Mayor John Cooper

Mayor John Cooper today launched his Advisory Committee on Hospitality, a ten-person working group that will bring firsthand knowledge and experience with operating businesses and protecting public health during this unprecedented time.

The committee will consult with the Metro Public Health Department on protocols moving forward, as well as advise Mayor John Cooper as he works to keep Nashville safe during a winter with COVID-19.

“As we look ahead at the next six months, the task for Nashville is to control the virus instead of letting it control us,” Mayor John Cooper said. “That means safe public health protocols with a strict focus on masks and social distancing, so we can safely bring back more events and business capacity between now and the day we have a vaccine.”

Rob Mortensen, President of Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association, added, “Assembling this group of industry leaders will help us plan and prepare for Nashville’s rebound while still prioritizing public health.”

The committee’s membership includes:

  • Barrett Hobbs
    Chairman, Downtown Merchants Association
    Member, Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce
  • Benjamin Goldberg
    Co-founder, Strategic Hospitality
  • Clint Gray
    Co-founder, Slim & Husky’s
  • Deana Ivey
    Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp.
  • Eric Opron
    Managing Director, Omni Nashville Hotel
  • Sam Reed
    Reed Hospitality, 8&R Coffee and Sinema
  • Rick Schwartz
    President and CEO, Nashville Zoo at Grassmere
  • Rob Mortensen
    President and CEO, Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association
  • Andrew McClanahan
    Assistant Attorney, Metro Nashville Department of Law
  • Hugh Atkins
    Director of Environmental Health Services, Metro Public Health Department

This group of industry professionals will also be positioned to work with their peers to ensure greater compliance with public health standards, including giving recommendations to the Metro Beer Board.