Monday Morning Meet Your Leaders – Dana Lancellotti

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Dana Lancellotti
Division Director, Ocean County Business Development & Tourism
Executive Board Member, Ocean County Military Support Committee

  1. What is one of the most important qualities of a great leader?

I admire two particular skills that I’ve found in great leaders: listening and inspiring. First of all, effective leaders have tremendous listening skills.  They welcome and encourage input from their staff, they process and consider what they have to say.  When people feel that their voice is valued, they are more motivated and inspired to contribute to the mission or goals at hand.  They are empowered with a sense of pride, purpose and belonging.  I recently attended an event where Sir Richard Branson was a guest speaker and he said “People don’t leave companies because they hate their job. They leave because they are not heard”.  I think that’s true A LOT of the time.

Another quality of a great leader is one that Simon Sinek often highlights in his quotes and teachings: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” I have the tremendous privilege of working with and knowing many military commanders. These men and women have greatly impacted my image of leadership as they have raised the bar by exemplifying some of the best leadership qualities I have ever seen first-hand. Something they have in common is the goal to elevate their troops, maximize their strengths and motivate them to achieve and succeed.  Inspiration is powerful.  When people can look to their boss for affirmation, when they know that there is a task at hand and they can make a difference in reaching the outcome, when they feel uplifted and, once again, empowered…this invigorates and generates productivity.  Who doesn’t want to get out of bed every day knowing that they will be inspired?

  1. How does your organization take our community to the next level?

The Ocean County Division of Business Development and Tourism is part of the County Government, under the leadership of the Board of Chosen Freeholders.  As such, we offer our services to the people of the county and strive to enhance commerce and quality of life here. With Freeholder Joseph Vicari as liaison to the Department, we implement aggressive multi-media marketing campaigns outside of the county and the State to drive more travelers to our destination. Tourism is Ocean County’s number one industry, with a $4.8 billion impact on our local economy. Our Department’s marketing initiatives highlight our gorgeous coastline, historic sites, natural wonders, exciting attractions and unique treasures to entice more visitors and also optimize the quality of life for those who live here all year round. We are an information distribution center, a partner to the business and tourism leaders in the region, a liaison to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (which has a $7 Billion impact on this State ) and a direct concierge for those who visit our website, follow us on social media and/or contact us directly at our office. We also travel out of state from January through March to promote our destination at Consumer Travel Shows from Washington DC to Montreal, meeting and engaging with potential tourists. Our hope is that we continue to grow the economic impact of tourism each year and that we brand Ocean County, by elevating its image to those who may not have ventured to our part of the Jersey Shore. We are proud to represent and to tell the “story” of Ocean County.

  1. What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

I truly love to travel.  Whether it’s exploring a new place just a short drive away or hopping a flight to a distant location, I am so dazzled by what we learn, who we meet and how we broaden our minds by experiencing other destinations.  And the less touristy the better…the authentic little corners, the surprises that you stumble upon while venturing off the beaten path.  Impromptu discoveries feed my soul.

  1. What is your favorite food/recipe and why?

I love food. I would rather taste little portions of a variety of foods than settle on ONE choice with a big helping. So I’m the one who fills up on the appetizers and then has no room for the meal. A good example is Bone Fish Grill… Ideally, I’d have the “Bang-Bang” shrimp, some calamari, a small Caesar salad and  maybe a nice cup of soup… and then jump right to the Crème Brule! Who needs to pick an entrée??

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