Clay Walker is the CEO of NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership, where he leads the economic development efforts of Sullivan County, Tennessee, and the marketing and recruitment for neighboring Hawkins County. He has been in his current position since January 2014. Over the last four years, NETWORKS and its community partners have been involved with the generation of more than 3,300 primary jobs and became known as "Where Tennessee Begins Its Business Day!"
Walker has some 20 years of economic development experience, having worked at the community and regional levels as well as leading his own consulting firm. He moved from Kentucky - where he last worked as Vice President, Economic Development for West Kentucky Corporation, a 45-county regional organization - to Tennessee in 2005 when he accepted the position of Executive Director for the Gallatin Economic Development Agency, prior to joining NETWORKS.
Walker was born and grew up in Paducah, Kentucky. He is a graduate of Murray State University, Oklahoma University's Economic Development Institute, and is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD). He serves as Immediate Past Chairman of the Tennessee Economic Partnership and is a member of the Tennessee Economic Development Council, the Southern Economic Development Council, the International Economic Development Council, and the National Business Aviation Association. He has been published in several site selection magazines over the years on topics such as workforce evaluation and development, labor laws, and regional marketing. In 2017, Walker was recognized as a Top 50 Economic Developer by Consultant Connect.
Walker has a son, Ty, who resides in Leadville, Colorado, where he works in computer gaming when he's not skiing with his dad on one of his visits. Walker also enjoys the many outdoor activities Northeast Tennessee has to offer, NASCAR, and his beloved Racer basketball.
Director of Economic Development
Michael was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, but relocated to Northeast Tennessee to complete his education at East Tennessee State University where he received his bachelor's degree in Political Science as well as his masters in Public Administration. Michael joined the NETWORKS team in February of 2011 and has played an integral role in the organization’s success. He is responsible for attraction/recruitment initiatives, including business retention and expansion. Among his duties, Michael also leads the Northeast Tennessee Red Carpet Tour, an IEDC award-winning annual familiarization tour that offers site location consultants an opportunity to experience the Southern hospitality and pro-business culture Northeast Tennessee provides.
Michael is a 2014 graduate of Lead Bristol and continues to assist with the organization's economic development program day.
Michael married his wife, Morgan, in August of 2016, and they are the proud parents of a dog named Oliver. Oliver can often be found at the NETWORKS office and serves as the honorary mascot for the NETWORKS team.
Dana serves as the Director of Marketing and Business Development at NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership. She leads the organization’s marketing efforts, including branding initiatives and video production, and also acts as a project manager. Dana leads FIRST, the organization’s existing industry program.
Before joining NETWORKS, Dana served as the Administrative and Marketing Coordinator for the Kingsport Office of Small Business Development (KOSBE) and completed an internship at the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from East Tennessee State University and is currently completing coursework through Oklahoma University’s Economic Development Institute.
Dana serves as President of PEAK – Kingsport Young Professionals and sits on various boards in the community, including United Way of Greater Kingsport and Branch House Family Center. She is a member of the Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty Class of 2017 and a 2016 graduate of Leadership Kingsport.