Kane Webb is departing as director of the state Parks and Tourism Department to take a job as director of executive communications at Walmart headquarters in Bentonville. Cynthia Dunlap will be the agency’s interim director.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the move in a news release. He made no mention of his plans to ask the legislature to consolidate state agencies, including combining Parks and Tourism with the Heritage Department, currently headed by Stacy Hurst.
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Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced that Kane Webb will resign his position as director of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism (ADPT) at the end of the year to take the position of Director of Executive Communications at Walmart in Bentonville. The governor has named Cynthia Dunlap as interim director of Parks and Tourism. Dunlap is the current Chief Fiscal Officer at the agency.
Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:
“Kane has been a wonderful staffer, director, adviser, and friend over the course of the past four years. As director of Parks and Tourism, he led the agency to new heights and successfully managed the 2017 War Memorial Stadium merger into Parks and Tourism. He is a true talent, and I wish him the best of luck in his new position.
“With this news, I’m pleased to announce Cynthia Dunlap will be the interim director of Parks and Tourism upon Kane’s resignation. Cynthia has been with the agency for more than 14 years. As the current CFO, she has considerable experience with the agency’s budget, in addition to a deep understanding of Arkansas tourism—our state’s second largest industry. I have no doubt she will do a tremendous job as we begin our search for the next director.”
Director Webb issued the following statement:
“I am forever indebted to the Governor for the opportunity he afforded me to be a part of the team at Parks and Tourism as well as serving on his senior staff. It has been a remarkable experience in every way, and I am proud to have been a part of his first term in office.
“You won’t find a better, more devoted group of public servants than those at Parks and Tourism, and it is in excellent hands at every level. ADPT will never have a bigger advocate than me. But this opportunity in the private sector with Walmart was something I could not turn down, and I look forward to joining a proud Arkansas company that is growing today and transforming for the future.”
Webb, a former Senior Advisor and speechwriter for Governor Hutchinson, has served as the director of ADPT since Governor Hutchinson appointed him to the position in November of 2015. Prior to that, Webb was a longtime journalist, including stints as a reporter and member of the editorial page for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Under Webb’s direction, ADPT, through its marketing and promotion efforts, supported the hospitality and tourism industry as it experienced record years for visitation and visitor spending. Webb oversaw continued capital improvements in Arkansas’s 52 state parks, including extension of the Delta Heritage Trail, and moved ADPT to an integrated marketing and advertising contract that extends the digital reach of the industry through www.Arkansas.com and www.Arkansasstateparks.com. Both websites relaunched under Webb’s tenure.
Additionally, Webb oversaw the move of War Memorial Stadium under the ADPT umbrella and helped secure a new contract with the University of Arkansas to keep Razorback football games at the historic stadium.
Cynthia Dunlap issued the following statement:
“It is truly an honor to have the opportunity to serve this great agency and the State of Arkansas as Interim Director. I am humbled by the confidence that has been shown in me by Governor Hutchinson and our current director, Kane Webb. Working for Parks and Tourism has been the highlight of my professional career. There’s nothing more rewarding than working with a group of people who feel more like family than co-workers. I truly believe Parks and Tourism is one of, if not the best, agency for which anyone with a heart to serve the public could work. I look forward to working with our amazing staff in doing everything I can to promote its mission and serve the dedicated team of employees that makes this agency shine.”
Dunlap has been with ADPT since November of 2004 and currently serves as the agency’s Chief Fiscal Officer. Prior to that, she spent more than 23 years at Alltel as Staff Manager over various Accounting Departments. She is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and received her Bachelor’s in Accounting from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Dunlap lives in Woodson, Arkansas.