Elizabethton Parks & Recreation staff member honored for exceptional achievements

Published 6:07 pm Wednesday, September 20, 2023

The Tennessee Parks and Recreation Association’s 72nd Annual Conference in Memphis became the stage for celebrating outstanding individuals and organizations in the field of parks and recreation, culminating in the presentation of the 2023 Branch and Interest Section Awards. Among the recipients of these prestigious awards was Kelly Kitchens, a distinguished member of the City of Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department.

Kelly was bestowed with the Special Events Award by the Programming & Recreation Branch, an accolade reserved for those who have demonstrated unmatched innovation, creativity, and the ability to inspire others to create similar programs.

Mike Mains, Parks and Recreation Director, expressed his heartfelt congratulations, saying, “This is a great honor for Kelly. I am so happy for her as it recognizes her creativity, hard work, dedication, and willingness to work with our community partners. Being awarded this accolade against some of the larger Parks and Recreation agencies like Memphis and Nashville shows how Kelly’s body of work should be celebrated. We couldn’t be prouder of her!”

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Kelly Kitchens’ journey in Elizabethton began 22 years ago, with the last 16 dedicated to the Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department. Starting as an Administrative Assistant, her career trajectory led to a well-deserved promotion to the newly created Programming & Special Events position in 2018.

Kelly’s commitment extends beyond professional obligation; it is a personal passion. Her dedication to creating engaging and meaningful experiences for the community has profoundly impacted Elizabethton and its residents. Recognizing the pivotal role of parks and recreation in fostering community bonds and enhancing quality of life, Kelly shared her thoughts, stating, “I believe that programming and special events are the heart and soul of our community. They bring people together, create lasting memories, and inspire a sense of togetherness that is essential for building strong and resilient communities.”

Kelly Kitchens’ exceptional contributions to the lives of Elizabethton’s residents through remarkable programming and special events are commendable. Her unwavering commitment, creativity, and passion serve as an inspiration to all who have had the privilege of working alongside her.

The City of Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department proudly congratulates Kelly Kitchens on this well-deserved recognition and expresses heartfelt gratitude for her invaluable contributions to the community. Her dedication shines as a beacon of inspiration, and her presence on the team is truly an honor.