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Governor Napolitano Honors Arizona Office of Tourism Staff

July 03, 2006

Contact: Michelle Thompson
(602) 364-3724

Governor Napolitano Honors Arizona Office of Tourism Staff
Dawn Melvin Receives George S. Mickelson Memorial Fellowship

Dawn Melvin , Native American Tourism Development Manager with the Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT), received the George S. Mickelson Memorial Fellowship at the Western Governor’s Association (WGA) Annual Meeting on June 12, 2006.

The Fellowship Award, which is one year in duration, was established in 1993 in honor of the WGA’s former chairman. The $15,000 award may be used for program expenses, salary, benefits, travel costs and other related out-of-pocket expenses connected with an innovative program; or for professional course development in the areas of public policy important to the WGA and the furthering of the employee’s competence in public service. As outgoing chairperson of the WGA, Governor Janet Napolitano selected Dawn for the fellowship.

"Dawn will do a fine job in this fellowship, and I was pleased to nominate her for the position," said Governor Napolitano.  "She has done tremendous work for the Office of Tourism, and I believe she will be an asset to the WGA."

In order to qualify for the Fellowship, applicants must be an Arizona resident and a full-time state employee for at least two consecutive years with a commitment to public service and to state government and must be willing to sign a contract to return to Arizona for at least one year of service to the State. All applicants must share information and advice acquired during the fellowship experience with WGA member states and must be willing to apply the skills and knowledge acquired during the fellowship experience to emerging issues in public service and state government. Dawn will use the Fellowship to attend professional development courses in areas that will increase her knowledge of political, legal, economic, structural and cultural issues as they relate to tribal tourism and economic development efforts. This will provide a greater understanding of the relationship between tribal, Federal and State governments, allowing her to work closer with the tribes in Arizona and providing practical knowledge of emerging issues.

“We are very proud that Dawn was chosen to receive this award,” said AOT Director Margie Emmermann. “She has reached out to Native American communities throughout the state, working to further their tourism marketing and product development. Her unique ability to connect with people has helped increased AOT’s ability to market Arizona as a culture destination.”

The Western Governors' Foundation serves as the source of strategic seed capital for research projects at the Western Governors' Association and for other organizations and individuals that help serve the governors and the region. The Foundation accepts grants and gifts from corporations, foundations and individuals. With these charitable donations, the Foundation makes awards to WGA and others who assist it in policy development and implementation.

Created as an executive agency in 1975, the Arizona Office of Tourism is charged with enhancing the state economy and the quality of life for all Arizonans by expanding travel activity and increasing related revenues through tourism promotion and development. AOT works to serve the Grand Canyon State’s travel industry and related businesses, the traveling public, and the taxpayers of Arizona.

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