Shalisa Roland is a young professional who has definitely made a mark on our community! She previously served as the Public Relations & Digital Content Manager for the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau for the last four and half years. Her job was to sell Shreveport-Bossier as a destination.
Her love for our community led her take it a step further by discovering and telling authentic stories throughout Shreveport-Bossier, from rural towns to industrial neighborhoods.
While her ultimate goal was to drive visitation, she also made a promise to herself. “I promised to convert as many uninformed locals into lovers of Shreveport-Bossier,” said Roland. She began exploring every edge of Caddo and Bossier Parishes by showcasing the destination as an experience through modern marketing efforts.
“It’s a slow “reach-on, teach-one” policy,” she said. “But it works because locals are the heart of the community.” Shalisa hopes that locals invest in their home and contribute to supporting local businesses.
“Shreveport and Bossier City are not twins, they’re sisters,” said Roland, highlighting the distinct differences of our neighbor communities, while also acknowledging their inherent connection. Her hope is that local stories are still told and there is an influx of hometown pride as a result of those stories.
Roland never set out to influence the Black Community in any particular way. Instead, she strives to lead with this advice: do not shrink yourself to find comfort.
“I have been able to navigate rooms, conversations, opportunities and really hard lessons across the globe and still have been fortunate to remain true to who I am,” she explained. “I’m loud. I’m playful. I’m sassy. I’m exhaustingly energetic. I’m also genuine, hard-working, and pleasant company to keep.”
She believes her personality is an asset. “My big personality is not everyone’s taste, but it has never held me back from what was destined to be mine.” Her gift of maintaining friendships around the globe is one of her proudest accomplishments. “It may seem minute too many, but there is so much value in staying connected to those that love you.”
She encourages others to bask in their boldness and have faith in what’s meant for you. “I want Black people to find peace in who they are, regardless of what seems to be “palatable” for those observing.”
She shared some advice from a long time ago that has really stuck with her. She’s never forgotten it. It’s The Five Wells of Leadership:
- Be well-spoken.
- Be well-read.
- Be well-traveled.
- Be well-dressed.
- Be well-balanced.
Shalisa’s advice to her successors is to follow the Five Wells of Leadership, but also know when to say “oh, well.”