Summers has worked in economic development in East Tennessee for the past several years, first as Executive Director of Northeast Tennessee Valley Regional Industrial Development Association, then as a business development consultant in the regional office of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.
“I’ve really wanted to get into local economic development for years,” Summers said Friday. “What attracted me to the Washington County Economic Development Council was primarily their proactive approach to economic development. I feel like it’s going to be a great organization to be a member of.”
Summers earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in urban planning and organizational management from East Tennessee State University and is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute.
She said her primary duties will include working with existing industries to help retain and expand jobs, and setting up programs to market the area and recruit new businesses.
In the past three months, two high-level members of the WCEDC resigned to take jobs elsewhere.
In October, Jeff Keeling, the organization’s Director of Marketing and Community Relations, left to resume a career in journalism, followed by Director of Redevelopment Shannon Castillo, who stepped down last month to become an affiliate broker with Mitch Cox Companies.
The governing boards of Washington County, Johnson City and Jonesborough voted recently to make the WCEDC the designated economic development organization in the county, allowing it to administer grants and work with public and private entities.