Kingsport Chamber celebrates another great year for Kingsport at Annual Dinner!

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KINGSPORT ‚¬ The Kingsport Chamber of Commerce celebrated another great year for Kingsport Friday night as The Nations Number One Party Band ‚¬ Party on the Moon ‚¬ entertained another record and sold-out crowd at the Kingsport Chamber 68th Annual Dinner!

Hosted at the MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort & Convention Center, Kingsports Social Event of the Year was another thrilling affair that drew more than 1,700 attendees.

Its been another great year for your Kingsport Chamber and the City of Kingsport, said Andy Wampler, 2014 Kingsport Chamber chair and a shareholder with Wilson Worley.‚  Kingsport continues to grow and excel on so many levels and in so many areas.‚  The state of our City is strong and the future is even stronger.

Kingsport is on a roll, remarked Isaac Webb, 2015 Kingsport Chamber chair and district manager with Appalachian Power.‚  And we are poised for even greater growth and more success this year and in the years to come.

Eastman served as title sponsor and WJHL News Channel 11 was host sponsor. Holston Valley Medical Center was the entertainment sponsor, Eastman Credit Union served as concert hall and stage sponsor, Appalachian Power was the program sponsor, East Tennessee State University served as education sponsor, Wilson Worley was the associate sponsor and Food City was the printing sponsor.

It was another fantastic evening, said Dan Cates, Kingsport Chamber 68th Annual Dinner chair and WJHL News Channel 11 president and general manager.‚  We at WJHL News Channel 11 are always so honored to be one of the major partners in this grand event and we congratulate Kingsport on its continued strong growth.

The event remains the largest Chamber annual dinner in the nation.

This night presented the perfect opportunity to showcase this great community of Kingsport, Kingsport Chamber President & CEO Miles Burdine said.‚  The Kingsport Chamber Annual Dinner is a celebration of all that we have accomplished and will accomplish as a community and is a great representation of who we are as a community.

As part of the celebration, the Kingsport Chamber showcased several community projects and endeavors that were accomplished last year and looked to many new initiatives that will be developing this year.

Some of the 2014 Kingsport highlights included:

EASTMAN TOPS OFF FINAL BEAM FOR NEW GLOBAL HEADQUARTERS IN KINGSPORT

Eastman celebrated a Topping Off Ceremony as the final steel beam was anchored in place for the companys new $74.3 million, 300,000-square-bart, five-story global corporate business center (the largest single building permit in City history). ‚ The first of many new developments of the companys $1.6 billion Project Inspire, the impressive, state-of-the-art center will serve as Eastmans global headquarters and will open in 2015.‚  In addition, Eastman will invest $1.89 million in three new buildings for new industrial capacity.‚  As part of the major investment, Eastman will add 300 new employees, as many as 1,000 contractors and several hundred temporary construction jobs.‚  The endeavor will culminate in Eastmans 100th anniversary in 2020.

EASTMAN ACQUIRES TAMINCO IN $2.8 BILLION TRANSACTION

Eastman announced the acquisition of Taminco, a global specialty chemical company based in Allentown, Pennsylvania.‚ ‚ ‚  Total transaction value was $2.8 billion.

Eastman Named AS A Worlds Most Ethical Company

Eastman was recognized by the Ethisphere‚® Institute as a 2014 Worlds Most Ethical Company‚® for its efforts to continually raise the bar on ethical leadership and corporate behavior.‚  The prestigious distinction reaffirms Eastmans commitment to honesty, integrity and responsible corporate behavior.

EASTMAN WINS ENERGY STAR PARTNER OF THE YEAR FOR THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized Eastman with a 2014 ENERGY STAR‚® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award for the companys continued leadership in superior energy management, improving energy performance and efficiency, speed of maturity and richness of its energy management program, saving money and helping to protect the environment for future generations.‚  This marks the third consecutive year Eastman has garnered the national accolade, which is the EPAs highest honor.‚  Eastman is the first chemical company to receive the honor and the only chemical company to receive the award more than once.

EASTMAN NAMED ONE OF THE BEST PLACES TO WORK

Eastman was honored once again as One of the Best Places to Work with a Glassdoor Employees Choice Award.‚  Based solely on input from employees, the Glassdoor survey rates companies based on overall satisfaction, career opportunities, compensation and benefits, work/life balance, senior management, and culture and values.

