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STRATEGIC MULTI-SECTOR/MULTI-INDUSTRY COMPETITIVENESS DEVELOPMENT
Born an Alaskan Islander:
“Extreme Rural America”
I was born as an “Alaskan Islander” (Petersburg, Alaska; 16 km wide and 28 km long) or what many would consider to be Extreme Rural America (not from Iran nor am I muslim); home to the famed “Devils Thumb” or “Taalkhunaxhkʼu Shaa” in Tlingit – Devils Thumb is a very challenging climb even for advanced Climbers. And yes, I’m a half-breed Alaskan Native Tlingit (Native American) mixed with Hawaiian, Germanic, Japanese and Filipino heritages. Though my Native Alaskan Tlingit tribe is Wooshkeetaan (Eagle, Shark & Wolf) and my birth-name is Shaanshook’ – my first given name “Zanjan” was given to me by my father who named me after a historic “De Opresso Liber” event; my father was studying Baha’i History (a peaceful non-Muslim faith that is based on Unity in Diversity) and came across a point in history when an elderly woman stood against the Muslim Imams and stated that she didn’t want to be a Muslim in the city of Zanjan… both her and her son were stoned to death by the public owing to this – hence – my name is a constant reminder of the cost of freedom.
“For the record: I am 100% accepting of all nationalities, races, ethnicities, religions, etc…
For my entire life since birth, I am NOT prejudice NOR racist of anyone on planet earth.”
I’m an established international strategic competitiveness development specialist (Alaskan born) with a strong field focus on international tourism, digital marketing/strategies, web development, mass media, film/tv (The Amazing Race, etc.), social economic development (USAID, World Bank, Swiss’s SDC, etc.), etc. For 26+ years, I have gained firsthand insights (culture, lifestyles, business, markets, etc.) into some of the world’s most competitive travel destinations. My travels have taken me from Alaska to horseback/live with Mongolian nomadic tribes to trekking the Great Wall of China/sun bathing on the resort beaches of Hainan to Island hopping in Malaysia and junk-ships/sea-dwelling villages/cave exploring in Vietnam, to venturing into the Jungles of Cambodia (Angkor Wat) and absorbing the incredible mixed sights/experiences of Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, etc… from European-Getaways in Spain across the Europe Union (UK, Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, France, etc.) to the Swiss Matterhorn into the heart Italy (Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice, etc.) and famed Santorini Islands of Greece to the soul of Turkey (Istanbul’s bazars, Topkapı Palace, the Blue Mosque, Pamukkale, Cappadocia, etc.) and onwards into the complexities surrounding the famed Red Square (from Siberia to Moscow) etc., both as a traveler/professional, I sought greater market comprehension/business intelligence towards market linkage development (Asia Region, European, Australian, USA, etc., markets). Thus, to maximize bridge-building/inbound/outbound business-linkages within the context of those localities and/or via international travel fairs, networking events, workshops, online/offline initiatives, etc., to strengthen multinational partnerships; USA, London, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Mongolia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Korea, etc. In addition to being a Mongolian Ministry approved country-level exhibitor to international travel/trade expos for last decade (2 to 3 per year) – I’ve been invited by USA, Mongolian and other foreign governmental agencies/initiatives to join multi-sector delegations to Korea (Seoul Tourism Board), Turkey (DEIK – Foreign Economic Relations Board), Italy (Mongolian Tourism Assoc. & USAID’s The Competitiveness Initiative), etc.
