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Executive Director Christina Blevins to Leave Believe in Bristol in January

December 15, 2016

Executive Director Christina Blevins will be leaving Believe in Bristol in January after nine years of service to the non-profit Main Street organization. Christina has accepted a position in the Community Development department at the City of Bristol, Tennessee.

“As a tireless and enthusiastic advocate for Historic Downtown Bristol, Christina will be missed,” said Believe in Bristol’s Board President Kathryn Cole. “She has been instrumental to the growth of the organization and has been responsible for so many of its successes. The board and volunteers will miss her and will have big shoes to fill, but we are excited that she has this wonderful opportunity to move into a role so well suited to her background and expertise.”

Over the past fifteen plus years, Historic Downtown Bristol has undergone tremendous growth and revitalization, and Christina Blevins has been a big part of that story. She was appointed Executive Director of Believe in Bristol in 2007, where she has played a critical role as Believe in Bristol facilitated the transformation of Bristol’s downtown commercial district.

As Believe in Bristol’s Executive Director, Blevins oversaw our two nationally accredited Main Street programs (Tennessee and Virginia). She helped to develop Historic Downtown Bristol’s Arts & Entertainment District designation and created strong partnerships with other organizations and with volunteers, increasing special event programming to bring more people downtown to enjoy its restaurants, shops, live music, and atmosphere. The efforts put into the Believe in Bristol website, social media, and e-newsletter continue to be instrumental in bringing more recognition to businesses located downtown. Blevins also pursued several grants, bringing numerous initiatives to Historic Downtown Bristol, including streetscape and façade improvements, entrepreneurial support, business consulting for downtown merchants, and a hotel feasibility study.

During her time at the organization, Believe in Bristol received a Regional Preservation Award from the Heritage Alliance for Organizational Excellence, was recognized by the Tennessee State Governor’s Conference for strong community development, and received several Main Street Milestone Achievement Awards from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Blevins was an invited speaker at the annual Main Street Conference three times, highlighting Bristol on a national stage as an example of a successful, vibrant and continually growing downtown.

“I’m most proud of the partnerships that have formed from Believe in Bristol, all the revitalization efforts our downtown community has made, and how our cities have worked hard to change the face of Bristol,” said Blevins.“I am leaving Believe in Bristol confident that the organization will continue to support our small businesses, our heritage, and the ongoing revitalization efforts that so many have worked towards over the years.”

While working at Believe in Bristol, Blevins has also played an active role in a number of other Bristol organizations, including board seats with the Bristol Train Station, Bristol Chamber of Commerce, Bristol Convention & Visitors Bureau, Celebrate Bristol, and the Rotary Club of Bristol. In 2010, Blevins earned the Bristol Mayor’s Award of Distinction and was listed among the Tri-Cities’ Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40. In 2013, she received the YWCA Tribute to Women Leadership Award in the Business category, and most recently she was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow in Rotary.

Blevins will begin her new role with the City of Bristol, Tennessee, on January 9, 2017. Associate Director Maggie Bishop has been named as interim Executive Director of Believe in Bristol.