This article was originally published on reverb, Drake Cooper’s reflections on advertising, creativity, and trends. Read more.

A Lifetime of Adventures

IMG_2505

Two weeks ago during the closing lunch of Idaho’s Conference on Recreation and Tourism in Sun Valley, Drake Cooper’s own Bill Drake was awarded the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Tourism and Recreation. Handpicked and awarded by the Governor’s Office, it’s been 33 years in the making, so it’s time for a toast.  Pictured above are Diane Norton, Idaho Tourism Manager, Jamie Cooper, Drake Cooper CEO and Matt Borud, Business Development and Marketing Administrator, Idaho Commerce.

Taking a step back in time, WR Drake & Company won the initial Idaho Travel account in 1981. This came in conjunction with the enabling legislation (Idaho Statute, Title 67, Chapter 47, Idaho Code) to form the first Idaho Travel and Convention Industry Committee, now the Idaho Travel Council. Fast forward to today and Idaho Tourism remains a top brand at the agency and career-defining experience.

Here’s a glimpse behind Bill’s legacy and what a 33-year career looks like:

-Launched over 75 marketing campaigns targeting travelers to vacation in Idaho

-Worked with 7 Governors , 136 Travel Council members, 5 Tourism directors and 10 Department directors

-Attended 212 ITC meetings

-Attended 31 Idaho travel conferences and over 30 national travel trade shows

-Won 9 competitive agency reviews

Having visited every county in the state, Bill became a trusted advisor, colleague, peer and friend to many. DC’s Creative Director Jennie Myers said it best:

“We have a bright torch to carry forward.”

I’d like to think this applies to all of us who work on the brand at the agency, but also across our statewide network of colleagues in the tourism and hospitality industries. When a titan of industry retires, the next generation leans in and steps up. This process is underway, so let’s enjoy the journey together and take Idaho to new heights.