HERITAGE GLASS OPENS $15.8 MILLION GLASS PLANT IN KINGSPORT, ADDS 300 NEW JOBS

Heritage Glass re-opened AGCs former Blue Ridge glass plant in Kingsport.‚  The $15.8 million investment will create nearly 300 long-term jobs.‚  Heritage Glass will produce patterned glass to be shipped worldwide.

INTELLIHARTX CHOOSES KINGSPORT ‚¬ BRINGING 350 TO 500 NEW JOBS

IntelliHARTx (ITx), a healthcare revenue cycle business that focuses on healthcare patient balance accounts, announced it has chosen Kingsport for its new location.‚  The company will create a downtown campus with several offices and add a major ITx Patient Contact Center.‚  The multi-million investment will create between 350 and 500 new jobs.

TRI-CITIES CROSSING RETAIL, DINING & ENTERTAINMENT DEVELOPMENT

Kingsport developer Stewart Taylor continues progress on Tri-Cities Crossing, a multi-million dollar retail, dining and entertainment development at the interchange of Interstates 26 and 81 in Kingsport.

KINGSPORT CAROUSEL BREAKS GROUND

The City of Kingsports Cultural Arts Division, the Public Arts Committee, Engage Kingsport and your Kingsport Chamber broke ground on the Kingsport Carousel, a vintage, menagerie-style carousel featuring 32 hand-carved wooden riding animals, two chariots, 24 hand-carved sweep animals in the carousels rafters and 24 rounding boards that feature painted pictures depicting Kingsports history and notable city sites.‚  The Kingsport Carousel sits inside the 70-bart octagonal Pals Roundhouse, which was funded by Pal and Sharon Barger.‚  The attraction also features a gift shop.‚  Located next to the Kingsport Farmers Market and Food City in Downtown Kingsport, the Kingsport Carousel is the dream of the late Gale Joh and is set to open in 2015.

KINGSPORTS OVERALL FINANCIAL POSITION AND OUTLOOK STRONG

Both Moody’s Investors Services and Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services have reaffirmed Kingsports strong financial position.‚  The Citys fund balance (much like a savings account or rainy day fund) is strong due to long term fiscally-conservative management.‚  The resulting low interest rate also allowed the City to lower the amount it needs to borrow for projects by approximately $1 million.‚  Six financial services institutions entered in late 2014 for two City of Kingsport bond issues, garnering interest rates of 2.695 and 2.73 percent, while both Moodys and S&P reaffirmed the highest City credit ratings in history on the issues.‚  Moody’s assigned a rating of Aa2 to City debt, its second highest rating category, which indicates very strong credit worthiness relative to other U.S. cities and tax exempt bond issuers. S&P’s AA rating is also its second highest category and indicates Kingsport has a very strong capacity to meet its financial commitments.‚  These are independent, third party, unbiased assessments that should give citizens and taxpayers peace of mind that Kingsport is fiscally strong and soundly managed ‚¬ not just now, but also in the past.

KINGSPORT RETAIL SALES TAX COLLECTIONS RISE TO $15.8 MILLION

Retail sales tax collections in Kingsport increased to nearly $15.8 million, setting a record for a third consecutive year.

KINGSPORT INVESTS MILLIONS IN COLONIAL HEIGHTS, ROCK SPRINGS & FALL CREEK

Kingsport has invested $59 million in general, water and sewer projects in Colonial Heights, Rock Springs and Fall Creek since 2005.‚  In addition, the City has invested $11 million for new equipment and $4.6 million for 35 new positions to provide services to those areas.‚  That’s nearly five times the cost of the Kingsport Aquatic Center.

KINGSPORT TO INVEST $16.4 MILLION FOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PLAN

The City of Kingsport announced $16.4 million for its Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).‚  The money will be earmarked for a number of City projects, including the new baseball and softball complex; the Riverbend retail and residential development; improvements and maintenance enhancements to Borden Park, Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium, Allandale Mansion, Civic Auditorium, and Kingsport City Schools; an economic development opportunity fund for Downtown Kingsport; as well as a number of street paving and street widening projects, among other city operational items.

