English Chinese (Traditional) French German Italian Japanese Korean Portuguese Spanish

Friday, March 29, 2019                                                                                         

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                         

Ricardo Alvarez
Anita’s Snack Foods
Cell: (310) 633-1949
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Anita’s Snack Foods breaks ground on $2 million expansion 
KINGSPORT, Tenn. – The Kingsport Chamber held a groundbreaking ceremony for Anita’s Snack Foods today on a $2 million expansion at their location at 2300 Tri-Cities Crossing. 
The California based company opened their doors in Kingsport in July of 2018. Employment has grown from 20 jobs less than a year ago to 85 jobs today. They anticipate those numbers continuing to grow. 
“We want to continue growing the business in order to supply great tasting products to our customers, grow employment and serve the communities in the Tri Cities area,” Anita’s Snack Foods President Ricardo Alvarez said. 
This expansion will add 40,000 square feet of additional warehouse space. Anita’s currently has two lines operating 5 to 6 days a week. They are installing a third chip line that will be operational by mid to late May of 2019. 
“I am happy that the Kingsport Economic Development Board, in conjunction with the City of Kingsport, has been able to work with Anita’s Snack Foods to provide them with the much needed expansion of 40,000 square feet of warehouse and refrigeration space,” Kingsport Economic Development Board chair Craig Denison said. “This allows them to use the freed up space within the existing facility to increase their production capacity to service their customers. They have increased the production output of the facility and increased the number of employees almost from the beginning of taking over this facility and we look forward to the completion of this expansion so that they can continue on this path of growth.”
“It is great for Kingsport to see positive growth in our community,” Kingsport Chamber Board chair Lori Payne said. “Anita's Snack Foods is a leader within their own industry, and even more of a leader in our community. We are thrilled for Anita's Snack Foods to grow and expand here in Kingsport. We look forward to seeing their success and growth for many years to come.”




CONTACT:           Clay Walker                                                                                           FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TELEPHONE:       423-279-7681                                                                                       September 21, 2018

EMAIL:                 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


BLOUNTVILLE, TN – NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership is excited to announce two staff position changes. 

Dana Glenn, formerly Administrative and Marketing Coordinator, is now the Director of Marketing and Business Development.  She will continue to lead the organization’s marketing efforts, including branding initiatives and video production, and will add project management to her duties.  Glenn will also lead FIRST, the organization’s existing industry program.

Before joining NETWORKS, Glenn served as the Administrative and Marketing Coordinator for the Kingsport Office of Small Business Development (KOSBE) and completed an internship at the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce.  She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from East Tennessee State University and is currently completing coursework through Oklahoma University’s Economic Development Institute.  

Glenn serves as President of PEAK – Kingsport Young Professionals and sits on various boards in the community, including United Way of Greater Kingsport and Branch House Family Center.  She is a member of the Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty Class of 2017 and a 2016 graduate of Leadership Kingsport.

“I am thrilled to continue my career at NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership,” said Glenn.  “I look forward to taking on more responsibility in project management as well as continuing to build upon our highly successful brand of Where Tennessee Begins Its Business Day.”

Michael Parker, formerly Executive Project Manager, will now serve as the Director of Economic Development.  Parker is responsible for attraction/recruitment initiatives, including business retention and expansion.  Among his duties, Parker also leads the Northeast Tennessee Red Carpet Tour, an IEDC award-winning annual familiarization tour that offers site location consultants an opportunity to experience the Southern hospitality and pro-business culture Northeast Tennessee offers.

Parker joined the NETWORKS team in 2011 as an intern and has played an integral role in the organization’s successes since.  He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from East Tennessee State University. 

He is a 2014 graduate of LEAD Bristol and continues to assist with the organization’s Economic Development Program Day.  Parker and his wife, Morgan, recently welcomed their first child, Lillian.

“I am excited to be given this opportunity to continue serving my community in this capacity,” Parker said.  “Northeast Tennessee is a great community with so much to offer, and I feel honored to be able to represent it on a daily basis.”

“It has been a pleasure having Dana and Michael on the team and seeing them grow professionally while making tremendous contributions to our region.  I am excited to see all that they will accomplish in their new roles,” said Carolyn Ferrell, Chairman of the NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership Board. 

“Dana and Michael have done exceptional work during their respective tenures at NETWORKS and our leadership believes in building an organization that people can potentially stay with their entire careers. That means, among other things, providing opportunities for advancement,” CEO Clay Walker said. “In Dana’s case, that meant moving into a role of more responsibility by filling a position that recently became open and in Michael’s case, it was a slight restructure that really wasn’t difficult for us, but created both a reward and affirmation for the work he has done for the past seven years as well as a real growth opportunity for him.”

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.




NETWORKS CEO Clay Walker speaks on panel at 2017 Governor’s Conference 



BLOUNTVILLE, TN – NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership CEO Clay Walker was one of the speakers on a panel during a plenary session during the 2017 Governor’s Conference on Economic and Community Development on October 26. Walker joined Bryan Daniels, President and CEO of Blount Partnership, Mike Evans, Executive Director of Montgomery County Industrial Development Board, and Brad Maul, Target Market Specialist of TVA Economic Development. The session, titled “Selling Your Site”, was moderated by Allen Borden, Deputy Commissioner of Business and Community Development for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. The conference was held in Gatlinburg. 

“This year’s Governor’s Conference was a great success. We had so many great speakers from all over Tennessee throughout the event giving their insight into the world of economic development,” TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe said. “I want to thank NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership and Clay Walker for their role in this year’s conference and for putting on a great session, Selling Your Site. NETWORKS and Clay Walker have been a part of the Governor’s Conference for three out of the last four years and I appreciate their partnership and support.” 

