Tumlin named Christmas Parade Grand Marshall

Dennis and Angela Tumlin with their three girls, Bailey Rae, Sadie Belle, and Chloe (photo submitted)

MainStreet Dayton honors Dennis Tumlin as the 2017 Grand Marshall for Dayton’s Christmas Parade on Saturday December 2nd, 2017.  His wife, Angela and daughters Bailey Rae, Sadie Belle, and Chloe will accompany him as he leads the parade’s 21st anniversary celebration.

Tumlin’s contribution to the local community is in sync with the parade’s 2017 theme “Over the River and Through the Woods!”

Through his work as the Executive Director of the Rhea Economic & Tourism Council, Tumlin partnered with Dayton Mayor Gary Louallen in tandem with city leaders to bring competitive fishing to Lake Chickamauga, with more than 30 city-sponsored fishing tournaments annually and about 10,000 registered competitors  per year now, “…and that’s not counting practice days!”, Tumlin exclaims.  This has increased hotel usage by 27% and led to the development of 2 new lodging properties and new restaurants.

Under Tumlin’s leadership, the community has experienced an economic lift through rebranding it as a “Fish Dayton” realizing Dayton’s greatest natural resource as its economic advantage to market the area for competitive fishing.

Since the Fish Dayton initiative began, the local economy has seen more than $15 million in gross sales revenue directly related to tourism.  Tumlin has leveraged marketing partnerships with professional anglers to also increase brand awareness.

“We want to be a destination,” Tumlin said.  “We partner with organizations like B.A.S.S., and that gives us credibility.  The amateurs want to be here, and they’ll follow B.A.S.S.”

“We’re known for the Scopes Trial, but now it’s pretty cool to be known for something else,” Tumlin said.

With Rhea County’s economy recognized as a Tier 4 Economically Distressed Zone, Tumlin along with city leaders went fishing for something else:  New businesses.  Three years ago, Tumlin developed and championed the vision to create the 330 acre Rail Hub South industrial development.

That vision paved the way for the recruitment and landing of the $360 Million Nokian Tyre’s first North American manufacturing facility just north of Dayton.  This investment reflects the largest direct foreign investment in Rhea County history and will create 400 new jobs in phase 1.

Looking to the future, in addition to a continued development of new industrial opportunities, Tumlin has earmarked travel sports team & club events, starting in March 2018 with Youth Baseball to host around 100 teams and utilize fields from Spring City through Graysville for visitors across Rhea county.

Before his current role, Tumlin enjoyed a 16 year career with the Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, GA where he specialized in brand building, marketing and national sales.  During his career he managed a portfolio of the Coca-Cola prestige property relationships, such as; The University of TN & UT Athletics, Dollywood & the Ripley’s Properties as well as the national Wal-Mart & Target relationships. Dennis is Dayton native and graduate of The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.

The Horse & Carriage Christmas Parade is Saturday, December 2nd at 3 pm, downtown Dayton, celebrating “Over the River and Through the Woods!”  For parade entry and more information, contact Mainstreet Dayton Director, Rachel Marshall at 423-775-9847 or mainstreet@volstate.net.  Additional information for this and all Christmas events can be found at:  www.mainstreetdayton.org.

Events – Saturday, December 2 in Downtown Dayton:

7a.m.:     Jingle Bell Run

9-12:       Breakfast with Santa (at Paint the Town)

11-2:       Scavenger Hunt

12-2:       Photos with Santa

1 p.m.:    Christmas Critters Pageant

2:00:       Christmas Music on the Lawn

Article by Kathy Griffin.

3:00:       Horse & Carriage Parade

And – after the parade:  Caroling a the Courthouse

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