Today’s column is written with pride but also a little sadness. Although we are saying goodbye to Tammy Kinser, director of tourism for the Greene County Partnership, I thought it was a great idea to look at just a few of the accomplishments made under her regime the last 22 years. Because of tourism, each of us in Greeneville and Greene County pay $311.88 less in taxes annually.
Tammy Kinser began work at the GCP on Jan. 2, 1999. She enthusiastically embraced her new job and got to work recruiting volunteers for special events and getting the word out to people locally, regionally, nationally and internationally about Greeneville and Greene County. Kinser has served on the board of the Northeast TN Tourism Association from 1999-present.
She helped create the Tourism Advisory Task Force and the Lodging Association that includes all lodging properties in Greene County.
Kinser was responsible for tourism hosting eight Festival of Trees events with more than 450 entries, and hosting 11 Antique Appraisal Fair events.
She assisted with the creation of the Sports Council, creating and hosting two High Tops to High Heels Luncheons. These were “A Celebration of Women in Sports & Tourism,” attracting almost 1,000 attendees. Eight Sports Council Luncheons with speakers such as Dale Ellis, Regie Jones, Eddie Brown, and regional college head football coaches have been conducted.
Kinser was responsible for initiating the local award, Presidential Pioneer in Hospitality Award, and for hosting numerous workshops to assist our local tourism businesses.
Kinser served on the committee that won the 1999 All America City Award, and traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to receive the award. She spearheaded hosting the 2000 Warbird Airshow, which drew a crowd of 10,000.
The Sports Council hosted the 2001 and 2002 South Atlantic Fall Sports Festival, with Tusculum University as the host school.
The Sports Council bid on, won and hosted the 2001 and 2012 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Women’s Golf National Championships at Link Hills Country Club; bid on, won and hosted the 2012-2014 Amateur Athletic Association’s National Golf Championships; and bid on, won and hosted the 2017-2019 National Junior College Athletic Association’s World Series at Tusculum College.
Personally, Kinser earned the Certified TN Tourism Professional designation and, with help from the tourism task force and sports council, won numerous Northeast TN Tourism Association Pinnacle Awards for events; won the Award of Excellence by Sports Events Media Group; won 2018 and 2019 Outstanding Accomplishments in Event Planning and Economic Impact and won 2016 and 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards by Convention South Magazine.
Kinser has obviously kept up with the latest trends of informing folks about tourism through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, google and YouTube.
This year when the Pandemic hit, Kinser set about to personally call her committee members, tourism and sports council sponsors, helping keep them abreast of ways to help businesses get help during this time. She worked with the other GCP staff members to keep our community informed as to what is going on and how to get needed assistance.
Scott Bullington, chairman of the Sports Council, said, “We are sorry to see her go but wish her the best. One of her greatest assets was getting so many people involved in helping promote our community through sports and tourism.”
In closing, I would like to say also, “The tourism council wishes Tammy Kinser the best of luck in her new endeavors.”
If you ever have any suggestions for tourism, please do not hesitate to contact me at 552-3983 or call the Greene County Partnership, 638-4111.