Chattanooga, Tennessee: At the outset of 2021, Thrive Regional Partnership welcomed five new trustees to its board that reflect growing county representation and corporate leadership across the tri-state, 16-county greater Chattanooga region. The newly elected Board trustees are Barry Allen, Mike Costa, Nathan Lee, Jennifer McCurdy, and Harriette Stokes.

“After a year like 2020, we understand more than ever how important it is to strengthen connections among communities across our region,” said Bridgett Massengill, President and CEO of Thrive Regional Partnership. “We are pleased to welcome these new trustees, representing businesses and towns across northeast Alabama, northwest Georgia, and southeast Tennessee, to ensure that we continue to practice Thrive’s mission authentically and inclusively across the tri-state.”

From DeKalb County Jennifer McCurdy was elected to the Thrive Board of trustees. Jennifer was born and raised in DeKalb County, AL and is a proud graduate of Auburn University holding a degree in Health Services Administration. She has served in healthcare marketing for over twenty years and has served as Executive Director of the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce for three years. Jennifer is a graduate of The Government and Economic Development Institute (GEDI) at Auburn University’s EDAA Leadership Institute program. She also attended and completed the Auburn University Basic Economic Development Course through The Government and Economic Development Institute (GEDI). A graduate of Leadership Dekalb, Jennifer currently serves on their Board of Directors. In partnership with DeKalb County Economic Development and Tennessee Valley Authority, Jennifer helped spearhead Rising Leaders of DeKalb, a young talent group formed two-year ago in DeKalb County. Jennifer is married to Bruce McCurdy, and they have twelve year old twins, Reese and Sam.

“I have a true passion for my community, and am continuously seeking partnerships and ways in which we can grow our economy," said McCurdy. "I appreciate the opportunity to represent DeKalb County on the Board of Trustees for Thrive Regional Partnership, where together we can grow our Region.”

“Each of the Thrive board members bring local perspective and distinct skill sets to the table,” said Connie Vaughan, Chair of Thrive Regional Partnership. “As Thrive enters its sixth year, we are pleased to welcome these new members who will help steer the organization’s
collaborative efforts around infrastructure, community prosperity, and the stewardship of our natural landscape.”

With these appointments, the Thrive board consists of 27 trustees. Chaired by Connie Vaughan, Government Relations Manager for McKee Foods, the board of trustees includes: Rob Bradham, President & CEO of the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce; Daniel Carter of
Carter Farm and Sewanee, University of the South; Whitney K. Coe of the Center for Rural Strategies; Chuck Dobbins of Dobbins Investments, LLC; Gary Farlow; Joel Houser, Southeast Field Coordinator for the Open Space Institute; Beth Jones, Executive Director of Southeast
Tennessee Development; Denny Mobbs of Jordan Fabricating; Brittany Pittman of the Appalachian Regional Commission; Rick Roden, President & CEO of Mountain Lakes Chamber of Commerce; Honna Rogers, Municipal Management Consultant for UT-Municipal Technical
Advisory Service; Emerson Russell, CEO of ERMC Facility Services; Dr. Mina Sartipi, Program Leader for UTC’s Center for Urban Informatics and Progress; Dennis Tumlin, Chief Customer Officer of the TN Department of Tourist Development; Dr. Edna Varner, Senior Advisor for the
Public Education Foundation; Greg A. Vital, President/CEO of Morning Pointe Senior Living;\ Elizabeth Wells of Rossville Redevelopment; and Charles Wood, Chief Economic Development Officer of the Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership.

Thrive Regional Partnership inspires responsible growth through conversation, connection, and collaboration. The unprecedented nonprofit unites people across the growing tri-state region to preserve community and natural character for generations to come. For more
information about Thrive Regional Partnership, visit