Economic Development in Bristol, Tennessee
The city's Industrial Development Board has authority to authorize industrial development bonds under state and federal statute and has other enumerated powers. The Bristol Tennessee City Council appoints seven members for the Industrial Development Board, which handles the Economic Development Strategy and the Economic Development Incentive Program.
The City of Bristol Tennessee participates in a county-wide economic development partnership called NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership. This partnership consists of four governmental entities - Sullivan County, Kingsport, Bristol and Bluff City. Each has a share in the costs and proceeds of the NETWORKS organization and joint enterprises, such as development of industrial parks. There are currently three industrial parks, called Partnership Parks, owned by NETWORKS. Because of this partnership, Sullivan County qualifies as a Level Three "Three-Star" community in the State of Tennessee.
Economic Development Staff:
Mike Sparks was hired as Deputy City Manager in 1997. His previous work experience includes 23 years service as West Tennessee Regional Director of the Local Planning Assistance Office, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, and two years service as Principal Planner for the Local Planning Assistance Office. He is a member of the International City Management Association and the Tennessee City Managers Association. Additionally, Mike is a member of the International Economic Development Council, the Southern Economic Development Council, and the Tennessee Industrial Development Council. He earned a Bachelors Degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Florida State University. In addition, Mike is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Economic Development Institute and is a Certified Economic Developer by the International Economic Development Council.
Kristi Haulsee was hired as Business Development Specialist in 2012. Her previous work experience includes 10 years with the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce as Vice President for Member Services. Prior to her work with the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, she worked for the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, the Bank of Tennessee and SESCO Management Consultants. She also has served as a member of the board of regents of the Institute for Organization Management, an arm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She has a Bachelors Degree in Communications and a minor in Marketing from Appalachian State University.