(Arkansas Outside note: This is the first time in recent history that Arkansas State Parks is operating without a dedicated director, except for Mr. Lewis’ term as Interim Secretary.)
LITTLE ROCK, Ark.— Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders today announced that Shea Lewis will serve as Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism and Director of State Parks. In June, the Governor appointed Lewis as Interim Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.
“Shea’s record of strong leadership promoting Arkansas state parks and outdoor recreation uniquely qualifies him to be Secretary of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. I look forward to continuing to work with him to grow Arkansas tourism, elevate our 52 beautiful state parks, and make the Natural State the best place not only to visit, but live, work and raise a family,” said Governor Sanders.
“It is an honor to lead this department and the amazing group of professionals that are entrusted with some of our great state’s historical, cultural, and natural resources. Combining the efforts of Parks, Heritage and Tourism with the support and vision of Governor Sanders, the possibilities are endless,” said Shea Lewis.
Shea Lewis biography:
Shea Lewis was selected as the 10th director of Arkansas State Parks in 2022. In that role, he was responsible for the day-to-day operation of 52 state parks found in 48 counties, covering 55,000 acres across the state.
With over 9 million visitors on an annual basis, his areas of responsibility ranged from operations, maintenance, planning, development, emergency and program services, marketing, promotion, revenue, sales, outdoor grants, and general administration.
Shea started his career with Arkansas State Parks as a seasonal park interpreter in 1995. With nearly three decades under his belt, he has also served as a full-time interpreter, park superintendent, region supervisor, and deputy director for Arkansas State Parks.
He received a bachelor’s degree in parks, recreation, and leisure studies from the University of Memphis and a master’s in educational/instructional media design from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.