KINGSPORT — A sold-out crowd of more than 1,800 people gathered Friday night at the MeadowView Conference Resort & Convention Center to celebrate the 66th annual dinner of the Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce.
“Kingsport has had another great year with numerous achievements,” said Etta Clark, 2012 Kingsport Chamber chair and vice president of communications and public affairs for Eastman Chemical Co. “This community continues to grow and prosper in so many areas and the future looks even stronger.”
As part of the celebration, the Kingsport Chamber showcased some of the accomplishments achieved in Kingsport in 2012 and looked to “coming attractions” the city would be developing in 2013.
Some of the 2012 Kingsport highlights included the chamber’s move to its new $2.9 million headquarters in the Press Building on the former Quebecor property in downtown Kingsport. The chamber shares the building with the Kingsport City Schools Administrative Support Center.
Kingsport’s MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort & Convention Center enjoyed another record-breaking revenue year, surpassing $13.5 million in total sales and welcoming more than 100,000 guests for the second consecutive year in the resort’s 16-year history.
Other accomplishments mentioned included the establishment of the Reedy Creek Winery at MeadowView; construction of the new aquatic center and YMCA facility; the opening of the region’s first STEM school; and Eastman Chemical Co.’s $4.8 billion acquisition of Solutia.
“Kingsport has had another great year,” said chamber CEO Miles Burdine. “There’s a lot of growth and development happening every day in this community in many different sectors, and 2013 looks like it will be even better.”
Monty McLaurin, 2013 Kingsport Chamber chair and CEO of Indian Path Medical Center, said Kingsport has much to look forward to this year. “There is so much happening in Kingsport today and the coming attractions are going to make this city even greater. We’re set for another great year ahead for our Kingsport Chamber of Commerce and our community,” McLaurin said.
The Kingsport Chamber also presented its Lifetime Member Award to Payne Marshall, who served as the 26th president of the organization in 1972. Marshall is the 24th recipient of the honor, which recognizes an individual for a lifetime of outstanding service to the Kingsport community.
The Kingsport event remains the largest chamber annual dinner in the nation. The dinner, which featured the band “Party on the Moon,” had more than 100 corporate sponsors. Eastman Chemical Co. served as title sponsor and WJHL News Channel 11 was host sponsor. Holston Valley Medical Center was the entertainment sponsor, Eastman Credit Union served as concert hall and stage sponsor, King University served as education sponsor, Indian Path Medical Center was the associate sponsor, Holston Medical Group was the program sponsor, Food City was the printing sponsor and Oak Hill Memorial Park, Funerals & Cremations served as reception sponsor.