Plenary Speakers

Plenary Speakers

The Tourism Naturally team is thrilled to announce the following speakers for Tourism Naturally 2022. Stay tuned for more speakers to be announced soon!

David Buggs

Biography

Mr. Buggs is the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), an agency of the state of Texas.  His role is developing and managing the execution of TPWD’s Diversity and Inclusion strategy.  David is also the former Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for FedEx Office Inc. He is an accomplished cultural compliance and management professional with years of experience in the area of relationship building, leadership development, mentoring, training and executive coaching.  David also provides insight on behavior management, cultural understanding, multigenerational management, and ethical and government compliance.

Mr. Buggs has shown commitment to the following boards and professional memberships:

  • Texas Audubon Society (Current Board Member)
  • Minorities In Natural Resource Conservation (Chair)
  • Conservation Diversity and Inclusion Joint Venture, DJV (Current Management Board Vice Chair)
  • National Conservation Leadership Institute 2012 Fellow
  • Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (Current Diversity and Inclusion Committee Co-chair)
  • Minorities in Natural Resources Committee (Current Chair)
  • National Black MBA Association (Life Member)
  • Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
  • Women’s Business Council Southwest (Former Advisory Board Member)
  • Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (Former Board Member)
  • Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau (Former Board Member)
  • Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce (Former Advisory Board Member)

Mr. Buggs received a B.S. in Marketing at Southern University. He continued his education with an MBA in Marketing at Baylor University. Then, he completed the Executive Development Program at University of Texas at Austin.

DAVID BUGGS

Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Janine Wilkin

Biography

Janine Wilkin is a former conservation executive and outdoor enthusiast who believes deeply in the healing and restorative powers of nature. Her career spanned both the private and public sectors.

Janine spent over a decade in leadership roles at The Nature Conservancy including as Chief of Staff and Acting Chief Marketing Officer.  As Chief of Staff, she served as a trusted advisor and problem solver for the CEO and led a number of strategic initiatives including launching and overseeing its Diversity and Inclusion Initiative. As Acting Chief Marketing Officer, Janine oversaw the global marketing and communications team where she spearheaded the transformation of digital engagement. In addition to working at The Nature Conservancy, she also worked with Rare where she worked to build the operational infrastructure to expand its Fish Forever program.

Prior to her time in the nonprofit sector, Janine spent several years leading e-commerce and brand units at AOL and also worked at Time Warner in new product development and marketing. Janine holds an M.B.A from George Washington University and a B.S. from The Pennsylvania State University.

Today Janine spends her time backpacking on the Appalachian Trail, volunteering for the American Red Cross and is in the process of planning for a three-month camping trip she will be taking with her husband in the fall of 2022. She and her husband live in Arlington, VA and have three children.

JANINE WiLKIN

Former Nonprofit Executive and Nature Enthusiast

Current American Red Cross Volunteer

Andy Wirth headshot

Biography

Andrew “Andy” Wirth is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, the parent company of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows ski resorts. Mr. Wirth was in the position as President and CEO of Squaw Valley since 2010 and has more than 25 years as a senior executive in the mountain resort and hospitality management industry. Most recently, Mr. Wirth led the landmark transaction involving Squaw Valley’s acquisition by KSL Capital Partners in 2010 and also led Squaw Valley’s acquisition of Alpine Meadows resort operating company in 2011.

Mr. Wirth is an accomplished executive, active philanthropist and leader in his community on environmental, social and educational causes. He has been selected to and serves on the following board positions in California, Nevada and the North Lake Tahoe community:

  • Chairman – Board of Trustees for the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority;
  • Executive Committee Member – Board of Commissioners for the California Tourism organization, Visit California;
  • Executive Committee – California Ski Industry Association;
  • Chairman & President, Lake Tahoe Winter Olympic Committee Board of Directors;
  • Board of Directors for and Founders Circle member of the Tahoe Fund;
  • Board of Directors of the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation;
  • Board of Directors of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association.

The genesis of Andy’s conservation and environmental ethic was his work as a backcountry ranger in Rocky Mountain National Park and wildland firefighter on an initial attack Hot Shot crew and a Wilderness Ranger in New Mexico.   Wirth attended the University of Edinburgh, Colorado State University and has professional development certificates from Stanford University.

Mr. Wirth’s interests include sky diving, skiing, snowboarding, trail running, triathlon, SUP, surfing, scuba diving, triathlons, and rowing.  Wirth was born in Nuebrucke, West Germany and resides in Truckee, California with his wife Karen, an accomplished attorney specializing in real estate law, and their rescued border collie.

Andy Wirth

CEO & President

Ridgeline Executive Group, Inc

George Wallace headshot

Biography

Wallace is a Professor Emeritus in the HDNR department, founder and former director of the Center for Protected Area Management (CPAM). His teaching, research and service have focused on: protected area management, private land conservation, land use planning and ecotourism. Dr Wallace and his colleagues at CPAM have provided technical assistance and training to those managing conservation areas in the US and many countries in Latin America for over 20 years. The Wallaces own and operates 2 farms one of which has won several awards for their conservation practices. He is active civically on boards and commissions related to planning, agriculture and the environment. He is a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas.

George Wallace

Professor Emeritus

Warner College of Natural Resources

Headshot of Kelly Bricker

Biography

Dr. Bricker completed her Ph.D. research with the Pennsylvania State University, where she specialized in sustainable tourism and protected area management. She has research and teaching interests in ecotourism, sense of place, community development, natural resource management, value of nature-based experiences, and the impacts of tourism.  She has authored and edited books on sustainability, which highlight case studies in tourism meeting environmental and societal issues in Sustainable Tourism & the Millennium Development Goals: Effecting Positive Change; educational texts focused on adventure education in Adventure Programing and Travel for the 21st Century and graduate education in De-Mystifying Theories in Tourism Research; co-edited This Land Is Your Land: Toward a Better Understanding of Nature’s Resiliency-Building and Restorative Power for Armed Forces Personnel, Veterans, and Their Families (Sagamore Publishing, LLC). Bricker is a founding member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, and the Center for Dark Skies Studies located at the University of Utah.

EDUCATION

1998    Ph.D.               The Pennsylvania State University

Major:  Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management

Minor:  Geography

 

1986    M.S.                 Western Illinois University

Major:  Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration

Minor:  Communications

 

1981    B.S.                  Western Illinois University

Major:  Outdoor Recreation Administration

Minor: Zoology

Kelly Bricker, Ph.D.

Professor & Director

Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions

Arizona State University

Andrew Rhodes headshot

Biography

Andrew John Rhodes Espinoza has more than 16 years of work experience working for the conservation and sustainable use of the natural capital of Mexico, has a deep knowledge of the socio-environmental challenges, environmental public policy, a solid technical – administrative experience, a wide network of national and international contacts and a great passion for Mexico, its culture and biodiversity.

He currently serves as Ocean Coordinator, attached to the Undersecretariat for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, Mexico´s Sous Sherpa for the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Oceanic Economy and Deputy Chair of the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Prior to these assignments, he held executive positions in the National Commission of Protected Areas of Mexico; as National Commissioner, General Director of Institutional Development and Outreach and Director of Climate Change Strategies.

Additionally, he served as General Director of the Pronatura System as well as Central Coordinator of the Fund for Protected Areas in the Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature AC.

Andrew Rhodes

Ocean Coordinator

Undersecretariat for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico

human dimensions of natural resources department at Colorado State university