Leah Chandler, until we meet again, thank you and Godspeed

Leah Chandler, Chief Marketing Officer for the Branson CVB, and the Puerto Rico Destination Marketing Organization’s new Chief Marketing Officer.

Leah Chandler, CDME, Chief Marketing Officer of the Branson CVB for the last five years, is leaving her position. She’s taking a new position as the Chief Marketing Officer for the Puerto Rico Destination Marketing Organization . One can almost sense her excitement over this new opportunity. She points out that it’s a new organization paving the way for the management of all global marketing, sales, and the promotion of Puerto Rico in collaboration with local government and tourism partners.

Leah’s Announcement

In announcing her resignation, Leah said, “Five years ago I came to Branson, eager to gain experience on the client side of destination marketing. My plans were so small, but God’s plans were so, so big. I planned to grow my career. His plan was to grow my heart. In this little town I have loved and learned. I made friends who are now family. I have worked alongside the smartest, most passionate ,and kind humans I have ever met. With the commitment of fearless leaders in the community, this tribe of friends, teammates, and cheerleaders, have transformed our destination. And yet…I know Branson’s best days are still ahead.

“With joyful pride for the work that’s been done, and excitement for what’s ahead, I am sharing the news of my resignation from the Branson Convention & Visitors Bureau. To those who have supported me and our team in the past five years, there are not enough words to thank you. Your encouragement and reassurance are beyond blessings… As of mid-May, I will no longer live in this community, but this community will always live in me.”

Leah got the experience she wanted and then some

Well, I dare say she got all the “client side” experience she expected, and then some. It was not a painless experience, but it was one through which she learned, while remaining steadfast on point and never wavering from her mission; bringing more tourists to Branson and increasing tax revenues in the tourism sectors.

There wasn’t a lot of cute stuff and modifying of general strategy. Not much trying to appease this group or that group; just straight and true marketing aimed toward accomplishing her mission for the benefit of all of Branson.

There was resistance from some, most notably Branson’s shows because of the drop in show attendance. They attribute the change in marketing strategy to that drop over the last five years. Even I, who considers Leah a dear friend, then, and now, disagrees with the way Branson’s shows are being marketed. That aside however, through it all, her professionalism, commitment, and passion for what she was doing and, most of all the results, were amazing!

Her results speak  for themselves

At the end of the day however, and regardless of the personal cost, she pressed on. The increase in the numbers of tourists and the tax revenues, used to bench mark how well tourism has done in the last five years, says all there is to say about what Leah and, to use her words, “the commitment of fearless leaders in the community, this tribe of friends, teammates, and cheerleaders,” have accomplished.

Steve Jobs said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” My own personal observations tell me that Leah is the personification of Job’s statement; she is the consummate professional and does great work because she absolutely loves what she is doing. Branson was as blessed and lucky to have her as Puerto Rico is to be getting her.

Well done, thank you, and Godspeed

From a Branson community point of view, I believe it’s appropriate to say, “Leah, well done; until we meet again, thank you, and Godspeed.” From an Ole Seagull’s perspective, with the glint of a tear in his eye, he says, “My dear friend, thank you, Godspeed, and I will miss you.”

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