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.”