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BRANSON NEWS: Gregory J. HolmanAn organization with a powerful role in Branson’s tourism promotion announced it found a new leader on Wednesday, six months after the previous CEO, Jeff Seifried, stepped down to take a job with a prominent Branson insurance firm.Beginning Jan. 18, Jason Outman will be the new president and CEO of the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and CVB, the chamber said early Wednesday.“We had a collaborative hiring process and believe that Jason Outman is a great fit for the role,” said Tim Scott, a leader with The Bank of Missouri who also serves as chair of the chamber board. “I believe his leadership, experience and perspective will go a long way toward increasing visitation to Branson and, ultimately, the success of our community.”In a news release, Branson’s city administrator, former police chief Stan Dobbins, said that the city was “pleased” to collaborate on the selection process for the new chamber CEO and said that Outman was poised to build on an “already strong” relationship between the municipality and the chamber.“I feel Jason will take us to a whole new level,” Dobbins said. “I loved his energy, knowledge, and strong family commitment from the first time we met.”Most recently, Outman worked in South Carolina where he served for six years as executive director of Experience Columbia SC, a 36-year-old group that bills itself “biggest cheerleaders for the heart of South Carolina.”He began his tourism career at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta and later worked in sales and service management for another South Carolina group, the Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports & Tourism.Outman “brings a fresh perspective and years of (designated marketing organization) expertise” to Branson, said Derek Smith, a partner with BKD accounting firm who serves as chair of the Branson/Lakes Area Tourism Community Enhancement District. Smith said Outman’s passion for promoting tourism and his “approach to researched-based marketing” should help attract more tourists and business development.Outman and his wife, Yavonda, have two children and three dogs. They enjoy boating, sporting events and theater, the news release said.As the News-Leader reported earlier, Jonas Arjes, a leader with the Taney County Partnership economic development group, served as interim leader for the chamber.
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