Community Stakeholders Report 
3rd Quarter - 2016

From the Desk of the CEO...

The Power of Momentum 

There is an old axiom in baseball that says your momentum is only as strong as the next day's starting pitcher. The same can be said for economic development. Investment and job attraction can come to a screeching halt even in communities that appear to be on an incredible roll. Still, just as baseball teams lament running into an opponent on a hot streak, economic development organizations know that wins lead to more wins and it's not by accident.
Lately, we have enjoyed a great deal of momentum Where Tennessee Begins Its Business Day and, judging by the activity level that has our office buzzing these days, we are optimistic that more announcements are just around the corner. In this issue of the NETWORKS Newsletter, you will find stories about a major existing industry expansion (Teleperformance), and a coal company that has emerged from bankruptcy to split into two companies, then relocate them both to Sullivan County (Alpha Natural Resources and Contura Energy). You can also read about our third annual Northeast Tennessee Red Carpet Tour, a marketing event that culminates with VIP treatment at the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race that has already led to investment and job creation and has generated other leads, not just for Sullivan and Hawkins counties, but for the entire region. Executive Project Manager Michael Parker has done an outstanding job of heading this initiative, supported by our entire team at NETWORKS, our community partners, and partners throughout the region, which this year included the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce and Oak Ridge National Laboratories. (We received incredibly positive feedback from our guests on such a strong showing of regional cooperation; "you guys just get it," is a phrase we heard often.)
This remarkable momentum doesn't end with NETWORKS. Tri-Cities Regional Airport has officially cut the ribbon on its renovations, announced an upcoming name change, and created a new logo, to be implemented soon. Additionally, Director Patrick Wilson and Director of Trade and Business Development Mark Canty have been meeting with city and county elected leaders throughout the region to discuss funding site work for Aerospace Park. NETWORKS and the airport co-hosted a Foreign Trade Zone seminar last month. All of that was on top of being a key partner for our Red Carpet Tour; now that's a busy quarter! Speaking of Red Carpet Tour partners, Bristol Motor Speedway brought even more positive attention to our region by hosting the Battle at Bristol, a football game between the University of Tennessee and Virginia Tech that set an attendance record. (It didn't hurt that the Volunteers destroyed the Hokies.) That event helped Sullivan County enjoy far more tourism economic impact than any other county in Northeast Tennessee.
Many of these events lured some very important state leaders to our neck of the woods, including Governor Haslam, Economic Development Commissioner Randy Boyd, and Education Commissioner Candice McQueen. Commissioner Boyd has plenty of reason to be happy these days; in addition to coming off a record year in terms of new jobs and investment, Tennessee was named the State of the Year for Economic Development by Southern Business and Development magazine. Tennessee also ranked fourth in Area Development magazine's Top States for Doing Business, earning marks in the top six in eight of the nine categories.
Partners TVA and AEP also were recognized by the media, both being named as a Top Utility for Economic Development by Site Selection magazine. And Sullivan and Hawkins counties and Aerospace Park received some national exposure when I was interviewed about our growing aerospace cluster in Expansion Solutions magazine.
It is certainly a great time to be a part of Team Tennessee. It is critical that we not be simply on the team, but that we are a valuable player. To that end, we partnered with the Tennessee Economic Partnership on several initiatives and strategic planning and I was one of the Board officers quoted in a feature story in Expansion Solutions magazine, with another sidebar Q&A with me regarding our industrial sites and workforce. I also had the pleasure of making a presentation on Marketing Techniques and Technology Tools to the Tennessee Certified Economic Developer program in August. (Although she wasn't in attendance for that particular session, Marketing and Administrative Coordinator Dana Glenn is participating in that program.) The more visible we are and the more we can help in shining the spotlight on Tennessee, the more front-of-mind awareness we will have with our partners, most notably TNECD.
Mainstay companies Eastman and Pal's Sudden Service also brought great attention to Sullivan County. Eastman hosted its inaugural IDEAcademy, a collaborative effort with East Tennessee State University. Some 500 professionals attended the event which, themed "Leading Innovation and Change," was described by Eastman Senior Vice President and Legal Officer David Golden (who happens to sit on our board) as a collision of creativity. Pal's grabbed attention as one of a handful of companies featured in a new book, titled Simply Brilliant. The book, authored by Bill Taylor, focuses on extraordinary companies.
We continued our focus on existing industry services over the past several months. Northeast State Community College Vice President, Economic and Workforce Development (and NETWORKS Board Member) Jeff McCord is leading our county's efforts toward certification as a Work Ready Community and we are proud to be the first EDO east of Knoxville to become members of Regional Engine-MFG, a unique regional manufacturers' association. NETWORKS joins Bell Helicopter and the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing as Sullivan County members. Project Manager Brian Ritz joined a meeting of some 45 manufacturing and education professionals from across Eastern Tennessee at those two locations for meetings just last week.
We attended the International Food Technologies show in Chicago in July, designed and published several ads in print and on-line versions of site selection publications, and answered several Requests for Information from TNECD and site location consultants along the way. Our partners in Bristol included us in a meeting with TVA to discuss product development. Along product development lines, it was announced last week that Hawkins County schools will receive a LEAP grant to promote workforce development. Staff also remained active in economic development professional organizations and continued education with Dana attending the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) conference in Cleveland, Ohio, and Brian, Michael, and me attending the Tennessee Economic Development Council (TEDC) annual meeting with several of our partners in Franklin. We've even upgraded this newsletter by adding links to stories, videos, press releases, and other appropriate content that we hope you will enjoy.
Whew! That sounds like a lot when you write it all down. But when you have all this momentum, you want to do all you can to keep it going.
Upcoming Meetings
Full Board

