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Knoxville Regional
Transportation Planning Organization

400 Main St, Suite 403
Knoxville, TN 37902

email: contact@planeasttn.org
phone: (865) 215-2500
fax: (865) 215-2068

ETCompetes! Summit Celebrates Commitment to a Stronger East Tennessee


Posted 11/25/2013
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The 2013 ETcompetes! Summit celebrated the growing strength of the East Tennessee region, the connections between our quality of life and prosperity, and sought commitment from community members to help move the region towards a more prosperous future.


More than 150 people from across East Tennessee gathered in downtown Knoxville on November 19th to celebrate the future of our region. The 2013 ETcompetes! Summit, sponsored by PlanET and Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley, was hosted by City of Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, and City of Maryville Mayor Tom Taylor. The theme of the Summit was “Committing to a Stronger East Tennessee” and served as a follow-up to the symposium on Regional Economic Competitiveness held earlier this year.

Three years of community work in creating a 30-year plan for prosperity in the five-county region were celebrated at the Summit. Also, attendees were asked to commit to efforts to see those plans put into action. They were reminded that the region shares many assets, and we must work together to ensure a stronger future. And that type of effort requires the passion and commitment of citizens and community leaders alike.

Matt Murray, director of the Howard Baker Center and associate director of the UT Center for Business and Economic Research, moderated a panel of special guests from the community. The guests included Buzz Thomas, President of Great Schools Partnership; Matt Gallaher, owner and chef at Knox Mason; and, Stephanie Myers, Community Relations Liaison for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. The panelists spoke about the region’s strengths, but also challenges that threaten the future prosperity of the region.

Topics included education, healthy communities, and the economic competitiveness of “great communities.”

The Summit also marked the culmination of the three-year PlanET process. Leaders were asked to engage in implementation of the shared vision, goals and strategies that emerged from the PlanET effort. Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero issued a closing call to action for attendees, challenging them to pledge to building a stronger East Tennessee in 2014 and beyond. Over 85 commitments were signed by participants during the event and will be shared on the Summit webpage.

The summit proceedings, including videos showing the introductory remarks and panel discussion are available Summit webpage.

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