Estepp honored as Kingsport Chamber Lifetime Member

Hank Hayes • Nov 30, 2018 at 9:30 PM

KINGSPORT — The Kingsport Chamber honored longtime business, economic development and community leader Larry Estepp with its prestigious Lifetime Member Award during its State of Your Kingsport Chamber Holiday Breakfast Friday morning at the MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort & Convention Center.

Who is Larry Estepp?

A past Kingsport Chamber president, Estepp currently serves as president of Citizens Bank. He is the 33rd recipient of the award.

“Larry is a tireless and devoted leader — both in terms of economic development and community service — that we all should emulate,” said Bob Feathers, Kingsport Chamber chair, president of WorkSpace Interiors and owner of East Coast Wings Grill. “His incredible work with the Kingsport Chamber, the Kingsport Economic Development Board, NETWORKS and countless other organizations and nonprofits is unmatched and greatly appreciated. He continues to give of himself to help others. We are so honored to bestow upon him this well-earned accolade.”

What is the state of the Kingsport Chamber?

Feathers highlighted some of the organization’s many achievements from 2018 and incoming Kingsport Chamber Chair Lori Payne, controller for Contour Glass, addressed the organization’s plans and events for 2019.

This year, Feathers noted, more than 25 businesses celebrated ribbon cuttings or groundbreakings in Kingsport; Fun Fest marked its 38th festival; Visit Kingsport attracted more than 20,000 visitors for a $42 million impact on the local economy; Keep Kingsport Beautiful received another award of excellence; 360 local high school students graduated as Tennessee/Virginia Scholars; STREAMWORKS hosted the state’s largest Lego competition; Government Relations hosted every gubernatorial candidate; Leadership Kingsport completed six community impact projects; the Kingsport Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (KOSBE) provided counseling and training to more than 160 individual clients and assisted in record capital formation of more than $10 million; and Healthy Kingsport helped Kingsport become the first city in the nation to achieve more than two million miles of documented physical activity for a year.

The Chamber also reported its membership program attracted more than 50 new members and topped $400,000 in membership revenue.

What are the Chamber’s plans for next year?

Payne noted some plans for next year include launching a new member marketing campaign; supporting small business success, especially through KOSBE’s Propel Mentor/Protégé program; continuing to support Roosevelt Elementary School’s Leadership Academy; protecting business interests by lobbying local, state and federal leaders; hosting another World Long Drive competition; continuing to develop leaders — both the business professional and our high school students — who give life to community dreams; welcoming more than 2,000 visitors from some 20 countries around the world in June as Kingsport hosts the International Underwater Robotics Competition; continuing the nationally recognized efforts to beautify the city and preserve its natural environment; walking 2.5 million miles and continuing to champion the importance of health, nutrition and fitness to individual lives, to the bottom lines of businesses and to the overall well-being of the community; and celebrating as Fun Fest produces its 39th festival, among other goals and events.

Who sponsored the breakfast?

The event was sponsored by ABC Tri-Cities; Anita’s Snack Foods; Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union; Appalachian Power; ARO; BAE Systems; Ballad Health; Bank of Tennessee; Bristol Motor Speedway; Carter-Trent; Chef’s Pizzeria; Cigna; Citizens Bank; Contour Glass; Cooper Standard; Domtar; East Coast Wings Grill; Eastman; Eastman Credit Union; First Tennessee Bank; Food City; GRC Construction/CainRashWest Architects; GRIFOLS; Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Homes; Honda Kingsport; Horizon Credit Union; J.A. Street & Associates; Mattern & Craig; News Channel 11; New Peoples Bank; Powell Valley National Bank; Preston Place; Regions Bank; Rodefer Moss & Company; Tele-Optics; The Blake at Kingsport; The Regional Eye Center; The Village at Allandale; Town Park Lofts; Tranquility on Center Salon, Spa & Boutique; VIPSeen Magazine; Volunteer Painting & Remodeling; and WorkSpace Interiors.

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