Allison joined the 𝐂𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐨𝐟 𝐋𝐞𝐧𝐨𝐢𝐫 𝐂𝐢𝐭𝐲 as director of The Venue in August of 2016. Starting 4 months prior to The Venue being completed and open to the public was very helpful, as she was able to focus on research, pricing, policies, staffing, marketing, furnishings, 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 earned her Certified Chamber Executive designation through the University of Georgia's Institute for Organization Management, and enjoyed specialized leadership training at the International Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina.
She is currently a member of the 𝐈𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐕𝐞𝐧𝐮𝐞 𝐌𝐚𝐧𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐀𝐬𝐬𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 (𝐈𝐀𝐕𝐌), the LC Committee of 100, and is a board member of Good Samaritan Center of Loudon County. In addition, Allison is past-president of the 𝐋𝐨𝐮𝐝𝐨𝐧 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐲 𝐕𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐬 𝐁𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐮 (Visit Loudon County), and a past-president of the 𝐏𝐢𝐥𝐨𝐭 𝐂𝐥𝐮𝐛 𝐨𝐟 𝐋𝐞𝐧𝐨𝐢𝐫 𝐂𝐢𝐭𝐲.
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 and implemented the 𝐋𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩 𝐋𝐨𝐮𝐝𝐨𝐧 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐲 program. Just prior to working at The Venue, she managed her own marketing company for six years, while also directing the 𝐅𝐚𝐫𝐫𝐚𝐠𝐮𝐭 𝐁𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐀𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞.
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 the married mother of two sons; one a recent graduate of East Tennessee State University pursuing his interest in history, and the other, a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps (now a Veteran pursuing his Bachelor's degree and working as a financial representative).
Stephanie Nelson, Assistant Director and Wedding Specialist
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 quickly promoted to full-time assistant director due to her outstanding 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. She has since earned her Certified Wedding Planner designation through The Bridal Society. She is also a graduate of Leadership Loudon County (Class of 2021). 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. Since that time, her team has been 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!
ADDIE CHAMBERS, EVENT CAPTAIN Addie studies biology at Roane State Community College, with hopes of working in the marine biology field. Her favorite thing about working at The Venue, "other than the amazing staff," is "how the atmosphere is constantlychanging according to the needs of different events."
Brittany Mashburn, Banquet Manager
A former pre-K teacher, Brittany joined The Venue as a part-time event attendant in the spring of 2018; but has since been promoted to event captain and later, to banquet and kitchen manager. It became clear very early on that Brittany’s initiative, work ethic, organization skills, planning abilities, and desire to learn made her the perfect candidate for advancement.
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!
MADISON GRAVES, EVENT CAPTAIN Madison attends the dental program at Pellissippi State Community College. She plans to become a dental hygienist in the future. Her favorite thing about working at The Venue is "being around fun and loving co-workers."