Board of Directors
Damen Kompanowski, Chair
Sheraton Uptown, Albuquerque
Damen Kompanowski joined the Sheraton Uptown as General Manager in September 2011.
Immediately Damen became very involved in the community and sits on several boards including GAHLA & Visit Albuquerque.
Prior to joining the Sheraton Uptown, Damen was General Manager of the Sheraton Tucson Hotel and Suites, The Gateway Marriott DIA, The Curtis Hotel Denver Downtown, and the Marriott Mt. Laurel, NJ. Damen also held the position of Regional Director of Operations and Sales that oversaw 26 Fairfield Inn’s By Marriott in the Midwest.
In 1995, Mr. Kompanowski earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration / Hotel Management from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. He also has a Culinary of Arts degree.
Damen started his career 32 years ago in the kitchen at a Marriott in his hometown of Chicago. Through his travels he has come to love the Southwest looks forward to enjoying many more years in this part of the county.
Erica Asmus-Otero, Immediate Past Chair
Erica Asmus-Otero is the founder and Chief Executive Office of InPress, LLC a Public Relations and Integrated Media Marketing firm focusing on, among other areas, the tourism sector. Erica began her career as an anchor and reporter in Texas and in Albuquerque. She then transitioned to public relations where she served as the Public Information Officer for the New Mexico State Parks Division and Communications Director for the Behavioral Health Collaborative of the HSD. Erica has received numerous awards including the NMHA Top Hat “Most Innovative Campaign” and NM Public Relations Society of America “Best of Show”. Erica serves as a member of the New Mexico Tourism Department’s Central Regional Marketing Board, the Sandoval County Lodger’s Tax Board, and the Sandoval County Tourism Alliance.
Parin Kumar, Treasurer
Being part of the hospitality industry since her teen years, Parin Kumar has enjoyed success in all aspects of hotel management. Her focus and drive have given her insights and experience in the industry that earned her high-level franchise awards. Parin is a Certified Hotel Owner and is an active member of AAHOA. She has a proven track record of successful hotel operations with national brands such as; Hilton, IHG, Wyndham, and Best Western. With her vast knowledge and experience she now serves as Chief Operations Officer of Ambience Hospitality, with 11 properties currently and two in the pipeline.
Amy Miller, Secretary
Las Cruces Courtyard by Marriot
Amy Miller brings over 28 years of experience in the hospitality industry and is currently the General Manager for the Courtyard Las Cruces at NMSU. She is very active in the local community and a graduate of NMSU HRTM. She has a vast knowledge of the hotel industry, the Marriott Brands, and is also the Onboarding and Marriott Peer Advisor for Total Management Systems (TMS). Amy has been successful as the 2008 General Manger of the Year with La Quinta Hotels and currently sits on the NMSU HRTM Board of Advisors and Las Cruces Public Schools Readiness Committee.
TOURISM Santa Fe
Jordan is the Director of Marketing for TOURISM Santa Fe. Prior to joining the City of Santa Fe, Jordan served as the Director of Brand Marketing & Advertising for the State Tourism Department and was an instrumental part in building the New Mexico True brand for 5+ years. Following his departure from the State, he served as the Director of Marketing at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, spearheading strategic marketing and sales campaigns to drive visitation and increase gains in revenue, market share, and profit margins. Jordan also serves as a member on the New Mexico Tourism Department’s North Central Marketing Board and Ski New Mexico.
The Classic Desert Aire Hotel
With a family background in the hospitality industry, Nate has served as the General Manager for the Classic Desert Aire Hotel in Alamogordo (formerly the Magnuson) since 2017. Prior to that, he worked for Groupon and in the public relations and cruise industry.
Plaza & Castaneda Hotels
Allan Affeldt is the owner of La Posada Hotel (1930) in Winslow, Arizona, where he was also the Mayor. In New Mexico Allan purchased the Plaza Hotel (1882) and Castaneda Hotel (1898) in Las Vegas and the Legal Tender (1882) in Lamy; all are restored and reopened.
