Fulmer and his wife own Church Street Market/The Keeping Room in Marietta Square, which sells gifts, home accessories, food and other products, and he is the director of the popular Marietta Square Farmers Market. The active Marietta resident is also a member of the Downtown Marietta Development Authority and Marietta Business Association.
Fulmer said he was "humbled" and "honored" to receive the annual award. He also said he was surprised.
"My wife told me that we were coming over here for some merchant get-together," said Fulmer, 65, after the event.
Fulmer grew up in Baton Rouge, La., and earned a business degree from Louisiana State University. He is the husband of Susie Fulmer and the father of two grown sons, John and Mark. He served in the Air Force in the late 1960s and early '70s. In 1992, he and his family moved to Marietta.
"We liked it so much, we decided to stay," he said.
The Fulmers have owned Church Street Market/The Keeping Room for 16 years, having combined what used to be two stores four years ago. Johnny Fulmer was president of the Marietta Business Association from 2003 to 2006. He started the Marietta Square Farmers Market and has watched it outgrow its origin in the parking lot of Marietta First Baptist Church in 2003. In January 2009, he was elected by fellow business owners to the Downtown Marietta Development Authority, which works to redevelop the city.
Johnny Fulmer is also a Rotary Club of Metro Marietta member.
"It's civic pride," Johnny Fulmer said when asked why he is so active in Marietta. "It's to better the community. I'm involved in the Marietta Metro Rotary Club and Downtown Marietta Development Authority. Eight years ago, my wife and I started the farmers market, which has been a great hit and it's been a showcase event for the city that brings people from all areas of the community, as well as out of town."
Marietta Area Council Vice Chairman Jason Waters, of First Landmark Bank, said Johnny Fulmer embodies the definition of community.
Mamie Ramsey Hodnett, board chairwoman for Tommy Nobis System Inc., nominated Johnny Fulmer for the award, writing, "Johnny is an asset to our community."
"He has such a big heart, and in everything he does, he truly measures what is best for Marietta," Ramsey wrote. "I believe that it is a rare occasion where Johnny puts his business and his family ahead of what is best for the community."