Two long-time supporters of the Tennessee Valley Corridor were presented the organization’s top award at the TVC’s National Summit held June 1-2 on the campus of Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, Tennessee.
Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl and Chattanooga attorney J. Wayne Cropp were honored with the Corridor Champion Award in recognition of their leadership to enhance the TVC’s national visibility, high-tech economic development, and collaborative efforts within the five-state region, a press release said.
“Wayne Cropp chaired the TVC first two Summits in 1995 and 1996 in Oak Ridge and Chattanooga and has been an active leader since,” said Board Chair Steve Cope from Tullahoma. “He has been a true champion for our region’s efforts to promote its federal missions and to leverage those investments for high tech economic development.
“The ARC has collaborated with the TVC for many years, but its support reached new levels during Earl Gohl’s term as federal co-chair. His focus on entrepreneurship and the importance of our community colleges fits well with the mission and emphasis of the TVC’s efforts in the 10 congressional districts we serve—all of which are within the ARC’s area of responsibility.”
Cropp is an attorney with the Baker Donelson law firm’s Chattanooga office with a focus on public policy, economic development, and environmental law. He is a recognized author and lecturer on air quality, climate change law, and brownfield redevelopment.
The ARC has supported the TVC’s Community College Consortium—an effort to connect the region’s 30-plus community colleges with federal government organizations and other institutions throughout the region. Gohl has served as federal co-chair since his appointment by President Obama in 2009.
Past Corridor Champion Award winners include Senator Lamar Alexander, Congressman Chuck Fleischmann, Tennessee Valley Authority, University of Tennessee, and Oak Ridge’s Y-12 National Security Complex.
Since the first TVC Summit was held in Oak Ridge in 1995, the TVC has helped link the science and technology assets in the Tennessee Valley into a nationally recognized regional economic development effort. The mission of the TVC is to sustain the region’s existing federal missions, to compete for new missions, and to leverage public/private relationships for high-quality job growth, the press release said.
The Tennessee Valley Corridor includes 10 congressional districts in East and Middle Tennessee, North Alabama, Western North Carolina, Southwest Virginia, and Eastern Kentucky. The TVC’s mission is to sustain existing federal missions in the Valley, to compete for new missions, and to leverage those investments for private sector job growth. Over the past 20 years, TVC Summits have been held in the Tri Cities, Oak Ridge, Huntsville, Chattanooga, Asheville, Nashville, Murfreesboro, Washington, D.C., and Somerset, Kentucky.
For more information about the Tennessee Valley Corridor, please visit www.TennValleyCorridor.org.
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