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Hometown Heroes: General Shale, Johnson City Cardinals honor 9 at game

August 8th, 2014 10:35 am by Carter Giegerich, Press Staff Writer

Hometown Heroes: General Shale, Johnson City Cardinals honor 9 at game

Mitch Cox, center, was among nine people honored at the game (Douglas Fritz/Johnson City Press)

A great community is built one brick at a time, and General Shale has teamed up with the Johnson City Cardinals to honor some of the most influential contributors to the Johnson City community.

At JC History and Hero Night, nine city residents were recognized for their substantial effort to improve their community.

“Every person, if you look at them, their whole life has been dedicated to giving back to the community,” said Dawn Henning, the director of marketing and retail sales at General Shale. The company collaborated with the Cardinals to recognize the tremendous effort put forth by these individuals during the game Thursday night.

Many of the honorees have played a significant role in the revitalization of the downtown district, an area that has seen extensive work and improvement in recent years. The Cardinals’ stadium, situated on the eastern edge of downtown, is a testament to the effort put forth to make Johnson City a better place to live for local families.

“We consider ourselves part of the downtown district here, where we’re located, and we’re trying to revitalize it,” said Tyler Parsons, the general manager for the Cardinals.

Nine people were recognized for their work in Johnson City. Honorees included Summers-Taylor’s CEO Rab Summers; the chief operating partner at the Urban Redevelopment Alliance, Valda Jones; local property management specialist Mitch Cox; CenturyLink Vice President Lottie Ryans; and Dr. Paul Stanton, former president of East Tennessee State University.

General Shale and the Cardinals also recognized Melissa Steagall, who has worked for groups including the Northeast State Community College Foundation and the Mountain States Foundation Community Board of Directors; the Rev. Lester Lattany, the president of United Way of Washington County; and local pharmacy owner Guy Wilson Jr.

While each contributed in their own way, the common goal of strengthening the community here and improving our city’s quality of life is apparent in each of Thursday night’s honorees’ work, officials said.

“If you look at Mitch Cox, Valda Jones and Melissa Steagall, these guys are totally invested in revitalizing this downtown effort and making it into something amazing,” said Henning.

Henning says that most of the people recognized during the game are Johnson City’s unsung heroes, hence the name of the event. While they’ve received recognition for their work in the past, many continue to work tirelessly regardless of whether or not the community at large knows who is responsible for Johnson City’s rejuvenation.

“There are a lot of people who are dedicating their entire lives to making our city great and wonderful, and it’s only right to recognize those people who dedicated their whole lives to doing that,” said Henning.

Parsons says it was a natural fit, offering their facility as a platform to recognize Johnson City’s local heroes.

“We wanted to use our atmosphere, and use our facility to shine a light on what these people are doing out there in the community,” said Parsons.

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