KINGSPORT BREAKS GROUND ON NEW $6.9 MILLON BRICKYARD PARK

Kingsport began construction on Brickyard Park, a $6.9 million baseball and softball complex on the former General Shale site.‚  The facility will include five ball fields in a wagon-wheel design with a centrally-located two-story building for scoring, concessions and restrooms.‚  The city will develop 98 acres on the site, 38 of which will be used for the ball fields and the remaining land used as a potential business park.‚  In addition, a 20-bart-wide easement across the property would be included to connect the ball fields to Cement Hill, which is envisioned as a new city park.

KINGSPORT ON THE RISE ‚¬ RANKED NUMBER ONE IN TENNESSEE

Kingsport was ranked as the Number One City on the Rise in Tennessee by NerdWallet for its solid double-digit growth in income and population, employment growth and its strong nationally-recognized support for higher education.

KINGSPORT ‚¬ A GREAT PLACE FOR RETIREMENT

Kingsport was named one of the Best Cities to Retire in Tennessee by CreditDonkey.

GOING GREENER ‚¬ KINGSPORT GREENBELT TO BE EXTENDED

The State of Tennessee awarded a $750,000 TDOT grant (Tennessee Department of Transportation) to the City of Kingsport to help extend the eastern section of the Kingsport Greenbelt by one mile to Cleek Road.

KINGSPORT AWARDED MAJOR GRANT TO BEAUTIFY GATEWAYS INTO CITY

Keep Kingsport Beautiful and the City of Kingsport celebrated the award of a Tennessee Roadscapes grant of $79,500 that will be used to enhance six major gateways into Kingsport with more than 4,000 trees, shrubs and flowers.‚  Keep Kingsport Beautiful and the City provided $15,900 in matching funds.

KINGSPORTS DOWNTOWN A STATEWIDE ROLE MODEL

Downtown Kingsport was celebrated as a statewide role model for downtowns at the Governors Conference for Economic Development.‚  Recognized for the growth and resurgence of its downtown, Kingsport ranked in the Top Five in every solutions category, including design, marketplace, organization, economic restructuring and promotion.

KINGSPORT CITY SCHOOLS SCORE BIG!!!‚  AWARDED FOR EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION

Kingsport City Schools was named the statewide winner of the prestigious SCORE (State Collaborative on Reforming Education) Prize.‚  This marks the second consecutive year Kingsport City Schools has been a finalist and the first time it has garnered the prestigious state honor that recognizes schools that are leaders in student learning.‚  Kingsport City Schools also earned the Achievement Award in the annual Excellence in Tennessee recognition program from the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TNCPE).‚  TNCPE is Tennessees only statewide quality program and is patterned on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, the national standard for recognizing performance excellence through innovation, improvement, and visionary leadership.‚  Kingsport City Schools: Student Focused, World Class!

ROLL TRIBE!!!‚  KINGSPORTS DOBYNS-BENNETT HIGH SCHOOL NAMED BEST IN NATION

Kingsports Dobyns-Bennett High School was named one of Americas Top High Schools by The Daily Beast for a second year in a row, ranking in the top three percent nationwide.‚  According to student achievement and international benchmarking data, if Dobyns-Bennett were its own country, it would rank fifth in the world in math, fourth in the world in science and first in the world in literacy.‚  In addition, four Dobyns-Bennett High School students were named semi-finalists for the esteemed National Merit Scholarship.

NEW J. FRED JOHNSON STADIUM OPENS IN GRAND STYLE

The City of Kingsport and Kingsport City Schools celebrated the opening of the new and very impressive $4.7 million renovation and expansion of Dobyns-Bennett High Schools J. Fred Johnson Stadium.‚  The 70-year-old Kingsport landmark now has 1,000 new additional seats (including a new upper deck with 1,800 chair-back seats), bringing the total to 5,000 seats, as well as a new and larger two-story press box, upgraded concessions, new restrooms, improved handicapped accessibility areas, new band seating, wider aisles with retrofitted handrails, and three beautiful new covered concourses with an elevator tower.‚  For the perfect finishing touch, Pal Barger and Pals Sudden Service donated a new electronic scoreboard.

