Phoenix, Arizona - Governor Doug Ducey Wednesday announced the retirement of Sherry Henry as director of the Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT).

“I want to thank Sherry Henry for her dedicated service to the state and citizens of Arizona,” said Governor Ducey. “Her passion and devotion have been integral in getting our tourism industry up and running during some of our most economically challenging times, and I wish her all the best.”

Sherry Henry was appointed to the Arizona Office of Tourism in 2009. She has a long history of service to Arizona’s tourism industry, including serving as manager of hospitality marketing for the Fiesta Bowl; executive director of the Arizona Tourism Alliance; and general manager of the Fiesta Inn for more than 20 years. She was the first woman to be elected to the Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors and its first woman president. 

With Henry’s retirement, the governor is appointing Debbie Johnson as the office’s new director.

Debbie Johnson has served as president and chief executive officer of the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association (AzLTA) since 2003, overseeing all strategy, legislative, marketing and membership issues. Previously, Johnson served as director of Valley Hotel & Resort Association since 1995 and currently represents both organizations.

“Debbie brings to this role more than two decades of tourism industry experience, and is recognized statewide for the great work she’s done to market Arizona to the world,” said Governor Ducey. “She is an instrumental voice for Arizona’s tourism industry and will be invaluable in this administration’s efforts to highlight Arizona as a premier place to visit, do business, recreate and retire.”

“I’ve known and worked with Debbie for years through our service to Arizona’s tourism industry,” added Sherry Henry. “She has the talent, expertise and passion that will continue to drive both the agency and the industry to success. The Office of Tourism and the Ducey Administration will be in good hands under her leadership, and I wish her congratulations and the best of luck in this role.”

In addition, Johnson serves on numerous local, state and national industry boards and committees, including American Hotel & Lodging Association; Arizona Human Trafficking Commission; International Society of Hotel Association Executives; and Phoenix Tourism & Hospitality Advisory Board.

Johnson has been honored with several recognitions for her role in shaping and strengthening Arizona’s tourism industry. She has been named Arizona’s Tourism Champion of the Year and Phoenix Visitor Industry Champion; was inducted into the Arizona Tourism Hall of Fame in 2011; was named among the Valley’s Most Admired CEOs by the Phoenix Business Journal in 2012; and was one of AZ Business Magazine’s Top Business Leaders of 2013-14.