Explore Fairbanks Begins Search for President and CEO

2 Feb, 2021

Explore Fairbanks Board of Directors Chair Buzzy Chiu announced the launch of the search for a person to fill the position of president and CEO of the organization. The application period will be open through March 12, 2021.

Chiu said, “This key leadership position reports directly to the board and is responsible for strategic vision and provides oversight on marketing programs, staff and financial management.” According to Chiu, a primary task of the new CEO will be to help rebuild the local tourism industry which has been devasted by the pandemic, suffering the most job losses than any other industry sector in the state. Explore Fairbanks has concurrently also experienced a dramatic loss in revenue. “We expect the CEO to be a catalyst for the growth of tourism through the development and execution of effective strategies in this high-paced nonprofit organization.”

Chiu said that the board has appointed an 11-member Transition Team comprised of seven current and former board members, three representatives of the community at large and one staff representative. The team will be responsible for interviewing candidates and recommending the finalists for the position to the board for their consideration and final selection. Chiu said that in order to assure a fair process, interested applicants are directed to the organization’s website where they will find the detailed job description as well as organization, destination and community profiles.

In a letter dated November 17, 2020, current president and CEO Deb Hickok advised the organization’s board of her resignation effective June 1, 2021 to pursue the next chapter of opportunities. She has served in this position since September 1999. Chiu said, “Although it will be a challenge to fill the shoes of our long-term leader, the board is confident that will we find a talented CEO to steer our competent professional staff.” Hickok is coordinating the team’s search for her replacement but will not weigh in on the final selection.

Candidates should have five years minimum of upper-level management experience within the travel industry. Destination marketing experience is preferred. Salary is commensurate with experience plus benefits. See complete job description, organizational and community profile at Qualified applicants must provide cover letter, resume and salary requirements by 5:00 p.m. on March 12 by email to  or by mail addressed to Finance and Administration Director, Explore Fairbanks, 101 Dunkel St., Ste 111, Fairbanks, AK 99701-4806. Explore Fairbanks is an equal opportunity employer.

About Explore Fairbanks

Founded in 1977, Explore Fairbanks is a 501(c)(6) non-profit marketing and management organization whose mission is to be an economic driver in the Fairbanks region by marketing to potential visitors and optimizing the visitor experience. Explore Fairbanks markets Fairbanks as a year-round destination by promoting local events, attractions and activities to independent travelers, group tour operators, travel agents, meeting planners and the media as well as by developing public policy and infrastructure to achieve marketing objectives. Find out more at


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