Mike Berry to retire in February; Lindy Casebier will assume role of secretary
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 5, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced that Kentucky Personnel Cabinet Deputy Secretary Lindy Casebier will become secretary of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet following Secretary Mike Berry’s retirement in February 2023.
Lindy Casebier, a Louisville native, was appointed by Gov. Beshear in December 2019 as Deputy Secretary for the Kentucky Personnel Cabinet after many years as a public school educator, administrator, legislator and non-profit director. Casebier previously served in senior roles within the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. For 18 years, Casebier represented Louisville in the Kentucky General Assembly where he chaired the Senate Education Committee. Prior to joining the Beshear administration, he served as executive director of Louisville Visual Art.
“Lindy’s passion for the arts is unparalleled, and I am so excited that he has agreed to take on this important role at the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet,” Gov. Beshear said. “The experience that Lindy brings with him means he will hit the ground running and work hard to support our important tourism and arts sectors as well as our employees.”
“I’m honored to be back at the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet and thank Gov. Beshear for asking me to serve,” Casebier said. “Tourism and the arts are vital in fostering economic growth in Kentucky. I look forward to building on the cabinet’s mission and vision by showcasing the commonwealth’s rich heritage and creative industries to travelers from across the globe.”
Casebier assumes the role as Secretary Berry announced his retirement. Berry was appointed by Gov. Beshear to serve as Secretary of the Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet on Dec. 10, 2019. Prior to his appointment, Berry was President and CEO of the Kentucky Derby Festival.
“Secretary Berry brought to the cabinet the same energy and enthusiasm that led him to be the longest-serving president at the Kentucky Derby Festival, and we were both excited about what we could do for Kentucky’s tourism and arts communities,” Gov. Beshear said. “Shortly after the start of our administration, though, the worldwide pandemic started, too. But Mike didn’t let that deter him from his mission, and while it certainly looked different from what we imagined, he never stopped finding ways to improve, sustain and promote our commonwealth’s greatest assets.”
As part of Gov. Beshear’s administration, Secretary Berry was instrumental in helping with the state’s emergency response efforts. During the pandemic, the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet’s agencies took an aggressive approach to prevent the spread of COVID-19, providing essential services to the commonwealth. Throughout the pandemic, four Kentucky State Parks provided temporary housing for first responders, front-line healthcare workers and low-acuity patients. Three agencies utilized their venues as vaccination sites, and the cabinet rolled out a vaccination incentive, “Vax and Visit,” to encourage Kentuckians to get vaccinated. After the Dec. quad-state tornado in Western Kentucky and flooding in Eastern Kentucky in July, eleven Kentucky State Parks served as community resources, providing emergency shelter and food services for displaced families and first responders and provided temporary housing to more than 1,160 individuals and 250 first responders.
Gov. Beshear and Secretary Berry made critical investments in the tourism and arts industries to help foster economic recovery and growth in Kentucky. Throughout the pandemic, the commonwealth invested more than $13 million in the tourism industry to strengthen promotional and advertising efforts. In 2021, the commonwealth invested nearly $1.7 million in federal funding to support the recovery of the arts industry. The most recent investment of $75 million in federal funding – a product of historic, bipartisan cooperation between the Governor, the Kentucky General Assembly and the federal government – will further boost Kentucky’s $11.2 billion tourism industry to surpass pre-pandemic numbers and position Kentucky as a premier travel destination.
“It has been an honor and a pleasure serving on Team Kentucky for Gov. Beshear. This transformative administration has gone above and beyond to serve the people of the commonwealth, building a better Kentucky. It is truly inspiring,” Secretary Berry said. “I'm thankful to have worked with the devoted staff at the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet and our valued tourism and attraction partners. From working tirelessly to assist families impacted by the tornadoes and flooding to promoting Kentucky as a diverse, welcoming destination, it has been rewarding to lead such a committed team.”