President’s Message May 2021

 Ready for summer? Ready for Salina?

The days are counting down until we will be gathering in Salina for the TIAK Board Meeting and Educational Session. I hope everyone is able to join us as we’re honored to have Glenna Phillips with the Central Kansas Mental Health Center speak to us on mental health and how our bodies and minds process and handle toxic stress.

The night before at the Blue Skye Brewery & Eats in downtown Salina there will also be an informal gathering so, please join us there as well. I understand many of the committees and coalitions have also planned a meeting around those times, I hope everyone can make the most out of their trip.

TIAK has been extremely busy this political season, you already know about the ERO that has allowed tourism to move from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks over to the Department of Commerce. The actual moving dates have been announced by state tourism and I hope everyone is keeping up on the latest information on the monthly Tourism Huddles and the very informative Travel Talk Light emails that come out regularly from the Department.

I have had the opportunity to able to sit in on committee meetings for marketing, annual conference, advocacy and others and I want to thank everyone for their dedication and commitment to our organization. It is the membership of TIAK that gives it it’s strength and watching our committees in action has brought that point home so well over these past weeks.

Most recently the advocacy and executive committees have been very busy not only with the ERO support, but following and weighing in on several pieces of legislation. Along the way it has been a win some loose some year, but many of the initiatives we supported were passed in one way or another.

However, in the past few days, TIAK signed on to a letter with hundreds of additional organizations and businesses from across the state. This letter urged the governor to reconsider the continued additional unemployment benefits. The letter did trigger the governor to commission a committee on this topic, which we agree is a positive step in the right direction.

TIAK followed this collective letter with another urging that tourism have a seat at the table when this committee is convened. This subject is very important to our industry as we struggle to find an employable workforce just as we are moving into the height of the travel season. Stay tuned to the updates from Bright and Carpenter for the latest on this as more information emerges.

As I close, I want to take this time to thank Marlee and Natalie for their continued dedication and hard work on behalf of our industry, both in Topeka and across the state. TIAK is lucky to have them.

I look forward to seeing everyone in Salina where hopefully we can pick up where we left off the last time that we were able to meet in person.


Jim Zaleski, TIAK President

Serving at the pleasure of the membership