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Signature Memphis | May 2017

Photo by Steve Roberts

Bobbi Gillis

Chairman of the Memphis in May Board of Directors

Your Lucky Charm: My husband, Jerry Gillis
Who Would Play You in a Movie: Sally Field
Your Most Annoying Habit: Leaving my shoes all over the house
The Highlight of Your Day: My morning coffee, newspaper and crossword
Your Best Quality:  Tenacity — I don’t give up easily on anything or anyone I care about.
Best Thing About Working for a Nonprofit: It is a great opportunity to make a difference.
Hometown: Rockford, Illinois, but I have lived in Memphis 48 years so Memphis is definitely home for me.
Your Favorite Memphis “Thang”: Memphis Music. It is probably the thing that kept me here in my early years, but a close second would be the people of Memphis and their wonderful hospitality.
One Goal You’d Still Like to Accomplish: Travel, Travel and more Travel. I especially want to share my love of travel and seeing the many beautiful wonders of our world with my grandchildren.
Best Memphis Hangout: My own patio with a glass of wine and watching the Mississippi River – but really any place Downtown. There is so much going on and so many fun things to do. I really LOVE everything about Downtown Memphis.
What you would like people to know about your organization: We truly are an important part of this city’s brand. For 41 years, we have been known as the Biggest Month-Long Party on the Planet, but we are so much more. Last year, in 30 days we created an $88 million economic impact for our Downtown, put $2.8 million in taxes into the city coffers, created 207 jobs, and enlisted the help of 916 volunteers who religiously help make the festival come together every year. Additionally, we touched 24,000 students with our World Cargo Crates, and 51,000 students in 300 schools participated in our educational and cultural programs, as well as our Student Exchange Program for Memphis High School Students to visit the honored country and their students come to Memphis. And all this is done without city and county government funding. Memphis in May is a major asset in this community—as well as a FUN MONTH-LONG PARTY.