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Ann-Jeanette "AJ" Mosqueda has been named the new manager of YVB's Visitor Information Center.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE YUMA, ARIZONA – Ann-Jeannette “AJ” Mosqueda has been named the new manager of the Visitor Information Center operated by Yuma Visitors Bureau, effective immediately. The Visitor Information Center is located at the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park, 201 N. 4th Avenue. In addition to providing information about things to do and see around the Yuma area, VIC staff also oversees admission to the park, now leased by the City of Yuma and operated by the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area. Mosqueda, who was in charge of festival planning and production for YVB before taking on her new responsibilities, will continue to be involved in a number of those events, including the annual Electric Light Parade (Dec. 3); the Christmas Village and ice-skating rink at the Quartermaster Depot (Dec. 3-23); the Petsapalooza festival (Jan. 7-9), the Spirit of Yuma Military Festival (Jan. 21-23) and Yuma River Daze (Feb. 11-13). The longtime Yuman -- and proud Yuma High School Criminal -- served as the executive director of the American Red Cross Western Arizona office for 12 years before that office was closed. Mosqueda earned a BS degree in business management from the University of Phoenix, and also attended Arizona Western College, where she played volleyball. A mother of five children, she’s been married for 17 years to Ernesto “Ernie” Mosqueda, and recently chaired the effort to help fund sports in Yuma School District One. “AJ brings a unique combination of skills and assets to the VIC,” said Susan Sternitzke, interim executive director. “Her crisis management experience with Red Cross means she’s completely unflappable, plus she’s lived here her whole life and can trace her heritage back to one of Yuma pioneers, José Maria Redondo. What more could we ask for, both to give visitors a real appreciation for Yuma and its history, and to wrangle a wide variety of events?” Among the challenges Mosqueda will face as VIC manager is the inaugural season of YVB’s Christmas Village, a lavishly lighted holiday town of walk-in sized playhouses – complete with ice skating – that is to take shape at the Quartermaster Depot this December. The village – complete with craft and cooking classes, entertainment and more – will open to the public following the Dorothy Young Memorial Electric Light Parade Dec. 3 and remain open through Dec. 23. Meanwhile, even without a park full of Christmas lights and skaters, nearly 63,000 people walked through the doors of the VIC during the last fiscal year (July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010). That’s an 85 percent increase over the previous year, when the VIC was located in a Fourth Avenue storefront. “Our Visitor Information Center is a critical part of welcoming people to Yuma and encouraging them to extend their stay, or plan a return visit,” Sternitzke said. “Moving the VIC to the Quartermaster Depot was a big win-win, putting us in a visible location right off the Interstate. “The VIC is where folks get their first impression of Yuma – and AJ is just the kind of enthusiastic and knowledgeable person who’s going to make sure we knock their socks off,” Sternitzke added. “She’s a high-energy person who can handle anything we throw her.” “I’m excited about the challenges of this new job,” Mosqueda said. “There’s a great staff already in place at the VIC and I’m looking forward to working with them, and with the folks from the Heritage Area on park events and activities. “The Quartermaster Depot is an undiscovered treasure for many Yumans,” Mosqueda added. “I hope the Christmas Village will bring a lot of families down who don’t realize what a gem it is.” The Quartermaster Depot was targeted for closure by Arizona State Parks last fall because of the state’s ongoing budget crunch. As part of the local effort to “save” the Quartermaster Depot, the city leased the property from the state and the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area took over general management and curator duties. Moving the VIC on site meant that YVB staff could provide the daily presence to operate the park on a free admission basis. Park visitation has more than tripled since the Quartermaster Depot came under local control. ### CONTACT: Ann Walker, YVB Media Relations specialist: 928-376-0100 (office), 928-210-9044 (cell), or email firstname.lastname@example.org Visitor Information Center: 1-800-293-0071
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