Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism (ADPHT) Secretary Stacy Hurst today announced the election of Katherine Andrews as the first director of the Arkansas Office of Outdoor Recreation. In addition, Sek. Hurst announced the 10 members of the new Arkansas Outdoor Recreation Advisory Board, appointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson.
The Office of Outdoor Recreation is tasked with leading the state’s efforts to grow the outdoor recreation industry, work with partners on improved health outcomes, and promote awareness of the full range of recreational experiences the state has to offer.
“The Office of Outdoor Recreation is providing much-needed assistance to help us take advantage of our Arkansas recreational facilities and grow the state’s economy and tourism value,” said Governor Hutchinson. “Katherine is an Arkansan native and an avid participant in outdoor activities. These qualities, combined with her experience in small business and entrepreneurship development, make her the perfect choice for the job. “
The Arkansas Outdoor Recreation Advisory Board will Sec. Hurst and Director Andrews to share their work promoting the state’s outdoor recreational economy. Governor Hutchinson has appointed the following members to the Board of Directors:
George Dunklin of Humphrey
Ernie Lechuga from Springdale
Will Montgomery from Little Rock
Steve Straessle from Little Rock
Amanda Herget from Jonesboro
Robin McClendon of Monticello
“We saw significant increases in visitor numbers to Arkansas’ parks and public lots during the pandemic, underscoring the value of our natural resources,” said Secretary Hurst. “I look forward to working with Katherine to establish the Office of Outdoor Recreation as a resource in promoting the state’s economy, helping to attract businesses and families, and improving the quality of life in our communities across the state.”
Andrews joined the Arkansas Economic Development Commission in 2016, first as a project manager, then as director of small business and entrepreneurship development. Before that, she also worked in the commercial real estate sector. Andrews will serve as a director for the Office of Outdoor Recreation on November 29th on a salary of $ 87,000.
The date for the first meeting of the Leisure Advisory Board has not yet been set.