Crowd turns out to welcome Sissy Ferguson as director at M.L.King Center

Sharon “Sissy” Ferguson is the new director at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Alcoa, and residents turned out April 28 to welcome her.

Natasha Hillsman with Denso associate relations, said a committee was put together to find a replacement for the late Anthony Dunnings, who died suddenly in February.

“We had interviews, and it was a consensus to choose her,” she said of Ferguson.

Hillsman said Denso was part of the search because of its relationship with the MLK Center and also with Dunnings, who was a former Denso associate. “Anthony was special,” said Hillsman. “I think they have a very good director in place (in Ferguson), and Denso is here to provide any kind of support we can.”

Joe Huff, executive director of Maryville Alcoa Blount County Parks and Rec, said Ferguson was the right person for the job. “She has a passion for the community,” he said of Ferguson, who worked as Dunnings’ assistant for more than a year. “It’s kind of a natural progression.”

Alcoa City councilman George Williams said Ferguson was from a well-known Alcoa family. “We’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t know her family. She’ll do a good job. She’s got the ability to be successful in whatever she does.”

Sharon Hannum said Ferguson has a heart for people of all ages, a creative style and is very organized. “I hope people don’t compare her style with Anthony’s. They’re two totally different people,” Hannum said.

Dorinda Earls, Ferguson’s sister, said she was proud of her sister. “She’s got a lot of great ideas,” she said.

Ferguson’s sister Toni Green said she is doing a great job. “She’s very energetic and enthusiastic,” Green said. “She’s a team player, and she will talk with anybody.”

Leslie Kane said Ferguson was the person for the job. “She’s great with the public,” Kane said.

Corkey Walden, program assistant, praised his boss. “I’ve known her all of my life. She’s got big plans. I’m looking forward to seeing what she does,” he said.

Ferguson’s first day on the job was April 14. Ferguson said she was thankful everyone thought of her and came to the reception. “It’s been great. Everybody is as excited as I am. That’s nice,” she said.

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