For most of my career, I have been actively involved in multi-sector/multi-industry rural/urban-to-international as well as international-to-urban/rural strategic competitiveness development (offline/online initiatives). I have a broad diversity of “equivalent experiences” (both successes and lessons learned) and skill sets including but not limited to: strategic competitiveness development, multinational project planning and management, market analysis/strategy development, global marketing campaigns: B2B & B2C trade and business expos/email marketing/social media/etc., web design/web development, SEO/SEM analysis & strategies, print/digital publishing, photography, videography/editing, audio/soundtrack development, as well as industry related destination advancement e.g. community/responsible tourism development [R&D, branding, assessing supply chains/nodes and value chains, assessing/mapping risks for mitigation endeavors, etc.]. From 1994 onwards, I have worked on numerous overseas USAID, World Bank, mass media/tv productions, tourism, etc., initiatives to advance public-private sectors. Within these initiatives, my focus has beed to strengthen the marketing of industries and their cross-industry tourism supply chains (destinations, natural/cultural resources, experiences, food/drink, accommodations, fuel/oil, land/air transportation, etc.) to reach Global Competitiveness. As I have lived/worked in isolated locations (within the USA/abroad) that are more challenged than most of the USA, EU, UK, Central Asia, Asia, etc., supply chain-wise, it has provided me with the ‘necessary experiences/skill sets’ to find “creative solutions”. To highlight my Extreme marketing capacities, via my international experiences/broad diversity of skill sets, my team and I have advanced the successful strategic market competitiveness of remotely located nomadic families’ community-based tourism endeavors across Mongolia into global marketing arenas via famed travel expos (ITB, WTM, London Adventure Show, FESPO, COTTM, LA Travel & Trade Show, etc.), film/tv productions, social media campaigns, strategic email marketing campaigns, business networks, etc. For decades I’ve personally analyzed, strategized, navigated, GIS-d, designed, developed, produced, implemented, managed, etc., every level countless times (100s of deliverables); from the roughness of the field (four seasons) to global business events. I have managed small-to-large initiatives for travel businesses, marketing campaigns, trade shows, film/tv productions, corporate social responsibility endeavors, etc., across Mongolia, Asia, Europe and even the USA.
Via my works and initiatives, it has led to countless results for the country and its peoples which is proven by the long-list of international achievements/recognitions spanning two decades (associated with Emmy & DGA wins, Mongolian Ministry level Medal of Honor, etc.). Nonetheless, the greatest achievement that I personally pride myself on is a nationwide community-based tourism organization GERtoGER.org that I designed/founded that actively fosters the United Nations MDGs/SDGs within its operations across Mongolia with the nomadic communities (inclusive of men and women, poor and marginalized, etc.). GER to GER’s online presence has become an industry powerhouse that challenged 100 million dollar travel platforms’ SEO competitiveness (the site has been strategically designed to outperform even major industry competitors; TripAdvisor, etc.). Most of my international works are well documented with almost two decades of international recognitions that have all featured my works; ranging from, a variety of National Geographic Society publications to numerous international guide books to well-known online magazines e.g. New York Magazine, USA TODAY as well as The Amazing Race USA (2006) and The Amazing Race Australia (2019), etc., that are covered within my resume and online via my sites… even the United Nations ESCAP has included GER to GER in their international report as ‘a recommended case study’.
STRATEGIC MULTI SECTOR DEVELOPMENT
Quick short list of Rural/Urban-to-International [vice versa] International-to-Urban/Rural equivalent-experiences, multinational project management and skill sets (multi-sector/multi-industry) that were/are continuously “mixed and used” for USAID, World Bank, GERtoGER.org, The Amazing Race, and many other initiatives countless times:
Nearly 20 Years, Founder/Chief Marketing Officer: competitiveness; mass media, digital media, international marketing (web development, social medias, newspapers/magazines, brochures, billboards, TV broadcasts, radio programs, podcasts, email marketing, etc.); TV/film; tourism R&D; SME; social entrepreneurship; special projects; internationally famed business expos (ITB Berlin, WTM London, FESPO Switzerland, COTTM Beijing, etc.), etc.
26+ Years – Strategic Multi-Sector Social Economic/Transitional Development (Rapid Expeditionary Development Field Specialist e.g. GERtoGER.org, USAID Initiatives, etc.): Multi-Industry Development/Outreach; community based tourism-to-international destination development, SME-spinoff development, humanitarian initiatives, MEL (monitor, evaluate, learn), TAA (train advise, assist), etc.
DETAILED KEY EXPERIENCE AREAS
For more information on Rural/Urban-to-International (vice versa) equivalent-experiences and skill sets (multi-sector/multi-industry) that were/are continuously “mixed and used” for USAID, World Bank, GERtoGER.org, The Amazing Race, and many other initiatives: