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Travel Alberta Board Chair and new members announced

Travel Alberta is pleased to announce the re-appointment of Bernie Kollman as Chair of the Travel Alberta Board of Directors, and the appointment of Margot Ross-Graham, Karl Schwonik, and Will Sawchyn to the board.

“Travel Alberta’s leadership in promoting the province as a premier travel destination is supported by the agency’s accomplished and experienced board of directors. I am confident Travel Alberta will have a strong combination of stability, new ideas and enthusiasm to guide the province’s tourism marketing efforts. Working together, they will support the promotion of Alberta to visitors from across Canada and around the world, which will in turn help ensure our tourism sector delivers on its potential to diversify the economy, create jobs and generate investment in communities across the province.”

-       - Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Culture and Tourism

Ms. Bernie Kollman was initially appointed to the Travel Alberta Board of Directors in April 2013, and first designated as chair in December 2015. She continues to lead the award-winning tourism marketing agency through April 2021.

“Tourism is an $8.5 billion industry in Alberta, supporting 127,000 jobs across the province,” said Kollman. “I am inspired to continue supporting this dynamic marketing organization as we work to grow the visitor economy in all regions of Alberta.”

A passionate community champion, Kollman is a Chair of MacKay CEO Forums in Edmonton, leading a peer mentoring group of executives to assist with their biggest challenges and to drive stronger business results. In February 2018, Kollman was appointed as a Director of Liquor Stores North America, a publicly-traded Alberta company responsible for distribution of controlled substances (alcohol and cannabis) across approximately 240 stores in Western Canada and Alaska.

She is also a member of the board of Edmonton Global, the first fully regional economic development company for the Edmonton Metropolitan Region, with a mission to strengthen the Region’s global competitiveness, growth and innovation.

Kollman has a long history of successful leadership and innovation. She enjoyed a successful career as Vice-President for IBM’s Public Sector division in Alberta, representing one of IBM’s largest client groups in Canada, and previously served as the Chair of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and co-chair of the Alberta Centre for Advanced Studies, which facilitates research collaboration between the universities in Alberta and IBM.

Kollman holds an ICD.D designation, granted by the Institute of Corporate Directors. The ICD.D designation is a nationally-recognized program that supports directors with a lifelong commitment to excellence in the boardroom, a desire to stay current, and to be a more effective director.

“Travel Alberta is extremely excited to have Bernie's experience, global expertise and passion continue leading us forward as board chair,” said Royce Chwin, CEO of Travel Alberta. “Bernie is a proven leader and innovator who will help us grow Alberta’s visitor economy to more than $10 billion by 2020.”

 “I look forward to supporting Travel Alberta, in partnership with our dedicated tourism industry, to enhance tourism marketing and management resources, programs and services to make Alberta a better place to grow and succeed,” said Kollman.

Ross-Graham, Schwonik and Sawchyn bring a wealth of experience and acumen to the table and will help drive Travel Alberta’s long-term growth strategy.

“On behalf of the Travel Alberta Board of Directors, I welcome the extensive expertise and acumen of our new board members. They join a strong, dedicated board composed of tourism industry champions and influencers that, together, will support our efforts across the province as we continue to build a significant economic driver that supports businesses, employment and a strong province for years to come,” said Kollman.

Biographies of the Travel Alberta Board of Directors are soon available on the Travel Alberta Industry website.

Members of the Board of Directors, appointed by order in council from the Government of Alberta, were recruited from qualified applicants collectively representing the full range of competencies, experience and/or personal attributes required to provide effective governance of Travel Alberta.


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