The “Kingsport Spirit” is alive and well, long after industrialist J. Fred Johnson coined the phrase in 1937 to point out that people who profit the most are those who serve the best, and that Kingsport should always be a community for the common good of everyone.
“J. Fred Johnson talked about mutual helpfulness to ensure the greatest good for the greatest number, and the giving spirit today in Kingsport is overwhelming at times, especially by businesses,” says Miles Burdine, president and CEO of the Kingsport Chamber. “I’m always proud to see that whenever there’s a problem within our community, it is greeted as an opportunity to overcome and solve that adversity.”
Burdine says there are many examples of involvement in Kingsport by companies and their workforces, from sponsoring community events and permanent venues to employee-led efforts like charitable fundraising.