City leaders June 12 thanked Marietta Visitors Bureau executive director Theresa Jenkins for the contributions she has made to Marietta and proclaimed Friday, June 14 Theresa Jenkins Day in the city.
“Theresa has been a true leader in the tourism industry for almost thirty years, and has created countless brochures, organized fabulous events and traveled the globe to declare the city of Marietta as a destination not to be missed during her time at the Marietta Visitors Bureau,” mayor Steve Tumlin said. “Theresa’s warm Southern hospitality brought visitors and their wallets back to Marietta again and again,” he said. “We are certain that there is no one in the travel and tourism industry who has not heard of Marietta, Ga., and who does not know that Theresa Jenkins loves it here. When you walk around the Square and hear different dialects of different languages from all over the world, Theresa is the one who brought them here. The Marietta Pilgrimage Christmas Home Tour is second to none, and 100,000 of our closest friends dine with us at the Taste of Marietta, and Theresa is the one who made it happen.”
“Theresa’s done an amazing job for us, and she’s done an amazing job for everybody, not just us, but everybody in the community,” city manager Bill Bruton said. “You think about the businesses that have been helped because of all the wonderful promotions that have taken place, and the people who have opened up businesses because they knew tourism would be generated to support their business. People have been employed because of that,” he said. “Folks have been proud of their community because of all the things that have been created, so Theresa has left a lasting legacy.”
“I’ve loved every minute and have had the easiest job in the world promoting this wonderful community,” Jenkins said. “It is a fabulous community to promote. I go out and tell everyone about our fabulous Square, our historic districts and our Civil War sites,” she said. “We encourage people to come and stay for a day, a week, a weekend or a lifetime. I came to Marietta in 1971 and absolutely fell in love. I’ve loved every minute I’ve spent selling our city to the world. Thank you for allowing me to do it for 29 years.”
Awards Jenkins and Marietta Visitors Bureau won during her tenure
Jenkins and the Marietta Visitors Bureau have received several awards during her tenure, “and I can’t go through them all tonight because there are just too many,” Bruton said.
• Southeast Tourism’s Outstanding Convention and Visitors Bureau in the South, 1994 and 1999
• Governor’s Conference on Tourism Creative Expression Award, 2008
• Georgia’s Tourism Leader of the Year, 1997
• Tom Kilgore Lifetime Tourism Excellence Award, 2004
• Atlanta Metro Travel Association President’s Award, 2005
• Southeastern Tourism Society’s Dorothy Hardin Award, 2006
• Georgia Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus’ Larry Allen Tourism Leadership Award, 2011
• YWCA Woman of Achievement, 2013
“Theresa’s been on about every tourism board there is in the state, she’s been the head of the state board and was also its past president,” Bruton said. “That is a wonderful legacy to leave, and we want to thank her so much.”
“I encourage everyone to congratulate Theresa on a job well done and wish her well in retirement,” Tumlin said. “For the key that she’s opened up to this city to thousands and thousands of people, we want to give her a key to this city for our recognition of a job well done.”
Jenkins will retire June 28.