DOBYNS-BENNETT HIGH SCHOOL BAND COMING UP ROSES

The Dobyns-Bennett High School Marching Band marched in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.‚  This marks the second time the globally-decorated band has participated in the nationally-televised tradition.‚  The 400-member band then spent the rest of 2014 winning a number of prestigious band competitions.‚  D-B was named Class Champion and overall Grand Champion at the Bands of America (BOA) Regional competition at Wake Forest University.‚  This marked the Indians second consecutive win at this prestigious event.‚  The D-B Band also won the Tournament of Champions at Western Carolina University, becoming the only band to have won that competition three times.‚  D-B continued the winning run when it captured the 2014 Tennessee Governors Cup and was named Grand Champion at the 53rd annual Contest of Champions at Middle Tennessee State University.‚  D-B became the first band ever to win both the Tournament of Champions and Contest of Champions in the same year.‚  At the Atlanta Super Regionals, D-B finished second in Class AAA and seventh in the finals.‚  To cap off the year, D-B placed second in Class AAA and fourteenth in the nation (its highest rank ever) at the Bands of America Grand Nationals in Indianapolis.

D-B BAND WINS PRESTIGIOUS SUDLER SHIELD

The Dobyns-Bennett High School Marching Band capped off a very impressive, award-winning year by garnering the John Philip Sousa Foundation Sudler Shield.‚  The prestigious honor is a high school marching bands equivalent to receiving an Academy Award or a Kenney Center Honors designation.

KEDB AWARDS $70,000 IN FAƒâ€¡ADE AND REDEVELOPMENT GRANTS

The Kingsport Economic Development Board (KEDB) has awarded $70,000 in faƒ§ade and redevelopment grants to seven Kingsport businesses since 2013.‚  The program is an effort to improve the aesthetics in the Citys central business district by encouraging the revitalization of building sites and faƒ§ades.

KHRA MARKS 75TH YEAR

The Kingsport Housing & Redevelopment Authority (KHRA) celebrated its 75th year of providing safe, decent and affordable housing to families in Kingsport and the surrounding communities.

PRIVATE CONSTRUCTION INVESTMENT DOUBLED IN KINGSPORT ‚¬ TOPPING $128 MILLION IN VALUE

The City of Kingsport issued 600 building permits ‚¬ 438 residential and 162 commercial ‚¬ for a combined value of $128.2 million, $66 million more than the previous year.

RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT GROWS IN KINGSPORT

Residential development activity increased by ten percent in Kingsport as 87 new single family homes were built with a total value of $17.5 million, up 39 percent from the previous year.

OLD ISLAND RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT

Old Island, a 120-acre upscale residential neighborhood nestled around the public Crockett Ridge Golf Course in Kingsport, continues to build and sale homes and home sites.‚  The development started with about 100 home sites in four different distinct sections: The Cottages, Old Island Residential, Treetops and The Islands.‚  There are approximately 50 home sites remaining in this luxurious and picturesque development that sits on approximately 300 acres.‚  Total investment on the project will top $50 million.

RIVERBEND RESIDENTIAL AND RETAIL DEVELOPMENT AND PARK

Kingsport developer Jerry Petzoldt is working with the City of Kingsport to develop Riverbend, a picturesque 80-acre residential and retail subdivision and city park that surrounds Wal-Mart SuperCenter on Fort Henry Drive.

THE SUMMIT RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT IN KINGSPORT

Kingsport developer Vic Davis started construction on The Summit, a $2 million residential upscale subdivision with 27 private lots and picturesque views in Kingsport.

EDINBURGH DEVELOPS PHASE FIVE

The Edinburgh Community, a $25.5 million residential development, opened phase five with the construction of several new homes.‚  A traditional-style living concept, Edinburgh features fishing lakes, a swimming pool, nature trails, a park like atmosphere, and much more.

KINGSPORT PREPARING TO DEVELOP SUPERMARKET ROW IN DOWNTOWN KINGSPORT

The Kingsport Economic Development Board (KEDB) has signed a letter of intent with Perry Management Group, a Knoxville developer, to build an upscale housing complex on the Bray property/Supermarket Row in Downtown Kingsport.‚  Sitting on 7.3 acres, the $40 million project will include several apartments, a community room, fitness center, and attached retail stores, among other amenities.

EASTMAN CREDIT UNION RECOGNIZED AS ONE OF BEST CREDIT UNIONS IN NATION

Eastman Credit Union (ECU) was ranked as one of the top financial institutions in the nation by NerdWallet.com for its consumer-friendly products and services.‚  ECU was selected as a Best Credit Union for free checking, high-yield savings and ATM/branch access.‚  ECUs national headquarters is located in Kingsport.