October 12, 2016

8:00 AM

Northeast State Community College
Library - Room L106

In This Issue
NETWORKS Names Officers, Extends CEO Contract Three Years
Congratulations to NETWORK's newly elected officers:


 - John Campbell, Chairman
 - Carolyn Ferrell, Vice Chairwoman

 - Bill Sumner, Secretary/Treasurer 


The new officers were elected at the July Full Board Meeting.  The Full Board also voted to extend NETWORKS CEO Clay Walker's employment contract through 2019.


Read more here

Matt Garland Named New Greene County Partnership President & CEO
Congratulations to Matt Garland, who recently left TNECD's Northeastern region's office where he served as Business Development Consultant to become President and CEO of the Greene County Partnership. Garland, an East Tennessee State University graduate, was with TNECD since 2007. Prior to that, he was employed at the First Tennessee Development District for three years.
Garland was a key contributor to projects such as Pure Foods, Agero, Teleperformance, Alpha Natural Resources, Contura Energy, IntelliHARTx, and many others still in our pipeline. Garland and NETWORKS CEO Clay Walker have discussed partnership opportunities, so we look forward to working closely with him in his new role.

Don Hurst Joins Regional TNECD Team
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development recently announced the addition of Don Hurst as a Business Development Consultant for its Northeast region. His responsibilities will include: assisting in the recruitment of new business, assisting existing companies expand their businesses, working with local economic development organizations and stakeholders, and supporting regional efforts to make Tennessee the number one state in the southeast for high-quality jobs.
Hurst, a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), has extensive experience with prior positions including: business development for Martin-McGill Consulting, President of the Cocke County Partnership, President of Carter County Tomorrow, and Real Estate Broker and Merchandise Manager for Parks Belk stores. He is a University of Tennessee graduate and has an MBA from East Tennessee State University.
Telperformance Adds 500 Jobs
Call center to top 1,000 associates

Teleperformance, the worldwide leader in outsourced omnichannel customer experience management, announced the addition of 500 jobs at its Bristol contact center.  Prior to the expansion, which will take place over the course of five years, Teleperformance had 700 employees at their Bristol location, making it one of the major customer service providers in the state.   Governor Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd were in attendance at the July announcement.

"We are fortunate to be a part of the wonderful community of Bristol and to grow our presence in Tennessee," Miranda Collard, Teleperformance's president of Enterprise Delivery, said. "Our employees from across the Bristol area are incredibly passionate and hardworking, and we are grateful for their dedication over the years. We would also like to thank the governor's office for its continued support of our growth in the state, and we look forward to being here for years to come."

Alpha, Contura Locate HQs to Sullivan County
Move will bring 175 jobs to Kingsport, Bristol

Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) recently emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced the relocation of its headquarters, along with 85 jobs, to Executive Park on Stone Drive in Kingsport.
"We were looking to stay in the local area and this location in Kingsport met all our needs," ANR spokesman Steve Hawkins said of the company's choice in an email. "It's a strong community for us to grow in, provides the needed space for our employees, and offers close proximity to the (Tri-Cities Regional) airport and community resources."
Contura Energy, a new company formed as part of ANR's corporate restructure, announced its plans to locate its headquarters in Bristol. Formed and majority-owned by a group of Alpha's former first lien lenders, Contura was created to acquire and operate what had been Alpha's core operations, allowing Alpha to emerge from Chapter 11 as a smaller, privately held company.
Clay Walker worked with real estate representative Michael Green of Green Commercial Realty to bring the ANR and Contura jobs to Kingsport.
NETWORKS Hosts Northeast TN Red Carpet Tour
Third annual event proves to be a success 

NETWORKS held its third annual Northeast Tennessee Red Carpet Tour on August 18 - 21. The Red Carpet Tour is a two-and-a-half-day familiarization tour culminating with suite passes and VIP access to the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. The event is held under the umbrella of the
Tennessee Economic Partnership (TEP).

NETWORKS hosted eight national site location consultants representing some of the country's leading site location firms.  The event also boasted regional participation, which included participants from the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.  In addition to regional partners, representatives attended from Appalachian Electric Power (AEP), Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), and the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD), which included Commissioner Randy Boyd and Assistant Commissioner Allen Borden.

