Travel Lane County Board of Directors

Travel Lane County's governing board represents a variety of businesses, community organizations and government entities across Lane County. Board members' responsibilities include approving the annual marketing plan and budget, and providing input and policy direction.

Board of Directors

Julie Johns

Territorial Seed Company, Owner (Chair)

Our family business, Territorial Seed Company, is dedicated to providing the highest quality seeds with excellent customer service for home gardeners. Every year we do extensive trialing of hundreds of varieties to select the best tasting vegetables and beautiful flowers.

Dana Turell

Turell Group, President (Vice Chair)

Dana founded Turell Group because she wanted to inspire people and make a difference in the world. She has nearly 30 years of marketing experience and her agency in downtown Eugene is approaching its 10-year anniversary. Turell Group serves dozens of clients of all sizes and specialties. Dana also serves on the boards of several local nonprofit agencies. Early on, she pursued a career on stage and is still known to treat the office now and then to a spontaneous showtune.

Pam Whyte

Partner, EMGE & Whyte, CPA (Treasurer)

I have been a CPA and a partner in the accounting firm of Emge & Whyte since 1988. I grew up in Kettering, Ohio and moved to Eugene in 1975 as an exchange student from the University of South Florida and graduated from the University of Oregon in 1977 with a bachelor degree in business administration. I earned my tax preparer, tax consultant and enrolled agent licenses over the next few years then went back to the University of Oregon in the MBA program to get the courses required to sit for the CPA exam. I have been with my life-partner Ron Saylor for over 40 years and we enjoy traveling, sailing and our life in Eugene.

Martin Alletson

Driftwood Shores, General Manager

Born and raised in the United Kingdom, I was educated there and started work as an apprentice chef at 15 years old. I have two chef degrees from a four-year course covering the length of the apprenticeship. I switched to hotel management after that, doing six months in every department of a five star hotel. I was deputy manager of a London hotel by age 21 and then emigrated to the United States. I still have family in the UK.

Irene Alltucker

Obie Companies, Vice President of Real Estate

Irene joined Obie Companies in 2018 and was promoted to a Vice President in 2021. Irene oversees real estate for Obie Companies, including all aspects of the operations of the 5th Street Market District. Prior to joining Obie Companies, Irene worked as a commercial Broker with Evans Elder Brown & Seubert, Inc. and was the executive director of two non-profits; the Relief Nursery and Oregon’s Festival of American Music. In her free time, she volunteers throughout the community, participates on community boards, loves to travel, spend time with friends and has completed 12 marathons and hopes for one more.

John Barofsky

Beppe & Gianni's Trattoria, Owner

John has lived in Eugene since 1982 and has been in the restaurant industry for over 30 years. He is the co-owner of Beppe & Gianni's Trattoria, which opened in 1998. He values finding solutions to challenges by working with people from different points of view and backgrounds.

Richard Boyles

Merete Hotel Management, President

I am a Lane County native and graduate of the Clark Honors College of the University of Oregon. I hold an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. ln 2001, I became the President of Sycan B Corp., a Springfield-based real estate development company with a concentration in hotel development. I co-founded Merete' Hotel Management lnc. in 1993, and became its president. I am active in our community and in the lodging industry, currently serving on the Oregon Tourism Commission and the board of the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association.

Corey Buller

Lane County, Lane Events Center Manager

I was born and raised in Eugene, and attended Churchill High School and Oregon State University. I have been working with the Lane County Fairgrounds and Events Center for over 23 years.

Robert Canaga

Artist

I am a Vietnam veteran who is 80 percent disabled (hard to believe). After ten plus years in the army, in 1984 I went back to school and got a degree in anthropology, then art. I am a full-time artist now.

Julie Collins

Executive Director, Cascades Raptor Center

I am an Oregon native, born and raised in Milwaukie. In December 2015 my family and I planted roots here in Eugene. My son’s love for raptors was a driving force for me to start volunteering at Cascades Raptor Center and I joined as a staff member in February 2017. As my roles have continued to grow, so has my passion for this organization and our community. I have worn many hats, from fundraising and donor relations to operational management and future planning. I am proud to lead one of Eugene’s top travel destinations and I will continue cultivating connections for the Raptor Center while always focusing on our mission. When not working at the Center, I enjoy being creative, getting my hands dirty gardening and doing crafting projects. I also enjoy exploring Oregon’s beautiful landscapes, especially the forests and coastline, and spending time with my two teenage children.

