Industry Update

May 19, 2013

Haskell Foundation Inaugural Business Matchmaking & Procurement Event and Benefit Concert May 9

On Thursday, May 9, the Haskell Foundation, on behalf of Haskell Indian Nations University, will host its inaugural Business Matchmaking & Procurement Event. New and recent Haskell graduates will have an opportunity to learn more about the current employment market, discuss career opportunities with representatives of local and regional businesses, as well as agencies such as the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Topeka Small Business Development Center.

This education and networking event will be followed at 7 p.m. by a free concert and inspirational talk in support of the Haskell Foundation by Native Grammy Awardwinning singer/songwriter Star Nayea, accompanied by blues/rock guitarist Tiho Dimitrov, her songwriting partner for the past seven years.

After lending her amazing voice and songwriting abilities on two Native Grammy Award winning CDs, Star Nayea garnered three Native American Music Awards, including “Song Writer of the Year” for her body of work. She has toured and performed all across North America.

Sharing the stage with Star is her songwriting partner Tiho Dimitrov. Born in Bulgaria, Dimitrov moved to the U.S. at the age of 20, settling in New Mexico. For the next 12 years, Dimitrov played with numerous bands and artists, honing his blues guitar skills. He has shared the bill with such blues legends as John Lee Hooker, Jr. and Tommy Castro, and fronted his own Canyon Road Blues Band, while performing with numerous other acts on the side. His style is a mix of contemporary American rock and classic blues, spiced with influences from the Old World.

His new solo CD is due to be released in late Spring 2013.

In 2003, Star Nayea decided to challenge herself to slow down the touring and concentrate more on today’s future generations. She began speaking publicly and providing music therapy workshops and camps for Native youth and teens throughout the US and Canada. Her message of hope and healing is summarized in the phrase “It’s Your Life, Take Flight and Soar.” This inspirational presentation is aimed at today’s 7th generation – Native teens and young adults who face enormous and unique challenges.

Illegally stolen from her Canadian birth parents at the tender age of two months old, Star survived severe abuse at the hands of her adopted family. Her ability to draw from her own survival and recovery process stems from a lifetime of exposure to generational historical trauma that resulted in Star’s former drug/alcohol/food addictions and subsequent suicide attempts. Her triumphant survival and recovery ultimately laid the groundwork for launching her highly anticipated musical therapy programs. These invaluable experiences, not taught in schools but survived in real life, created Star’s ambitious and brave desire to reach out to the next generation in need.

Those who wish to gain valuable exposure to prospective employers and learn more about the current job market should not miss this event, and everyone is encouraged to remain for the free Star Nayea performance that will officially kick off the 2013 Haskell Indian Nations University Commencement weekend events.

For more information: 816-392-7611 •



9:00 am – 10:20 am in Haskell Auditorium
Check-in, Registration, and Opening Session including remarks by: Jerry Tuckwin – Haskell Foundation, Chris Redman, Haskell president, and additional Haskell alumni.

Panel discussion: “Doing business with Federal, State and Local Governments.” (start time approx. 9:30 am)

10:30 am – 11:45 am in Stidham Union
Check-in continuing / Registration & Sessions
*Career networking with students and employers to discuss internships and job opportunities.
*Face to face discussion between businesses and government agencies regarding economic development with, minority and tribal businesses.

11:45 am – 1:15 pm in Stidham Union
Haskell student-led walking tour of campus for interested visitors; Lunch at Stidham Hall (provided by the American Indian Enterprise and Business Council, AIEBC).

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm in Stidham Union
*Career networking with students and employers to discuss internships and job opportunities. Haskell Foundation Board Meeting (TBD)

3:00 pm – 4:30 pm in Stidham Union
*Haskell Foundation – Meet & Greet with Faculty, Staff and Administration — ( Snacks provided)

7:00 pm – 8:15 pm in Haskell Auditorium
Concert and inspirational talk by Star Nayea in support of the Haskell Foundation (funding for this concert provided by American Indian Enterprise & Business Council, AIEBC) A LIVE (75-minute) acoustic concert performance by Star
Nayea and Tiho Dimitrov.

*Free tickets to Star Nayea concert will be distributed at these sessions



After lending her amazing voice and song writing abilities to two Native Grammy Award winning CDs, Star Nayea garnered three Native American Music Awards, including “Song Writer of the Year” for her body of work. She toured and performed all across North America, beginning in Detroit and continuing to New York City, Toronto, and Austin Tx., as well as San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle, Wa. In 2003, Star decided to challenge herself to slow down the touring and concentrate more on today’s future generations (Star is also a single mother of a 14-year-old boy).

Star’s fundamental goal was to develop a truly awe-inspiring, inner-healing motivational platform that would allow troubled youth/teens nation-wide to identify with their own issues, and to seek trust in healing through experiencing a live performance of a national artist such as herself. Star bravely and openly shares her own triumphant story of survival of generational historical trauma.

Nayea’s decision was to expand on her independent music career by beginning an independent wellness and prevention platform and business. This decision would not only change lives, but save lives in the process by openly sharing her own personal triumph – her aweinspiring rise to success and her amazing story of surviving extreme adversities as a Native youth and adolescent. Star’s message has had an enormous impact on our troubled youth, inspiring and motivating them, not only through her life story, but also by sharing her God-given voice and her award-winning music.

