Thank you, Dotty Etris
Thank you, Dotty!
Roswell Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Executive Director for 28 years has retired; and over the last couple of months many in the community have taken her retirement as an opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come with Dotty Etris at the helm.
FEW PEOPLE HAVE GIVEN AS MUCH TIME BOTH professionally and personally to making Roswell a better place to live than Dotty Etris. She was a leader in the formation and development of the Chattahoochee Nature Center, when in 1992, Roswell Mayor W.L. “Pug” Mabry asked her to take the job as inaugural director of the Roswell Convention and Visitors Bureau.
That was just the beginning. And, over the last couple of months - as Dotty's retirement neared - I’ve read many articles in the local print, online and social media offering accolades or noting various awards she earned over the 28 years she served as executive director of Roswell Convention & Visitors Bureau. It's been a documented community collective expression of the gratitude and tremendous respect so many individuals, colleagues and organizations have for this woman.
Now that Dotty has retired after 28 years in service to Roswell, I’m reflecting on what it is about her that earned my affection and respect so easily. In our first meeting, she wasn’t trying to impress me or condescend me. She didn’t discourage or encourage me. She wasn’t trying to get something from me and wasn’t offering me anything. Most importantly, she was the first to offer me respect. And that just might be her secret. Respect is a gift she offers everyone. Whether we keep her respect is up to us.
The first time I met Dotty Etris was in the Fall of 2014, when Steve Stroud pulled her into our discussion about launching a local magazine exclusively about Roswell. That year, she had been given the Lifetime Achievement Award for Tourism by then governer of Georgia Nathan Deal. I wasn't any big wig, important Roswell person. I didn't know anybody of 'importance' here - I simply felt we needed our own magazine and I had the practical skills (writing, sales, design) to make it happen.