Over the course of the event, attendees spent their time learning about the many advantages of doing business in Northeast Tennessee. The event's itinerary is designed to highlight why Northeast Tennessee is the first place consultants should consider when working with companies seeking a new location. Event highlights included: a presentation from Eastman and tour of their new corporate HQ facility, a round-table discussion with local employers, a tour of the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing (RCAM), an introduction to the area's many industrial parks and infrastructure, a presentation on the region's education and healthcare facilities, and VIP access to the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Site Location Consulting firms that attended the 2016 Northeast TN Red Carpet Tour include: CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield, Global Location Strategies, Jones Lang LaSalle, KPMG, MCS Strategies, and Next Move Group.

Tri-Cities Regional Airport Reveals New Brand
Upgrades include a new look, name, and logo

Tri-Cities Regional Airport will soon drop the word "regional" from its name, as airports that have regional in their title are often associated with smaller runways and populations and generally don't offer services such as a customs port of entry.  The rebranding process also includes a new look and logo, which builds on the airport's TRI designation,  as part of ongoing efforts to attract more airlines and create additional community awareness.

Commissioners Visit Kingsport
Candice McQueen & Randy Boyd meet with local leaders

Education Commissioner Candice McQueen and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd joined local government leaders, as well as representatives from Kingsport City Schools and Sullivan County Schools, to discuss the connection between education and economic development.  During their visit, the commissioners learned about the OneKingsport initiative and how Kingsport is preparing its workforce.  
Battle at Bristol Breaks Attendance Record
Confirmed ticket attendance 130,045

The Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol set a Guinness World Record for the largest crowd to see a college football game, beating the previous record of 114,804, set by Michigan in 2013.  The official attendance number of 130,045 was based on the number of scanned tickets, but the actual attendance was estimated to be around 156,990.  The game between the University of Tennessee Volunteers and Virginia Tech Hokies resulted in not only a Vols win, but a win for the entire community, as TNECD estimates the economic impact generated from the event was $439 million.

Eastman Hosts IDEAcademy
Randi Zuckerburg acted as keynote speaker

Eastman and ETSU recently joined forces to host IDEAcademy, an event that explored different ideas of leadership and innovation.  The event focused on leadership development, with most topics being centered around leading change, leading innovation and what that looks like in a variety of careers.

IDEAcademy was free and took place in three separate locations around the region. The main event was held at Eastman's Toy F. Reid Employee Center in Kingsport on September 14. The IDEAcademy also met at the Foundation Event Facility in Bristol and the Millennium Center in Johnson City on the previous day.

The event was hosted by Dr. Noland and Dr. Dennis Depew of ETSU as well as David Golden of Eastman. In addition to the hosts, speakers included an ETSU student, a professional storyteller, several ETSU professors, many business founders and representatives from Eastman.  Randi Zuckerburg, founder of Zuckerburg Media and former marketing director of Facebook, was IDEAcademy's keynote speaker.

"We were excited to have her and her insights because she is a pioneer in social media marketing, founder of Zuckerberg Media and author," said Amanda Allman, a spokesperson for Eastman. "We wanted to see what she had to share about the world of technology and leading change."

Regional Engine-MFG Hosts Local Event
Attendees from across region toured RCAM and Bell Helicopter

NETWORKS staff originally met with Regional Engine-MFG founders Stephen Williams and Alan Baker in late June.  After hearing the organization's goals, NETWORKS immediately saw the value in becoming one of Northeast Tennessee's early members.  Regional Engine-MFG, an East Tennessee manufacturers association focused on providing an environment for manufacturing companies to connect and collaborate, held a highly successful event on September 22 with tours of the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing (RCAM) and Bell Helicopter.  The event was attended by 43 members, representing Nashville, Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Morristown, making this a truly regional meeting.

Stephen Williams, President and CEO of Regional Engine-MFG said, "The RCAM and Bell Helicopter provided valuable information to our members on how each execute their best of breed operations. Engine members made new connections and received insightful workforce development views from Jeff McCord and Jeff Frazier of RCAM; while Chad Nimrick, Bill Sumner, and Bell's HR and Procurement department leaders gave members a behind the scenes look at Bell's operations. We're very impressed by the RCAM workforce development model, and by Bell's manufacturing processes. I feel like our Engine members received a number of useful takeaways. Also, we are grateful for the support from Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, Domtar and Eastman, NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership."
Sullivan County Leads Region in Tourism Impact
Ranks seventh out of Tennessee's 95 counties

Money spent by tourists in Sullivan County during 2015 totaled more than $356.5 million, a 4.6% increase over the 2014 total of nearly $341 million.  The 2015 spending breaks down to $93.04 million in local payrolls; 3,140 local jobs; $9.92 million in local tax receipts; and $19.69 in state tax receipts.