TNT SPORTSPLEX TO OPEN IN DOWNTOWN KINGSPORT

TNT Sportsplex, a new multi-purpose sports facility, announced plans to open in Downtown Kingsport.‚  Set to open in early 2015, the 30,000 square-bart recreational facility will house four high school regulation-size wood basketball courts with seating for 140 spectators per court.‚  The Sportsplex is designed to host leagues, tournaments and camps for various sports including basketball, volleyball, soccer, and wrestling, as well as others.‚  The facility will also offer court rentals for individual teams and be available for birthday parties and large or small group functions.

INDIAN PATH MEDICAL CENTER CELEBRATES 40TH YEAR

Indian Path Medical Center marked its 40th anniversary of exceptional medical care.‚  The award-winning hospital celebrated this milestone by making a significant investment in expanding its Cardiopulmonary Program by opening the Lung Nodule Clinic and offering Navigational Bronchoscopy services for patients undergoing lung cancer screenings.‚  The equipment used to perform Navigational Bronchoscopy services is among the best in the field for early detection of lung cancer which could save the lives of many in our region.

CITIZENS BANK MARKS 80TH YEAR

Citizens Bank celebrated 80 years of strength, progress and service.

SULLIVAN SOUTH HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND TAKES TOP HONORS

The Sullivan South High School Marching Band took first place at the Appalachian Classic Competition at Sullivan Central High School and second overall at the Science Hill Invitational Band Competition.

HOLSTON VALLEY MEDICAL CENTER RANKED AMONG BEST HOSPITALS IN THE NATION

Kingsport’s Holston Valley Medical Center was named among the 100 Hospitals with Great Heart Programs by Becker’s Hospital Review.‚  The hospital was also named by CareChex among the Top 100 in the nation for medical excellence with cardiac care and heart attack treatment and among the Top Ten percent in the nation for cancer care, cardiac care, heart attack treatment and women’s health.

HOLSTON VALLEY MEDICAL CENTER LAUNCHES NICU NEXT GENERATION CAMPAIGN

The Wellmont Foundation launched its Next Generation campaign for Holston Valley Medical Centers enhanced Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).‚  More than 9,000 children started their lives in the NICU, and this critical $2.5 million endeavor will help expand, renovate and equip it for the next generation of miracle babies.

MEADOWVIEW CELEBRATES ANOTHER RECORD-BREAKING REVENUE YEAR

Kingsports Meadowview Marriott Conference Resort & Convention Center celebrated yet another record breaking year.‚  The global award-winning resort generated more than $14 million in revenue (more than $1.2 million paid in local taxes to the city), and sold more than 74,000 guest rooms bringing the resort to a near 70 percent average occupancy.‚  MeadowView also ranked second in guest satisfaction among all Marriott managed hotels worldwide.

NEW KINGSPORT WELCOME CENTER OPENS

The State of Tennessee Department of Transportation and the City of Kingsport celebrated the grand opening of the states new $12.3 million Welcome Center, located on Interstate 26 between the Wilcox Drive and Rock Springs Road exits in Kingsport.‚  Sitting on a beautiful 20-acre site, the log cabin style building is expected to host 400,000 visitors each year.

Kingsport YMCA Breaks Ground on ymca Wellmont Center Phase TWO

The Greater Kingsport Family YMCA broke ground for its YMCA Wellmont Center Phase Two thanks to a generous $1.6 million gift from the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation.‚  Once additional fundraising is complete, the impressive expansion will include completion of the current gymnasium, an expanded Child Watch, a new large group exercise studio, the relocation of the Family Adventure Center (indoor playground/youth recreation), a new Teen/Intergenerational lounge, a new social gathering area, expanded wellness space, and the relocation of the Spirit Mind Body (yoga/pilates) studio, an indoor walking track, additional second floor restrooms, locker room changing areas, a new multipurpose studio, and a teaching kitchen/cafƒ©.‚  The Kingsport YMCA serves more than 17,000 members.

ANOTHER RECORD GOAL FOR THE UNITED WAY OF GREATER KINGSPORT

The United Way of Greater Kingsport once again surpassed its campaign goal, raising a record $4.1 million.

KINGSPORT PUBLIC LIBRARY TO CREATE A 21ST CENTURY LIBRARY

The Kingsport Public Library continues to develop parameters and explore options to create a Library that meets the 21st Century needs of the community.

