Ethnic Cultural Tourism Destinations Conference - Speakers

July 13, 2011 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Black Bear Crossings on the Lake, 1360 North Lexington Parkway, Saint Paul, MN 55103

Romona Riscoe Benson

Romona Riscoe Benson is President & CEO of African American Museum of Philadelphia . Previously, she was president of Riscoe & Associates, Inc., a firm providing meeting and event planning, strategic organizational consulting and tourism development services. She has served on the boards of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau , Multicultural Affairs Congress , Philadelphia International Airport Advisory Board, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance Board and School District of Philadelphia Hospitality Stakeholders Board. Full Bio

Charles Landry

Charles Landry is an international authority on the use of imagination and creativity in urban change. Charles helps cities "future proof" themselves by identifying and making the most of their resources, and by triggering inventive-ness and open-minded thinking. P rojects he has conducted in collaboration with cities include 'the creative city index' , the ‘intercultural city’ project and on-going research, looking at how public administrations can be accountable, flexible and entrepreneurial. Full Bio

Joel Barker

Joel A. Barker is one of the best-known futurists in the world. His videos on the future have been translated into 20 languages and have been seen by more than 100 million people. Joel popularized the concept of paradigm shifts and started the corporate discussion of the importance of vision in 1989 with his video, The Power of Vision . His video on Wealth, Innovation and Diversity helped redefine the importance of diversity. Mr. Barker’s most recent focus is on “innovation at the verge”, a new place for finding the big ideas for the 21st century. Full Bio

Anne Briseño

Anne Briseño is Commercial Development Director at East Side Neighborhood Development Company (ESNDC) where she oversees real estate projects, small businesses services and commercial corridor revitalization. Previously she was executive director of Riverview Economic Development Association (REDA). There, she led the branding of District del Sol and production of its Cinco de Mayo Fiesta .

Dr. Bruce Corrie

Dr. Bruce Corrie is Professor of Economics and Chair of the Department of Undergraduate Business at Concordia University in Saint Paul. His new vision (and data) on the dynamic power of ethnic capital has been well received by audiences and his views have appeared on various mainstream media outlets and the ethnic press. He is editor of .

Cancelled due to Government Shutdown

John Edman

John Edman is Director of Explore Minnesota Tourism , a public private state tourism organization, created by the state legislature in 2004. There, he is responsible for the development and implementation of statewide tourism plans, policies and programs to promote Minnesota as a tourism and travel destination.

Hector Garcia

In his role as Executive Director of the Chicano Latino Affairs Council , Hector Garcia is tasked with implementing the agency vision as proposed by its Board of Directors. Hector coordinates strategic partnerships with outside agencies and engages the Minnesota governor and legislature on Latino-specific issue and policy recommendations.

Cynthia Messer

Cynthia Messer is an Extension Professor with the University of Minnesota Tourism Center . She has more than 30 years of experience in the tourism industry as an educator, international consultant, tour operations specialist, and executive director of a regional convention & visitor bureau. Her areas of expertise are in community tourism development, sustainable tourism, and quality customer service.

Erik Takeshita

Erik Takeshita is Principal of the Takeshita Group and a Senior Program Officer for the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) leading their comprehensive community development work in the Twin Cities. He has 20 years of community development experience in the nonprofit and public sectors. Recently, Erik directed an art center in Honolulu using the arts to revitalize the downtown / Chinatown area .

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