Welcome Center Employee Mary Bailey has greeted visitors at the I-81 Welcome Center for over 25 years. Mary began her career with TDTD in 1997 as a Welcome Center Assistant at the Bristol Welcome Center. Mary is a Certified Travel Ambassador and was in the Department's first graduating class in 2016. This past year she was awarded the Governor’s Excellence in Service Award, which recognizes outstanding state employees who are at the forefront of improving the way the Tennessee State Government delivers services.
Mary’s welcoming smile and passion for sharing her knowledge of the state are to be commended. She is an invaluable asset to the tourism industry, working to ensure travelers get the most out of their time in the beautiful state of Tennessee. In addition, Mary’s expertise and outstanding service make her a sought-after expert for returning guests.
A Bristol resident, she has three children, Robin, Raven and Lance as well as five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She is active in her church, enjoys spending time with her family, loves reading, especially her Bible, and cheering on her son, a professional golf caddy for the PGA.
What has been the most significant change you have observed over the last 25 years working in the Bristol Welcome Center?
When I first came to the department we made a lot of reservations for people traveling through the state. Now with technology and iPhones, we don’t do that as much. Traffic has always been busy with people coming in and out of the center.
Why do you like working for TDTD’s Welcome Centers?
I love to come in every day. I get to work and meet some of the nicest people. We work hard, but it is fun because every day is different. I love making friends with everyone that comes to visit and hearing firsthand from them how well Tennessee does with its Welcome Centers.