By Josephine E. Moore, The Register-Herald
BECKLEY, W.Va. — Beckley native Lisa Strader was 20 years old when she began her career in tourism in West Virginia.
Her first position was the New River Travel Council, now called Visit Southern West Virginia.
Though that organization would later make a huge impact on her life, she said it was simply a position she “fell into” at the time.
“It was just supposed to be a temporary position while one of the staff members was on maternity leave,” she said.
That was nearly 30 years ago and now Strader is the executive director.
“At first when I kind of stumbled into it, I realized this was a new experience and I wanted to give it a shot,” she said. “But after, I really delved into it and saw the opportunity to share my love of my state with other people who were looking to come here or people who didn’t even know abut West Virginia.”
Not all of Strader’s tourism experience is with Visit Southern West Virginia. After a brief stint away rom West Virginia following her initial job at the New River Travel Council, Strader worked as a marketing director for Songer Whitewater, an outdoor adventure company based in Fayetteville, from 1996 to 2006…