https://www.kingsporttn.gov/wp-content/uploads/police-180x180-1.jpg 180 180 adrienne https://www.kingsporttn.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/LOGO-KPT-COLOR.png adrienne2022-12-21 11:07:072022-12-21 11:07:13Highlighting Heroes: Randall Gore
After a 29-year career with the Kingsport Police Department, Captain Randall Gore is on the cusp of retirement and about to begin a new chapter in his life.
A chapter filled with scissors, clippers, combs and a fancy chair.
Following his retirement next month, Gore plans to open Top Notch Cuts Barbershop at 143 E. Jackson Street in downtown Gate City. It’s been an ambition of Gore’s for the past two years.
“Within the last couple of years, I realized I wouldn’t be a policeman forever and I wanted something to do that I could enjoy and be my own boss,” Gore said. “I just couldn’t go home and sit around.”
Gore said he always paid close attention when people would cut his hair and when his barber retired years ago, he started cutting his own hair.
“I saw what my barber did, and I said, ‘I think I could do that.’ (My ambition) just developed from there,” he explained. “People are always going to need haircuts and there’s no barbers in Gate City.”
For the past 15 months, Gore attended the Crown Cutz Academy in Bristol, Va., to earn his barber license, all the while still working full-time as a captain at the Kingsport Police Department. The program involved 1,100 hours of hands-on work, as well as a written and practical skills test.
Gore recently completed both tests and has sent off his application to the State of Virginia, which will then issue him an official barber license – hopefully by the end of January.
“I’m more excited than nervous,” Gore said. “Twenty-nine years is enough for police work. I’m ready to start something new and I’m looking forward to it.”
Gore, 51, has spent his entire 29-year career with the Kingsport Police Department, starting off as a patrolman, then being promoted to corporal, sergeant (accreditation manager), lieutenant (records division) and finally captain about six years ago.
He and his wife Marci have been married for 28 years, and they have one son, Caleb, age 25.
“I’m so excited he can retire at this age and still be “young” enough to get to do something like this,” Marci said. “And I’m proud of all the work he’s done to get here. It was a lot of long days for him.”
https://www.kingsporttn.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Library180x180.jpg 180 180 adrienne https://www.kingsporttn.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/LOGO-KPT-COLOR.png adrienne2022-07-06 10:32:292022-07-06 10:32:31Highlighting Heroes: Kingsport Public Library’s Tech Wizard
The Kingsport Public Library is a place where people can find information about any subject, and when they need answers about all things tech, they turn to Eric Erwin.
Eric is the Library Information Technology Technician. This job title means that he maintains the systems that make it possible for people to check out books and materials from the library. However, this is far from the full scope of Eric’s responsibilities, as his role amounts to more of a one-man tech wiz for libraries across the whole region.
“I definitely wear a lot of different hats in my role at the library,” says Erwin, “I am an administrator for the ILS (Integrated Library System) not just for our library, but for every library in the Organization of Watauga Libraries system.”
The system that Eric helps oversee includes the Johnson City Library, Bristol Public Library, and all five libraries inside of Sullivan County. With some of these libraries lacking full time IT staff, it is up to Eric to provide knowledge and info whenever and wherever he is needed.
Eric doesn’t just provide technology help to librarians, though. Twice a month, he puts on a program called “Ask the Library Geek” at the Kingsport Senior Center, where seniors can schedule appointments to get answers to any technology problem that they have, from issues using a new phone to basic tutorials on things like video calls or emails.
“Being able to help people in that way is a part of the job that I really enjoy,” says Erwin.
When asked about some of the new and exciting things going on at the library right now, Eric doesn’t hesitate before praising the library’s new Maker Space – a resource where artists and engineers alike can utilize materials like Cricut machines and 3D printers for their own personal projects.
“It’s been really cool getting to help with those machines and see some of the amazing stuff that people make in there,” says Erwin. “I’ve had a lot of fun getting to play around with them.”
Eric has been working for the Kingsport Public Library for over 5 years now, and he says the diverse and varying nature of the work makes it a fun and rewarding role. He says that his job affords him a high level of independence which allows him to work hard on things he thinks will help the library and the city as a whole.