Allan worked extensively in international conflict resolution, most notably with the Soviet Union in the late 1980’s where he produced the International Peace Walks, Russia’s first Stadium concert and many other events.
Allan founded the Winslow Arts Trust, which restored the Winslow Depot as an art museum to which he donated objects like the Hubbell Rug (1930-35, 24×36’ single-loom Navajo) and the Santa Fe Pleasure Dome Railcar (1950). He has served on many non-profit boards – in New Mexico these include United World College, Los Golondrinas and the state Economic Recovery Council.
Santa Fe Valet
As a resident of Santa Fe New Mexico, Paul is dedicated to providing the absolute best customer service experience for all of his clients.
Accent Chauffeured Transportation and Santa Fe Valet and Limousine Service were founded to fill the need for professional chauffeured ground transportation throughout New Mexico. The company offers a wide range of services, including: airport Transfers, limousine service, opera shuttles and transfers, dinner shuttles, valet parking services, and charity auctions.
La Fonda on the Plaza
Edward Pulsifer is the Director of Sales, La Fonda on the Plaza. A Native New Mexican, Ed was born and raised in Albuquerque and has over thirty-five years of hospitality experience entirely in New Mexico.
Ed’s experience includes thirty-five years of hospitality sales and marketing experience ranging from single property branded hotel, Convention and Visitors Bureau and multiple property Independent hotels. He has worked as Director of Sales and Marketing, Vice President of Convention Sales and Marketing, Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Vice President Sales and Marketing, Heritage Hotels and Resorts.
Ed has previously served on the NM Hospitality Association board, serving as Board Chair in 2015. He has served on the NM Department of Tourism- North Central Region Board Member for the past 12 years; serves on the Santa Fe Community College- Current Advisory Committee Member for Hospitality Tourism Program; is a NM Hospitality Association- NM Tourism Hall of Fame Inductee April 2019; and was the NMHA 2016 Hospitality Professional of the Year
Town of Taos
Karina is a tourism and marketing professional with 25 years of marketing, design, and website development experience in the arts, culture, and outdoor tourism industries, highlighted by four years currently directing government tourism marketing programs and overseeing the staff and operations of the regional Visitor Center in Taos, New Mexico. She serves as Chair of the Enchanted Circle Marketing Cooperative and the NM Department of Tourism North Central Region Marketing Board.
Navajo Nation Tourism
A native of Navajo, New Mexico, Arval attended UNM and has been the Navajo Nation Tourism Director for the last 9.5 years.
He is the Chapter President for the Red Lake Chapter Community, Navajo NM, District 18 Agency Council Vice President, Navajo Nation, and an active member of national and local Native American Tourism Associations.
He is raising two grandsons, and is also a rancher with 20 heads of cattle. Arval is dedicated to promoting destination across New Mexico especially in the Northwest area.
Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce
Ernie has served as the executive director of the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce since September 1995. She is responsible for the coordination of the chamber’s program of work, tourism and special events, membership development, government affairs, and community development.
In addition to chamber work, Ernie is very active in the community, serving on numerous boards and committees not only locally, but also statewide. Ernie is married to Ron Kos and they have three children and eight grandchildren.
McElveny has been the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Visit Albuquerque since 2019. In this role, Ceela provides strategic direction to a dedicated in-house team of marketing professionals responsible for promoting Albuquerque as a world-class destination; increasing visitation and overnight stays; and developing and supporting the local hospitality industry. She has broad experience in communications planning, branding and advertising, publications management, message development, media and public relations and project management. Ceela earned recognition from the American Society of Association Executives as a Certified Association Executive and has previous experience in executive-level positions with national and local nonprofit organizations, including strategic and operations planning, government affairs, development of policies and procedures, and oversight of contracts and corporate compliance.