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Honored with the Chuck West Award


Last night at the 2012 Alaska Travel Industry Association’s Annual Convention & Trade Show, our fearless leaders, Dan Blanchard, CEO and principal, and Tim Jacox, executive vice president of sales and marketing, were surprised and honored with the coveted Chuck West award.

John Binkley, president of Alaska Cruise Association and former chairman and CEO of Riverboat Discovery, took the stage in Anchorage and started off the awards presentation by saying it’s not very often we get a new word in the Webster dictionary. Unrushed. Uncrowded. Unbelievable. After the first Un-word, it was clear he was referencing the Un-Cruise.

John Binkley (on left) and Mary Binkley (second from right) present the Chuck West award to Dan Blanchard and Tim Jacox.

Joining John in presenting the award was his mother and highly respected Alaska tourism pioneer, Mary Binkley. John Binkley recounted the pioneer spirit of his parents, Captain Jim and Mary Binkley, and their close friendship and ties with Chuck and Marguerite West. In announcing the Chuck West award, Mr. Binkley described the concept behind the recipients’ innovative and active Un-Cruise Adventures in Alaska.

“It’s an honor to receive this award in the name of Chuck West, the ultimate adventurer and tourism pioneer in Alaska,” said Blanchard.

Plaque presented to Tim Jacox, executive vice president of sales and marketing, InnerSea Discoveries/American Safari Cruises.

Plaque presented to Dan Blanchard, principal and CEO, InnerSea Discoveries/American Safari Cruises.

Some of you may recognize the name Chuck West. He is a legend in Alaska tourism—known as Mr. Alaska. After falling in love with Alaska as a bush pilot in 1945, he followed his dream of bringing tourists to see the beauty of the Great Land and led successful tourism businesses for the rest of his life. This was the beginning of tourism in Alaska.

Marguerite West, Chuck’s wife, wanted to carry on the tradition and honor her husband by funding this award. It is awarded to a new pioneer in the industry who has exhibited entrepreneurial creativity, innovation and courage in the introduction of a successful new product for the benefit and enjoyment of Alaska's visitors.

InnerSea Discoveries/American Safari Cruises has launched Un-Cruise Adventures in that spirit and now has seven boats in Alaska creating memories of a lifetime for travelers seeking to go eye-to-eye with nature, wildlife and culture in Alaska.

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