Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839

MADISON – Governor Scott Walker today announced the appointment of three new members to the Wisconsin Council on Tourism: A.J. Frels of Chaseburg, Michelle Martin of Springbrook, and Mary McPhetridge of Washburn. The Council on Tourism works with the Wisconsin Department of Tourism to develop the state’s tourism industry which supports 195,255 jobs and has a $20.6 billion economic impact. The Council on Tourism is a 21-member board comprised of 14 citizen members who are appointed by the Governor of Wisconsin and serve 3-year terms.

“Tourism in Wisconsin is booming because we have family fun in every corner of the state and because of the great people who work hard to promote our state,” said Governor Walker. “It’s an honor to appoint A.J Frels of Chaseburg, Michelle Martin of Springbrook, and Mary McPhetridge of Washburn to the Council on Tourism. Each of these Wisconsinites bring a unique perspective from a different area of our state. I am sure they will serve Wisconsin well.”

A.J. Frels is currently the Executive Director of the La Crosse County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Frels has spent his entire career in the tourism industry and is a member of the Wisconsin Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus, along with numerous other regional organizations. Frels lives in Chaseburg where he enjoys hunting, fishing and riding his Harley Davidson.

Michelle Martin is currently the Executive Director of the Washburn County Tourism Association; a position she has held since 2009. She was the recipient of the Governor’s Rising Star Award in 2014. Martin graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Stout in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. Martin resides in rural Washburn County with her husband and 18-month old daughter where they enjoy life on a corner of her husband’s family farm.

Mary McPhetridge is the Executive Director of the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce; a position she has held since 1999. She is heavily invested in her community through various board membership such as the Ashland Area Development Corporation, City of Ashland Development Team and the Wisconsin Convention and Visitors Bureau, to name a few. She attended Rock Valley College.

According to Longwoods International, a leader in travel research, Wisconsin ranks number 1 in the Midwest for fun, family atmosphere, uniqueness, affordability, and outdoor recreation. This is in large part due to the hard work by the council and Secretary of Tourism Stephanie Klett and her team.

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