“I really don’t think there’s anywhere I would rather work than here,” says Erwin.
Eric Erwin is an everyday hero to the City of Kingsport for his commitment to using his technological expertise to help others in our community. The diligence he displays in his work is a major part of making our public library one of the Model City’s most treasured assets.
https://www.kingsporttn.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Marcus-Dykes-HH-pic.png 1200 1040 adrienne https://www.kingsporttn.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/LOGO-KPT-COLOR.png adrienne2022-03-30 08:25:092022-03-30 08:25:13Highlighting Heroes: Captain Marcus Dykes
With a mother who served with the Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department and a grandfather whose life was tragically lost working as a Kingsport Fire Captain, firefighting has been a part of Captain Marcus Dykes’ life since the very beginning.
“Coming out of high school, I wasn’t sure exactly what direction I wanted to go with my life,” said Dykes. “But, as I made connections with firemen through my mom, firefighting really started to come into focus for me, and at that point I knew I was all in.”
Dykes attended EMT school after high school and worked as a firefighter at Holston Defense before being hired at the Kingsport Fire Department in 2001. In the last two decades, he has worked hard to achieve the two career ambitions he held upon entering the force: becoming a certified paramedic and being promoted to Captain.
This October will mark 21 years that Captain Dykes has been with the Kingsport Fire Department, a milestone that is significant to him because his grandfather had spent 21 years with the KFD at the time of his death.
“It’s surreal to know that I’ve been here as long as him, and served as a captain like he did,” said Dykes. “With age, the feeling of wanting to make him proud has come more and more into focus.”
Dykes’ philosophy when it comes to being a successful firefighter is simple: preparation matters. Fire crews face a multitude of hazards on every call, from entering unsafe structures to navigating emergency traffic, and Dykes believes that those who understand the risks they’re facing are best equipped to handle them. From staying up to date on safety certifications to completing daily cleaning and maintenance around the fire station, he believes that each piece of a firefighter’s routine can be crucial to keeping them safe and prepared in an emergency situation.
Working as the captain of a fire station is a high-intensity job that comes with both difficulties and rewards. Dykes says that, as captain, he feels a responsibility for the lives of those in emergencies as well as the lives of his own crew members. Potential life-threatening emergencies can come at a moment’s notice, and as the highest ranking member of his crew, Captain Dykes holds a great amount of responsibility for navigating these complicated situations. To him, however, the pride he feels in being a public servant helping those in need far outweighs the job’s difficulties.
“I really feel like this is what I was always meant to do,” he said.
Captain Marcus Dykes is a firefighter, paramedic, and a true hero for the Kingsport community. The work that he does saves lives and helps people in their time of greatest need. He is a lifelong protector of the City of Kingsport and will continue to further his family’s legacy of public service for many years to come.
https://www.kingsporttn.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Hilighting-Heroes-December-Group-Photo-min.png 900 900 adrienne https://www.kingsporttn.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/LOGO-KPT-COLOR.png adrienne2021-12-08 10:08:392021-12-14 13:56:35Highlighting Heroes: The People Who Gave Kingsport City Hall a New Home
Successful projects are not achieved by happenstance. Successful projects happen because of successful project managers who build a team with the knowledge and skills necessary to get each project done right. Dawn Melton, the Senior Project Manager in the Engineering Department behind Kingsport’s new City Hall, knows the importance of building such a team. Dawn worked closely with Pamela Gilmer, city civil engineer, and Mike Hickman, city engineering coordinator, to make Kingsport’s City Hall a successful project from start to finish.
Dawn started with the city 4 years ago, Pamela started over 7 years ago, and Mike has been with the city over 24 years. Each team member is knowledgeable, and brings individual as well as collective value to city projects. Dawn manages vertical construction, working closely with architects, engineers and contractors.
“I like the collaborative relationship between design and construction,” said Dawn. “My role is to keep costs down, keep the project in line with design, and avoid unexpected changes to the project’s requirements.”
Renovating the former Regions Bank building is the most recent successful project for the team. This project consisted of renovating and modernizing a 40-year-old six-story building and turning it into Kingsport’s brand new City Hall. On top of modernization, the building also needed to become ADA compliant, which required expertise from Pamela, as well as review of water lines in and around the building.
