Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau

Board of Directors

April 26, 2023

Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau Board of Directors April 26, 2023 The Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB Board of Directors met Wednesday, April 26, 2023. Chair Cynthia Carson called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m. Mike Combs provided the opening prayer.


2022 Year in Review and 2023 Outlook – Jerry Henry with H2R Market Research provided the presentation. He reviewed top brand attributes, activities people most associate with Branson, etc. Average length of stay is four nights, party trip spending $1007, and leisure travel got back to where it was in 2019, in 2022.


Review of Minutes – Steve Scherer made a motion to approve the March 22, 2023, minutes as presented. Pam Yancey seconded the motion. All approved. Motion carried.


Financial Report – Treasurer Phil Cox reported on the current financials of the organization. He stated we are on track for 2023. The Finance Oversight Committee and staff are in the process of looking at, and improving, the budget, including doing the spread as it was in the past. Sam Voisin moved to approve the financial report as presented. Steve Critchfield seconded the motion. All approved. Motion carried.


Ex-Officio Reports – City of Branson – Alex Girard provided a brief report in the absence of Administrator Stepp. Governor Parson was in town recently to deliver a proclamation related to the Compton Drive Wastewater Treatment Plant. The City of Branson was awarded a Community Development Block Grant by the Missouri Department of Economic Development to build a flood wall. The Parks and Recreation Department was awarded $1.6 million to upgrade its baseball and softball complex turf. This came through an ARPA Grant from the Missouri Department of Economic Development.


Tourism Community Enhancement District – TCED Executive Director Kirk Elmquist reported the marketing contract has been extended through December 31, 2023. Three Marketing Oversight Committee positions are available. The TCED plans to place the tax renewal on the November ballot. Brad Thomas asked if they’ve considered polling voters in the district. Elmquist will look into that and report back.


City of Hollister – City Administrator Rick Ziegenfuss reported Branson Airport received a $500,000 SCASDI Grant. He discussed working with the county for a septic hauler receiving station.


Membership Update – Janet Minor reviewed the update in the meeting packet. Current membership is 873. Steve Scherer moved to approve the drop list as presented. Phil Cox seconded the motion. All approved. Motion carried.


Legislative Update – Monica Evinger provided a brief update on Missouri’s legislative session. She touched on the budget process and the Show MO Act. Two bills have been sent to Governor Parson so far this session. One of those bills is Senator Eslinger’s legislation related to physical therapy.


Jonas Arjes was officially presented and approved last week as a Governor’s appointment to the Missouri Development Finance Board.


Chairperson’s Report – Chair Cynthia Carson thanked Jonas for stepping in as Interim President/CEO of the organization.


Search Committee – Carson presented the following for board approval to serve on the Search Committee: Cynthia Carson, Pam Yancey, Joe Loth, Rob Griffith, and Brad Thomas. Mike Combs moved to approve the proposed Search Committee as presented. Phil Cox seconded the motion. All approved. Motion carried.


President/CEO Report – Jonas reported that he met one-on-one with every staff member. There were no major surprises. Senior staff recently held a brief retreat to develop a SWOT analysis.


Arjes is meeting with TCED and the City of Branson to discuss ad sales on websites and newsletters by ticket resellers.


The Trails Summit is happening today! Our Sports Department has been working with stakeholders on this part of our strategic plan.


Introduction of Jonas Tavares – Tavares, Manager of Workforce Development, is the Taney County Partnership’s most recent hire. He is a recent College of the Ozarks graduate and speaks four languages.


New Business – Previous board member Mary Kellogg addressed the group regarding advertising in the 300+ mile market to attract more first-time visitors again. She talked briefly about the City of Branson’s requirement to change some of the marketing efforts.


Chair Cynthia Carson encourages all to attend Branson Board of Aldermen meetings. It’s understood that not everyone can attend each meeting, but we need to support and engage with our city. Pam Yancey encouraged people to get involved in city boards and committees. You do not have to reside in the city limits to serve. You can be sponsored by a business in the city limits.


This meeting of the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau Board of Directors adjourned at 10:28 a.m.


Present: Cynthia Carson, Mike Combs, Bryan Cossiboom, Phil Cox, Steve Critchfield, Cassie Cunningham, Jon Davidson, Robert Griffith, Raj Patel, Mike Patrick, Steve Scherer, Scott Skoglund, Brad Thomas, Sam Voisin, Wendy White, Lynne Yaggy and Pam Yancey


Absent: Scott Bailes, Clay Cooper, Tom Healey, Katie Hodges, Joe Loth and Craig Wescott


Ex-Officio Present: Alex Girard - City of Branson, Kirk Elmquist – TCED, Rick Ziegenfuss – City of Hollister