KINGSPORT CHAMBER RIBBON CUTTINGS, GRAND OPENINGS & GROUND BREAKINGS

Your Kingsport Chamber held ribbon cuttings for the following businesses that opened or expanded in Kingsport:‚  Allandale Falls New Improvement Project; American Red Cross; B&H Wealth Strategy; Bakers Jewelry; Branded; Bristol Orthotics & Prosthetics Inc. @ Kingsport; Caves Drug Store; Citizens Bank Loan Production Office; Champion Chevrolet Cadillac; Design Build Construction; East Coast Wings & Grill; Elmcroft Senior Living Community; Express Title & Closing; Firestone Complete Auto Care; First Med Family Clinic; Frank Merendino, DDS Cosmetic & Family Dentistry; Honda Kingsport; Jennings Group; Macados; Model City Groove School; NHC Healthcare; Ozark Mountains Brewing Supplies; Price Less Foods; Powell Valley National Bank; Signature Properties Six Figure Charity Donation Milestone; The Oasis of Kingsport; and The ‚¬R. Hero Sculpture Unveiling & Dedication.‚  In addition, Ground Breakings were held for East Coast Wings & Grill and the Kingsport Carousel.

KEEP KINGSPORT BEAUTIFUL NAMED BEST IN THE NATION

Your Kingsport Chambers Keep Kingsport Beautiful (KKB) program has been awarded First Place out of all the Keep America Beautiful affiliates its size in the nation for its outstanding environmental protection and sustainability efforts.‚  In addition, KKBs mobile classroom garnered the Innovation Award.‚  KKB also contributed $1 million worth of volunteer hours and benefits to the community.‚  For every dollar invested in KKB through sponsorships and donations, the program returned $70 worth of benefits to Kingsport.

LEADERSHIP KINGSPORT SHAPES CITYS FUTURE WITH COMMUNITY IMPACT PROJECTS

Your Kingsport Chambers Leadership Kingsport program presented five Community Impact Projects, ideas and efforts that seek to sustain the economic vitality and enhance the quality of life for our City.‚  These included:‚  Center for Innovative Entrepreneurship; Needs Assessment for Area Arts Organization; Feasibility and Impact Study of a Hands-on Farm Museum at Exchange Place; Symphony of the Mountains Orchestra Impact Study; and Lets Go to the Park/Centre Park, Outdoor Active Play Center & Kingsport Bike Park.

KINGSPORT CHAMBER TOUTS EDUCATION EXCELLENCE

Your Kingsport Chambers Education program graduated more than 400 Tennessee/Virginia Scholars from Kingsport, Sullivan County, Hawkins County and Scott County, Va., schools and partnered to host the 8th & 11th Grade Career Fairs, the Sullivan Achieves Mentoring Program and Advanced Manufacturing Camps.

GOVERNMENT RELATIONS PROGRAM PROMOTES AND PROTECTS KINGSPORT BUSINESSES

Your Kingsport Chambers legislative affairs committee reviewed legislation that impacted business and hosted events with Congressman Phil Roe, Senator Bob Corker, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey, Senator Rusty Crowe, Representatives Tony Shipley, Jon Lundberg, Mike Harrison, Matthew Hill and Timothy Hill, Judge Robert Montgomery, Deputy Comptroller Jason Mumpower, Tennessee and U.S. Chambers of Commerce, and Sullivan County and Kingsport City elected officials.

FUN FEST CREATED Fun in the Sun and Under the Stars

Fun Fest entertained more than 150,000 fans during its thirty-fourth year.‚  The popular festival welcomed visitors from 32 states, 80 Tennessee communities and 68 Virginia communities.‚  The Maker Faire, a celebration of STEM and the D-I-Y creative community, received nationwide exposure through MAKE magazine.‚  The local deaf community had their first Fun Fest event, a comedic performance by WINK.

MOVE TO KINGSPORT WELCOMES NEW RESIDENTS

Your Kingsport Chambers Move to Kingsport program welcomed 2,517 family households (5,642 new residents) from every state and the District of Columbia to Kingsport in 2014, making a $144 million economic impact on the community.‚  Since Move to Kingsport started in 2006, more than 15,000 families have moved to Kingsport.