As a minority herself, Star has succeeded almost a decade later in providing wellness to young people of all ages through the healing power of music. This has garnered Star many speaking engagements nationwide and into Canada, providing a true motivational message that depicts the story of young Native girl’s sheer will to live against all odds. Star Nayea mixes her songwriting skills with purely educational facts for her audiences – not only her life story but also an entire generation’s plight of survival – that brings audiences to their feet at each and every showing. Finally, Star’s wellness and prevention programs not only motivate and inspire today’s youth/teens /young adults, but ultimately they serve as one-of-a-kind, first class entertainment.




Springfield, Mo. – The Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau presented the 2013 Salute to Travel & Tourism Awards Feb. 28 at the Ramada Oasis Convention Center.

The Pinnacle Award was presented to Tracy Kimberlin, president of the CVB for the past 25 years. The award is for individuals who have been active in the travel industry for many years and have made substantial contributions to the betterment of the Springfield area’s travel industry.

Prior to joining the CVB, Kimberlin managed Springfield area hotels, including overseeing the construction of the Ramada Hotel-Hawthorn Park – now the DoubleTree Hotel – when it was built in 1984.

When Tracy was hired, the bureau was the hospitality arm of the Chamber of Commerce with a budget of $435,000 and five employees. The CVB now has a budget of about $3 million and a staff of 18, along with nearly 100 volunteers. The CVB also manages the Springfield Sports Commission, an organization with two full-time employees.

Under his leadership, the bureau also has achieved accreditation from Destination Marketing Association International.

He also is known statewide for his role in drafting legislation that funds the Missouri Division of Tourism. He wrote the legislation, encouraged other tourism-related entities to support the idea and helped push it through the Missouri legislature in 1993. Since then, the performance-based funding mechanism – “The Missouri Model” – has been studied and copied by other states.

Along with serving as president of the Convention & Visitors Bureau, Tracy is a tireless innovator serving in leadership positions in various organizations, including the Springfield Hotel Lodging Association, Missouri Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus, Urban Districts Alliance and many others.

The CVB is a nonprofit organization dedicated to boosting the local economy by promoting travel and tourism to Springfield. To learn more, call 417-881-5300 or 800-678-8767 or visit


The Ambassador Award was presented to the Missouri Holstein Association. Accepting the award is Janice Perry. Awards were presented by CVB president Tracy Kimberlin (left) and board chair Randall Blackwood (right).

Sid Kiely received a Decade of Service Award for 10 years of volunteer work for the Springfield CVB. CVB president Tracy Kimberlin (left) and board chair Randall Blackwood (center).

CVB president Tracy Kimberlin (right) received the Pinnacle Award presented by board chair Randall Blackwood (left).



Travel Channel’s hit television show investigates historic prison site in Jefferson City

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. April 10th, 2013 – As the popularity of the Ghost Tours of the Missouri State Penitentiary (MSP) has grown in recent years, so have the rumors swirling about paranormal activity and unexplained sightings within the walls of the historic prison. In the last two years, MSP has welcomed film crews from the History Channel’s Ghost Hunters, the Biography Channel’s My Ghost Story, and now possibly the most notorious of ghost hunting shows, the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures.

“We have been working with our contact at Ghost Adventures for a little over a year now,” said Chris Wilson, Jefferson City Convention & Visitors Bureau Film & Sports Sales Manager. “They had hoped to film here in 2012, but the crew ended up doing some investigations on the West Coast that year instead. Last week, I was contacted by their location scout and told they wanted to come in a matter of days so we did everything we could to accommodate them.”

The Ghost Adventures team is known for investigating the most notorious “haunted” places around the world. When the crew arrives at a location they interview eye witnesses and historians who may have experienced paranormal activity at the site. They then use the information to determine where they will investigate during their dusk-to-dawn lockdown. While at the Missouri State Penitentiary, the crew filmed several reenactments which will be featured in the episode; local actors from around Jefferson City helped to reenact the 1954 Riot and the infamous double execution of Bonnie Heady and Carl Hall. The crew was said to take particular interest in Housing Unit 3 (which houses death row), Housing Unit 4 (the oldest housing unit on the property also known as ‘A Hall’) and the Gas Chamber.

The CVB expects the episode featuring MSP to air in August of 2013. Stay tuned to the Missouri State Penitentiary website and social media pages for future details.

The Jefferson City Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) began offering tours of the decommissioned Missouri State Penitentiary in 2009. Before it closed in 2004, MSP was the oldest continually operating prison west of the Mississippi. Once called the “bloodiest 47 acres in America” by Time Magazine because of the incredibly high number of serious assaults in the 1960s, the tours of the historic site have attracted visitors to Jefferson City from all over the world.

More than half of the nearly 20,000 visitors that toured MSP in 2012 took a 2-hour History Tour, the most popular tour. But since the CVB added paranormal tour options in 2011, the number of visitors coming for a Ghost Tour has increased steadily, growing from 20% of total tours to 25%. The addition of the paranormal tour options at the prison has spurred a cult-like following of paranormal enthusiasts from across the country. Visitors can schedule an overnight paranormal investigation for their group and spend the night exploring designated buildings at the prison or opt for a shorter Ghost Tour that includes both historical & paranormal information.

For more information about the Missouri State Penitentiary or to book a tour visit or call (866)998-6998. Please email Sheila Sanford at [email protected] for further questions.


About the author

Joe Clote

Joseph W. Clote is owner of Publishing Concepts, LLC a communications and marketing firm based in Saint Louis, Missouri. Mr. Clote is Group Publisher of MeetMed™ and Missouri Meetings & Events™ (MM&E) magazine, a quarterly publication read by thousands of meeting and event professionals, and producer of the St. Louis and Kansas City trade shows under the MM&E name. Mr. Clote has extensive sales and marketing expertise in the travel, tourism, fine art, insurance, and software development industries.