Governor Appoints New Members to Oregon Tourism Commission

SALEM, Ore. – Governor John Kitzhaber has appointed Nigel Francisco and Ken Evenstad to the Oregon Tourism Commission (dba Travel Oregon).

“The tourism industry generates $9.2 billion in economic impact in Oregon and supports more than 91,000 jobs,” the Governor said. “These new Commissioners will carry forward the intensive state effort to help tourism grow and thrive, which is good for all sectors of Oregon’s economy.”

Made up of nine members, the Commission provides expertise and sets policy direction for Travel Oregon staff. Francisco and Evenstad fill two vacancies created by the departure of Jackie Edmunds-Manz, owner of Edmunds/Manz marketing and management consulting company, and Win McCormack, director and treasurer of MEDIAmerica Inc., who will both complete five years of service in June. The new Commissioners terms begin on July 1, 2013.

“Tourism fuels small business development and generates revenue in every corner of the state,” said Todd Davidson, CEO of Travel Oregon. “We are pleased to welcome Nigel and Ken to the Oregon Tourism Commission. The Governor has selected two insightful and talented people with the capabilities to advance the tourism industry in our state.”

Evenstad is the owner and president of Domaine Serene Vineyards and is involved in every aspect of the business, including promotion, advertising and brand building. His objective is to make tourism a larger industry in Oregon, thereby contributing to the state’s economy.

Francisco is the Chief Financial Officer for Ninkasi Holding company Inc. He began his career as a pilot for Horizon airlines. His experience in the airline industry and the craft-brewing business gives him unique insight into the tourism industry and its impact on the state’s economy.

In a Commission meeting last month, Karen Utz, the owner of the Black Walnut Inn in Dundee was elected to serve as the Chair to the Oregon Tourism Commission. Alana Hughson, President & CEO of the Central Oregon Visitors Association, was selected as Vice-Chair.

To learn more about the Oregon Tourism Commission go to


The Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon, works to enhance visitors’ experience by providing information, resources and trip planning tools that inspire travel and consistently convey the exceptional quality of Oregon. The commission improves Oregonians’ quality of life by strengthening economic impacts of the state’s $9.2 billion tourism industry that employs more than 91,000 Oregonians.

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