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Chamber bestows Lifetime Member Awards on Dudney, Rogers

February 10th, 2014 8:49 am by Hank Hayes

Chamber bestows Lifetime Member Awards on Dudney, Rogers

Citizens Bank’s Bill Dudney and Eastman Chemical Co.’s Jim Rogers

KINGSPORT — The Kingsport Chamber of Commerce honored two community and business leaders — Citizens Bank’s Bill Dudney and Eastman Chemical Co.’s Jim Rogers — with its prestigious Lifetime Member Awards during its 67th Annual Dinner Friday night at the MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort & Convention Center.

Dudney is the president of Citizens Bank and Rogers is the executive chairman of the Eastman Chemical Co. Board of Directors.

They are the award’s 25th and 26th recipients.

“We are enormously proud to honor Bill Dudney and Jim Rogers with this very prestigious and most-deserving award,” Monty McLaurin, 2013 Kingsport Chamber chair and CEO of Indian Path Medical Center, said in a prepared release. “Both gentlemen have had a tremendous impact on this community during their careers and both are to be strongly applauded for what they mean to Kingsport.”

Kingsport Chamber President and CEO Miles Burdine noted both Dudney and Rogers continue to serve Kingsport in a number of leadership capacities.

“It’s not unprecedented for us to present two Lifetime Members Awards in one year. With this year’s recipients, it is quite easy to see why we did,” Burdine pointed out.

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, Dudney and Rogers receive complimentary membership to the Kingsport Chamber for life.

A native of Kingsport, Dudney is a 1973 graduate of Dobyns-Bennett High School. He received a B.A. in business administration from the University of Tennessee in 1977 and a degree from the Graduate School of Banking of the South at LSU in 1987. He has served as president of Citizens Bank since 1995. He was also an executive with First Tennessee Bank from 1977 to 1995.

Dudney, during his tenure as Kingsport Chamber president in 1996, celebrated the grand opening of the MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort & Convention Center and helped break ground for the Cattails at MeadowView. He hosted the first Kingsport Chamber Annual Dinner to be held at MeadowView in 1997.

Dudney currently serves as the vice chair of the Kingsport Economic Development Board and is a board member of the East Tennessee State University Foundation. He’s also a longtime member of the Kingsport Kiwanis Club. He has served in key leadership positions with a number of community organizations, including Kingsport Chamber Foundation president, Fun Fest chair, Downtown Kingsport Association president and Downtown Kingsport Association Foundation president.

Dudney has also held key leadership positions with NETWORKS — Sullivan Partnership, United Way of Greater Kingsport, Girls Inc., Kingsport Tomorrow and the American Heart Association.

Dudney and his wife, Janyce, live in Kingsport and have four children: Brooke, Laura, John and Rachel, and three grandchildren, Anne Marie, Eleanor and Charlotte. They are active members of Mountain View United Methodist Church.

Rogers, a native of Bethesda, Md., graduated with high distinction and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in psychology in 1973. In 1983, he received an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

From 1973 through 1980, Rogers served in the United States Navy as a naval aviator, flying aboard the U.S.S. Eisenhower and achieving the rank of lieutenant.

Prior to his retirement in January 2014, Rogers served as Eastman’s chief executive officer since May 2009 and as chairman of the board of directors since January 2011. He joined the company in 1999 as senior vice president and chief financial officer and in 2002 also became chief operations officer of the Eastman Division. He was named executive vice president of the company and president of the Eastman Division in November 2003 and was named president of Eastman Chemical Co. and Chemicals & Fibers Business Group head in 2006.

Under Rogers’ leadership, Eastman successfully completed its $1.3 billion Project Re-Invest, finalized its $4.8 billion acquisition of Solutia and just last year launched the $1.6 billion Project Inspire.

Eastman also garnered the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for two consecutive years and received global acclaim from Bloomberg Businessweek for the company’s strong financial performance and financial outlook for the future.

In addition, Eastman was named “Company of the Year” by Chemical & Engineering News, was ranked as the fourth best place to work in the nation by Glassdoor Employees’ Choice and was a 2013 winner of the U.S. Secretary of Defense Employee Support Freedom Award, among numerous other honors and accolades the company received during Rogers’ tenure as CEO.

  Rogers serves on the executive committee and is past president of the executive board of the Sequoyah Council, Boy Scouts of America. He is also active in the United Way of Greater Kingsport.

Rogers and his wife, Laura, live in Kingsport and have two daughters, Kate and Jessie. The Rogerses attend New Song Church and have established the Jim and Laura Rogers Foundation.

“Quite simply, it’s because of Jim Rogers and his superb leadership that Eastman’s global corporate headquarters will remain in Kingsport for years and years to come,” Burdine said. “Jim means so much to this community and we are thrilled to be able to honor him with this distinction. Jim is a leader all should emulate.”

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