I was very skeptical, just after the turn of the century, when Bedford County and the former city of Bedford decided to form a joint tourism department and hire a director of tourism. I thought I heard the sound of a toilet flushing, with taxpayer money headed down the tubes. Nanci Drake, the first tourism director changed my mind. Drake was a dynamic visionary. She had a Type A personality, but unlike most Type A people, everybody who dealt with her liked her. She had the ability to get things done while leaving friends, rather than enemies, in her wake.