“It’s important to me knowing I am contributing to facility functions and doing what’s best for the citizens and staff,” said Pamela.
There were two phases for this project. While employees were moving in on floors 3-6, construction was still in progress for floors 1-2. Mike coordinated the move and helped smooth out all the logistical challenges that came with the mass relocation. He is familiar with the liaison role, having worked with citizens, contractors, and staff coordinating key details to make the move go as easily as possible.
“You have to keep your eye on the prize,” said Mike. “The finished product is worth waiting on.”
This project management team has been involved in multiple large-scale projects prior to the City Hall renovations including the Kingsport Area Transit Service facility, library colonnade, Dobyns-Bennett High School additions, and the Lynn View Community Center.
It is Dawn, Pamela, and Mike’s philosophy that if city leaders have done the work to approve the various projects, it is the team’s part to follow through and ensure the best end result. For this project team, the values of patience, teamwork, and reliable work ethic are the tools they use to make every project they work on successful. The team is proud of the work they put in on the new City Hall building, and look forward to continuing to help our city grow with each new project.
Kingsport City Hall recently received the Mark Miller Tennessee Public Works Project of the Year Award.
https://www.kingsporttn.gov/wp-content/uploads/K-180x180.jpg 180 180 Hannah Purdy https://www.kingsporttn.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/LOGO-KPT-COLOR.png Hannah Purdy2021-03-05 09:26:532021-03-05 09:29:34Highlighting Heroes: Sean Surgener
It’s a weekly tradition for most Kingsport residents to take garbage carts to the curb the night before their garbage pickup. But for some residents, the garbage crew comes right to their door with the city’s back door pickup service.
Chances are, if you participate in the back door service, you’ve met this month’s Highlighted Hero, Sean Surgener.
What exactly does Sean do? Back door service is a paid garbage pick-up where the city sends a crew member, like Sean, to collect your garbage at your door. This differs from the usual garbage pickup service in that, instead of leaving your garbage carts at the curb, they are personally collected from your door. This service can be extremely helpful for citizens who might struggle to take the garbage carts to the curb every week. Some citizens may also qualify for disability or low-income waivers for this service.
Sean Surgener started working with the city four years ago, and he recognizes the importance of providing quality service to our citizens.
“Yes, it’s garbage collection,” Sean said. “However, I’m there to do the best I can for our citizens. I’m on their property and I want to be mindful and never leave a mess.”
Every Thursday is dedicated to the backdoor garbage pickup service. Sean enjoys getting to see all of the familiar people on his route and meeting new customers along the way.
“I have met so many wonderful people on my route,” Sean said. “I’ve earned their trust and I want to do a good job for them. It’s the little things that allow you to create a bond. Most of the folks on my route are on a first name basis with me. They know what time I will be there, and some make their way out to talk.”
So many of our citizens appreciate the hard work that goes into garbage pickup. One citizen, Mary C., wanted to thank Sean personally.
“You are the ideal employee—dedicated, committed, hard-working and best of all, always smiling, which is truly remarkable,” Mary said. “Thank you for being such a valuable employee to our city.”
It’s inevitable that households generate a fair share of garbage, and our garbage crews work hard every day to ensure all of our citizens’ garbage is collected and disposed of properly. The next time your garbage gets picked up, remember people like Sean who are dedicated to providing quality service to our citizens.
“I want to represent the city the best I can,” said Sean. “I know by providing this service that I’m able to help others. I want to treat them like I want to be treated.”
For information concerning backdoor garbage pickup service please call 423-229-9451 or visit kingsporttn.gov.
https://www.kingsporttn.gov/wp-content/uploads/K-180x180.jpg 180 180 adrienne https://www.kingsporttn.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/LOGO-KPT-COLOR.png adrienne2020-11-06 13:50:272020-11-06 13:50:27Highlighting Heroes – Kingsport Water Services
Have you ever wondered about your water and the process it goes through to get to you?
Kingsport’s water treatment plant currently maintains 22 water storage tanks and treats around 15 to 16 million gallons daily. Keeping and treating all of that water is only possible due to the hard work of these Water Services Heroes: Wayne Case, Tim Gibson, Keith McGaha and Jody Winegar. Let’s take you through the process that your water goes through and see just how important our heroes are.