KOSBE CELEBRATES TEN YEARS OF HELPING SMALL BUSINESSES SUCCEED

Your Kingsport Chambers small business program, Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE), provided counseling and training to more than 140 individuals and businesses; assisted in capital formation of more than $2 million; and helped clients create more than 150 new jobs.‚  KOSBEs client base employs 300 full-time and 215 part-time employees, and generates annual sales exceeding $72 million.‚  More than 250 small business owners have benefited from KOSBEs small business education programs.

KINGSPORT CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU HITS ANOTHER GRAND SLAM FOR KINGSPORT

Visitors to the City of Kingsport contributed $42.5 million in direct spending for the local economy.‚  Sporting events alone brought more than 20,000 visitors for more than 25 events hosted by the Kingsport Convention and Visitors Bureau.‚  These visitors poured more than $10.3 million into the Citys economy.‚  2014 was another record-setting year for lodging tax collections.

BEST IN THE STATE

Your Kingsport Chamber President and CEO Miles Burdine was named Executive of the Year in the State of Tennessee by the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry.‚  This marked the first year the prestigious award was bestowed.

Kingsport continues to grow with many developments happening all around town, Burdine commented.‚  The city is in a very strong position and the future looks incredible.‚  Your Kingsport Chamber of Commerce strongly applauds and congratulates its outstanding membership and the exceptional and visionary leadership of Kingsport Mayor Dennis Phillips, the Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen and City Manager Jeff Fleming and his outstanding team for these great accomplishments and for the citys continued and successful partnership with your Kingsport Chamber.

The Kingsport Chamber also presented its very prestigious Kingsport Chamber Lifetime Member Award to Betty DeVinney, a past Kingsport Chamber chair and former Eastman vice president and longtime community leader.

DeVinney is the twenty-seventh recipient of the honor.

The accolade honors an individual for a lifetime of outstanding service to the Kingsport community.

We also want to thank and applaud the one-hundred plus companies who supported this night through their sponsorship and all of those who purchased tickets, Burdine added.‚  This evening and all we do at your Kingsport Chamber would not be possible without the ongoing support of our many members.

The event had more than 100 corporate sponsors.‚  These included:

Title Sponsor: Eastman.

Host Sponsor: WJHL News Channel 11.

Entertainment Sponsor: Holston Valley Medical Center.

Concert Hall & Stage Sponsor: Eastman Credit Union.

Program Sponsor: Appalachian Power.

Education Sponsor: East Tennessee State University.

Associate Sponsor: Wilson Worley.

Printing Sponsor: Food City.

Media Sponsors: WJHL News Channel 11; Charter Media; Cumulus Tri-Cities; Daytime Tri-Cities; Kingsport Times-News; Times Digital Group; and VIPSeen Tri-Cities.

Red Carpet Sponsors: Daytime Tri-Cities and VIPSeen Tri-Cities.

Table Sign Sponsor: Express Signs.

Photography Sponsor: Mickey Baker Photography.

Hall of Fame Sponsors: WJHL News Channel 11; Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union; Appalachian Power; Brock; City of Kingsport; CSX Transportation; Cumberland Marketing; Domtar; Eastman; Eastman Credit Union; East Tennessee State University; Food City; Holston Medical Group; Holston Valley Medical Center; Impact Plastics; Indian Path Medical Center; Jacobs; MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort & Convention Center; Pals Sudden Service; Pepsi; and Wilson Worley.

Anniversary Sponsors: AccuForce; GRC Construction/CainRashWest Architects; and Hargrove Engineers & Constructors.

Diamond Sponsors: Asbury Place; Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz; Bank of Tennessee; ETW Insurance; First Tennessee Bank; Hunter, Smith & Davis; KIA of Kingsport; Kingsport 925; Martin Dentistry; Northeast State Community College; Premier Pharmacy; Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing; Regions Bank; Symphony of the Mountains Orchestra; TEC Industrial; Thompson; Toyota/Lexus of Kingsport; Tri-Cities Center for Cosmetic Dentistry; University of Tennessee; and Workspace Interiors.

Platinum Sponsors: Charter Business; and J.A. Street & Associates.

Gold Sponsors: AT&T; Charter Media; Citizens Bank; Home Instead; Lincoln Memorial University; Marsh Regional Blood Center; Price & Ramey; Republic Services; Rodefer Moss & Company; and St. Dominic Catholic School.

