COASTE | DEC 2016 - JAN 2017

“They’re reaching out to the world to invite folks to visit one of the best places on the planet. Clearly, it’s working.” — Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson

{ 800.237.6444 If there’s pressure to leading a $19 million a year organization that generates $3 billion of local revenue, while serving upwards of 1,200 constituents each with his or her own priorities, another amazing thing about Pigott is that she doesn’t show it. “It can be a tough job,” she admits. “After all, you’re servant to many masters. You have to have a thick skin some days, you have to be diplomatic others. But I love what I do, I love the people I do it with — I’m so proud of the team we’ve built — and I love where I live. It’s such a beautiful place, and what’s so special is that we treasure our many gifts of nature here. Our commitment to the environment and wildlife makes us the best place in Florida to visit, at least to me.” good with analytics and at making sense of data, of identifying what works best so we can get the most bang for our marketing dollars. Tam and her team put out a great deal of valuable work, and we really get our money’s worth with them.”

But as effective as the selling of Southwest Florida has been, Pigott is quick to point the credit elsewhere. “We have such a beautiful place,” she says, “it’s not too hard to sell nirvana. That certainly makes the marketing easier. But we also work with great hospitality partners — our resorts, hotels, attractions, restaurants and many others — who do such a great job of customer service. We could do the most innovative marketing in the world, but if visitors come here and they don’t have a wonderful experience, they won’t be back.” To that point, studies show that 70% of first time visitors plan to return, and 50% to do so within one year. Yet others would say: give credit where credit is due. “Tam Pigott is relentless and tireless,” says Colleen DePasquale, Executive Director of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce. “Her job is not Monday to Friday, nine to five. She’s traveling constantly, always thinking, finding new ideas and bringing them to us. She’s amazing, and we’re lucky to have her.” Tony Lapi agrees. Chief Executive Officer of Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts, and board member of the Lee County Tourist Development Council for five years, he finds Pigott is “very


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