Wallers’ welcoming spirit earns them Madison hospitality award
The couple decided to retire in Madison
after an earlier visit
(June 2017) – Bob and Terri Waller’s love for Madison, Ind., and their commitment to its continued success is unmistakable. The couple relocated to Madison from southern California in 2006.
Madison tourism officials took note of their dedication and in mid-May awarded the couple with its 2017 HOSTS Award. HOST stands for Honoring Our Super Tourism Stars.
“On behalf of VisitMadison Inc., we would like to thank and recognize Bob and Terri Waller for their hospitality when meeting and greeting visitors to our community,” said VisitMadison Inc. Executive Director Tawana Thomas in a press release.
Bob is a retired firefighter with Orange County Fire Authority, and Terri worked in the RV Industry.
Terri was born in Madison, but her father’s career in the U.S. Navy took them all over the world before settling in southern California.
Photo by Patti Watson
Bob and Terri Waller in May received the 2017 hospitality award, or HOSTS (Honoring Our Super Tourism Stars), from VisitMadison Inc. tourism office.
On a vacation to the Madison area in the 1990s, Bob remarked, “Now this is a place I could retire to.”
The HOSTS Award is presented each year during National Travel and Tourism Week.
Upon retirement, Madison was in fact to be their future home town. Shortly after they settled in, Terri went to work at Something Simple gift shop. She left there to open and manage Galena Garlic just down the street. This was truly a new “concept shop” for Madison and a risk for the owner, who also has stores in Galena, Ill., and Geneva Ill.
Terri introduced the shop to Madison and made it a shopping destination on Madison’s Main Street, in part due to her friendly and helpful demeanor. She managed this store for 4 ½ years and decided to retire. Her plan was short lived.
When an East Main Street anchor store closed, the Wallers made it their mission to find a suitable replacement. They met and talked to Steve and Stephanie Brewer, who own two successful businesses – one in Seymour, Ind., and another in Bedford, Ind. They convinced them to open a third Primitive Porch location on Madison’s Main Street this year.
Although Terri is the official manager, Bob’s presence is often seen as well, assisting customers and bringing a fun and lighthearted atmosphere to the store. The Primitive Porch opened April 1 and has been widely welcomed by visitors and residents alike.
The Wallers are always willing to go the extra mile when it comes to their community and customer satisfaction. They have been involved in various city government committees and Main Street organizations. Each of the businesses they have managed has radiated a warm and welcoming ambience.
“We feel that Madison is very lucky they chose us,” Thomas, said. “Some people only lament when a business closes downtown, but Bob and Terri had a plan and they put it into action.”
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