Silver Sponsors: Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon; Blackburn, Childers & Steagall; Bristol Motor Speedway; Cherry Bekaert; Dent K. Burk Associates; Emory & Henry College; First Bank & Trust Company; First Kingsport Credit Union; Healthcare Trust of America; HomeTrust Bank; NETWORKS; Oak Hill Funeral & Cremation Services; Tele-Optics; Town & Country Realty; TriSummit Bank; Urology Associates of Kingsport; and Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network.

Bronze Sponsors: Appville 101; Burger King; Burk Consulting; East Coast Wings & Grill; Elite Manufacturing & Professional Services; Express Signs; First Assist Urgent Care/Mountain States Medical Group; Frontier Health; Integrity Capital Management; Longhorn Steakhouse; Kingsport Farmers Market; King University; KOSBE; Mattern & Craig; Milligan College; and Powell Valley National Bank.

PARTY ON THE MOON

Theyve played for President Barack Obamas Inaugural‚¬¦Theyve played for Eli Mannings Wedding‚¬¦Theyve played for Donald Trumps New Years Eve Party for the past five years‚¬¦ ‚¬¦and now the Number One Party Band in the Nation is back again to play for your Kingsport Chamber 68th Annual Dinner!

Voted the Nations Number One Corporate and Private Party Band, Party on the Moon custom tailors music, choreography, state-of-the-art production and entertainment to spectacular specifications.‚  Based in Atlanta, the award-winning band performs 70s, 80s, 90s, current dance, pop, rock, classic rock, disco, funk, swing, R&B, Motown and new country music.

Party on the Moon performs world-wide for millionaires, celebrities, global company CEOs, top sales executives, discerning brides and national and local philanthropists ‚¬ even at the Inaugural Ball!‚  But no matter who their clients are, Party on the Moons goal is always the same: create the perfect party.‚  The band always performs to create fun, memorable event experiences.‚  The musicians are world-class, the gorgeous female vocalists top-notch, and the lighting, choreography and sound state-of-the-art.‚  So, if you want to launch a party that will simply be OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD … book PARTY ON THE MOON!

The bands non-stop, high-energy performances always leave audiences craving for more.‚  Party on the Moon was such a huge hit that Donald Trump requested the band return again for the fifth consecutive year to perform a five-hour show at his personal New Years Eve party at Mar-A-Lago.‚  The band (Party on the Moon) is spectacular, Trump said.‚  This is the best New Years Eve we have ever had at Mar-A-Lago.

The HalfMoon TRIO features Mark, Big Papa and Tyrone, (drums, piano and bass), with a repertoire spanning almost every genre of music.

The Higher Power Choir, voices of inspirational pop, features world-class vocals and a wide-ranging musical repertoire.

With more than 300 album and CD credits collectively, the four-piece FullMoon HORNS are well rehearsed, disciplined and play the arrangements you remember.‚  Their long list of outstanding recording credits include Peabo Bryson, Gladys Knight, Roberta Flack, Natalie Cole and Francine Reed as well as tours and performances with Sly & the Family Stone, Alicia Bridges and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas.

Party on the Moon has performed with Journey, Prince, James Brown, Huey Lewis, Three Dog Night, The OJays, Peabo Bryson, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Temptations and Bob Seger.

Party on the Moon was founded by musician and entertainer Dennis Smith, who still serves as the bands music director.‚  Smith has been featured in American Entertainment magazine.

For more information on Party on the Moon, go to PartyontheMoon.com.

KINGSPORT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

The Kingsport Chamber of Commerce is a private, non-profit business organization composed of nearly 1,000 members.‚  The Kingsport Chambers mission is to utilize resources and focus efforts on enhancing a strong and viable business environment for the Kingsport area.

Programs of the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce include:‚  Communications & Development; Education & Workforce Development; Downtown Concert Series; Fun Fest; Government Relations; Keep Kingsport Beautiful; Kingsport ChamberZone; Kingsport Convention & Visitors Bureau (KCVB); Kingsport Leadership Programs (ENCORE, Leadership Kingsport and S.H.O.U.T.!‚®); Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE); Membership; Move to Kingsport; Santa Train; and Tennessee/Virginia Scholars.

For more information on the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, go to KingsportChamber.org or call (423) 392-8800.‚  Were social too; follow us on our Facebook page, Your Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce, and on our Twitter account, @kptchamber.