League City CVB manager Stephanie Polk shares her career journey.
Originally from Kentwood, Louisiana, Stephanie Polk, TDM, CTE, first made her mark on the travel and tourism industry as director of marketing for the Beaumont Convention & Visitors Bureau. There, she helped to elevate the city as a destination for recreation travelers and business groups. Wowed by her accomplishments, in 2020, League City brought her on board to lead its marketing efforts. She shares with us highlights and advice from her experience in the industry.
What drew you to your career?
I’ve always been a creative person and drawn to advertising and marketing. Destination marketing is something I was blessed to stumble upon after graduation from Lamar University. In college I had several internships and jobs with advertising agencies and really enjoyed the creative parts. As a 20-plus year destination marketing veteran, the journey is always changing, and I enjoy the constant adventure.
What do you love about your job?
I am passionate about destination marketing and development. The thing I love the most is my work creates a positive impact on where I live—programs highlight and show off the community’s best assets. I love finding new ways to showcase the destination and tell its story. The efforts result in positive media coverage, visitor experiences and an economic impact that directly benefits my community.
Any favorite memories from your career?
There are many, but my favorite memories are tied to developing the Cattail Marsh Wetlands Boardwalk and Education Center. The project and its creation spanned many years and it’s a thrill to see something you played a large role in making happen still growing and thriving today.
Overall, the joy of my career is having the privilege of introducing travelers to new places and things while getting a front-row-seat to share in the delight of discovery. Destination marketing and tourism lays the groundwork for generations of lifetime memories.
Any advice for someone who wants to enter the industry?
My advice is to stay inspired and travel often. The best research and ideas can come from being out and seeing things from the traveler’s perspective. Another piece of advice is to listen more than you speak. The art of listening and observing can be often overlooked if you’re only focused on messaging.