Kingsport Selects Heather Cook as Director of Marketing and Public Relations

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KINGSPORT – The City of Kingsport is pleased to announce Heather Cook as the Director of Marketing & Public Relations.  She will join the Citys Leadership Team on October 12th  Cook will be responsible for marketing & promoting a broad range of City programs, services, issues, and policies to the community, all designed to ensure that retention and attraction objectives are achieved with residents, businesses and visitors.

We are at a critical juncture, said Jeff Fleming, City Manager.  Weve borne witness to the amazing transformation of our city in the past 15 years, but we cant rest too long.  If we do, others will pass us by.  Whats the next big idea?  We hope the upcoming Summit will answer that question, he added.

Im pleased that this position has been filled as we kick off the OneKingsport Summit, said Mayor John Clark.  Kingsport has incredible assets and I look forward to a focused, dedicated marketing initiative so our community can achieve its full potential.

Heather is a well-known figure in the community with 12 years of marketing experience at Northeast State, ETSU, Kingsport Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Bristol Motor Speedway.  Most recently she successfully guided the launch of Healthy Kingsport.

Cook led the Northeast State Foundation to a growth in staff donations from $23,000 to $210,000 in 3 years.  At KCVB, she grew advertising sales by 50%.  During her time at Healthy Kingsport, she implemented a walking program that exceeded its goal by 660%.

Heather was one of two invited to address statewide media regarding the Healthier Tennessee initiative.  After being introduced by the Governor, her remarks were poised & poignant while he stood at her side.  She was unflappable.  She represented our community well that day and Im confident she will do so in the future, Fleming said.

Cook was the first-ever graduate of the Roan Scholars Leadership Program at East Tennessee State University.  She earned a degree in Business Administration, Integrated Marketing Communication.  She also holds two advanced degrees from ETSU — an MBA and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership & Policy. She graduated summa cum laude in all three degree programs.

She is also an active community volunteer, serving as Vice Chair of the Kingsport Regional Planning Commission, a member of the Rotary Club, and a vision council for United Way. She also coaches drum majors for the award-winning Dobyns-Bennett band.

Cook fills the vacancy created by Tim Whaley who departed June 1.  The position drew 130 applicants.  Seven finalists were interviewed.  We were very pleased with the level of interest in the position, Fleming said. Any of the top seven had the technical ability, but Heather is the best fit for our organization.