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New Regional Hub Names Dennis Phillips As Its Launch CEO

Long-time Kingsport Mayor Dennis Phillips has been named Chief Executive Officer to lead the launch of the new collaborative economic development hub announced in April. Phillip’s skills at building relationships across county borders were cited by Executive Board members of the new organization.

“I’m here to share our vision for making the region a destination for business, tourists and workers to move to our eight-county area,” says Phillips. “We will support existing economic development organizations by elevating our story of a great place to live, work and play.”


Phillips served as Kingsport’s Mayor for a decade. During his tenure, Phillips helped create an Academic Village in the city’s downtown, converted a 20-acre former industrial site to a retail center, built the Kingsport Aquatic Center and the Brickyard Park sports complex.


“Dennis was a perfect pick because of his proven ability to navigate the intricacies of building consensus between cities and counties,” says Bristol Motor Speedway CEO, Jerry Caldwell, who is Chairman of the Regional Hub’s Executive Board. “He is well respected across the region and in Nashville where we will garner support to the benefit of every county, city and town.


Announced April 13th, the Regional Hub was formed as an entity intended to serve as a collaborative partner, a catalyst for economic development, and a collective regional voice. Its mission is to unite the region and create prosperity for the communities and residents it represents. The organization is funded by private entities, including Ballad Health, Bank of Tennessee, Bristol Motor Speedway, Eastman, and East Tennessee State University. Public seats on the Executive Board have been accepted by Sullivan and Washington County as well as Kingsport and Johnson City. Another rotating seat has been reserved for other municipalities.

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