Marietta Visitors Bureau hires new director
by Jon Gillooly
August 20, 2013 12:08 AM | 3068 views | 3 3 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — The Marietta Visitors Bureau appointed its marketing and public relations manager, Katie Peterson, as its new director Monday.

She replaces Theresa Jenkins, who retired in June.

The bureau’s 17-member governing board voted 14 to 1 with member Juanita Carmichael opposed and Sally Macaulay and Betsy Gavin absent to hire Peterson.

Board president Dempsey Kirk of Marietta, a retired Pope High School history teacher, explained why Peterson was the person for the job.

“Katie: She’s young, she’s dynamic. I think she’s going to take us into a new era,” Kirk said. “She is so tourism savvy and also she’s media savvy, so I’m real excited about the direction that I’m hoping that she’ll take us in.”

City Councilman Philip Goldstein, who sits on the board, said he voted for Peterson because “she was unanimously recommended by the search committee and the personnel board, and I look forward to working with her.”

Yet Carmichael, the mother of Councilman Anthony Coleman, said she wasn’t pleased with the hire.

“I’ve been a personnel specialist and in reviewing the applications I didn’t see her as being the top applicant,” Carmichael said. “I have to stand up for what I believe in. That’s the only way to be. This Welcome Center needs to go in a different direction.”

The task of the bureau, which is largely funded by the city, is to market Marietta to the rest of the region and state.

“Although we do have visitors from other regions and other countries and so on, our job is to put heads in beds to get people to come and stay in our hotels so that that will generate more revenue,” Kirk said.

Peterson will receive a salary of $45,000.

In a previous interview, Peterson said her work as director would be to “up the technology game,” provide audio tours for Civil War sites and create a mobile app for the Taste of Marietta festival. Georgia offers so much, from the mountains to the beach, a large metropolis in Atlanta and small southern towns on the outskirts, but “Marietta can hold its own and compete,” she said.

Visitors choose Marietta as their destination, she said, because of the charming town center, historic Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park and Six Flags White Water.

Peterson, 28, lives in Marietta and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing degree from Georgia College & State University.

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different direction?
August 20, 2013
What is the different direction Carmichael would have the Marietta Visitor Center take instead of "young and vibrant" and "tourism savvy" and "media savvy?"

Why run a report of a board member's vague objection to Peterson without reporting any specific objections? What is the point? Is the MDJ trying to make Carmichael look like a batty old lady? Fail. The MDJ is just making itself look incompetent by its omission of the details of Carmichael's objection (or perhaps her refusal to disclose them if that is what happened)

What does Carmichael "believe in" that she would feel a need to "stand up" for?

Normally that language indicates a feeling of some perceived injustice, but where is that perceived injustice described in this story? Is it on the editing room floor?

Is Carmichael's objection supposed to be inferred by MDJ's dear readers, between the lines of the apparently otherwise pointless disclosure that Carmichael is "the mother of Councilman Anthony Coleman?" Gee, I wonder.

Good job MDJ. Keeping it classy, as always.

Hey MDJ at least you are creating a liberal arts degree program.. Some day in our near and purple future, some college kid at Kennesaw University will earn their PhD analyzing the MDJ for the poorly hidden meanings of their stories.
Should be Applauded
August 24, 2013
Ms. Carmichael is the only one that maintained the ability to think for herself and refrained from the ridiculous Old Marietta game of politics that will continue to run this city backwards. Any "hidden meaning" had nothing to do with Ms. Carmichael and everything to do with a corrupt process. Well done, Ms. Carmichael.
Congrats Katie
November 21, 2013
I just met Katie Peterson recently and I think she is lovely and charming.
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