Fast Facts about Charlie Waltman
Name & Title:
Charlie Waltman, Membership and Sales Manager
Company: Louisiana Travel Association
Hometown: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Favorite Bible Verse:
“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
— Philippians 1:6 (NKJV)
Favorite Destination: Small town experiences — Waltman loves exploring revitalized downtowns and historic main streets.
Hobbies: When he’s not busy representing Louisiana in the tourism community, Waltman enjoys spending time with family, volunteering in ministry, drinking coffee and watching college sports.
Charlie Waltman’s road to working at the Louisiana Travel Association (LTA) was a windy one, but he believes he got his job as membership-marketing manager by divine intervention. Before he landed there, though, he had a rich career in advertising. He attended college in Lafayette, Louisiana, then returned to his hometown of Baton Rouge and opened an advertising agency.
“One of those hurricanes that came through wiped out my business, but during that same time frame, I became an ordained minister,” he said. “I was doing ministry, but I needed another gig. I applied for a job with the Louisiana Travel Association, but the other candidate was a widow with two young children. They awarded the position to me, but I said, ‘I’m not taking money from widows and orphans, I want her to have the job.’ And I literally turned down the job.”
Waltman went on doing other things, including consulting and his ministry, but a few years later, desperate for money, he prayed with his Bible study group for a solution.
“We were really in a cataclysmic kind of ‘we may miss a house note for the first time ever’ kind of thing,” he said. “I had just been at Bible study, and my group prayed with me about it. I had been applying for all kinds of things and not gotten any bites. The following Monday, someone walked into my Bible study and said ‘Hey, that job you applied for a couple of years ago is available.’ I went and printed my resume out, gave it to him, talked to him the next day and was hired by Wednesday. My first paycheck came, and we made the house note by six bucks.”
Waltman has been with LTA ever since and hasn’t looked back, though he has had different roles within the organization. He has worked in his current position for about 12 years, bringing members such as hoteliers, restaurants, attractions and campground owners into the association.
A pillar of Waltman’s life has always been his relationship with God. He has been active at his Bethany Church in Baton Rouge since he was 19, even driving the hour and a half to attend when he lived in Lafayette. He has led his ministry group, which is a branch of Spirit and Truth Ministries International, since 2005.
One of Waltman’s specialties at LTA is working with faith-based groups, helping them to design their ideal itineraries thanks to his years of experience in the church world. His experience in Christian fellowship is one he believes allows him to connect so well with faith travel groups.
“I believe that there are two things that will last, and that’s people and the word of God,” said Waltman. “LTA is an organization that values its members, the businesses, the partnerships we have and the people that we work with. I’ve always trusted in the Lord to take care of me when things weren’t going well for me, and LTA has been one of those things that turned out to be really good for me.”
1. Always visit the local tourism information center. You may be surprised by what they have to offer you in their area, like free activities, special events happening during your stay and everything in between. It is their job to help you experience the destination better.
2. Bring along earplugs to help if you find yourself staying in some noisy places. This I know from personal experience.
3. Always carry a power bank (solar charging if available) for your electronic devices. Batteries die. Don’t let that spoil your trip.