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Kingsport Chamber recognizes two new Lifetime Members

Hank Hayes • Updated Dec 1, 2017 at 2:27 PM
KINGSPORT – Community leaders Lynn Johnson and Dr. Brenda White Wright received the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce’s most prestigious honor on Friday – the Lifetime Member Award.

They are the award’s 31st and 32nd recipients respectively.

Johnson is a retired Eastman Chemical Co. government relations executive and Wright is the owner of The Wright Approach, where she is a motivational speaker, storyteller and trainer.

During a State of Your Kingsport Chamber Holiday Breakfast, Citizens Bank President Bill Dudney, who is a Kingsport Chamber Lifetime Member and past Kingsport Chamber Board president, was also presented with the Leadership Kingsport Distinguished Leadership Award for a lifetime of community leadership.

More than 400 Kingsport Chamber members and business and civic leaders attended the event and heard about the chamber’s 2017 achievements and learned of the organization’s plans for 2018.

“I continue to be amazed at all we accomplish and the impressive work of the Kingsport Chamber every year” Miles Burdine, Kingsport Chamber president and CEO, said in a prepared release. “The successes we highlighted this morning are only a small part of what we do for this great community of Kingsport. We do all of this because of our incredible members, sponsors and volunteers and a superb staff who get up every morning to give their all for Kingsport. I am most thankful to everyone who makes this community the great place we call home.”

Outgoing Kingsport Chamber chair Stephen LaHair, co-owner of Chef’s Pizzeria and KAOS Investments, showcased a great 2017 for the Kingsport Chamber and incoming Kingsport Chamber chair Bob Feathers, president of WorkSpace Interiors and owner of East Coast Wings & Grill, previewed the organization’s plans and goals for 2018.

“Twenty seventeen was a year for the ages for our community,” LaHair said. “We were proud and honored for the Kingsport Chamber to promote our city’s centennial in many of our programs and events throughout the year. This city continues to grow and the Kingsport Chamber continues to be a huge part of this community’s success.”

For the past year, LaHair noted more than 30 businesses celebrated ribbon cuttings or groundbreakings in Kingsport, Fun Fest marked its 37th festival, Visit Kingsport attracted more than 44,000 visitors for a $38 million impact on the local economy, Keep Kingsport Beautiful received another award of excellence, Move to Kingsport made a $34 million impact on the economy, 400 local high school students graduated as Tennessee/Virginia Scholars, STREAMWORKS was created to promote the importance of science and technology to students, Government Relations hosted multiple gubernatorial candidates, Leadership Kingsport created a Selfie Trail, the Kingsport Office of Small Business & Entrepreneurship provided counseling and training to more than 200 individual clients and assisted in the capital formation of nearly $5 million, and Healthy Kingsport helped Kingsport become the first city in the nation to achieve more than one million miles of documented physical activity for a year, among many other events and highlights.

The Kingsport Chamber’s membership program attracted more than 60 new members and topped $400,000 in membership revenue.

The Kingsport Chamber celebrated the 75th running of the historic Santa Train and created the inaugural Santa’s Depot enjoyed by thousands of children.

The Kingsport Chamber will continue to celebrate Kingsport at its 71st Annual Dinner on Feb. 2, 2018 at 6 p.m. at the MeadowView Marriott.

Tickets will go on sale in January.