• Kingsport Chamber Showcases Another Great Year

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    November 30, 2018
    Friday, November 30, 2018                                                                                       
    For Immediate Release                                                                                              
    Bob Feagins
    Executive Director of Communications & Development
    Kingsport Chamber
    Office: (423) 392-8815
    Kingsport Chamber showcases another award-winning, nationally-recognized year of success
    NOTE:  Attached please find Bob Feathers photo, Lori Payne photo, Kingsport Chamber logo and State of Your Kingsport Chamber Holiday Breakfast logo.
    KINGSPORT, Tenn. – The Kingsport Chamber today celebrated an incredible year filled with several highlights and accomplishments at its State of Your Kingsport Chamber Holiday Breakfast at the MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort & Convention Center.
    Nearly 400 Kingsport Chamber members and business and civic leaders attended the event that showcased some the Kingsport Chamber’s many achievements from 2018 and previewed some exciting plans and events for 2019.
    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.
    Outgoing Kingsport Chamber chair Bob Feathers, president of WorkSpace Interiors and owner of East Coast Wings Grill, highlighted some of the organization’s many achievements from the past year and incoming Kingsport Chamber chair Lori Payne, controller for Contour Glass, addressed the organization’s plans and events for 2019.
    “Your Kingsport Chamber had another great year and what I highlighted this morning is only a snapshot of everything that was accomplished,” Feathers said.  “For 72 years, your Kingsport Chamber has been at the centerpiece of many great developments for this community.  When something needs to get accomplished, the business community rallies together to get it done.  It’s been a true honor and genuine pleasure to be chair of this great organization this past year and I look forward to many more years of serving my Kingsport Chamber.”
    “I’m honored to serve as the new chair of your Kingsport Chamber next year and 2019 is going to be another amazing year for our community,” Payne said.  “Your Kingsport Chamber and its many important, award-winning programs will do what they have always done…improve our community’s quality of life, enhance our economic development efforts and support our business members…all of which will add to the economic vitality of this region.  In 2019, your Kingsport Chamber will continue to build on the tradition of excellence it has established for the past 72 years.”
    For the past year, Feathers noted more than 25 businesses celebrated ribbon cuttings or groundbreakings in Kingsport; Fun Fest marked its thirty-eighth festival; Visit Kingsport attracted more than 20,000 visitors for a $42 million impact on the local economy; Keep Kingsport Beautiful received another award of excellence; 360 local high school students graduated as Tennessee/Virginia Scholars; STREAMWORKS hosted the state’s largest Lego competition; Government Relations hosted every gubernatorial candidate; Leadership Kingsport completed six community impact projects; KOSBE provided counseling and training to more than 160 individual clients and assisted in record capital formation of more than $10 million dollars; and Healthy Kingsport helped Kingsport become the first city in the nation to achieve more than two million miles of documented physical activity for a year; among many other events and highlights.
    For 2019, Payne commented the Kingsport Chamber would continue to improve upon its legacy of excellence.  Some plans for next year include launching a new member marketing campaign; supporting small business success, especially through KOSBE’s Propel Mentor/Protégé program; continuing to support Roosevelt Elementary School’s Leadership Academy; protecting business interests by lobbying local, state and federal leaders; hosting another World Long Drive competition; continue to develop leaders – both the business professional and our high school students – who give life to community dreams; welcoming more than 2,000 visitors from some 20 countries around the world in June as Kingsport hosts the International Underwater Robotics Competition; continuing the nationally-recognized efforts to beautify the city and preserve its gorgeous natural environment; walking 2.5 million miles and continuing to champion the importance of health, nutrition and fitness to individual lives, to the bottom lines of businesses and to the overall well-being of the community; and celebrating as Fun Fest produces its thirty-ninth festival; among other goals and events planned.
    In addition, the Kingsport Chamber honored longtime Kingsport business, economic development and community leader Larry Estepp with its prestigious Lifetime Member Award during the event.
    Estepp is president of Citizens Bank.
    Some of the Kingsport Chamber’s numerous accomplishments from 2018 included:
    Your Kingsport Chamber’s Membership program attracted more than 50 new members and topped $400,000 in membership revenue. 
    Your Kingsport Chamber also hosted 24 ribbon cuttings and groundbreakings.
    These companies included:  Appalachian Cultural Music Association Mountain Music Museum; Anita’s Snack Foods; AtWork Personnel; Burgerim; Creekside Behavioral Health; City Electric Supply; Cora Physical Therapy; Crystal City Townhomes; Do Good GOODS; Eastman Credit Union; Farmers Home Furniture; GRIFOLS; Kingsport Pediatric Dentistry; Mad Greek; Master Precision Machining; Meade Tractor; Mercantile on Broad; PETWorks; Popeyes; Powell Valley National Bank; RCAM Academy; Surf N Brew; The Villas at River Bend; and Tranquility on Center Salon, Spa & Boutique.
    The membership department also created a new fundraiser this year. BrewHaHa: A night of pizza, beer and laughs! which had a sold-out crowd of more than 200 people.
    Visit Kingsport
    Thanks to the superb efforts of Visit Kingsport, this vital tourism program supported 41 meetings and conventions with an estimated economic impact of $19.2 million
    Visit Kingsport also hosted, supported or operated 25 sporting events with an estimated economic impact of $23 million
    Visit Kingsport reclaimed a piece of Kingsport’s History, ‘Home to the ORIGINAL Long Island Iced Tea.’
    This campaign resulted in over 27 million impressions and more than $1.3 million in global media value.
