The Johnson City Convention and Visitors Bureau received three Pinnacle recognitions at the Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association’s annual awards ceremony held last Wednesday. Among those awards was the top honor of Best in Show for their Southern Dozen promotional videos produced by local advertising agency Creative Energy. They were also recognized with an Award of Merit in the Special Events category for hosting the 2012 ASA/USA Girl’s 18 and Under Class A National Championship and earned an additional award for the Southern Dozen promotional videos in the Advertising and Promotions category. The Pinnacle Awards are designed to honor outstanding tourism efforts in our region.

“We are so thrilled to have been recognized in three categories where the competition was very tough and for projects that we have worked very hard on,” said Brenda Whitson, Executive Director of the Johnson City Convention and Visitors Bureau. “To be honored in front of your peers for projects that positively impact the image and economy of our community and region is very exciting and validating to us as an organization.”

Johnson City’s love for motorcycles began, or continued rather, in 2006 when the Convention and Visitors Bureau partnered with the local Harley Owners Group to host the statewide rally. With the success of the rally, the organization began a marketing campaign to specifically attract motorcycle visitors. The campaign produced 12 rides branded as The Southern Dozen, and has evolved into one of the most successful campaigns in the history of the organization. These 12 rides have brought thousands of visitors and tourism dollars to our city and region. The promotional videos that received the honors were the latest installment to this successful marketing campaign.

“One of the coolest things about the videos is that they are actually filmed from the perspective of a rider, as if you are actually on the motorcycle,” said Whitson. “There are 12 videos total, one for each ride, and they take you on a journey of the route and show you things that you can actually experience while on the ride such as the Bristol Motor Speedway or the famous Backbone Rock in Shady Valley, Tenn. The videos have been so popular that they have received nearly 10,000 views on our YouTube channel in the eight short months they have been posted,” she added.

The 2012 ASA/USA Girl’s 18 and Under Class A National Championship was recognized in the Special Events category. The JCCVB began working with the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) in the 1990’s where they would consistently travel to the annual conference and bid on the prestigious Girl’s Class A Fast Pitch tournaments. In 2010, the CVB was awarded the bid for the 18U Class A Nationals, beating out cities such as Tucson, Tulsa, and Fort Worth, and making it the largest ASA tournament to ever be hosted in Johnson City. The event brought in 95 teams with 1,500 athletes and coaches and over 4,300 total visitors. The tournament generated an estimated $3.4 million in tourist spending and was broadcast worldwide through live streaming and brought numerous college recruiters from across the nation.

“To see such wonderful projects come full circle is simply amazing,” said Whitson. “Tourism is an economic driver, and whether it is a motorcycle rider or sports team, these visitors have a tremendous impact on our local economy. It is our job to market and share our city with them and they will come and spend dollars.”

“The CVB and Chamber do a tremendous job to ensure that our city is involved and able to host numerous events and visitors,” said Dr. Larry Calhoun, Chairman of the Board for the Johnson City/Jonesborough/Washington County Chamber of Commerce. “We are very proud of what our community has to offer and we see the value in tourism. Many of the events brought to this city would not be possible without the efforts of volunteers and generous sponsors, which we are thankful for,” he said.

“The great thing about being recognized at the Pinnacle Awards as an organization is the excitement and encouragement we get out of it to create another successful event or campaign,” said Whitson.

For more information on the Johnson City Convention and Visitors Bureau or the Southern Dozen please visit or








Johnson City CVB takes top prize at 2013 Pinnacle Awards