Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau
Board of Directors
May 22, 2024

The Board of Directors of the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau met Wednesday, May 22, 2024. Chairman Griffith called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m. Brad Thomas provided the opening prayer.

Review of Minutes – Steve Critchfield moved to approve the minutes of the April 24, 2024 Board of Directors meeting as presented. Brad Thomas seconded the motion. All approved. Motion carried.

Financial Report – Treasurer Pat Cox provided a brief overview of the financials. He reported that Finance Director Grace Gould will be leaving the organization to move closer to her kids in the Northeast. Cynthia Carson moved to approve the financial report as presented. Mike Patrick seconded the motion. All approved. Motion carried.


Ex-Officio Reports – City of Branson – City Administrator Stepp shared her appreciation of the Taney County Partnership, Rick Ziegenfuss and Taney County Commissioners for working to spur housing availability in all affordability ranges. Tax collections are up. The City of Branson welcomed two new Aldermen recently, Glen Schulz and Artie Lucas.


Tourism Community Enhancement District (TCED) – District Executive Director Kirk Elmquist reported tax collections for March are up over 2023. He touched on Military Appreciation Month (May) activities and stated the TCED will be a part of it in 2025, as well. Elmquist reported the Kansas City Chiefs research is back and Branson is currently the highest rated partnership in their history of partnerships. Brad Thomas asked what we are doing (marketing) for Oklahoma City, Des Moines, Little Rock, etc., our five to six hours away visitors. He stated that integrated marketing is important.


City of Hollister – City Administrator Rick Ziegenfuss reported a new roof is being installed at City Hall. Hollister recently purchased a new parks department building, and they are signing a land lease for the lot next to the Hollister U.S. Post Office to augment downtown parking.


Membership Update – Janet Minor reviewed the report included in the meeting packet. There are currently 807 Chamber members. Cassie Cunningham moved to approve the membership report as presented. Brad Thomas seconded the motion. All approved. Motion Carried.


Legislative Update – Monica Evinger reported the Missouri General Assembly wrapped up their regular session last Friday. Of approximately 2,480 bills filed, 46 passed this session. The Missouri Senate spent considerable time filibustering which made it difficult to get some good legislation passed.


Chairman’s Report – Chair Griffith touched briefly on the open positions within the organization. He feels we’re doing well and being thoughtful in filling those key positions. However, it is a burden on
other employees, but President/CEO Yancey believes they are doing an excellent job. Griffith stated on behalf of the Board, we are super grateful to staff for going above and beyond.


President/CEO Report – President Yancey noted several members of the Public Relations Committee have offered their help while we’re working to fill the Communications position.


The BLACC/CVB was one of the hosts of the recent MAKO Conference. That is an annual conference of Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma Chambers of Commerce. Yancey provided the conference welcome. She was able to attend part of the conference, as were Monica, Grant and Lani.


We appreciate Tom Healey and The Keeter Center for hosting our recent Board of Advisors meeting. We received great feedback at the meeting and things are moving internally.


Pam was invited to join the Biz 417 board, which meets quarterly. Their “Ladies Who Launch” event will be held in Branson in 2025.


Yancey noted we have great applicants for our open positions. We will hold another roundtable for stakeholder feedback once the top CMO candidates are identified.


The TCED auditors are here now.


The creative RFP was sent out, with responses due May 31. Finalists are to be notified June 7 and will present to the Marketing Oversight Committee at their June meeting.

Recent meetings include:

  • Convention center feasibility study
  • TCED Publication Strategy Task Force
  • Special Board of Aldermen meeting with the Veterans Task Force
  • Debbie Bennett with Big Cedar Lodge

This meeting of the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB Board of Directors adjourned at 9:13 a.m.

Present: Evan Bradley, Cynthia Carson, Mike Combs, Bryan Cossiboom, Pat Cox, Steve Critchfield, Cassie Cunningham, Cole Currier, Rob Griffith, Katie Hodges, Bay Mourer, John Parker, Mike Patrick, Steve Scherer, Brad Thomas

Absent: Tom Healey, Joe Loth, Paul Satterwhite, Scott Skoglund and Wendy White

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