GREENVILLE – Mrs. Gloria Keller-Brinley was honored Wednesday as the 2014 Tourism Citizen of the Year by the Darke County Visitors Bureau at the Chamber’s annual meeting at Romer’s Catering in Greenville.
Aaron Moran, Vice President of the Visitors Bureau’s Board of Trustees along with Scott Hartings, Treasurer of the Board and Senior Finance Manager at Whirlpool presented this award which exemplifies the best of tourism in our community.
This award recognizes people who look first at what they can do for tourism within Darke County. They work in a business or volunteer in a group that brings people into our community from 30+ miles away to enjoy events, attractions, shops, accommodations and other aspects of the tourism industry. The award recognizes those who have demonstrated extensive and diverse participation, leadership and support in public and/or private tourism endeavors over a period of years. And finally, this honor is bestowed upon a leader capable of getting others involved in tourism within the community.
Mrs. Keller-Brinley, this year’s award recipient is a native of Darke County however she has caused quite a stir across the globe! She was a Rotary Exchange Student to New Zealand in the late 70’s. While there, she learned to sail, met the Queen of England, was adopted by the Northland Maori Tribe and was filmed by the BBC for a movie as a Maori girl. Unfortunately, she had to be removed from the close up shot in the film since she has blue eyes!
As a small child, she was a favorite of railroad workers, as they would pick her up and give her free rides on the trail when they would switch tracks near her parents business.
As a life-long resident of Darke County, Mrs. Keller-Brinley has great memories of our community including:
- Being a Candy Striper at Wayne Hospital
- Winning “Best Thespian Award, 1978” the Highest Honor from the Greenville High School Drama Club
- Winning the leading role in ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ GHS Musical, 1978
- Working for several summers at The GREAT! Darke County Fair
- Working for Gene Riegle, Wills Greenhouse, Wielands Jewelers and Heartland Nursing Home in the 80’s and 90’s
- Campaigning for her father, Myron E. “Tony” Keller while he was a Darke County Commissioner
- Volunteering for the Darke County Salvation Army with her Father
- Working at Whirlpool from 1992 until being hired at KitchenAid Experience in 2001
- Raising 7 children, ranging in age from 16 to 38
Eileen Litchfield, the person who nominated Mrs. Keller-Brinley for the award said, “When I think of someone who brings people to Darke County, this person stands out. Like the incredible equipment she sells, she’s a “mixer”… she gets people in and around the community.”
“Mrs. Keller-Brinley does a great job encouraging her staff to share information about other tourism attractions in the county,” stated Deanna York, Executive Director of the Darke County Visitors Bureau. “She works closely with the Bureau by participating in travel shows, bureau-sponsored events at Eldora Speedway and in the bureau’s booth at the GREAT! Darke County Fair.”
During her acceptance speech, Mrs. Keller-Brinley accepted the award on behalf of her father, Myron “Tony” Keller.
Aaron Moran, vice president of the Darke County Visitors Bureau, Gloria Keller-Brinley, recipient and manager at the KitchenAid Experience Retail Center; Scott Hartings, treasurer of the Darke County Visitors Buraeu and Deanna York, executive director of the Darke County Visitors Bureau. (Clinton Randall Photo)