OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Governor Brad Henry appoints Hardy Watkins as the new director of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department.
Watkins was the former deputy director of the agency and is replacing former Governor George Nigh whose resignation is effective April 22nd.
Watkins is expected to begin work within the next 30 days and his salary is set by statute at $82,000 a year.
Watkins said Thursday that he's grateful for the opportunity and thinks Oklahoma's tourism industry is strong and has great potential to be even stronger.
He currently resides as president and CEO of the Edmond Chamber of Commerce.
Watkins is married to Kari Watkins, who is the executive director of the Oklahoma City National Memorial.