City of Independence, Missouri

Tourism Advisory Board


The Board serves as an advocate for the tourism industry in Independence by: educating residents and businesses of the economic, cultural and historic value of tourism in Independence; promoting cooperation and communication among tourism sites; and addressing issues that affect tourism. The Board advises and recommends policies, procedures and programs that benefit tourism in Independence by helping to support and revise the Tourism Strategic Plan and providing regular feedback to the Tourism Department.

Membership Information

The Board is composed of 15 members, appointed by the City Council, based upon recommendations from the advisory board and representing the following organizations and entities: one member each from the Independence Economic Development Council(IEDC); Chamber of Commerce; Heritage Commission; Independence Square Merchants Association; and Independence Events Center; two members - Lodging Industry; three members - Tourism Attractions; and five members - At-Large. Appointments are for a term of 3 years, with no more than two successive terms served, with the exception of  IEDC, the Chamber of Commerce and Independence Events Center representatives. Members of the Tourism Advisory Board are restricted from serving on another Council-appointed board or commission, with the exception of the Heritage Commission representative. Over one-half the full membership shall constitute a Quorum to do business. The Director of Tourism serves as an ex-officio, non-voting member. Other non-voting members may consist of one representative designated by related tourism sites/organizations and recommended by the advisory board.


NameTitleCategoryExpiration Date
Allen, JamesLodging Industry Rep.12/31/2016
Graff, HapChamber of Commerce12/31/2015
House, MaryAt Large12/31/2018
Johnson, MelanieLodging Industry Rep.12/17/2017
Kimball, JeanTourism Attractions12/31/2018
Lesnak, TomIndep. Economic Development Council12/31/2016
McClain, Cindy R.At-Large12/31/2017
Meek, GaryAt Large12/20/2016
Mitchell, ToddIndep. Events Ctr. Rep.12/31/2017
Povenmire, AbbyAt Large12/31/2018
Rushay, SamHeritage Commission rep.12/31/2017
Thornton, John S.Tourism Attractions12/31/2017
Toronto, JohnTourism Attractions12/31/2016
Waters, TomIndep. Square Merchants Assn/Chair12/31/2018
Williams, AmyAt-Large12/31/2016

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