleans, Nick’s passion for travel technology led him to travel around the world shooting travel videos for Current TV and Lonely Planet TV in 2006 and 2007. He shot on Mini-DV, edited on a white MacBook, uploaded and shared online as he traveled. His moxie for travel video has resulted in over two million views on his YouTube partner channel. In addition to travel, Nick cofounded of one of the web’s most talked about LGBT media sites, Unicorn Booty, and has gone “blog-to-brick” with two bricks-and-mortar restaurants called Booty’s Street Food in New Orleans, serving street food from around the world, and Ursa Major, serving food from cultures with strong ties to the stars.


International Editors

It’s a small, small world…of publishing. Journalists, bloggers, photographers, and filmmakers seek new markets to showcase their works.  And publicists are interested in developing exposure for their destinations and attractions around the world. This panel addresses how we can pitch our ideas to international magazines and websites that hire freelancers to cover global destinations.  Our panel of international editors will discuss story ideas that get traction, content they seek, and publishing formats they use.

Panel sponsor TravMedia, a global media network operating the world’s largest online travel news portal, will assist securing editors from possibly Australia, Asia, Europe or the U.K. As a new feature this year (and in-keeping with the “reinvention” theme), members attending the conference may have an opportunity to participate in an online application process for limited one-on-one, brief pitch meetings with the international editors.


Craig Platt, managing editor,, Fairfax Media (Australia)

As one of Australia’s most experienced digital journalists and editors, Platt has worked in journalism for more than 15 years. Platt is the Managing Editor for, Fairfax Media’s travel website, which incorporates the travel sections of major newspapers The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and the Sun-Herald and is featured across these masthead’s websites as well as those of the Canberra Times, Brisbane Times and WA Today. He has overseen Fairfax’s digital travel publishing since 2007, including last year’s launch of, which has already become the biggest online travel publishing site in Australia.

Lisa Minot, travel editor at The Sun

Since 1991, Minot has succeeded in increasing the travel pages at the UK’s No.1 newspaper from a single page to the current 12 to 20 pages that run in Saturday and Sunday’s editions. She’s a passionate supporter of the industry, attending ITT, ABTA, and Pow Wow conferences. She also regularly appears on ITV, Sky, Channel 5, and BBC TV and radio discussing issues affecting travelers in the UK and beyond. A lifelong caravanner, Minot spends her summers in a caravan in the South of France.

Mark Footer, editor of Post Magazine for the South China Morning Post

Born in London, Footer arrived in Hong Kong in 1994 and never left (it is that kind of city). Formerly Deputy Culture Editor, he is now Editor of Post Magazine, the Sunday supplement (lifestyle & current affairs) of the city’s South China Morning Post, for which he has worked since 1999. He has also been the newspaper’s de facto travel editor for the past seven years. Post Magazine remains primarily a print product but, like the rest of the SCMP, it is embracing the brave new digital world.


National Parks/Nature & the Great Outdoors


2016 is the 100th anniversary of the National Park System, and our panel focuses on how we can best promote and protect our national parks. Our system of parks is one of the biggest tourism draws for domestic and international travel. You’ll learn about plans for 2016 and how to use that information in your business.


Derrick Crandall, counselor to the National Park Hospitality Association, and president and CEO of American Recreation Coalition

Derrick CrandallDerrick Crandall has been a force in the American outdoors for decades. He also serves as Co-Chair of the Coalition for Recreational Trails and as Co-Chair of the Great Outdoors Month Partnership. He has served as Co-Chair of the Scenic Byways Coalition and as Treasurer of the American League of Anglers and Boaters. He was named to the President’s Commission on Environmental Quality in 1991, the same year that he received the Chevron Conservation Award. He was also Chairman of the Take Pride in America Advisory Board, appointed by the Secretary of the Interior, and a Founding Director of the National Forest Foundation, appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. Among the dozens of public-policy programs in which Derrick has played a central role are the National Scenic Byways Program, Recreation Fee Demonstration Program, Recreational Trails Program, Wallop-Breaux Program, and the National Recreation Lakes Study Commission. USA Today has described him as
“the outdoor guru.” He serves as a member of the National Park System Advisory
Board’s National Park Service Centennial Advisory Committee and its Steering
Group. He has also served on the Advisory Board’s Health and Recreation Committee.


Julie FreemanJulie Freeman, executive vice president & managing director of PR for MMGY Global

Julie leads MMGY Global’s worldwide public relations practice and New York City office. She is responsible for all PR strategy, implementation and new business development, as well as the integration of PR initiatives into the company’s overall marketing support for its clients, including research on national park visitors and the South Dakota parks. She has extensive experience working with international destinations and brands and is fluent in Spanish.


Bruce Brossman, director of sales and marketing for Grand Canyon National Park Lodges

Brossman’s love of national parks began when he discovered rock climbing in Yosemite. He spent so much time there with some of the top climbers in the world that he applied for and got a job with the park’s primary concessioner as a climbing guide. Bruce became director of the Yosemite Mountaineering School and managed the alpine and cross-country ski areas. He moved to Arizona in 1999 to work for Grand Canyon National Park Lodges, and later Grand Canyon Railway, as regional director of sales and marketing for Xanterra Parks & Resorts. When he is not working, Bruce can often be found hiking the canyon’s Kaibab Trail, riding his bicycle along the canyon rim or playing 18 holes on one of the area’s golf courses.

Dave Hartvigsen, CEO of Adventures on the Gorge
Dave Hartvigsen head shot
Growing up in Utah, Dave Hartvigsen saw his share of spectacular national park scenery, but his formative years were only the start to a lifelong passion for the parks. Hartvigsen is CEO of Adventures on the Gorge, the country’s premier adventure resort located on the New River National River in West Virginia and just a short drive – or long hike – from two other Park Service units, the Gauley River National Recreation Area and Bluestone National Scenic River.  Even though he has worked with parks for many years, a vacation for him can mean a hike to the floor of the Grand Canyon or a climb to the top of Mount Rainier. Hartvigsen loves numbers and obscure facts, and chances are he can tell you the highest point in your home state.  His favorite quote about nature comes from John Muir. “The mountains are calling and I must go.”


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