LISA E WHITE
Lisa moved from Oregon to Arizona to pursue her BA in Education and Psychology from ASU. She received her MAE in Counseling from NAU and has been a Flagstaff resident since 1996, part-time. She retired after 30 years of teaching from Scottsdale Schools and then five at Paradise Valley Community College, during which time she wrote curriculum for Scottsdale Schools and University of Phoenix. Lisa taught in Interlaken, Switzerland for nine months on a Fulbright Teacher Exchange and continues to coordinate biannual student exchanges to Interlaken. She is President-elect of the Docents at Phoenix Art Museum. She also volunteers in schools with at-risk students with Gabriel’s Angels with her dog, The Dude.
Executive Director, NAU Center for International Education
As the Discover Flagstaff Director, Trace Ward brings nearly 30 years of experience in the hospitality/destination marketing and management arena. His career includes senior-level sales and marketing positions with iconic brands such as Starwood, Hilton and Marriott. In his previous position he led the team as the Executive Director for Experience Kissimmee, the convention and visitors bureau for Osceola County, FL. Ward enjoys working with industry partners and the community in which he serves to bring about positive results and change. A native of Omaha, NE, Ward received a degree in business management from Bellevue University, as well as, has earned multiple certifications from Starwood, Marriott, Hilton and Destinations International. Additionally, Ward is an adjunct professor at NAU’s College of Business and has earned his Master’s degree in Leadership from this same university.
Sheila Anders is the Director of Administrative Services for the NAU Center for International Education. She is Chair of the CIE Sustainability Committee, voting board member on the NAU Green Fund, Vice President emerita of the Sustainable Economic Development Initiative of Northern Arizona, and Advisory Council Member of the NARBHA Institute. She has presented on structurally incorporating sustainability into international education, sustainability assessment, and greening government practices, co-chairing the NAU Greening Government Conference in 2008. She consults regionally on change and financial management, and strategic planning in the public agency.
International Travel Trade Sales Manager, Discover Flagstaff
Cherri joined Discover Flagstaff in January 2018, and brings her years of travel industry experience. She started her resort career in Orlando, Florida at Vistana Resort, then accepted a promotion as Director of Travel Industry Sales with Marquis Hotels & Resorts in Ft. Myers. However, Arizona came calling, and she moved to the Phoenix/Scottsdale area working in the hotel industry for the next couple of decades, opening The Phoenician in 1988, and directing leisure sales and marketing efforts for the Pointe South Mountain Resort, Royal Palms Resort & Spa, Arizona Biltmore, and then remotely for The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. After ten years with Marriott International, on-property and in regional sales, Cherri moved to the Tourism Bureau side with Visit Mesa. When not traveling, she spends time in the outdoors with her husband, Jim and Golden Retriever, Mickey.
Heidi Hansen has worked for the City of Flagstaff for eight years, currently as the Economic Vitality Director. Before this position, Heidi was the Convention and Visitors Bureau Director and oversaw the city's tourism marketing and visitor services programs. Heidi has 29 years of experience in sales and marketing and previously worked as the Advertising Director for the Arizona Daily Sun for 11 ½ years and nine years at the Arizona Republic. Heidi is a 1991 graduate of NAU with a BA in Advertising and earned her Arizona Association Economic Development Professional certification in 2017. Heidi is the current NAU Alumni Association Board President and an NAU Student-Athlete Mentor. She also serves on several community boards and committees: Flagstaff Leadership Program Advisory Board, College of America PAC Committee, Northern Arizona Healthcare Certificate Holders, AZ@Work Business Services Team, and Arizona Forward. Heidi is a recipient of the Chamber of Commerce Athena Young Professionals award and the City Manager's Director of the Year award. Heidi is also a 2007 graduate of the Flagstaff Leadership Program.
Gail Jackson is the Interim CEO/President of Economic Collaborative of Northern Arizona and leads the region’s economic development efforts. Prior to joining ECoNA, Gail was the Business Attraction Manager and Meetings Manager with the city of Flagstaff. She has spent many years in resort sales and marketing where she held various management positions with Enchantment Resort in Sedona, AZ and Pebble Beach Resorts in Pebble Beach, CA. Gail has served on the board of many professional and service-oriented nonprofits, such as Theatrikos Theatre Company, Flagstaff Women’s Leadership Network, Flagstaff Shelter Services Fundraising, Flagstaff Auto Mall Development and Flagstaff Leadership Program.
Senior Sales Manager at Little America.
Ryan first came to Flagstaff in 2004 in pursuit of higher education at Northern Arizona University. At that point he began working at Flagstaff’s luxury hotel, the Little America in various operational rolls. This experience led him towards a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. Four years later he received his degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management, and took six months off to travel the world. During these travels Ryan realized his love for Flagstaff so he returned to begin his career. Little America brought him back as their Sales Manager where he would be responsible for bringing business to the hotel and community from all over the globe. Today Ryan represents 15 years of experience at the Little America, has a beautiful wife and two young children, and lives a great life in the mountains.
City Council Member, City of Flagstaff, Arizona - Councilmember Salas is a mother, a businesswoman and an immigrant living and thriving in Flagstaff for over 12 years. She owns a local small business ConnectEdge, a local consulting company helping small business and local nonprofits with business development, revenue development, capacity building and development, and online reputation management. Born and raised in the Philippines, she brings diverse perspectives and wide worldview to the City leadership. Her extensive background and experience in government (Philippine Congress, City of San Fernando and Coconino County), business sector, academe, and nonprofits are uniquely valuable capabilities: community and economic development, policy research and analysis, legislative development, budgeting, fiscal management, resource mobilization, labor dispute mediation, fundraising and friend-raising.
MAYOR PAUL DEASY
Paul Deasy moved to Flagstaff when he was 12 years old. Paul earned a master’s degree in economics with an emphasis in developmental economics. He was awarded a fellowship with the National Science Foundation where he worked vigilantly to change policies at federal institutions so they could more effectively respond to economic crises.
In his role as a research analyst, Mr. Deasy supports senior leadership at Northern Arizona University, the Arizona Board of Regents, and the state legislature in efforts to shape laws and policies designed to further student success. He is passionate about creating educational environments where children and young adults can achieve their full potential.