PUBLISHED: 4:17 PM on Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Tourism company announces hirings
Alaska Travel Adventures
Alaska Travel Adventures, Inc. announces the appointment of Chris Meier as vice president of operations.

Meier has extensive experience in both ATA's land and marine operations.

He joined ATA in 1994 and was promoted from his most recent position as Director of Operations.

In that role, he was instrumental in the development of rigid hull inflatable and backcountry jeep sightseeing tours.

He is a passenger vessel captain and spearheaded the efforts to acquire Alaska Cruises, Inc. in 2006, which operates a Misty Fjords flightseeing/cruise combo tour and a harbor cruise.

Meier previously managed ATA's Mendenhall River Float Trip and Glacier View Sea Kayaking tour in Juneau, sportfishing tours in Skagway, and he presently is overseeing the renovation of the Alaska Queen steam-powered sternwheeler which will be introduced in Ketchikan and significantly improve the harbor cruise tour experience there.

Meier is the chairman of the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau and its marketing committee.

"Chris has been a valuable part of the company's management team and we are fortunate to have someone with his knowledge and depth of experience to lead our operations department," said Kelli Dindinger, president of Alaska Travel Adventures.

He will be relocating, with his wife Daniel and his son Joseph, to Juneau to work at ATA's corporate office.

Also announced is the hiring of Sunnie Bird as general manager of the Gold Creek Salmon Bake in Juneau, ATA's largest operation. Bird, a graduate of the University of Oregon - Bend, has an extensive background in food service, including seven years management experience with successful food service franchises.

She has also had experience in corrections management and served in the U. S. Army Reserve.

Leaving the company are Jeff Keys, Sr. Vice President of Operations and Michael Windred, Director of ATA's Juneau operations.

Keys plans to pursue other opportunities in the Lower 48 and Windred has announced his retirement after 24-years with the company. Both will continue their employment with ATA into April to assist with the transition.

"Jeff and Mike have been instrumental in the company's success over the years and have helped guide its expansion," Dindinger said.

"They will be missed and we wish them both well in their new pursuits."

Juneau-based Alaska Travel Adventures, Inc. is a diversified Alaska vacation company, in its 29th year, and operates throughout Southeast, Southcentral and Interior Alaska serving over 350,000 customers annually.

The company's products include guided soft adventures comprised of kayaking, river rafting, canoeing, nature walks, the Gold Creek Salmon Bake, Liarsville Gold Rush Trail Camp & Salmon Bake, combination floatplane and cruise tours into Misty Fjords National Monument and a variety of Jeep® tours.

In 2007 the company will introduce the Alaska Queen Paddle Wheel Adventure in Ketchikan, featuring an authentic, 400 passenger, steam-powered stern-wheeler.

ATA also has a motorhome division that includes Alaska Motorhome Rentals, combination cruise and RV rental packages sold under the Alaska Highway Cruises brand and recreational vehicle parks in Skagway and Anchorage.

ATA additionally owns 50 percent of Alaska Vacations and Travel, which is the Alaska division of highly popular Alaska Airlines Vacations.

For additional details on ATA's operations and products visit