The Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB
Board of Directors
June 28, 2023


The Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB Board of Directors June 28, 2023 The Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB Board of Directors met Wednesday, June 28, 2023. Chairperson Cynthia Carson called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m. Pam Yancey provided the opening prayer.


Lakes Area Leadership Academy – VP of Member Engagement, Grant Sloan, spoke briefly on the program and welcomed the class to the meeting.


Review of Minutes – Joe Loth moved to approve the minutes of the May 24, 2023 meeting as presented. Pam Yancey seconded the motion. All approved. Motion carried.


Financial Report – Treasurer Phil Cox reviewed the financials. Changes to the budget spread, which were discussed in previous meetings, are complete in the TCED and City Tourism Tax reports. Lynne Yaggy made a motion to approve the financial report as presented. Rob Griffith seconded the motion. All approved. Motion carried.


Public Relations Update – Director of Communications Lynn Berry reported the month of May saw $1.3 million in ad equivalency. Year-to-date we are up $700,000 over the same time in 2022. We had over $18 million in ad equivalency in 2022. She reviewed some of the larger hits/articles featuring Branson/businesses in Branson.


Ex-Officio Reports – City of Branson – City Administrator Cathy Stepp reported they are looking at codes that have gone unenforced, including but not limited to extended stay properties. The budget process is underway. Stepp hopes to present the Aldermen with the Holtz contract at the July 11 meeting.


Tourism Community Enhancement District – District Executive Director Kirk Elmquist reported they recently had a cyber security analysis done. Tax receipts for April set a record for that month. The Finance Oversight Committee and Marketing Oversight Committee (MOC) added new volunteer members recently. Becky Jewsbury is currently serving as chair of MOC. The contract will be presented to Jonas by June 30, as promised. City of Hollister – Deputy


City Administrator Denise Olmstead reported the Yacht Club property continues infrastructure upgrades. The City of Hollister has transitioned to a new domain,


Membership Report – Janet Minor reviewed the report included in the meeting packet. Membership is currently at 872. Phil Cox moved to approve the drop list as presented. Steve Scherer seconded the motion. All approved. Motion carried.


Chairperson’s Report – Appointments to Vacant Board Seats - Chair Carson reported Lynne Yaggy is retiring June 30. Sam Voisin accepted a new position in another state. Scott Bailes has not been able to attend the last several meetings. Carson presented the following for approval.


General Business, term expires 2025, Evan Bradley with Ollis/Akers/Arney


General Business, term expires 2025, Bay Mourer with Nabholz Construction Company


Attractions, term expires 2023, Tracey Field with Beyond the Lens


Mike Combs moved to approve Chair Carson’s appointments to the vacant board seats as presented. Brad Thomas seconded the motion. All approved. Motion carried


Search Committee – The committee continues to meet and will again immediately following this meeting. There may be information to share with you prior to the next board meeting. That will be done via email.


President/CEO Report – Interim President/CEO Jonas Arjes reported Mariya Baker, Director of Meeting & Convention Sales accepted a position with Louisville Tourism. We hate to lose her but are proud and thankful for all she’s done while representing Branson.


Arjes introduced Gabriel El Hachach who recently joined the team as Sales & Analytics Coordinator. Gabriel is originally from Lebanon. He was an international exchange student at Hollister Schools several years ago and wanted to return to the area.


Jonas thanked Cathy Stepp and team for the biweekly meetings with him and CMO Rachel Wood.


There are currently 597 BridgeUSA students in town. Jonas recently had an opportunity to tour a facility built by Holtz in Pigeon Forge. That footprint will fit the Branson property.


Dean Thompson, VP of Economic Development with City Utilities is currently on executive loan with the Springfield Chamber of Commerce. He is energized about regionalism after a leadership visit to Northwest Arkansas. More to come on that.


August Ballot – Taney County, Cities of Branson, Forsyth, Hollister and Rockaway Beach all have a proposed sales tax on adult recreational marijuana sales on the ballot. If the tax is approved in Branson, Forsyth, Hollister and Rockaway Beach, the dollars will be dedicated to public safety. The county’s tax would go into the general fund if approved. (Note: The county funds portions of public safety through the general fund.)


Jonas will be on vacation July 25 through August 2.


This meeting of the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB Board of Directors adjourned at 9:40 a.m.


Present: Cynthia Carson, Mike Combs, Clay Cooper, Phil Cox, Steve Critchfield, Cassie Cunningham, Jon Davidson, Robert Griffith, Katie Hodges, Joe Loth, Raj Patel, Mike Patrick, Steve Scherer, Brad Thomas, Wendy White, Lynne Yaggy and Pam Yancey


Absent: Bryan Cossiboom, Tom Healey, Scott Skoglund and Craig Wescot