Thrive Regional Partnership Announces New Trustees

  • Friday, January 20, 2023

Kicking off the new year with additions to its board, Thrive Regional Partnership has welcomed four new trustees: Evann Freeman- Director of Government Relations at Electric Power Board (EPB), Terry Hart- President and CEO of the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority, Jason Mock- President and CEO of the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce, and Debra Stone- Senior Logistics Cost Analyst at McKee Foods.

Composed of members from businesses and towns in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee, Thrive’s board works to elevate the voices of communities and stakeholders of the 16 county region while sharing perspectives, providing support, and offering guidance on strategic plans for the organization to maximize regional impact.

The four new additions to the board live and work within the Thrive Region, bringing Tennessee ties from Hamilton County, and Georgia ties from Catoosa and Whitfield counties.


Thrive’s President and CEO, Bridgett Massengill, is looking forward to welcoming these new members who can provide insight on transportation and infrastructure matters from the worlds of freight and flight, digital access infrastructure, business communities, and logistics. “It will be so powerful to connect all of our trustees as we map out solutions to tri-state challenges surrounding transportation and infrastructure, conservation efforts, and community prosperity,” Bridgett Massengill said, “I am so thrilled that Evann, Terry, Jason, and Debra are able to share their diverse experience and expertise with us as we work to shape a substantial roadmap for our region to not just survive, but thrive.”

Thrive Regional Partnership is a nonprofit organization focused on bringing stakeholders together across 16 counties in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee to ensure the protection of natural treasures and resources while promoting responsible stewardship of transportation and infrastructure growth to ensure communities are able to prosper.

Thrive’s comprehensive 16 county membership includes Jackson and Dekalb counties in Alabama; Catoosa, Dade, Murray, Walker, and Whitfield counties in Georgia; and Bledsoe, Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea, and Sequatchie counties in Tennessee.

Learn more about Thrive at thriveregion.org

For a comprehensive list of Thrive’s 2023 Board of Trustees Members visit thriveregion.org/people

Evann Freeman, director of Government Relations - EPB:

Mr. Freeman joined EPB as director of Government Relations in December of 2019. Mr. Freeman leads EPB’s government relations efforts.

Mr. Freeman has spent the past decade as a government relations professional, most recently for U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander. At EPB, he works closely with local, state, and federal stakeholders, as well as local entrepreneurs and area businesses.

Terry Hart, president and CEO - Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority:

Before moving to Chattanooga in 2007, Mr. Hart held regional management and vice president of field services positions with American Airlines and American Eagle, including responsibility for a $200 million budget and 1,500 employees. Terry Hart’s aviation management experience includes over 40 years in aviation operations, strategic planning and administration.

From November 2007 until October 2011, Mr. Hart oversaw general operations at the Chattanooga Airport before being named President and CEO, where he helped encourage growth in each piece of the Airport’s business. Mr. Hart has earned the Airport Certified Employee Operations designation by the American Association of Airport Executives, and previously served as Chairman of the O’Hare Airline Managers Association. In 2019, Terry received the Chattanooga Area Manager of the Year Award.

Mr. Hart lives in Chattanooga with his wife, Zita and they have two sons, Andrew and Stephen. Both sons are graduates of Loyola University in Chicago.

Jason Mock, president and CEO - Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce:

Mr. Mock became president and CEO of the Greater Dalton Chamber in March 2022.

Prior to the Greater Dalton Chamber, he served as the president and CEO of the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce in San Marcos, TX. Under Mr. Mock's guidance, the Chamber experienced tremendous growth, representing more than 550 investors and employing over 54,000 people.

Before leading the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Mock was the director of Small Business Services for the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce in Cumming, Ga., where he built the Small Businesses Services Committee into a meaningful and productive resource for more than 3,000 small businesses in the community.

Mr. Mock studied Political Science at the University of West Georgia and has spent the last 17 years managing the relationship between local businesses and government to benefit local communities.

In 2016, he received his Institute for Organization Management “IOM” certificate in Nonprofit Management from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute. He and his wife, Katie, have a strong faith and relationship with their family. They enjoy spending time outside, traveling, dancing, cooking, and both have a competitive passion when it comes to college football.

Debra Stone, McKee Foods - Senior Logistics Cost Analyst

Ms. Stone is a “Silver Crew” employee of McKee Foods Corporation with over 39 years of experience in laboratory services, purchasing and logistics. Her current responsibilities include managing carrier relationships and international transportation of Little Debbie Snack Cakes. She also provides leadership concerning transportation issues to the corporation’s food regulatory and quality systems teams.

Ms. Stone is a member of the American Trucking Associations’ Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference Board of Directors and is past Chair of ATA’s Supply Chain Security Policy Committee. She served on the National Private Truck Council’s Board of Directors from 2002-2007. Locally, she serves on the board of the Northwest Georgia Transportation Club and is the Freight Chair of the THRIVE Regional Partnership Freight Mobility Coalition. She recently joined Dalton State College Wright School of Business Advisory Council.

Ms. Stone is a 1982 graduate of Vanderbilt University with a BS degree in chemistry. She earned her CTP designation in 2003 and was the top graduate in her class. She holds a lifetime C.P.M. certification. She also earned CPSM (2014) and CLTD (2017) designations. She has lived in Catoosa County almost all of her life and graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. She has been married to Kevin for 40 years and has two daughters and six grandchildren. She is a member of First Baptist Church – Fort Oglethorpe. For the last six years, she has used her logistics skills volunteering as the Drop-off Team Leader for Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child shoebox ministry.

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