We all know SWLA is a nice place to live, work, raise a family, and so on because we live here and most of us know a family or two that moved here for work and have come to be good citizens, friends, and coworkers.

Moved Here For Work

It's been said all business begins with a visit. A person visits an area and decides it's a nice place to move their company or business, or try for a job here. It all starts with a visit, and that's where our local Convention and Visitors Bureau comes in.

For the past thirty years, Ms. Shelley Johnson the CEO/Executive Director of the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) has touted the benefits of Lake Charles around the country and around the world.

Started with Four People

When she took over the CVB, counting Ms. Johnson, there was a staff of four on a small budget of $150,000. Today, thirty years later, she leaves a beautiful facility on the north shore of our lake, staffed by over twenty-five people.

Over the years, our CVB has been recognized for various accolades, such as the CVB of the Year in 1997, 2000, and 2015 by Southeast Tourism Society, covering eleven southern states.

Biggest Accomplishment

The value of having a CVB out in the world touting our town can never be accurately calculated, but upon reflecting over her tenure, Ms. Johnson thinks her greatest achievement and contribution to the area has been the promotion of the Creole Nature Trail.

The Creole Nature Trail All-American Road has been one of the highlights for my tourism journey promoting Southwest Louisiana. Showcasing the natural beauty found along the trail, the wildlife refuges, and all the intrinsic qualities of the area has been rewarding. It’s an example of how strategic marketing of something authentic for an area can truly put a spotlight on a destination and increase visitation from around the world, said Ms. Johnson.

We join the staff and members of the Lake Charles CVB in thanking and congratulating Shelley Johnson on a job well done. Much of what she accomplished will continue to grow and multiply in future decades for generations and generations to come.

Visit your Lake Charles CVB here. You can always find out what's going on all over Southwest Louisiana event wise, as well as other wonderful things to see and do here at home.