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Teague honored as state's top tourism pro

Staff report • Sep 13, 2019 at 9:00 PM

KINGSPORT — Visit Kingsport Executive Director Jud Teague was recently named Tennessee’s Top Tourism Professional of the Year by the Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association (TNHTA).

The honor was announced during the Stars of the Industry Gala at the Music City Center in Nashville Sept. 5 as part of the Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Hospitality and Tourism.

Teague, a native of Powell, Tennessee, has been contributing to the tourism industry for more than 20 years. His passion for the industry began with his love of sports ,which was instilled in him by his father and grandparents at a very young age and has led to a career filled with a lasting impact in sports tourism.

“What a wonderful honor to be recognized by my peers within the industry,” said Teague. “Tourism is such a great economic driver, and I’m very proud to be part of an organization that does so much to promote the incredible resources of Kingsport and the state of Tennessee to the rest of the world.”

Before moving back to Northeast Tennessee, Teague spent 16 years teaching and countless hours as a volunteer coach for Junior Pro sports, AAU and was later hired as the executive director of Knox Youth Sports.

During his time in Florida, he also became baseball senior sports manager for AAU at Walt Disney World Resort and director of program development for USSSA. Teague’s involvement in the youth baseball industry earned him a spot on the Amateur Athletic Union Baseball Executive Committee. He also received the AAU National Baseball Volunteer of the Year award, the Disney Wide World of Sports Award of Excellence, and the USSSA Executive Director Award.

Since Teague became executive director of Visit Kingsport, previously known as the Kingsport Convention & Visitors Bureau, the organization has grown by leaps and bounds. Under his leadership, lodging tax collections have doubled, and numerous new sporting events have been recruited to Kingsport, contributing to nearly $10 million in economic impact for the city.

Teague has served on the TNHTA board of directors, was on the Executive Committee for AAU Athletics, served on the Kingsport Community Foundation, the Palmer Center board of directors and the FRIENDS Down Syndrome Support board of directors. His dedication to tourism reaches beyond his current work in Kingsport, as he continues to contribute to regional and statewide tourism efforts.

Teague and his wife, Cathy, recently celebrated their 31st wedding anniversary. He is father to three children, Ann Marie (27), Jordan (24) and Nicholas (11). Nicholas, “Nico” to everyone around him, is the inspiration for much of Teague’s work and his latest project, the Kingsport Miracle Field, which will provide a safe space for children and adults of all abilities to play for years to come. Teague has spearheaded the project and to date has raised nearly $2 million to make the Miracle Field a reality for our region.

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