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Director partners with EDB

Johnson City native Patricia Oldham was recently named director of community outreach and economic development through East Tennessee State University’s Center for Community Outreach and Applied Research.
The position will allow Oldham to work closely with members of the Joint Economic Development Board of Unicoi County.
“I love being here,” Oldham said. “Everyone has been extremely welcoming. This is what I love to do.”
Oldham said she is excited to be doing something she loves while also encouraging Unicoi County’s developmental growth.
“I love trying to collaborate with people and particularly putting a variety of ideas together and then start trying to go in a direction that a community would like to go,” Oldham said. “This is my favorite thing to do and I’m glad to be here.”
An ETSU press release states that Oldham will bring Unicoi County and the economic development resources offered through ETSU together.
“Oldham will support ETSU's initiative to develop partnerships among the university, the Joint Economic Development Board of Unicoi Co., and the county's business community,” the release states. “The collaborative effort will endeavor to expand and attract small businesses, encourage entrepreneurship, facilitate downtown revitalization, capitalize on tourism opportunities and support the coordination and execution of strategic planning for Unicoi Co. economic expansion efforts.”
Oldham, who is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, received a bachelor's degree from Centre College with a concentration in government. She also attended the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville where she obtained a master of science degree in planning and economic development.
Oldham began her career in Washington, D.C., working in the office of Tennessee First District Congressman James H. Quillen, the release states. She also worked with the City of Knoxville's Department of Community Development and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the release states.
“Upon returning to the Tri-Cities region, Oldham established a successful planning consultancy, served as a town planner for Jonesborough, and was the economic development coordinator for Bristol, Va,” the release states. “She was employed as a director of marketing for the broadband, wireline and wireless telecommunications provider NTELOS, and most recently, as a city planner for Bristol, Tenn.”

By Kayla Carter
Staff Writer
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