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Stothart to Retire after 45 Years in Economic Development


Longtime community development project coordinator and historic preservation specialist, Gray Stothart, will retire at the end of May after 45 years in the economic and community development field.


Since joining the staff of the First Tennessee Development District, Stothart has served as both a community development project coordinator and the lead for the District’s historic preservation efforts. His work, which has touched on numerous grants over his time with the FTDD has helped the region grow while simultaneously preserving historically significant sites.


While with the FTDD, Stothart spearheaded several projects in which he takes great pride, including the Interactive Map of Historic Places and nominations for the National Register of Historic Places. Needless to say, in his tenure, Stothart has achieved much and when asked about his time working in the ECD field he shared that “I’m very proud of the Community Development Block Grant applications I’ve submitted. If you get one funded for a community, you’ve done something that will help everybody.” An example of a unique CDBG grant project for Stothart was working with the Greeneville Fire Department to secure funding for a “Mini Pumper”, something very unique and of vital importance to that community.


Prior to coming to the FTDD in 2008, Stothart worked for the Coordinating & Development Corporation, a regional development district based in Shreveport, Louisiana. Starting as a community planner after graduating from Louisiana State University in 1977, Stothart rose to the position of Vice President of Economic Development. He also led that organization’s efforts in local planning and natural resources.


"We're going to miss Gray's insight, his wisdom, and talent for grant writing," shared Mike Harrison, executive director of the FTDD. He went to to say that "Gray is someone who is driven by serving communities in the region, He's left his mark with the funding he's secured and the historic sites identified and listed on the Interactive Map. We're glad he shared his talents with the region and wish him the best of luck."


Upon retirement, Stothart’s historic preservation duties will be assumed by Misty Bradley, who has worked closely with Stothart on TACIR projects and is a program specialist with the FTDD.


For more information on this or other District News, please contact Mark Stevans, mstevans@ftdd.org.

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