ALBUQUERQUE – The Visit Albuquerque (Visit Albuquerque) is pleased to announce its Board of Directors for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. The new board was elected at the 2011 Visit Albuquerque Annual Luncheon.

Chairing the new Board of Directors is Jim Walther, Executive Director of the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History. He is a 33-year veteran of the museum field and holds a BFA in fine art.

Walther has served on the Board of Directors since 2008. He is very involved in the Destination Master Plan and the Arts & Culture Directors Council. Walther looks for partners to remain excited and committed to Albuquerque as a unique destination bringing attention and economic prosperity to the region.

In addition, Walther will be joined by the executive committee, which includes incoming chair Steve Hiatt, Jim Beckley, Regina Chavez, Mark Gundlach, Dale Lockett, Augusta Meyers, Julia Miera, Councilor Debbie O’Malley, Robert Perry, City of Albuquerque CAO, Eric Rossena, and Councilor Brad Winter.

In addition to the executive committee, the following new board members were elected and re-elected at the Visit Albuquerque Annual Meeting.

General Business:

David E. Helgesen is the CEO & Founder of Alliance Audio Visual, Ltd. Co (AAV). He is an experienced trainer and a strong force in the conference and meeting industry.

Milt McConnell is the Citadel Broadcasting Albuquerque Market Manager. He has won a Silver Medal in 2004 from the New Mexico Advertising Federation and is celebrating 25 years in Albuquerque broadcasting. Milt has served on the Visit Albuquerque Board for three years.


Cynthia Fresquez is the General Manager of MCM Eleganté Hotel & Event Center. Fresquez has 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry including time at three major hotels during her career including the Hilton Hotel, Ramada Classic (Sheraton Uptown) and Sheraton Airport Hotel.

Todd Walters is the Director of Operations for Legacy Hospitality where he is responsible for managing 15 properties. He served as Regional Director of Ocean Properties Hotel and Resorts for 17 years and brings experience as an industry executive to the Visit Albuquerque Board.


Kristin Lynn Kautz, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, has spent the last 15 years in marketing and business development. She is active in her community and is a member of many organizations including the Public Relations Society of America.

Kiersten E. Owen is the Director of Operations for Albuquerque’s Rainbow Ryders, Inc® Hot Air Balloon Company. Originally from the Northeast, Owen migrated across country to complete an internship in Santa Fe. After accepting a part-time position with Rainbow Ryders, she soon became a full-time employee and now oversees both the Albuquerque and Phoenix markets.

Rounding out the board are directors Roy Johnson, Laura Kesselman, Daniel Kuperschmid, Bob Murphy, George Trujeque, and ex-officio members Lewis Dawley, Bob Dodson, Chad Henderson, Jim Hinde, Tracie Jernigan, Suheil Kare, Brian Morris, Paul Smith, Diane Souder and Linda Wedeen.