It’s been 2 and 1/2 years since I made the decision to work in Lexington for VisitLEX.
That is 30 months, or the equivalent of 130 weeks, 912 days or 21,900 hours worth of hard work.
When I was offered the opportunity to work in Lexington, and accepted it, some people were skeptical. They would ask questions like, “Why would you leave your role marketing Louisville to take on a role marketing Lexington?” or “Why would you wanna work in that small town?” and countless other questions.
I viewed Lexington as a unique opportunity and a challenge.
They just appointed a new leader of the organization as President, and she was wanting to change not only how the organization was run, but also how the organization marketed the city. She felt that the marketing side needed some fresh blood and new ideas, and well, here I am.
Going into this role, I told people that one of my biggest personal challenges was to see if I was really good at marketing, or if I was just a benefactor of all the development and growth happening in Louisville that made my job a little bit easier. In my 30 months as Vice President of Marketing, we have revamped our brand pillars, adjusted our marketing strategy and launched www.ShareTheLex.com, just to name a few things. Those initiatives and others have helped us to re-shape the story of Lexington as a travel destination, resulting in numerous travel industry awards and increased brand recognition.
One of our big ambitions for Lexington, was to make it on the “where to travel” and “hot destinations to visit for the year” lists.
Well… we did it!
Check out this story from Newsday: “12 Destinations to Visit in 2018”
And this story from Trip Advisor: “Top Destinations on the Rise — United States”
And then this story from Vogue magazine: “From Florida to Idaho: 9 U.S. Destinations to Visit in 2018”
Now these stories of a destination making these lists don’t just happen. There are a lot of things happening behind the scenes. No journalist will ever reveal to you their methodologies into how and why they select certain destinations, but here is my explanation into why Lexington and VisitLEX is seeing such success.
- Leadership. As a member of the Executive Team, not only was I tasked with leading the marketing team, but I was also tasked with helping to re-shape our office culture and improve employee morale. The great work of a city has to start from the inside. Our leadership team has fostered a culture of creativity, excellence, service and transparency, resulting in the VisitLEX staff loving their jobs and what they do. The success always starts at the top and trickles down.
- Teamwork. While the leadership team gets a lot of the “pats on the back”, the truth is, none of this happens without the team. Not just the VisitLEX team, but the teams of our ad agency, public relations firm, industry partners and the local residents of Lexington. By selecting the right partners, we have been able to elevate Lexington to a whole new level. By involving the team, everyone now has an ownership stake in the destination’s success.
- Vision. You don’t reach success without having a vision, period. Within our organization, our vision is clear – we want to be a top destination for leisure and business travelers. While everyone plays a different role in the vision, it is exciting to see the team grab hold of the vision, understand the vision and do their part.
If there is something that you want to see success in, start by measuring yourself in the areas of leadership, teamwork and vision.