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LYNCHBURG, TENN. (June 18, 2024) South Central Tennessee Tourism Association just announced a partnership with Tennessee Tech’s Center for Rural Innovation to utilize TCRI’s services to enhance tourism branding in the region. The creative collaboration provides student produced branding assets for SCTTA partners, including website development, marketing materials and logos. Tourism participants are presented with state-of-the-art resources, and the students receive real-world application to their work. 

“Our organization’s mission is to provide guidance and fundamental tools for DMOs and partners to drive tourist activities in their communities,” Executive Director/CEO Ryan French, SCTTA, said. “Developing branding has long been an expensive obstacle for some communities, but essential to doing business. This strategic move directly addresses that. The partnership with SCTTA and Tech will allow us to take our fundamental marketing efforts to the next level.”


The goal of the Tennessee Tech Center for Rural Innovation is to transform rural communities through collaborative and inclusive efforts in innovation, entrepreneurship, and community and economic development by creating partnerships in regional economic ecosystems, conducting applied research, and providing technical assistance that addresses rural challenges. A U.S. Economic Development Administration University Center program, TCRI seeks to develop replicable and scalable strategies while enhancing quality of life and place within rural Tennessee.

“Tourism IS economic development, and we’ve made that a large initiative within TCRI. Partnering with SCTTA and further expanding our reach beyond the Upper Cumberland lines up perfectly with the center’s mission,” Assistant Director Andrea Kruszka, Tennessee Tech University, said. “In addition to our very talented Tech students getting real world experience that will make them more career-ready upon graduating, the work they are doing creating assets to benefit tourism in some of Tennessee’s rural communities will make a real impact where it is needed. We’re excited to work with SCTTA to make a difference.”



SCTTA launched a branding program two years ago and helped create assets for Wayne, Hickman, Marshall, and Lincoln counties and the town of Lynchburg. The partnership with TCRI will not only create enhanced branding support for these partners by expanding the sub-branding portfolio but will also help expedite branding efforts for many more partners.


“Creative branding attracts visitors, and more visitors will increase the economic impact on our region. That’s a fact,” French said.  


Photo Caption: Left to right: Dominic Gialdini, SCTTA; Andrea Kruszka, Tennessee Tech University; Ryan French, SCTTA.

About SCTTA:

South Central Tennessee Tourism Association is a non-profit promotional agency, created by the state of Tennessee, with a mission to serve as a catalyst to enhance regional economic and community growth through the support, promotion, and development of tourism in 13 of Tennessee’s 95 counties. 


About Tennessee Tech:

Tennessee Tech produces practical, ready-to-work graduates from a broad range of academic disciplines prepared to compete in a technologically driven world. With an enrollment of around 10,000 students, Tech offers degrees from eight academic schools and colleges: Agriculture and Human Ecology, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Engineering, Fine Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Nursing.

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