Robison, Woods inducted into Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 340 views 

The Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame has two new members. Renee Robison, executive director of the Grand Prairie Center, and Wayne Woods, co-founder of CJRW, were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during a noon luncheon Monday (March 2) at the 46th annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism at the Fort Smith Convention Center.

The Hall of Fame honor is presented annually to an individual or individuals who have been actively involved in tourism for many years and who have made substantial contributions to the betterment of the industry as a whole.

Robison has been a part of Arkansas’s tourism and hospitality industry for more than 35 years. She led the state’s efforts to launch an outreach program for the motorcycling travel market and was the brainchild behind “The A-Team,” a statewide sales team that promotes The Natural State at tourism tradeshows across the nation and the world.

She serves as the executive director of the Grand Prairie Center in Stuttgart.

Woods retired five years ago from a career in tourism marketing that spanned from 1970 to 2015. He first worked with his brother Shelby at the Woods Brothers Agency, focusing on tourism promotion across the state. The agency merged in 1990 with the state’s largest agency run by Wayne Cranford, Jim Johnson and Ron Robinson, to form CJRW.

Over the years, Woods was instrumental in transforming state tourism into a multibillion-dollar industry. With others, he helped persuade the Arkansas Legislature to pass a two percent tax on the hospitality industry, which generates millions of dollars a year for the state. He is a past recipient of the Arkansas Hospitality Association’s Silver Cup and has been named “Tourism Person of the Year” by both Arkansas Tourism and the Arkansas Hospitality Association.