Kingsport officials last week released the framework of how the summit would work, the agenda for the two-day event, the seven focus areas to be discussed by the participants and the expected outcome from the event.
The idea of holding a summit similar to the 1999 economic summit was one of the main campaign issues of Mayor John Clark in this year’s city election. Clark believes the summit will serve as a rallying point for the community and bring in leaders from all different age groups and professions.
“Over the past 15 years, the summit has served as a benchmark, a document leaders used in the past to help propel projects and move the city forward,” Clark said.
City officials last week released the agenda for the event, which kicks off with a welcome from Mayor Clark at 1 p.m., followed thereafter with some ground rules by City Manager Jeff Fleming.
Anthony Domine, the vice president of marketing for North Star Destination Strategies and one of two keynote speakers scheduled to appear, will speak at 1:30 p.m. on “Creativity and Branding in the New Millennium.”
Following a short break, Development Services Manager Lynn Tully will discuss Kingsport’s present and future, providing information on annexation, demographics and trends in retail and housing.
In the afternoon on the first day, summit participants will speak on seven focus areas previously identified as being vital to Kingsport’s future. The focus areas and speakers will be: arts and entertainment, Lafe Cook; destination city investments, Dr. Steve Morse; downtown revitalization, John Vachon; health and wellness, Roger Mowen; higher education innovation, Jeff Frazier; and housing, Seth Jervis.
Day one is scheduled to wrap up by 5:30 p.m., and participants will return the next day by 8:30 a.m. to build on the momentum of the first day. Ellen Dunham-Jones, who teaches architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology, will speak on “Retrofitting Suburbia.”
Participants will then break into small groups of 12 or less with a trained facilitator to further develop the focus areas and come up with specific ideas. Live voting will take place on the big ideas from the focus groups, and the expectation is that people will be selected from the participants to act as stewards of these big ideas.
Clark further explained this week that an alderman, a city staff member and a steward would be responsible for shepherding the ideas forward and making recommendations to the full Board of Mayor and Aldermen within 100 days of the summit.
Originally, a 10- to 15-year plan was expected to come out of the summit, much like the one that came out of the 1999 summit. Today, the time frame has been shrunk to three to five years.
The summit will be live streamed at www.onekingsport.com and updates will be posted to Facebook (OneKingsport) and Twitter (One_Kingsport).
“Not only is it the largest planning session for the city in more than 15 years, the event is also one of the biggest public relations and marketing events for the city as well,” Clark said. “It’s a good time to be on the BMA as we approach our 100-year anniversary, and whatever we do, we need to do it extremely well.”