Allison joined the City of Lenoir City as director of The Venue in August of 2016. “Starting 4 months prior to The Venue being complete and open to the public was very helpful,” she said, as she was able to focus on research, pricing, policies, staffing, marketing, supplies, and other tasks necessary to ensure her team could hit the ground running.
Allison earned her Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and marketing from Belmont University and her Master of Business Administration degree from Baylor University. She was also certified in Chamber of Commerce management through the University of Georgia's Institute for Organization Management.
Her professional background includes work in the private and public sectors, concentrating in the areas of marketing, hospitality, financial services, and non-profit management. Most notably, she was president of the Loudon County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau for almost 8 years, during which time she helped establish the Loudon County Education Foundation and designed the Leadership Loudon County program. Just prior to working at The Venue, she managed her own marketing company for six years.
When discussing her current position, she tells the story of reading about the city’s new event center being approved by City Council, turning to her husband, Steve, and saying, “that’s my job!” They’d intentionally drive by the site while The Venue was under construction to monitor the progress, just waiting until the day when Allison could apply to manage it.
“Back in my Chamber days, we talked extensively about the need for an event center. In my mind, being hired as the director brings my Loudon County journey full-circle and utilizes all the skills and talents I’ve developed in my other positions over the years,” she said.
Something people might not know about Allison is that she’s been playing the piano since the age of five and has a singing and acting background (though those talents are very rusty today). She is involved in numerous local volunteer organizations and is the married mother of two sons; one a freshman at East Tennessee State University, and the other a Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corps.
Stephanie Nelson, Assistant Director
Stephanie has been on board at The Venue since the building was only steel and concrete. She began her journey with the staff as a part-time event coordinator; but was recently promoted to full-time assistant director due to her outstanding service and sales abilities. As she humorously shares with people, “in the event Miss America can’t perform her duties, number two steps in to run the show!”
Prior to working at The Venue – or even relocating to Tennessee, for that matter – Stephanie managed her own wedding planning business in Indiana and earned her Certified Wedding Planner certificate. When she moved to Tennessee in 2012, she became very involved in numerous community and volunteer events. In 2017, she was asked to join the Creative Committee for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital’s Fantasy of Trees and manage her own creative team. Last year, she was responsible for the Henley Street entrance décor.
When asked about the talents or skills she feels she brings to her job, she said, “I am very creative and crafty, and can usually enhance a client’s vision for their event.” She added, “I am able to easily develop connections with clients and add a level of trust and personal responsibility to each and every event I execute.”
Stephanie’s favorite part about her job at The Venue is the team with which she works. She “enjoys the feeling of accomplishment when we work hard as a team to produce an amazing event for a client.”
Stephanie is a married mother of 3 children, so she remains very active in school organizations. Something people might not know about her is that she is a self-taught seamstress. She also added that she’s a talker…but anyone who’s met her already knows that!
Brittany Mashburn, Event Captain
Brittany joined The Venue as a part-time event attendant in the spring of 2018; but has since been promoted to a part-time event captain. It became clear very early on that Brittany’s initiative, work ethic, organization skills, abilities, and desire to learn made her the perfect candidate for advancement. She is also a pre-K teacher at the Farragut Church of Christ Preschool.
Prior to her position at The Venue, she always held positions that allowed her to work with the community and get to know other people in the area. Brittany also volunteered along side her mother for ETCH’s Fantasy of Trees in the children’s activities area. “Volunteering for the Fantasy of Trees has been a blessing to me,” she said. “We are able to hold on to a family tradition and give back during the best time of the year…Christmas!” She looks forward to continuing the tradition with her own daughter.
The number one skill Brittany feels she brings to her job is organization. “I am a very organized person and want our staff members and clients to know events will go smoothly in the back of the house, even before they begin,” she said. Her favorite part of the job is the “family feeling” that exists with The Venue staff. “My position at The Venue is a dream come true and a step into a door God has opened for me.” She also enjoys taking every opportunity to tell people about The Venue and to learn about cultural events that represent the diversity of the community.
Something some people might not know about the married mother of one is that she’s a Disney World addict! But you won’t find her at the beach in Orlando; she doesn’t like sand!