    In addition, Golf Channel’s nationally televised World Long Drive Tour’s Tennessee Big Shots was held in Kingsport at Cattails MeadowView.  This brought substantial national attention to the city and region.
    Fun Fest
    Fun Fest celebrated its thirty-eighth year with more than 120,000 attendees from 35 states and 142 Tennessee cities enjoying more than 130 events and activities, most of which were free of charge. 
    Fun Fest was also voted as a Top 20 Event in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society, and was named as East Tennessee’s Best Festival in the Best of Tennessee list in Tennessee Magazine and the popular festival was voted as the Best Event in the Kingsport TimesNews’ 2018 Readers' Choice Awards.
    Fun Fest’s total economic impact on Kingsport exceeded $6 million.
    Keep Kingsport Beautiful
    The Kingsport Chamber’s nationally-recognized Keep Kingsport Beautiful program received another Award of Excellence from Keep America Beautiful.
    Keep Kingsport Beautiful received a $95,000 Special Litter Grant from the Tennessee Department of Tourism to help with our city’s litter prevention efforts.
    Keep Kingsport Beautiful also hosted Clean Sweep Kingsport, an event that witnessed more than 330 volunteers contributing nearly 1,000 volunteer hours valued at more than $24,000. 
    Workforce Development
    The Kingsport Chamber’s Workforce Development/Education program graduated 360 seniors as Tennessee/Virginia Scholars.
    The Kingsport Chamber, the city of Kingsport and Kingsport City Schools also started working together this past year on an initiative involving Roosevelt Elementary School, where hope is being brought to students who come from one of the lowest socio-economic backgrounds in the city.  The Roosevelt Elementary Leadership Academy is having a profound and lasting impact on these students lives.
    In partnership with Eastman, the Kingsport Chamber’s STREAMWORKS program continues to collaborate with industry and the school system to provide relevant extracurricular STEM based activities for k-12 students to help prepare them for a successful and meaningful career in the twenty-first century workforce. 
    STREAMWORKS also hosted the state largest Lego competition – the “Model City Lego League Qualifier” – and it was a vital partner in Dobyns-Bennett High School and D-B EXCEL’s underwater robotics teams this year.
    Government Relations
    The Kingsport Chamber’s legislative affairs committee reviewed more than 1,000 pieces of legislation and took positions on several bills that impacted business. 
    The program also hosted ten events with local, state and national elected officials and hosted one-on-one meetings with each candidate running for Governor.
    Leadership Kingsport
    The Kingsport Chamber’s Leadership Kingsport program’s 33 class members presented six Community Impact Projects, ideas and efforts that seek to sustain the economic vitality and enhance the quality of life for our City. 
    These included: Safe Communities America, Capacity Building for Organizational Sustainability, Kingsport History Museum, Senior Center/Renaissance Center, Kingsport Farmer’s Market and Helping the Kingsport Homeless.
    Forty-two sophomores graduated from the S.H.O.U.T.!® Youth Leadership program.
    Kingsport Leadership Programs also hosted “Catch Me If You Can,” a cybersecurity conference featuring Frank Abagnale.
    The Kingsport Chamber’s small business program, the Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE), provided counseling and training to more than 160 individual clients; assisted in record capital formation of more than $10 million dollars; held 22 training events; supported 9 new business starts; and helped create 43 new jobs and retain 49 jobs
    In partnership with the Knoxville Chamber, KOSBE also announced the inaugural Propel Mentor/Protégé Program featuring GrowthWheel, which is a one-of-its-kind opportunity designed for woman-, veteran-, and minority-owned small businesses and disadvantaged businesses including rural, economic or social disadvantage.  There are eight participants in this year’s class who are all Kingsport Chamber members – just one of the many perks of the program.
    Healthy Kingsport
    Last year, thanks to the leadership efforts of Healthy Kingsport, Kingsport became the first city in the United States to log 1.6 million miles of physical activity in a year’s time.  This year, the goal was to log two million miles.  Healthy Kingsport rallied the city, and this year the community logged 6.7 million miles of physical activity in less than a year’s time.  Kingsport is the first city in America to accomplish this feat!
    This nationally-recognized program also hosted the region’s largest health and wellness expo with more than 2,500 participants at its Walk for Wellness Expo and supported 70 organizations in becoming a tobacco free campus with 751 associated campuses, positively impacting 42,138 employees/parishioners.
    To date, more than 280 Kingsport businesses and organizations are part of Healthy Kingsport’s Live SugarFreed effort with 97 not selling, providing or promoting sugary sweetened beverages, positively impacting approximately 20,000 people.
    Feathers and Payne also commented on the Kingsport Chamber’s efforts to support and promote the region.
    “And while we are proud of our city’s own unique heritage and promote her as a destination for businesses, newcomers and visitors, we are equally as proud to be part of the larger regional family,” Feathers commented.  “One of the greatest accomplishments we achieved this year was the attention and time given to a more concerted effort to unite us and promote us as one region.  While our individual successes are important to promote, what we do collectively as one region will prove critical for our united future.”
    “We will continue to be a vital partner at the regional table, promoting and championing this region as the best place in the country to grow a business, educate your children, nurture your faith, enhance your health, raise a family and make a life,” Payne remarked.
    Kingsport Chamber 72nd Annual Dinner
    The Kingsport Chamber will continue to celebrate Kingsport at its 72nd Annual Dinner.
    “Kingsport’s Social Event of the Year,” the Kingsport Chamber 72nd Annual Dinner, is Friday, February 1, 2019, at 6 p.m. at the MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort & Convention Center
    Tickets will go on sale in January.
    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.