MADISON, Wis. (August, 19, 2020) –Governor Tony Evers today announced three new appointments to the Wisconsin Governor’s Council on Tourism, who will join three appointments made earlier this year. The Governor’s Council on Tourism advises the Secretary of the Department of Tourism on matters relating to marketing promotion and serves as a sounding board to the agency as it enacts its strategic plan to advance tourism.
The three new members will begin serving immediately. The council is comprised of 14 gubernatorial appointees and seven ex-officio members.
“The vision and leadership of the Council on Tourism plays a very important role in Wisconsin’s economic recovery,” said Secretary-designee Sara Meaney. “The tourism industry is one of Wisconsin’s leading economic drivers. Wisconsin taxpayers and the more than 202,000 individuals who rely on tourism for their livelihood depend on the council to provide diverse perspectives and informed advice to ensure the prosperity of Wisconsin’s tourism industry.”
The three appointments to the Governor’s Council on Tourism include:
- Deborah Cary is the Founder and President of the award-winning, New Glarus Brewing Company. A recognized entrepreneurial spirit, Cary raised the capital for the start-up as a gift to her husband, establishing her as the first woman to found and operate a brewery in the United States. Since then, she has combined business management, marketing expertise and brewing professionalism to develop a world-class operation. Notably, Cary was honored by former President Barack Obama as a Champion of Change for her extraordinary contributions in her community and beyond.
- Missy Tracy is the municipal relations coordinator at Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison and a tribal member of the Ho-Chunk Nation. Missy has served on the board for the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling since 2009 in addition to serving on five local boards in the Madison community. She also previously served as the Senior Public Relations Manager for Ho-Chunk Gaming in the Wisconsin Dells.
- Luke Zahm is the host of “Wisconsin Foodie,” which airs on Wisconsin Public Television. He is also the owner and head chef of Driftless Cafe, which he has operated with his wife in Viroqua since 2013, drawing diners from near and far to enjoy the ever-changing menu featuring ingredients from the local farming community. He is a two-time winner of the Edible Madison Local Hero Award and was named a 2017 James Beard Best Chef Midwest semifinalist.
“I am grateful to Governor Evers for his commitment to the tourism industry,” said Meaney. “These recently appointed leaders bring additional diverse experiences and knowledge to the contributions of the council members already in place. Their engagement will be incredibly valuable in ensuring maximum positive impact to this important sector of our economy.”
These three appointees join three other new council members appointed to the council in March:
- Genyne Edwards, JD served as the Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism from 2003-2007. An experienced consultant and attorney, she has worked in community development and social enterprise for more than 20 years, driving impactful solutions to improve disparities in the Milwaukee region. Edwards has been listed among the Milwaukee Business Journal Woman of Influence and recognized as one of the Most Influential African Americans in the Tourism Industry by Black Meetings and Tourism. Dr. Edwards serves on the Department’s Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion committee.
- Nathan Gordon is the Vice Chairman of the Red Cliff Tribe of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians Tribe/Nation. In addition to managing daily Tribal government administration, he leads the collaboration with County, State, Federal and Tribal agencies to improve life, programs and services for the Red Cliff Community and Tribe. Gordon established the Red Cliff tourism team in 2017 and serves on the Board of Directors for Native American Tourism of Wisconsin.
- Robert Davis, DVM is the President and CEO of America’s Black Holocaust Museum in Milwaukee and serves as a board member at the Association of African American Museums. Davis also serves as the principal of DRMD Strategies LLC, a nonprofit strategic consulting firm with expertise in the areas of diversity, equity, collaborative alliances, communications, animal health and diversity, inclusion planning and implementation, and is the former President and CEO of the Zoological Society of Milwaukee. Dr. Davis is a co-chair of the Department’s Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion committee.
The council aims to represent a varied geography and wide-ranging expertise that includes, but is not limited to, recreation and attraction business owners, hospitality and service industry business owners, convention and visitor bureaus, economic development specialists, industry thought leaders, legislators, and leaders of arts, historic and cultural destinations.