MADISON – Gov. Tony Evers today announced four appointments to the Governor’s Council on Tourism. The council advises the agency as it develops and enacts the strategic plan to advance tourism.
“With it’s $7 to $1 return on investment, Wisconsin’s $21.6 billion tourism industry is one of Wisconsin’s leading economic drivers,” said Gov. Evers. “The more than 199,000 individuals who rely on tourism for their livelihood and the taxpayers of Wisconsin are counting on the council to provide critical advice to ensure the prosperity of Wisconsin’s thriving, fun-filled tourism industry.”
The four appointments to the Governor’s Council on Tourism include:
- AJ Frels, originally from Chaseburg, Wisconsin, is the Executive Director of Explore La Crosse, the La Crosse County Convention, and Visitor’s Bureau. Frels previously led tourism in Carson Valley, Nevada. AJ’s experience includes the hotel, lodge and restaurant industries. He previously served as the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Rapids Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
- Michelle Martin, originally from Springbrook, Wisconsin, serves as the Executive Director of the Washburn County Tourism Association. Martin graduated from UW-Stout in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management.
- Krystal Westfahl, originally from Minocqua, Wisconsin, is an avid outdoor recreation enthusiast, serves as the Executive Director of the Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce. A 2015 recipient of the Wisconsin Tourism Trailblazer Award and a recent nominee for the Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism Rising Star award, Westfahl previously served as Event and Fundraising Coordinator for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Darren Bush, originally from Monona, Wisconsin, is the owner of Rutabaga Paddlesports and is a founding member of Blue Water Business Consortium. Bush also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Outdoor Industry Association and the Outdoor Foundation.