Happy Spring! FINALLY!
As I write this, I am completing the second week on the job as your new executive director and I couldn't be happier. Old colleagues and friends have welcomed me warmly across the region and state, and my 30 years of experience in South Dakota's tourism industry makes this transition from fundraising for Mount Rushmore to promoting the Southeast region much easier and faster.
Having grown up literally a few miles from our southeastern-most tip in the rural Siouxland area, moving to Yankton is like coming home. I spent a lot of time enjoying what the Southeast had to offer in my youth, and plan to attend as many events as possible in the future.
I look forward to meeting you in person, but until then, know that when I was the board president of SSDTA in 2001-2002, I formed a philosophy that I use to this day, and that is, "Keep it Simple; Make it Fun; and Do it Right."
I believe that sticking to those principles will help us all. Because SSDTA isn't just a logo or faceless nonprofit organization, it is all of us...the staff, volunteers and members. SSDTA has a strong foundation, thanks to my predecessor, Jacquie, and the many volunteers and dedicated individuals whom have and are currently serving on the board of directors.
We all will grow and continue to be successful as we find new ways to promote the simple and wonderful quality of life we ourselves enjoy to our visitors.
And so, in closing, if I could ask one simple thing as I learn the ropes, it would be this: "If you see something, say something." That means, if you notice a new or existing business in your immediate neighborhood that would benefit from being a member, say something to them, or contact me any time to let me know of any potential members that may be out there whom could benefit from being part of our Southeast family.
Thank you for allowing me to serve SSDTA, see you soon!
Gary Keller (aka "the new Jacquie!")
Southeast South Dakota Tourism Association
1101 Broadway, Suite 113
Yankton, SD 57078