Walker’s past panel experiences at the annual conference have been on the topics of “Branding Your Community” (2014) and “Regionalism” (2016). He has also served as an instructor for the University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services “Marketing and Attraction” course as part of its Tennessee Certified Economic Developer curriculum. He also chairs the Tennessee Economic Partnership (TEP) which held a strategic planning retreat in Gatlinburg on the eve of the Governor’s Conference. 

“Clay’s participation in the plenary session at the Governor’s Conference only raises the profile of NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership, and strengthens the relationship between NETWORKS and TNECD,” NETWORKS Chairman Carolyn Ferrell said.  “Not everyone receives these opportunities, and our consistent involvement and inclusion at the Governor’s Conference demonstrates our role as a key partner with the state.” 

About 700 people attended the Governor’s Conference for Economic and Community Development. The session “Advancing Apprenticeships as a Workforce Strategy” featured Dr. Jeff McCord and Jeff Frazier of Northeast State Community College, discussing its apprenticeship program run out of the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing (RCAM) in Kingsport. 

“It’s always an honor to be asked to participate in the conference and to be in the company of the gentlemen who were a part of this panel was especially gratifying as I have so much respect for everyone with whom I shared the stage,” Walker said. “Having NETWORKS as a part of that panel, along with Jeff McCord and Jeff Frazier telling the RCAM apprenticeship story and the great representation from our region clearly made us a very visible part of the conference and reinforced our position as a valuable player for Team Tennessee.”



CONTACT:           Dana Glenn/Clay Walker                                                                   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TELEPHONE:       423-279-7681                                                                                                                May 31, 2018

EMAIL:                  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./cwalker@networkstn.com

Marketing Piece Will Be Available to Others in Northeast Tennessee




BLOUNTVILLE, TN – NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership, the economic development organization for Sullivan County and its cities of Bluff City, Bristol, and Kingsport, and marketing and recruitment arm for Hawkins County, launched the first of a series of promotional videos today to serve as supporting pieces to the community video the organization first made public two years ago. Like the first video, the latest marketing piece was produced as a collaborative effort with Cumberland Marketing. With its regional flavor, NETWORKS is offering the second video to other organizations and private companies.

“After the first collaboration with Cumberland went so well, turning out a product that has received more than half a million views and been recognized with a best practices award by the Southern Economic Development Council, we knew that keeping with our plan to produce a subset of topic-specific videos was the right path,” says NETWORKS CEO Clay Walker. “We’ve utilized Cumberland for a few other, smaller projects, and we are always amazed by two things: how well our team meshes and communicate with theirs – which is of utmost importance when taking on a creative endeavor – and the world class quality of their work.”

Walker said that from the beginning, the team recognized that in order to show the quality of life people enjoy here, the video would need to include footage beyond the Sullivan and Hawkins counties’ borders. As the video neared completion, NETWORKS staff thought that it was something anyone in the region might want to use, so Walker proposed the idea to make the finished product a “gift to the region” at the April Board of Directors Meeting. The Board voted unanimously to do so.

“This video was intended to showcase the variety of exciting things to do that we enjoy and can sometimes even take for granted. You can’t tell that story within city or county boundaries, just as you can’t tell our available workforce, network of supporting industries, or countless other stories we tell in economic development,” Walker added. “So, if other organizations can use this video as a vehicle to tell our story, particularly to attract visitors, residents, and people to fill key positions, we obviously want to make this available to them.”

For Cumberland Marketing, the experience was another opportunity to showcase the unique, magnetic images our region provides in an up-tempo, lively product that is sure to appeal to a broad range of people.

“This video is very flexible with multiple potential audiences and uses,” Cumberland Marketing President Chris Bowen said. “I see this finished product as a great tool in not only NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership’s mission, but for private companies to use when trying to lure top talent to join them. With the original over-arching video, we didn’t count on such an overwhelming response from citizens and former citizens as it was trying to reach an external audience. While this video is once again aimed at people who might not be familiar with Northeast Tennessee, we do expect it is going to be well received by those of us who are already in love with our part of the country.”

Walker said he has spoken to a few economic development partners and private companies about their using the video and all have expressed an interest in doing so in some fashion.

To view the video, please go to the NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership Facebook page, facebook.com/networkstn.




 BRISTOL, TN - Turtleson, Inc. announced today that it will relocate its headquarters and distribution center from North Carolina and Georgia to downtown Bristol, Tennessee.  This will result in around $1.5 million in investment from the company and 20 new jobs.  Turtleson will remodel and occupy 25,000 square feet on Shelby Street in Downtown Bristol. In addition to housing the headquarters and distribution center, the Shelby Street location will also be home to a custom embroidery facility that will serve Turtleson as well as other employers in the region and across the country.

“In Bristol, there exists a tradition of not only a dedication to producing goods of the highest possible quality, but also a sense of pride in every step of the process, from production, to distribution, to cultivating lasting customer relationships,” Mayor Jack Young said. “Turtleson has built its brand around unparalleled workmanship and a remarkable attention to detail. With the full scope of its operations coming together under one roof in Bristol, Tennessee, that commitment to these traditions is undeniable and we couldn’t be happier to welcome them home.”

For the past two decades, company co-founders Greg Oakley and Chet Sikorski have traveled the world to secure the best resources – fabrics, accent pieces, quality producers – to corral into the Turtleson brand which is known as the ultimate quality in fit and finish. Joined by President Andy Plate and Sales Manager Chris Warren, the team is built on trust, common interest, and dedication to true goals: the best goods, the best price, and no shortcuts.  For more information on Turtleson, please visit turtleson.com




Our Community

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!


  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  10368 Wallace Alley St., Suite 1, Kingsport, TN 37663
PO Box 747, Blountville, TN 37617

Keep in Touch