Jenna Cusimano

Interim Community and Economic Development Manager, Lane County

Following completion of her graduate studies at the University of Washington, Jenna moved to Lane County in 2016. She worked for the cities of Eugene and Veneta before joining Lane County Community & Economic Development in 2020. Jenna strives to be an enthusiastic and collaborative advocate for the rural communities in Lane County and is focused on sustainable vitality for all areas of the county.

Mike Drennan

Banking, retired

I graduated from Corvallis High School and attended the University of Oregon, earning a degree in finance. I spent 40 years in the banking industry, working in several executive positions, and retired in 2012. I have served on over 15 boards during my career and currently am on the boards of the Oregon Cancer Foundation and formerly served on the FOOD for Lane County board. I have two married sons living in Seattle and Beaverton, and a grandson and granddaughter.

Tom Driscoll

University of Oregon, Associate Director of University Housing and Director of Dining Services

I work at the University of Oregon as the associate director of university housing and director of dining services. I lead the operations of dining services for residential dining, EMU retail dining, UO catering, and UO conference services. Prior to joining the UO, I spent 20 years in the restaurant industry in California, Washington and Oregon, and bring restaurant and hospitality expertise to University of Oregon campus dining through a high-level cuisine and service approach. I am a California native and graduate of San Francisco State University; my family and I made Oregon home upon arriving at the UO in 2000.

Mike Duncan

University of Oregon, Senior Associate Athletic Director

Mike Duncan joined the Oregon administrative staff in October 2008 and is the Senior Associate Athletic Director working directly with facilities, events, and operations. Duncan joined the Ducks after spending seven years as the Vice President of Arena Programming for ARCO Arena in Sacramento, California. Duncan led the efforts of Maloof Sports and Entertainment to grow business through securing and developing events and increasing event attendance. Duncan is a graduate of the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and public relations.

Pat Farr

Lane County, Commissioner

I moved from Sheffield, England at age 10 to Tillamook County, Oregon. I graduated from Tillamook High School in 1972 and moved to Eugene in 1973 to attend the University of Oregon where I met my wife Debi. We were married in 1975 and have three children. I served in the Oregon Army National Guard for six years, I was assigned to A, B and C Companies and Headquarters of the 2nd Battalion of the 162nd Regiment, 41st Brigade, 7th Light Infantry Division, U.S. Army.

Scott Freck

Eugene Symphony, Executive Director

I have been the executive director of the Eugene Symphony Association since June 2012. Prior to that, I was vice president for artistic operations and general manager of the North Carolina Symphony, based in Raleigh, from November 2000 to May 2012. I began my orchestra management career at the Oregon Symphony, in my hometown of Portland, in September 1991. My wife Leslie and I have two children, Elena (18 and a student at Emerson College in Boston) and Ivan (16, and a sophomore at South Eugene High).

Bettina Hannigan

Florence Area Chamber of Commerce, President & CEO

Having been self-employed for the last 30 years, I bring an entrepreneurial vision to chamber purpose. I am dedicated to the Florence community and work hard to share the many ways to enjoy Oregon’s Coastal Playground. With a passion for art, I have helped to promote Florence’s many art destinations by hosting monthly exhibits in the visitors' center lobby. One of my favorite quotes is “Hearts have Chambers and Chambers have Hearts.” My desire to help build sustainable economic development drives me to serve from my heart.

Jonnie Helfrich

A. Helfrich Outfitter, Co-Owner

I grew up in Portsmouth, Virginia, graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary and secondary physical education, and in 1989 moved to start a life with my Oregon-born husband, Aaron. I taught in Toledo, Oregon and in Eugene before starting a family of fourth-generation river guides. Aaron and I own A. Helfrich Outfitter, a rafting and fishing business based on the McKenzie River.

Terry Hopkins

ORLA, Membership Representative

I grew up in Southern Oregon and have found my passion and career in the hospitality industry for the last 30 years. I have managed and owned restaurants throughout Oregon. I currently serve as a Membership Representative for the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association and own a small craft distillery in Grants Pass.

Lynda Kamerrer

Oakridge Lodge, Owner

I love to travel, spend time in my garden and explore the outdoors. For the past 10 years I have operated (with Gary Carl), the Oakridge Lodge & Guest House. In 2015 we opened the Uptown Bistro on the same property.

