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CONTACT:            Dana Glenn                                                                                           FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TELEPHONE:       423-279-7682                                                                                       October 9, 2019

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NETWORKS Board Member, Staff Recognized by Tennessee Economic Development Council (TEDC)

BLOUNTVILLE, TN – A NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership Board Member and two staff were recognized at the annual Tennessee Economic Development Council (TEDC) Awards event, at its fall conference earlier this month.

Carolyn Ferrell, Vice President of HR and Community Relations for The Robinette Company, and past NETWORKS Board Chairman, was recognized as the 2019 TEDC Volunteer of the Year for her commitment to volunteerism in economic development projects across the region.

Carolyn has served the board in a variety of roles over the past six years, including Secretary-Treasurer, Chairman-Elect, and Chairman.  During her two years as Chairman, NETWORKS totaled 19 projects worth more than $550 million in capital investment and 1,100 new jobs.  Carolyn currently serves as the Immediate Past Chairman on the NETWORKS Board and has served on numerous other organizations’ leadership teams over the years.

“Carolyn has proven to be the go-to person for any organization, cause, initiative, event, or issue when it comes to workforce or economic development,” said CEO of NETWORKS Clay Walker. “In addition to her unprecedented service to the NETWORKS Board, she has also provided her talents to other community programs such as the Workforce Readiness Committee, Teacher Industry Day, Work-Base Learning, and the Workforce Investment Board.” 

Ronnie Price, NETWORKS Economic Development specialist, received the 2019 TEDC Lifetime Member Award, recognizing the 36 years spent in economic development.  Prior to his time at NETWORKS, Ronnie served as CEO of the Weakley County Economic Development Board for 13 years, and the Industrial Developer for the Hawkins County Industrial Development Board for 23 years.

Ronnie has served as President of the Tennessee Economic Development Council, Chairman of the Tennessee Economic Partnership Marketing Committee, Chairman of the Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Development Association, and is a member of the Southern Economic Development Council.

Ronnie was one of the first economic developers I met when I moved to Tennessee about 17 years ago. We were the first two to arrive at a TEP dinner in Anaheim, so I got a chance to visit with him for a while before others arrived and I remember being impressed with him in that short amount of time. As the years went by, I’ve only grown more impressed and am so happy that he has joined our team where we are all learning and benefitting from his incredible knowledge about our profession. But it was the team from West Tennessee who nominated Ronnie for the Lifetime Membership Award,” said NETWORKS CEO Clay Walker.  “He is truly as respected and accomplished and just plain liked as anyone in our field. He’s a professional at all times, but more importantly, he is a friend to all of us who get to do this incredible job. He makes us all proud to be economic developers and sets a high standard for which to aim.”

Clay Walker, CEcD, NETWORKS CEO, was appointed as the East Tennessee Director of the TEDC Board of Directors.  TEDC is a statewide, non-profit organization created to unite the efforts of its members in furthering industrial development in the state of Tennessee. It promotes cooperation and understanding among the individual members of the council and the varied interests they represent.

“As a board, we encourage our staff to be active in professional organizations.  Clay has been a longtime member of the Tennessee Economic Partnership Board, having chaired that group in 2017.  I think it’s a great reflection on NETWORKS, as well as Clay, that he be asked to represent our region on the leadership team of TEDC,” said Bill Sumner, Board Chairman of NETWORKS.

TEDC is the statewide professional organization for people involved in economic development. The awards ceremony was held during the TEDC Annual Fall Conference which was held in Franklin, Tennessee this year. 

NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership is the economic development organization serving the Northeastern Tennessee communities of Sullivan – including investor partners Bluff City, Bristol, and Kingsport – and Hawkins County.  To learn more about NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership, please visit networkstn.com.



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Sullivan County, Tennessee is home to companies and attractions known around the world.  Browse our website to learn all the reasons you should join Eastman, Bell, Domtar, Teleperformance, Home Shopping Network, Bristol Motor Speedway, and many others by locating a facility in Sullivan County!


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