Finalists for new director of Visitors Center chosen
by Rachel Miller
June 13, 2013 12:05 AM | 1709 views | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Theresa Jenkins
Theresa Jenkins
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Next week a search committee will interview three applicants to select the next executive director for the Marietta Visitors Bureau.

Director Theresa Jenkins is retiring June 28, after 29 years with the group.

The job calls for a salary range of $45,000 to $60,000, with major qualifications including a degree in marketing, tourism or communications and three years of experience at a visitors bureau or in travel marketing.

The job posting was listed with the Atlanta Metro Travel Association and the Georgia Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus and applications were accepted through May 15, Jenkins said.

“We really wanted it posted on sites that would result in qualified, tourism-based candidates,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins said the search committee reviewed the applications and has selected three finalists to interview next week. “We are not releasing their names as not to jeopardize their current employment,” Jenkins said.

The four members of the search committee are Beverly Kelly, who works for a global investments company, business owners Larry Zenoni and Scott Wright, and Sally McCauley, who is the director of the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art.

Kelly, who reported to the Marietta Vistors Bureau board Tuesday as part of the search committee, said the group wanted someone with a financial background and familiarity with Marietta or the area.

Kelly said the applicants are “three good people,” and the search committee is happy with the candidates.

“You never get someone with everything,” Kelly said.

Past direction

Jenkins said she plans to stay involved with the organization and will still co-chair The Marietta Pilgrimage’s Christmas Home Tour this year.

“The executive committee and I have discussed me staying on as a contract employee if needed after July 1. No determination has been made if that will happen or not,” Jenkins said.

A retirement party will be at the Strand Theatre on Friday night, but it will be a surprise for Jenkins on what the event will include, said the Marietta Visitors Bureau’s Marketing and Public Relations Manager, Katie Peterson.

Peterson said she will miss Jenkins, who has been a mentor to her.

Peterson said she hopes the next director will have tourism experience.

“People don’t always realize tourism isn’t party planning or downtown development,” Peterson said.

Jenkins said the original Marietta Welcome Center was created as part of the city’s 150th anniversary in 1984.

A commission for the 150th anniversary created the center, and after the celebration it was established as an independent organization.

Now called the Marietta Visitors Bureau, Jenkins said the organization does more than just welcome travelers, but “promotes Marietta as a tourism destination with an emphasis on heritage and cultural tourism.”

The Marietta Visitors Center, at 4 Depot St., is a block off the Square and faces the railroad tracks.

The nonprofit, which is chaired by retired educator Dempsy Kirk, holds a contract as the city’s tourism agency and receives $197,000 each year from the hotel/motel and auto rental tax, Jenkins said.

She said the visitors center raises about $70,000 from fundraising events throughout the year.

The biggest expenses are $138,000 on salaries and $69,000 on marketing, Jenkins said.

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