Gary B. takes a look back at Ozark Gateway’s Cathy Drew before her induction into the Tourism Hall of Fame


White River Now’s Gary Bridgman takes a look back at Batesville’s Cathy Drew of Ozark Gateway and her upcoming induction into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame.

During the annual convention of the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism, the executive director of the Ozark Gateway Tourist Council, Cathy Drew, will be inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame, along with Mike Mills, owner of the Buffalo Outdoor Center.

Cathy is a lifelong resident of the region she loves to promote: the Ozark Gateway.  She was born in Batesville and worked for a former ad agency that handled the Ozark Gateway Tourist Council account, Media Market Inc. At that time, she helped to design the region’s tabloid publication. She later worked at W.R.D. Entertainment in marketing and graphic design, and in 2000, Cathy began her career with Ozark Gateway.

Not really preferring the tabloid approach, Cathy converted that style publication into a magazine-format regional guidebook. In what was formerly the home of the areas’ two radio stations, KAAB and KWOZ, Cathy converted the building into a 24/7 welcome center for the region. 

Her other contributions include creating a new regional motorcycling pocket map and guide, as well as significantly improving the region’s website. Cathy also created a regional golf tournament to help promote the area, established a social media presence for the region, and travels the state and southern Missouri to make sure the region’s magazine is on display at visitor information sites.

On the community scene, Cathy is a member of the Arkansas Travel Council, the Ozark Foothills FilmFest board of Directors, and the Batesville Rotary Club.  She also serves as an Independence County Election Commissioner.  Cathy has also been a featured profile for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and has been highlighted on the cover of Eye on Independence.  

Our congratulations to Cathy as she enters the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame. Perhaps her picture will be displayed next to Donna Baker and the late Leo Rainey. Two previous inductees to the Tourism Hall of Fame from Batesville.


Get up-to-date local and regional news along with the latest weather every weekday morning by listening to Gary B. and Ozark Newsline on Arkansas 103.3, 93 KZLE, and other W.R.D. Entertainment radio stations. If you have a news tip or event to promote, email White River Now at


Leave a Reply