11 Advisory Councils expand the reach and resources of America250 to engage all Americans
in the most inclusive commemoration in U.S. history
Washington, D.C. (October 19, 2021) – Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau (LRCVB) President & CEO Gretchen Hall has been selected to serve on the America250 Foundation’s National Hospitality & Tourism Advisory Council. America250, the nationwide commemoration of America’s 250th anniversary in 2026 led by the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission, has established 11 Advisory Councils across a variety of industries and specialties to increase inclusiveness, expand America250’s capacity and connection to partners and stakeholders, and facilitate program development, implementation, and social impact.
“It is an honor to serve on America250’s national hospitality and tourism advisory council,” Hall said. “The ability to contribute to this organization’s mission of unifying Americans from all walks of life and celebrating our nation’s upcoming 250th U.S. Semiquincentennial is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
As the nonprofit partner to the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission, the America250 Foundation has been established by Congress to orchestrate the largest and most inclusive commemoration in our nation’s history. Together, their aim is to invite, involve, imagine with, and inspire all Americans.
“We are excited to introduce our 11 Advisory Councils as we seek to connect with millions of Americans on our journey to 2026,” said Dr. Carleen Carey, Director of Public Outreach and Inclusion at America250. “Each council is composed of industry luminaries and leading experts in their respective fields who are empowered by America250’s mission and values. We look forward to the thoughtful contributions they will bring to this commemoration to ensure we are capturing the many voices of Americans.”
The current roster of Advisory Councils includes: Arts & Culture; Health & Wellness; History Education; Hospitality & Tourism; Innovation, Science & Entrepreneurship; International; Parks, Preservation & Public Spaces; Sports & Entertainment; Veterans, Military & Family Members; Youth Engagement; and Young Leaders. As America250 continues its planning and preparations, additional Advisory Councils will be created.
ABOUT AMERICA250 FOUNDATION
America250 is a multiyear effort to commemorate the Semiquincentennial, or 250th anniversary, of the United States. The purpose of the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission, created by Congress, and the corresponding America250 Foundation, is to catalyze a more perfect union by designing and leading the most comprehensive and inclusive celebration in our country’s history. America250 represents a coalition of public and private partners all working to create initiatives and programs that honor our first 250 years and inspire Americans to imagine our next 250. The commemoration period began in 2020, culminates on July 4, 2026, and officially concludes in 2027. For more information, visit here.
ABOUT HOSPITALITY & TOURISM ADVISORY COUNCIL
The hospitality and tourism industry will be essential in Americans’ engagement in the semiquincentennial, with national and international visitors welcomed into every region and community of the country. From big cities to small towns, American culture has been shaped and influenced by our nation’s rich travel traditions, and the Hospitality & Tourism Advisory Council will uplift and highlight our collective commitment to exploring America’s places. For more information, visit here.
Council members include: Brad Dean – CEO, Discover Puerto Rico; Gretchen Hall - CEO, Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau; Lawrence Horwitz - Executive Director, Historic Hotels of America; Laura Huerta Migus – Deputy Director, Office of Museum Services, Institute of Museum and Library Services (Ex-Officio); Parker McMullen Bushman – Chief Operating Officer, Inclusive Guide; Travis Owens – Vice President, Cultural Tourism, Cherokee Nation Business; Dee Patel – Managing Director, The Hermitage Hotel (Co-Chair); John Ricks – Executive Director, Nebraska Tourism Commission; Sherry Rupert – CEO, American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (Co-Chair); Stephen Wolter – Executive Director, Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands at Indiana University
ABOUT LITTLE ROCK CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU
Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau (LRCVB) is the official destination marketing organization for the City of Little Rock, charged with marketing and selling the city as a meetings, convention, sports and leisure travel destination. The LRCVB also manages the Statehouse Convention Center, Robinson Center, River Market and multiple parking facilities and surface lots. For more information, visit here.