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Kingsport fills two key positions

Staff Reports • Dec 1, 2019 at 3:00 PM

KINGSPORT — The Model City has filled two key positions within the city, positions announced as priorities by City Manager Chris McCartt earlier this year during his interview process before the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

The two positions are economic development director and assistant to the city manager.

“These two roles are an integral part of my vision for Kingsport since I stepped into the city manager job in July,” McCartt said. “We’re looking forward and stand ready to push our city into a great next year.”


As economic development director, Jason Hudson supports the city manager and works closely with the city’s development coordinator, Nathan Woods, to advance Kingsport’s economic development efforts.

Originally from Kingsport, Hudson joins the city after more than 23 years in the Navy and 18 years of human resources leadership experience. He retired as a commander in 2016 and continued his career in human resources as a regional human resources director for a Tier I/II automotive company and as an HR consultant.

Hudson brings an emphasis on strategic planning, recruiting, training and workforce development to this position.

“It’s an exciting time to join the Kingsport team,” Hudson said. “Our city has a storied history, and I look forward to helping our local talent start and grow their initiatives while attracting new businesses, jobs and residents to share in our outstanding quality of life.”

Hudson has a Bachelor of Science in Human and Organizational Development from Vanderbilt, as well as three master’s degrees: Industrial/Organizational Psychology (Christopher Newport University); National Security and Strategic Studies (Naval War College); and an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship/Innovation (University of Tennessee).


New Assistant to the City Manager Jessica Harmon acts as a proxy and assists McCartt across many arenas.

Harmon has served as a planner for the city since May 2016, and previously served both Johnson City’s and Bristol’s planning departments. Her time as senior planner and later as principal planner has included work across a number of city boards and commissions, as well as assisting citizens and revising regulations to make them user-friendly and modern.

“Working for the community that raised me has been such an honor,” Harmon said. “I want to grow with the city, both professionally and personally.”

Harmon holds a bachelor’s degree from UT in political science and a Masters of Public Administration from East Tennessee State University. She is also a recent graduate of the Leadership Kingsport program and currently serves as chair for the Youth Leadership Program with the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce.