NEBRASKA CITY – A new state law that expands the state Tourism Commission from nine to 11 members has given Jeanna Stavas of Nebraska City the notoriety of being the first to represent southeast Nebraska.
The owner of Whispering Pines Bed and Breakfast and a 12-year member of the Otoe County Visitors Committee said she also has 20 years experience in the corporate technology industry.
Gov. Pete Ricketts, who signed LB222 to expand the commission earlier this year, appointed Stavas in September. She represents district 3, which covers Richardson, Pawnee, Nemaha, Johnson, Otoe, Gage, Saline and Jefferson counties.
She said her appointment gives her an opportunity to provide better rural representation on the state tourism commission.
Stavas: “I think it’s important for all counties in the state to be represented and the restructuring through LB222 allows for that. Increasing the number of commissioners to 11 and splitting up the counties among those 11 people will do that.”
Stavas said industry colleagues across the state encouraged her to submit her application to Gov. Ricketts.
The commission will hold an orientation this week for new members. Their first meeting will be next week during the Nebraska Tourism Conference in LaVista.
The commission, which has a $558,000 budget, promotes Nebraska tourism. Recently, the “Through My Eyes” grant opportunity has been proposed.
The commission has committees that focus on tourism-related markers and marketing.
The other appointees are:
Roger Dixon of Omaha,
John Chapo of Lincoln,
Roger Kuhn of Ashland,
Darrin Barner of Laurel,
Debra Nelson-Loseke of Columbus,
Ashley Olson of Red Cloud,
Roger Jasnoch of Kearney,
Sarah Sortum of Burwell,
Barry McFarland of Lexington,
Starr Lehl of Minatare