MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA - - Governor-elect Robert J. Bentley announced today that Alabama Tourism Department Director Lee Sentell, who has led the Department since 2003, will continue in that role.
“Our state has such a rich historical heritage and wonderful natural beauty and has so much to offer not only visitors, but our own citizens as well. Lee Sentell has done an outstanding job in promoting our great state and I am very pleased that he has agreed to remain as Director of the Department,” said Governor-elect Bentley.
Under Sentell’s leadership, the agency has been recognized for its marketing campaigns to increase tourism in Alabama. The agency has received a number of regional and national awards for its campaigns focusing on Alabama arts, foods and small towns.
During Sentell’s tenure, Alabama’s tourism industry has grown by more than 43 percent to $9.3 billion, making Alabama’s tourism growth one of the highest in the southeast.
Sentell is chair of the Southern State Tourism Directors Association and is a board member of the National State Tourism Directors Council. He serves on the boards of the Alabama Historical Commission, the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the Alabama Humanities Foundation and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.
Sentell is a former city editor of the Decatur Daily. He was marketing director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and served as tourism director of the Huntsville Convention & Visitors Bureau.
He is a native of Ashland, Alabama, and is a communications graduate of Auburn University.