'Hooroo': CEO calling time on his role
THE CEO of Gladstone's peak tourism body is saying "hooroo" on his tenure after four years in the job.
Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Limited chair Leigh Zimmerlietoday announced Darryl Branthwaite has given the board his resignation notice.
Mr Branthwaite will step down from his role in four weeks, but will not be lost to the region.
"I love where I live and what we've got here is quite special," Mr Branthwaite said.
"I've been here since 1982 and in one form or the other I've been pretty connected with the tourism side of things.
"I started working at Boyne Smelters back in '82 and then I had the (Benaraby) Roadhouse from '88 to 2010, (wife) Jenny and I were ambassadors at the Tannum Sands information centre way back in the '80s.
"Then I ended up on the board of GAPDL and find myself in this job, a job I never thought I'd be doing."
Turning 60 in December, Mr Branthwaite could be forgiven for pulling up stumps and retiring, but his passion for the Gladstone region is too strong.
As a result, he'll be starting a tour company - Gladstone Region Tours - with Jenny, who will still remain in her role at LJ Hooker Boyne Tannum.
"We should be thinking about retirement but here we are starting a business up," he said.
"We can see the wants and needs and there's a real need for having some tours around Gladstone and the region operating from out of here.
"It will be up and running in the next couple of months."
Mr Branthwaite thanked his small, close-knit GAPDL team and reflected on some of its achievements during the past four years.
Some of those include the installation of more than 50 tourism and information signs, GAPDL Communities for Children, promoting the Southern Great Barrier Reef, the drive market and the growing cruise ship market.
"I really enjoy working in tourism and the team we've got here and the stuff we've achieved over the last four years is quite remarkable," he said.
"This region is the highest growth of all the tourism organisations right across Queensland.
"Then you've got cruise ships...to go from 18 ships in the first two or three years to 15 ships this year is pretty cool."
Mrs Zimmerlie wished Mr Branthwaite all the best and said recruitment of a new CEO will start "in the very near future".