Ben Klipfel

City of Eugene, Interim Executive Director for Library, Recreation & Cultural Services

Ben hails from a tiny village in North Dakota and has a Bachelor’s degree in communications and a Master’s degree in theatre with a focus on directing. Prior to joining the City of Eugene, Ben served as an executive director for regional and community theatres and arts associations in North Dakota and Minnesota, where he also produced, directed, and on rare occasion acted in productions. He was also a lecturer on nonprofit marketing and nonprofit strategic planning at the University of North Dakota (classes he still teaches today thanks to the wonders of the internet). In 2016 he moved to Oregon to work for the City of Eugene as the marketing director for the Library, Recreation & Cultural Services department, and is currently serving as the department’s Interim Executive Director.

Niel Laudati

Assistant City Manager, City of Springfield

Niel Laudati is the Assistant City Manager for the City of Springfield, Oregon where he provides administrative guidance and oversight to the Development and Public Works Department along with programs in the City Manager’s Office, including: the City’s legislative, public affairs and economic development programs. He has been engaged in community and government relations for more than 25 years, including 18 years at the City of Springfield and eight years at a water utility in Southern Nevada. He also is responsible for the City Manager’s Public Art Program. Niel was raised in Las Vegas and is a graduate of the University of Nevada Las Vegas with a Bachelor’s in Communications and a Master’s in Urban Leadership. He is happily married and has two kids, one attending Lane Community College and one at Thurston High School.

Jeri McPherson

General Manager, Valley River Inn

Megan Messmer

Assistant City Manager/PIO, City of Florence

I serve as the Assistant City Manager for the City of Florence. I joined the City of Florence team in February 2013 and served in various roles within the administration until I became Assistant City Manager in December 2020. I serve as the City’s Public Information Officer and oversee our communications work. I have overseen large capital projects for the City, including the City Hall remodel and the ReVision Florence Streetscape Project for our Urban Renewal Agency in coordination with ODOT. In December of 2020 I also assumed the role as Director of the Florence Events Center. I received my BA from Linfield College and my MPA from Portland State University with a focus on Local Government. I enjoy living in Florence and experiencing all it has to offer with my dog Mabel.

Vonnie Mikkelsen

Springfield Chamber of Commerce, President & CEO

I am a native Oregonian, a small-town girl, and an adventurer at heart. I’ve traveled to sixteen countries in Europe and Asia, and once cycled around the northernmost island of Hokkaido, Japan. I spent the first sixteen years of my career in Japan working as a World's Fair promoter and subsequently as a programming executive for Cartoon Network Japan. I discovered the appeal of industry association management in 2006 when I joined AACSB International in Tampa, Florida. This work inspired me to pursue community development through chambers of commerce, and since 2009 I’ve led two chambers in two states, first in the Tampa, Florida region and now for Springfield. I’m a founding member of the Springfield Indoor Track Committee, serve on the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Government Affairs Council, and am a member of the National Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives and the Western Association of Chamber Executives.

Steve Mokrohisky

Lane County, Administrator

I am a county administrator whose last name is pronounced Mo-crow-hi-ski. I joined Lane County in May 2014 and have served in county government leadership in Oregon, Nevada and Wisconsin for over 22 years. I’m also the president of the National Association of County Administrators. I lead with a focus on practical financial management, meaningful public engagement and fostering cultures of innovation and leadership in local government. I received a B.A. from Marquette University and a M.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and I’m a public policy graduate of the Les Aspen Center for Government in Washington, D.C.

Michael Newman

Thanks for Holding, Owner

I have lived in Lane County nearly my entire life. I started as a radio personality entertaining the local listeners. Became active in the telecommunications industries in the 1980’s working with telephone, voice, data, wireless and phone systems. In the late 1990’s, I began and developed Thanks For Holding, providing telephone system recordings for businesses locally and around North America. I studied in college in Eugene and Spokane, WA. Married with wife Jeana, son Ryan and daughter Alayna.

Lorrie Normann

Valhalla Vineyards, Owner

I am a native Eugenian and have a deep love for the community and surrounding areas. I have been a business owner for many years and enjoy the people, culture and diversity of the area.

Brittany Quick Warner

Eugene Chamber of Commerce, President & CEO

I am proud to serve as the president and CEO of the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce in this beautiful community. Originally from the Midwest, I moved to Eugene in 2012 and quickly fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. My driving passion for community work revolves around helping individuals, businesses and our community meet our fullest potential. As a chronic optimist and diligent problem solver, I sees the incredible opportunity we have in front of us to celebrate the beauty and wonderful businesses in our community- and overcome challenges together. I currently represent the business community on various boards and commissions throughout the region and serve at a national level as a board member for both the Western Association of Chamber Executives and the national Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.

