After receiving a degree in parks administration, he pursued a career in the Army, which moved him around the country and even back to Brazil.Growing up in Brazil, Grady Brawner Spann got his first taste of Arkansas visiting his grandparents. When it came time for college in 1979, Henderson State University (HSU) in Arkadelphia drew him back.

Grady Brawner Spann

Spann left the army and returned to The Natural State for a career with the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism (ADPT) in 1993 and hasn’t looked back.

“I had ties to Arkansas through HSU and family but the decision was more about opportunities for jobs and Arkansas seemed ripe for the picking,” he said.

Now as a regional supervisor for Arkansas State Parks and current resident of Mountain View, Spann enjoys the ability to take in the beauty of the Ozarks on two wheels.

“I love to ride motorcycles and surfing the highways of the state is the closest  I can get to surfing the waves of the ocean,” Spann said.

With 20 years under his belt at ADPT, he is consistently impressed by the quality of world- class attractions within the state.

“Even though I work in tourism, each year I am simply amazed by what this wonderful state has to offer our guests,” Spann said.

Insider Knowledge

Where to eat:

  • Skillet - Mountain View
  • Tommy's Pizza - Mountain View
  • Woods Soda Fountain - Mountain View
Be sure to do this:
  • Ozark Folk Center State Park - Mountain View
  • Live music in the town square - Mountain View
Best local events:
  • Mountains, Music & Motorcycles - Mountain View - (August)
Best day trip:
  • Floating on the Buffalo River
Advice for moving here:
  • Mountain View is a nice quiet town that has more to do than most large cities. There are concerts, all kinds of workshops, cultural events, festivals, world-class crafters, shopping, and great natural areas for hiking, cycling, motorcycling, fishing, and hunting.