• Kingsport Chamber Honors Larry Estepp with Lifetime Member Award

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    December 03, 2018
    Friday, November 30, 2018                                                                                       
    For Immediate Release                                                                                      
    Miles A. Burdine
    President & CEO
    Kingsport Chamber
    Office: (423) 392-8807
    Mobile: (423) 956-1988
    Kingsport Chamber honors Larry Estepp with distinguished Lifetime Member Award
    NOTE:  Attached please find Larry Estepp photo, Kingsport Chamber logo and State of Your Kingsport Chamber Holiday Breakfast logo.
    KINGSPORT, Tenn. – The Kingsport Chamber honored longtime Kingsport business, economic development and community leader Larry Estepp with its prestigious Lifetime Member Award during its State of Your Kingsport Chamber Holiday Breakfast Friday morning at the MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort & Convention Center.
    The event was sponsored by ABC Tri-Cities; Anita’s Snack Foods; Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union; Appalachian Power; ARO; BAE Systems; Ballad Health; Bank of Tennessee; Bristol Motor Speedway; Carter-Trent; Chef’s Pizzeria; Cigna; Citizens Bank; Contour Glass; Cooper Standard; Domtar; East Coast Wings Grill; Eastman; Eastman Credit Union; First Tennessee Bank; Food City; GRC Construction/CainRashWest Architects; GRIFOLS; Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Homes; Honda Kingsport; Horizon Credit Union; J.A. Street & Associates; Mattern & Craig; News Channel 11; New Peoples Bank; Powell Valley National Bank; Preston Place; Regions Bank; Rodefer Moss & Company; Tele-Optics; The Blake at Kingsport; The Regional Eye Center; The Village at Allandale; Town Park Lofts; Tranquility on Center Salon, Spa & Boutique; VIPSeen Magazine; Volunteer Painting & Remodeling; and WorkSpace Interiors.
    A past Kingsport Chamber president, Estepp currently serves as president of Citizens Bank.
    He is the thirty-third recipient of the award.
    Estepp will also be recognized at the Kingsport Chamber 72nd Annual Dinner on Friday, February 1, 2019, at 7 p.m. at the MeadowView Marriott. 
    Tickets for that event go on sale in January.
    “Larry is a tireless and devoted leader – both in terms of economic development and community service – that we all should emulate,” said Bob Feathers, Kingsport Chamber chair, president of WorkSpace Interiors and owner of East Coast Wings Grill.  “His incredible work with the Kingsport Chamber, the Kingsport Economic Development Board, NETWORKS and countless other organizations and non-profits is unmatched and greatly appreciated.  He continues to give of himself to help others.  We are so honored to bestow upon him this well-earned accolade.”
    “Humble.  Kind.  Smart.  Dedicated.  Loyal.  Giving.  Respected.  Admired.  Servant Leader.  These are just a few of the many words I could use to describe Larry Estepp,” said Miles Burdine, Kingsport Chamber president and CEO.  “For years, Larry has given of his time, talents and heart to make this a great community…and he has done so with a gentle, generous and selfless spirit.  He embodies servant leadership and his generosity and volunteer commitment have touched many lives.  His business and economic leadership for our city will make a tremendous impact on this community and region for years and years to come.  This is a much-deserved honor and we are so happy to present it to him.”
    The Kingsport Chamber Lifetime Member Award goes to an individual who has made an enormous contribution to the Kingsport Chamber and the community throughout his or her lifetime. 
    With the award, Estepp will receive complimentary membership to the Kingsport Chamber for his life.
    Other Kingsport Chamber Lifetime Member recipients include Wallace D. Alley, John W. Andersen, Sam H. Anderson, Jr., Frederick Henry “Pal” Barger, Jr., E. B. “Jitney” Blankenbeckler, Jeanette D. Blazier, William C. Bovender, Frank B. Brewer, Frank M.  Brogden, A.B. Coleman, Betty W. DeVinney, John F. Douglas, William D. Dudney, C.B. “Boots” Duke, IV, Eleanor Eason, Rodney D. Irvin, Farris Jackson, D. Lynn Johnson, J. Lane Latimer III, Leland C. Leonard, Dr. William W. Locke, Kenneth H. Maness, G. Payne Marshall, Ronald G. McMasters, Robert L. Miller, Charles Edward Moore, Mike O. O’Neill, Dennis R. Phillips, Darrell W. Rice, James P. Rogers, Keith D. Wilson and Dr. Brenda White Wright.
    Larry Estepp
    Larry Ray Estepp was born in Westchester, Pennsylvania.  His family moved to Fall Branch, Tennessee, when he was three years old.  He graduated from Daniel Boone High School in 1973.  Upon graduation, he began working for First Tennessee Bank.
