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Cleary named new DKA executive director

Staff report • Sep 26, 2019 at 10:00 PM

KINGSPORT — The Kingsport Chamber and Visit Kingsport have announced Robin Cleary is the new Downtown Kingsport Association executive director.

Previously, Cleary served as the director of Keep Kingsport Beautiful, a program of the Kingsport Chamber.

“The Downtown Kingsport Association is a vital program for our community and we look forward to Robin’s leadership with upcoming events and fostering growth in our downtown,” Miles Burdine, Kingsport Chamber president and CEO, said. “Robin has established a superb track record with the nationally recognized Keep Kingsport Beautiful program. We know she will bring this same level of excellence in her new role with the Downtown Kingsport Association.”

The Downtown Kingsport Association (DKA) has recently become a program under Visit Kingsport. DKA is dedicated to the revitalization of downtown Kingsport. DKA’s purpose is to promote downtown Kingsport as the heart of the community, strengthen its economic viability by encouraging growth and diversity among businesses and restore its unique historical characteristics and beauty.

“We are very excited to have Robin in her new role,” said Jud Teague, Visit Kingsport’s executive director. “She brings a wealth of experience in grant writing, fundraising and working with city leadership. She is excited to interact with merchants, residents and professional services that call downtown ‘home.’ ”

About Robin Cleary

Cleary has served as executive director of Keep Kingsport Beautiful, a partnership program of the Kingsport Chamber and the city of Kingsport, for nine years. She oversees fundraising, volunteer recruitment and coordination, promotions/marketing, grant writing and event coordination for the program, working closely with multiple city departments. Under Cleary’s leadership, Keep Kingsport Beautiful received 11 national and state awards and received more than $128,000 in state and private grant funds. Cleary is also co-director of Santa’s Depot for the Kingsport Chamber and oversees merchandise and sales for The Gift Shop at the Kingsport Chamber.

She is a native of Kingsport and attended East Tennessee State University. Cleary has served in leadership roles on various nonprofit boards in the community. Most recently, Cleary was appointed to the Keep Tennessee Beautiful Advisory Council by former Gov. Bill Haslam. In addition, she served on the Keep America Beautiful National Conference Planning Committee, the Tennessee Environmental Conference Planning Committee, the City of Kingsport Tree Board, Fun Fest Council and United Way’s AveNew Drug Education and Prevention leadership team.

Cleary is a graduate of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce Executives Institute. She has presented on nonprofit and environmental program leadership at both the Keep Tennessee Beautiful state conference and the Keep America Beautiful national conference.

Recently, Keep Kingsport Beautiful won the 2019 Award of Excellence from the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the 2018 Affiliate Award of Excellence from Keep America Beautiful.