Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB

Board of Directors

May 24, 2023

The Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau Board of Directors met Wednesday, May 24, 2023. Chair Cynthia Carson called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m. Brad Thomas provided the opening prayer.


Introduction of Marketing Team – The marketing team introduced themselves and outlined their responsibilities.


Review of Minutes – Chairperson Carson noted a correction to be made to the April meeting minutes. Cassie Cunningham is not a member of the search committee. Brad Thomas moved to approve the minutes of the April 24, 2023, meeting with the correction noted. Mike Patrick seconded the motion. All approved. Motion carried.


Financial Report – Treasurer Phil Cox the reviewed current financials of the organization. Cassie Cunningham moved to approve the financial report as presented. Steve Critchfield seconded the motion. All approved. Motion carried.


Ex-Officio Report – City of Branson – City Administrator Cathy Stepp reminded all of the upcoming groundbreaking for the new fire station. Construction of the Compton Wastewater Facility flood wall is scheduled to begin in mid-June. The police station is in the design phase. The city is still searching for a new finance director.


City of Hollister – City Administrator Rick Ziegenfuss reported the Taney County Partnership will advocate for a tax on recreational marijuana. Yacht Club property owners are working on interior water lines. The city approved 372 acres for a housing development that can be individual residences or nightly rentals. Ozarks Technical Community College is purchasing the old police station.


Membership Report – Janet Minor reviewed the report included in the meeting packet. Pam Yancey moved to approve the drop list as presented. Phil Cox seconded the motion. All approved. Motion carried. Legislative Update – Monica Evinger referred to the report included in the meeting packet. Brad Thomas requested we be sure to share we are supportive of the $28 million budgeted for upgrades to I-44 in Springfield/Greene County.


Chairperson’s Report – Chair Carson discussed the City of Branson’s Faith, Family, Flag initiative. She would like all to train and encourage hospitality in their businesses, and lives.


Lynne Yaggy is retiring after a 40+ year career with CoxHealth. This will leave a general business seat on the board vacant. Chair Carson will make a recommendation to fill the seat soon.


The Search Committee is being strategic and not rushing through the process. They have confidence in Jonas and the way he is currently leading the organization.


President/CEO Report – Jonas Arjes distributed the current organization chart in the meeting.


The financials should be closer to where we want in June.


Jonas reported on his, Chair Carson, Chair-Elect Yancey’s recent meeting with Derek Smith and Kirk Elmquist with the TCED. Chair Carson noted she appreciates the collaboration with TCED and our organization.


Arjes complimented all involved in making the recent Good Morning, Branson such a success. Missouri Attorney General Bailey was the featured speaker, State Representatives Seitz, Smith and Hudson, as well as representatives of U.S. Senators Hawley and Schmitt and Congressman Burlison’s office were in attendance. The State of the State luncheon is in June and will feature Lieutenant Governor Kehoe as the speaker.


The first of several BridgeUSA orientations was held May 23, with 41 in attendance. Jonas Tavares (J.T.) is doing great work.


Jonas attended his first Missouri Development Finance Board meeting in Jefferson City recently. He noted four cabinet members also serve on the board. Brad Thomas stated this opportunity is great for Jonas and our community.


New Business – Sam Voisin thanked the Meetings and Conventions team for bringing about 50 RCMA meeting planners to Branson recently. These are the decision makers of hundreds of delegates.


Sam stated an RFP was presented 90 days ago for the convention center expansion feasibility study.


The Lakes Area Leadership Class will join us at the June meeting. Please plan to stay a few minutes after the meeting to visit with the class.


This meeting of the BLACC/CVB Board of Directors adjourned at 9:43 a.m.


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


Absent: Scott Bailes, Clay Cooper, Bryan Cossiboom and Joe Loth


Ex-Officio Members Present: Cathy Stepp – City of Branson, Rick Ziegenfuss – City of Hollister