Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism Names New President and CEO
Cody A. Gray Officially Assumes Leadership of Lafourche Parish’s Local Tourism Office
Raceland, Louisiana (December 17, 2020) – Last night the board of directors of Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism, Lafourche Parish’s destination marketing organization, officially named Cody Gray the tourism office’s new President and CEO.
Gray had been serving as Interim President and CEO since October 16, when his predecessor, Timothy Bush, left Louisiana for a tourism job out of state. Bush recruited Gray to join the parish’s tourism team as its director of sales and marketing earlier this year, and Gray relocated from his home state of Florida while much of the country was in pandemic lockdown.
He came to Louisiana in a year that has proven tremendously difficult for the tourism industry on the local, state, national and global levels. Despite COVID-induced obstacles and limitations, Gray was able to forge relationships with the restaurateurs, hotel operators, charter-boat and swamp-tour captains, museum curators, shop owners, and other partners who comprise the parish’s growing tourism industry.
“Cody has the talent, knowledge, dedication and – most importantly – the passion to take Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism to the next level as we navigate the road to recovery from a turbulent year,” said Jeremy Punch, the 2020 tourism board chair. “I’ve enjoyed working with Cody and look forward to the continued success in store for our destination-promotion organization.”
Marguerite Knight-Erwin, who was named 2021 chair of the tourism board at the same meeting, added, “As the incoming chair for the board of directors, I look forward to working with Cody. We are so fortunate here in Lafourche Parish to have someone with his talent, skill and professionalism leading our tourism program forward.”
Prior to moving to Louisiana, Gray worked in Florida’s travel industry for nearly seven years, first for the Columbia County Tourist Development Council and then as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Tru by Hilton & Lake City Hotels, Inc. His destination work was for a travel bureau in a rural destination with tourism assets and challenges that are similar to those of Lafourche Parish, and his hotel experience has been a tremendous resource for his work here in Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou. Gray received his TMP (Travel Marketing Professional) certification via the Southeast Tourism Society’s Marketing College in 2018 and has continued professional development initiatives for himself and the tourism office since arriving in the parish.
“This year has been extremely difficult for everyone in the travel and hospitality industry, but we’re very fortunate to have a community that understands the importance of tourism as an economic engine in Lafourche Parish,” Gray said. “I’m honored and humbled to be chosen to lead this organization as we move forward together to brighter days ahead. I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to the board of directors for their trust in me. I look forward to continuing to build relationships with our tourism partners and positioning Lafourche Parish as a year-round tourism destination.”