Tina Patel

ALKO Hotels, Owner

I have been in the hospitality industry for over 30 years since I came to America. I emigrated from India in the early '90s and very soon after found myself in hotels from an early age. I fell in love with hospitality immediately and here I am today still enjoying my passion. I earned my associate degree at Lewis and Clark College and am an active member in the Eugene and Springfield Community by participating in the ORLA Board and the Springfield Chamber of Commerce.

David Penilton

America's HUB World Tours, Owner

I’m the co-owner of Hub World Travel, dba America’s Hub World Tours LLC, and co-owner of Best of the Northwest. Sales missions have included ITB, IPW, CITM, NAJ, Active America, JATA, Go-West and NTA Contact Exchange, and have taken me to China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, India, Africa and Canada. I am active on numerous boards and councils, including Travel Lane County's Board of Directors, the Eugene Sports Advisory Council, 2016-17 Board Chair for Travel Portland, Travel Portland Finance Committee, Community Action Committee, Clackamas Tourism Development Council, and the NTA-China Inbound Program.

Kari Preston

Holiday Inn Express, General Manager

Erin Reynolds

Florence, City Administrator

I grew up in Albany, Oregon and married my husband, Greg Reynolds, whom I met in high school. We stayed in the Albany area until after I graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in business administration. I worked in public accounting with a specialty in governmental auditing from 2003 - 2011. In 2011, I took the position of finance director for the City of Florence and we made the jump from the valley to the coast and haven’t looked back since! In March of 2015, I became the Florence city manager, the position I currently hold today.

Sarah Smith

InnCline Hotels, Director of Operations

I am currently the Director of Operations for InnCline Management. InnCline manages 3-hotels in Lane County, along with additional businesses in Oregon and Montana. I began my hospitality career while attending the University of Oregon. Soon after graduation I started with InnCline and have held various positions in Sales, Marketing and Operations for the company. My husband and I are both native Oregonian’s and love raising our two daughters in this beautiful County and State.

Cathryn Stephens

Eugene Airport, Director

I came to the Eugene Airport in January 2007 where I am now the airport director for the City of Eugene. An Accredited Airport Executive, I serve as a national director on the American Association of Airport Executives Board of Directors and chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. I also serve as a member of the Oregon State Aviation Board. I am past-president of the Northwest Chapter of AAAE and past-president of the Oregon Airport Management Association. Prior to my work in the aviation industry, my first career was in broadcast journalism holding positions as a reporter, anchor, producer and photographer, in addition to some work in radio and newspaper. I hold a Bachelor of Science in technical journalism from Oregon State University and a Master of Science in applied information management from the University of Oregon, which makes me a platypus! I enjoy travel, both business and pleasure, and have absolutely no fear of flying.

Pat Straube

Dari Mart/Lochmead Dairy, Owner

I am president of Dari-Mart Stores, a family business featuring our own milk and ice cream products, produced and manufactured here in Lane County. A graduate of Oregon State University/Southern Oregon College, I majored in home economics.

Tracy Sunflower

Westfir Lodge & Mountain Market, Owner

Growing up in Pennsylvania, I started working in tourism as a raft and kayak guide. I have guided in South America, South Africa throughout the USA and Alaska. I am the owner/ operator of the Westfir Lodge and Cascades Outdoor Center offering overnight accommodations and guided trips in Willamette National Forest.

Carol Tannenbaum

McKenzie River Lavender, Owner

Carol and Charles Tannenbaum manage their small lavender farm in the McKenzie River Valley about ten miles east of Springfield, Oregon. Located among the pastoral beauty of hazelnut orchards and pastures of grazing cattle or romping horses, the farm adds bright color and sweet aromas to the summer experience of the Valley. The farm’s specialty lavender products include: ‘Grosso’ essential oil and hydrosol, hand crafted soap, lotion and other skin care products, organza sachets, dried floral bunches, colorful ribbon-woven wands, dried lavender buds, and fresh bouquets in season.

Sean VanGordon

City of Springfield, Mayor

Sean VanGordon is the Mayor of Springfield, Oregon and the Director of Industrial Engineering for UnitedHealthCare. Sean is a thought leader and innovator in government and business. He is an advocate for local families and businesses. His focus areas include housing, economic development, and transportation policy.

Lucy Vinis

city of Eugene, Mayor

Lucy Vinis was elected Mayor of Eugene in 2016 and took office in January 2017. As a resident of Eugene for 28 years, Lucy Vinis has worked on behalf of the community through her professional career and as a dedicated volunteer. Drawn to Eugene’s natural beauty, inviting community, and quality schools, she relocated here from Washington, DC with her late husband, Lawrence Vinis to raise her two sons.