Keep Blount Beautiful loses coordinator

Teeters will take helm at Keep Knox County Beautiful

Keep Blount Beautiful is once again searching for a new coordinator.

Allison Teeters will leave Dec. 31 to begin work as the coordinator at the Keep Knox County Beautiful office, Keep Blount Beautiful president Tim Self said Thursday, Dec. 27.

Teeters became coordinator of Keep Blount Beautiful in August of this year when Kristi Falco stepped down to go back to college and pursue a career in nursing. She was living in Maryville with her family but commuting to Sevierville where she was coordinator of Keep Sevier County Beautiful.

The position in Knox County became available when the coordinator for the program there took a new job as director of solid waste for Knox County. Teeters worked for Keep Knox County Beautiful while she was earning her masters in public administration, so she was familiar with the organization. Self was not surprised they considered her for the job because of how well she led Keep Sevier County Beautiful.

“Allison … was coordinator of the year for all Keep America Beautiful affiliates in the state of Tennessee, and it made sense for them to approach her,” he said. “She’ll be there managing staff and that will give her a more well-rounded experience. It’s a great opportunity for her.”

Teeters had mixed emotions about making the switch. “It’s a real exciting opportunity. It’s the largest (affiliate) in the area. It’s like a homecoming, but it is with a heavy heart I took the job,” she said. “I love Keep Blount Beautiful. I’m not leaving because I was miserable. I cried a little because I was leaving such a good program, but it’s a once-in-a- lifetime opportunity. It’s the new challenges you’re looking for.”

Self said Keep Blount Beautiful will be doing a local search. “After the board meeting on Jan. 4, we’ll have a timeline. This is first time Keep Blount Beautiful has had to do a search,” he said.

The first coordinator for the organization was Sue Dawson. Then Kristi Falco served as coordinator and when she left, it made sense for Allison to come work with the organization because she lived in Maryville, Self said.

“We do hope to have the position filled at the latest by mid-March,” Self said.

Self said there are opportunities and challenges for the new coordinator and for the group members. “The biggest challenge any new person will have will be building relationships on behalf of the organization,” he said.

Self said Keep Blount Beautiful is also working to complete the capital campaign for the landfill learning center. About $65,000 of the $110,000 goal remains to be raised, he said.

Teeter said the landfill learning center is wonderful opportunity and school children love it. “We can do so much with that,” she said. “I heard more than once that it was the best field trip they had been on,” she said. “That has so much potential.

Self said the group has learned that, with losing two coordinators so close together, the organization is extremely dependent on the coordinator. “As a volunteer organization, we realize we have to have more volunteer empowerment and ownership of the programs,” he said. “Things should continue whether we have a coordinator or not.”

Another challenge for the group will be for volunteers to step up and work the phone book recycling program through the schools and cities. The group also must prepare for the spring landfill learning center rotation where all the schools in the county visit the landfill to learn about recycling, composting and being a good steward of the environment.

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