REALITY TV STAR HEADS THE SPEAKER LINEUP FOR THE PRINCE OF WALES BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT By Karen Petersen
The Prince of Wales Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Neil Darish the owner of the McCarthy Lodge will be the featured presenter at this year’s Business Summit. Neil was awarded the Small Business Administrations' (SBA) Alaska Financial Services Champion of The Year 2011, for developing a platform for Alaska's SBA and Department of Economic Development to assist remote tourism businesses in the State of Alaska. He also happens to be the headliner for the Discovery Channel’s show “The Edge of Alaska!” Neil will be the Keynote Speaker of Friday April 22nd with a presentation titled, “Why Businesses Need to Work Together.” He will also be conducting one of the breakout sessions on Friday. Neil says that, “If there is a business on Prince of Wales that wants to consult with him directly, he would be happy to take a look at their operation.”
Other featured speakers include Meilani Schijvens with Rain Coast Data in Juneau, Patti Mackey with the Ketchikan Visitor’s Bureau, and Bill Swift, the Marketing Director for Pacific Airways. Meilani recently completed a comprehensive economic analysis of the Inter-Island Ferry Authority. She will be presenting data collected on the ferry last summer. Meilani says that, “According to survey data, summer tourists arriving by ferry in 2015, stayed an average of 12.7 days and 60% were returning visitors. Nearly four-fifths (79%) came to fish. The next most popular activity of ferry visitors was hiking (32%), followed by hunting (14%).”
The POW Chamber is also excited to feature two local businesses at the Summit, Island Air’s owner Scott VanValin will be talking about the importance of good Customer Service and Doug Rhodes, owner of Snow Pass Seafoods, will talk about how he Direct Markets his product of fresh filleted, vacuum-packed, and flash-frozen salmon and halibut to restaurants across the country. There will also be an introduction of the "Pickle Program" for Customer Service excellence training for our Island Businesses.