    He attended East Tennessee State University, received an associate degree from Walters State Community College and a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Tusculum University
    Estepp is also a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University, the Darden Commercial Lending School at the University of Virginia, the Rhodes College Executive Development program and the Tennessee Banker’s School.
    He started his impressive banking career at First Tennessee Bank in 1973, serving as the regional president in Greeneville from 1990 to 2000 and the regional president of Northeast Tennessee in Kingsport from 2000 to 2011.  He retired from First Tennessee Bank in 2011 and then joined Citizens Bank as the executive vice president for commercial lending, serving in that role from 2011 to 2018.  He was named president of Citizens Bank earlier this year.
    Estepp has served in numerous volunteer leadership roles in the Kingsport community for several years.  He has served on the Kingsport Chamber Board (president in 2004), the Kingsport Chamber Foundation Board and the Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE) Council (chair in 2015).
    Estepp has also served in key leadership and Board positions with community economic development organizations, including the Kingsport Economic Development Board (chair from 2007 to 2009), NETWORKS (chair from 2005 to 2007) and the Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority (KHRA) Board.
    During his tenure with KEDB, Estepp’s vision and leadership were instrumental in a number of key and impactful economic development projects and initiatives, including the formation of NETWORKS, KOSBE and the Holston Business Development Center; selling property to Stewart Taylor for Gateway development; purchasing Interstate Commerce Park from Brooks and Petzoldt (later named Gateway Commerce Park) and transferring the property to NETWORKS; applying for and receiving a $1.5 million Economic Development Assistance (EDA) grant for the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing (RCAM); purchasing property and managing the construction of the Regional Center for Applied Technology (RCAT); KEDB’s owning and managing the Northeast Tennessee Business Park; purchasing the foundry property and starting the demolition and cleanup of the property; commencing the purchase of the riverfront property; providing $2.5 million in developer incentives to Kingsport Pavilion that was recaptured in less than five years from sales tax collections; acquiring property in the Riverview neighborhood for the HOPE VI development project; and assisting with the Kingsport Mall Redevelopment District, among many others.
    As NETWORKS chair, Estepp led the effort to purchase property and construct Gateway Industrial Parks I and II and helped identify cluster-related businesses
    As a KHRA Board member, Estepp helped with the effort to redevelop Lee Apartments.
    Other board appointments and various leadership roles include the following:  “Be Loyal Buy Local” task force chair, city of Kingsport housing team, Sullivan County Industrial Bond Board, Kingsport Community Foundation, East Tennessee Foundation, Washington County Schools Quest Foundation, Holston Business Development Center Small Business Incubator, Phipps Bend Industrial Park Board, Tusculum University Board of Trustees, United Way of Greater Kingsport (campaign chair in 2006), Greene County Partnership (chair in 1995), Greene County Bond Board, Greene County Fair (president from 1996 to 2000), Boy Scouts of America Sequoyah Council, and the Appalachian Fair, among others.
    His professional affiliation includes the Tennessee Banker’s Association, where he serves on the credit conference committee.
    Estepp has been recognized with several awards and honors for his leadership and community service, including the Kingsport Chamber Leadership Kingsport Distinguished Leadership Award and the Gray Ruritan Man of the Year.
    Estepp and his wife, Teresa, have three daughters and three sons-in-law, Erin and Josh Link, Garett and Kelli Bjork, and Crockett and Amy Goode, two granddaughters, Adelyn and Landry Link, and two foster grandsons, Jaden and Leo.
    They are members of Northeast Church of Christ, where Larry Estepp serves as a deacon.
    The Kingsport Chamber is composed of two non-profit organizations:  the Kingsport Chamber Foundation (501(c)(3)) and Kingsport Chamber of Commerce (501(c)(6)). 
    The Kingsport Chamber Foundation manages, promotes, supports and assists a number of charitable, educational, environmental, leadership, quality of life and wellness programs that have a tremendous impact on the Kingsport community.
    Programs of the Kingsport Chamber Foundation include:  Communications & Development; Downtown Concert Series; Education & Workforce Development; Fun Fest; Healthy Kingsport; Keep Kingsport Beautiful; Kingsport Leadership Programs (Leadership Kingsport and S.H.O.U.T.!® Youth Leadership); Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE); Move to Kingsport; Santa Train; STREAMWORKS; Tennessee/Virginia Scholars; and Visit Kingsport.
    The Kingsport Chamber of Commerce’s mission is to utilize resources and focus efforts on enhancing a strong and viable business environment for the Kingsport area. 
    Programs of the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce include:  Communications & Development; Government Relations; and Membership.  The Kingsport Chamber of Commerce has nearly 1,000 members.
    For more information on the Kingsport Chamber, go to KingsportChamber.org or call (423) 392-8800.  We’re social too; follow us on our Facebook page, Your Kingsport Chamber, and on our Twitter account, @kptchamber.