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A.J. Dillon presented "key" to Door County

Green Bay Packer running back A.J. Dillon had his dream of receiving a “key” to Door County fulfilled on Tuesday evening.  Destination Door County presented Dillon with the key at their annual meeting.   Executive Director Julie Gilbert made the presentation and Dillon says he was honored and a little taken back by the symbolic gesture.



Dillon was introduced to Door County by his fiancé and her family last year.  He joked on Twitter last week that if he could not be mayor of Door County he would like a key.  Dillon scored two touchdowns last Sunday in Green Bay’s 17-0 win over Seattle at Lambeau Field.  


(photo courtesy of A.J. Dilllon's Twitter account)



Press release:


New CEO Presents Key to Door County to AJ Dillon during Tourism Organization's 96th Annual Meeting

November 16, 2021.  Destination Door County (DDC), Door County’s destination marketing and management organization, celebrated a year like no other during their 96th annual meeting on Tuesday night at Fernwood Gardens Ballroom at Mr. G’s near Jacksonport.

Around 130 business leaders and community members gathered for the first time in over 2 years to meet DDC’s new President and CEO, Julie Gilbert. Gilbert was named the organization’s new leader last month, and officially began her duties on November 15. Gilbert has more than 30 years of experience in the destination marketing industry and was most recently the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Destination Niagara USA in Niagara Falls, New York.

The evening began with a social hour, which included a photo booth opportunity for attendees. The evening’s program included remarks from DDC Board Chairman Todd Trimberger, new President/CEO Gilbert, and the official business of the evening took place when new and existing DDC board members were voted in by those members present. Carol Ash (Kick Ash Products), Jennifer Gentry (One Barrel Brewing) and Bryan Nelson (Blacksmith Inn on The Shore) were all voted in for their first 3-year term on the DDC board and Meredith Coulson-Kanter (White Gull Inn), Hoyt Purinton (Washington Island Ferry) and Vicki Wilson (Door County Coffee and Tea) were all approved for their second 3-year term. The new terms all begin in January 2022.

The evening’s big surprise came when DDC presented special guest AJ Dillon with a key to Door County. Dillon, a running back for the Green Bay Packers, has been a self-appointed cheerleader for all things Door County since the summer of 2021. Through his social media channels and during interviews and media appearances, he’s regularly shared his enthusiasm and love for the destination, publicly stating his desire to someday have the key to Door County. DDC’s Gilbert happily surprised Dillon by presenting him with a special key during the event after a short highlight video shared a few examples of AJ talking up Door County.

“I love everything about Door County,” said AJ Dillon after being presented the key from DDC President & CEO Julie Gilbert. “Thank you guys very much, super honored, and a little taken a back right now, thank you so much," Dillon concluded.

View a video of the presentation to AJ Dillon and his reaction to getting the key to Door County on DDC's YouTube channel.

The evening wrapped up with more socializing, additional photo booth fun with special guest AJ Dillon, and a positive outlook on the upcoming winter season and continued success in 2022.

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