JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Patricia “Tish” Oldham will become the executive director of the Johnson City Development Authority (JCDA) on February 7 and take the reins at what the JCDA chairman called a “critical moment” for the agency’s project. to convert the former John Sevier Hotel to a new use.
“We are grateful to have his level of expertise at JADC,” Hank Carr said in a press release. “This is a critical time, not just with the John Sevier project, but with the growth of Johnson City in general. Tish is equipped to lead the downtown into its next phase and ensure it remains a vital part of the growth of our community.
The appointment follows a search that spanned several months and occurred after the JADC board opted not to move interim director Dianna Cantler to the permanent role.
“We now have, I think, a very high-risk, high-reward program and it’s made us really think about what kind of person can drive this program,” board member Jodi Jones said during the interview. from the September 2021 meeting in which the board voted 7-1 to seek a new director.
Carr said Oldham has many of the skills needed to keep the town center at the forefront of Johnson City’s growth. The main priorities of the position, in addition to the management and redevelopment of the John Sevier, will include:
- Downtown redevelopment and associated parking initiatives;
- Management and oversight of Connect Downtown, which encompasses the Johnson City Main Street program;
- Improved tax increment financing program to promote development in the designated development district.
“As a Certified Urban Planner, Tish brings extensive experience in land use planning and urban affairs, as well as project management, grant acquisition and administration, community council management and experience in economic development,” Carr said of Oldham.
Oldham is a Johnson City native and served as director of community outreach and economic development at East Tennessee State University for six years. She has held professional and volunteer positions for Washington and Unicoi counties in Tennessee, the cities of Bristol, Tennessee and Virginia, the town of Jonesborough and the town of Knoxville.
She holds a master’s degree in planning from the University of Tennessee, College of Architecture + Design and a bachelor’s degree in administration from Center College of Kentucky.