United Way of Greater Kingsport (UWGK) hosted their Annual Meeting to culminate 2020’s work. The event was held via Zoom Video Conferencing on Thursday, February 11, 2021, with over 100 in attendance, including representatives from UWGK’s Board of Directors, member agency partners, volunteers, donors, and public officials from the City of Kingsport.  


In addition to reviewing the highlights from 2020 and unveiling the 2020 digital annual report (this year produced in a digital online format at www.uwaykpt.org/2020annualreport), UWGK affirmed the incoming 2021 Board of Directors and also announced the 2021 allocations to member agencies: an investment of $1,715,000 to 29 local nonprofits running 38 programs.


The keynote address was provided by Jim Welch, President of Kingsport City Schools’ Board of Education. Jim is the retired Executive Director of the Elizabeth R. Griffin Foundation as well as a renowned teacher and coach for Kingsport City Schools for over 30 years. Mr. Welch echoed the UWGK’s own mission and vision in his address, saying that dignity for each person is often measured through their visible access to health, education, and their achievement of financial stability. He also championed equity in our communities and United Way’s fight for every person, saying, “As long as everything is not OK for each of us, it’s going to be difficult to say it’s OK for all of us.”


UWGK concluded the programming by announcing a variety of awards, including special recognitions to the following community advocates:

  • Stella Robinette, Founder and Director of H.O.P.E. Tri Cities, was chosen as the recipient of UWGK’s “Live United Award,” an accolade that recognizes lifetime achievement in volunteerism with United Way and the Greater Kingsport community. In addition to her ongoing work with children and youth in Greater Kingsport and her avid volunteerism, Stella most recently has led a coalition of cross-sector, diverse, community stakeholders in discussing and championing “HOPE for Racial Equity.”
  • Polly Peterson recently retired with over 40 years of service to Legal Aid of Northeast Tennessee, a UWGK Member Agency. She was recognized for the “Outstanding Impact Award.” In addition to her extensive legal work, she is also a strong advocate for reading and literacy. UWGK announced that the next book distribution by its United WE READ Initiative will be made in Polly’s honor.
  • Brent Mullins, Chair of UWGK’s 2020 fundraising campaign and Vice-President at Powell Valley National Bank, was presented with a Mayor’s Commendation, read on behalf of Kingsport Mayor, Pat Shull. The text recognized that through a historic year and a global pandemic, Brent Mullins and the Campaign Cabinet led the community to provide total resources of nearly $3.11 Million for United Way to deliver its mission of improving lives, inspiring hope, and creating opportunities for a better life for all.   


After brief concluding comments, Keith Parker, 2021 President of UWGK’s Board of Directors, officially adjourned the meeting. Highlights of UWGK’s 2020 funding and impact, as well as a list of the outgoing 2020 Board of Directors and a download of the 2020 unaudited financials can be reviewed at www.uwaykpt.org/2020annualreport.



United Way of Greater Kingsport (UWGK) fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in our community. UWGK’s mission is to improve lives. Our vision is a better life for all.