Water Plant Operators – Wayne Case & Tim Gibson
Wayne started with the city 29 years ago and Tim started 23 years ago. Both Wayne and Tim are certified plant operators with grade IV licensing. By obtaining the grade IV certification, each of these operators are qualified to run the water plant. “It’s important to know what you are doing,” said Wayne. “To be qualified and certified is important for this position.”
Water treatment plant operators manage all aspects of daily operations to meet customer demand: pumping, treatment and water quality. They must accurately perform bacteriological tests, keep records and prepare clear and concise reports of water operations as required by state and federal regulations.
Wayne and Tim both are very knowledgeable of the daily operations and understand the importance of providing quality drinking water to the public. “You have to care,” said Tim. “You care about the product and service you are providing. I care about my grandkids and the water they drink, now and in the future.”
First, our water is surface water, which comes from the South Fork Holston River. From the river your water flows through a tunnel under John B. Dennis Highway. This tunnel transports raw river water to the pump station located near the water treatment plant. The pumps move your water to the plant for the treating process.
Water Distribution – Jody Winegar
When you think of how water travels to your home or business, waterlines are involved. Whether a new water connection is installed or an existing line is repaired, Jody Winegar may have had a hand in this work.
Jody started with the city 27 years ago. As a water maintenance foreman, he knows the daily operations of the distribution system. “I take pride in providing quality service to our customers,” said Jody. “Public health is very important.”
Jody oversees four maintenance crews, and coordinates work to be performed. This may be scheduling new water connections, repairing existing lines, water valve prep work for paving projects or dress up work after tasks are completed.
Whether Jody is working with the crews or in the office, he is communicating the following – “Treat people like you want to be treated and earn their trust.”
Your treated or finished water is pumped into the distribution system for public use. Waterlines take the water to water tanks or towers where your water is stored until it reaches your tap.
Technical Services – Keith McGaha
Keith McGaha started with the city 6 years ago. As a technical service worker, he knows the importance of a water meter working properly and the accuracy involved. A typical day for Keith may be installing water meters, reading the meters, marking for potential leaks, and handling low pressure checks.
“I want to do the best I can,” said Keith. “I want to know the meters are reading accurately for both the customer and the city. This also helps with generating revenue, and water loss.”
Remember people like Keith, who are dedicated to the installation and maintenance of your water meter; that it’s reading and measuring accurately.
Your treated water flows through the lines and water meter for usage.
Our Water Service Heroes
Water is a precious resource needed by all living things. Kingsport is lucky to have such great Water Service workers and a great water source right here in our city. It’s our job to make sure it stays clean for years to come. One way our city is ensuring this is through the Raw Water Intake Project.
The purpose of the Raw Water Intake Project was to ensure a safe, reliable and continuous supply of drinking water to meet the needs of our current customers and for generations to come. It included construction of a new raw water tunnel and a new raw water pump station at the water treatment plant, eliminating the use of existing pumps and transmission lines.
Through the completion of this project and the continued efforts of our Water Service workers, safe drinking water is a resource available for all of our citizens. The next time you reach for a glass of water, think of our Water Service Heroes and their commitment to providing this important resource to you.
After all of this, your water has made its way to your home, school, or business, and is at your fingertips. Enjoy a glass of water. Kingsport’s water. Your water.
https://www.kingsporttn.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/corderfamily.jpg 449 734 adrienne https://www.kingsporttn.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/LOGO-KPT-COLOR.png adrienne2020-02-27 10:48:542020-03-02 10:17:26Highlighting Heroes: Corder Family
Every time you take a sip of clean water, every time you drive safely down a street in Kingsport, you have the Corder family to thank.
Mike and Tony Corder are brothers who both work for the City of Kingsport and have been serving the community for 21 and 20 years, respectively. Before entering into employment with the city, they worked together at the cotton mill. Now, as they continue their tradition of working together, a new generation joins them. Mike’s son, Clay, has been working for the city for 3 years now, following in his father’s footsteps. Though the three Corder men work in different divisions of Public Works, there are times when their jobs overlap, giving them the opportunity to work alongside family.
Mike Corder is a Traffic Maintenance Technician and as such, he realizes the importance of road safety. “Safety first is my main goal,” says Mike. “To know the streets are properly marked and the signs are visible is the first step in keeping drivers and pedestrians safe.”
Part of his job with the city includes installation and maintenance of roadway markings and signs, but he also sets up work zones and message boards. These are essential to ensure that any sudden traffic changes can be carried out safely, with no accidents. Without people like Mike, roads would not be correctly marked and would certainly become unsafe.
Clay Corder, Mike’s son, is a Technical Service Worker in Water Services. The water meters he installs, maintains, and reads daily help to regulate the water to Kingsport homes and businesses. He knows the importance of a water meter working properly, and the accuracy involved with that. “I want to do the best I can,” Clay said. “I want to know the meters are reading accurately for both the customer and the city.”
Tony Corder is a Crew Leader in Water Services System Maintenance. His job usually revolves around the installation and upkeep of waterlines around the city. Whether new installations or repairs, Tony and his team may be the ones performing this work. “I feel our crew does a good job,” Tony said. “I want to do as good a job for our customers as I would do at home.”
When you think of water being our most valuable resource, remember people like Tony who are dedicated to the installation and maintenance of your waterlines. “Water is essential. It’s like you don’t miss it until it’s not there,” Tony said.
These three men do their very best every day to provide essential services for the City of Kingsport. All of them are very appreciative of the opportunities they have been afforded with the city. The hard work and dedication of these three heroes is highly valued and their ongoing efforts help the City of Kingsport to continue to thrive.
https://www.kingsporttn.gov/wp-content/uploads/K-180x180.jpg 180 180 adrienne https://www.kingsporttn.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/LOGO-KPT-COLOR.png adrienne2019-11-18 13:03:432019-11-18 13:03:43Highlighting Heroes: Kristie Leonard – Special Events Coordinator
How many times in the past year have you attended a Kingsport event? Whether it was a parade, a Fun Fest event or an Evening at the Market—Kristie Leonard helped make it happen.
Kristie, who started with the city 12 years ago, plays a crucial role in a streamlined event process that makes submitting event applications easier than ever. She is the key contact for anyone who wants to host an event in Kingsport. Instead of fumbling through contacts and clicking through websites to find information on hosting an event, organizers can contact Kristie for anything from small-scale gatherings to Fun Fest-sized events.
“I may be the first person that someone connects with in our city,” Kristie said. “I may be what they judge our city on. So I’m very careful about how we deal with different organizers, making sure that we give good customer service, answer their questions and be as helpful as we can for them.”
Kristie partners with many city departments from Police to Public Works to ensure every event goes off without a hitch. This departmental teamwork is something unique to Kingsport.
When she isn’t organizing events, Kristie is running the Kingsport Farmers Market. She is in charge of receiving and sifting through vendor applications to make sure that the market gets a large variety of high-quality goods. She also helps bring programs to the market, like Saturdays with the Chef and Market Jams.
Kristie strives to bring a “front porch feel” to the market and make it a place where people know and trust their neighbors and come out to visit with them. Her hard work is paying off: For the second year in a row, the Kingsport Farmers Market has been voted the Best Farmers Market in East Tennessee by Tennessee Magazine.
“Our vendors are amazing,” Kristie said. “What I do is bring people to the vendors so they can sell their goods.”
Kristie’s top priority is the safety and happiness of Kingsport’s citizens. Whether she’s coordinating events or running the farmers market, Kristie enjoys the roots of her job.
“It’s always fascinated me how governments work,” Kristie, who majored in political science, said. “At the same time, I also get to enjoy the creative side. I don’t have a boring day.”
People like Kristie, who are dedicated to seeing Kingsport grow into the best it can be, are what make Kingsport such a great place to live. Next time you take a stroll through a Kingsport event or prepare some produce from the market, remember people like Kristie who are dedicated to bringing what’s best to the city.
Want to hear more from Kristie? Visit http://bit.ly/city_desk to listen to her conversation with City Manager Chris McCartt on Kingsport’s podcast “From the City Desk.”