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About Us

Our Story

It seemed that every time there was a get together, a handful of us ended up in the parking lot discussing all the possibilities for our community. We wanted more for opportunities for our kids, more local amenities for ourselves, more celebration of our great town. After about 200 of these chats, we decided that we needed to actually do something…Key words: DO SOMETHING. We dedicated to forming a group that was action-oriented, foregoing unneeded meetings and formalities that end up slowing things down.  

We are a diverse group of community minded, action driven people. Our mission is to SPARQ long-lasting, impactful improvements to our hometown by cultivating the community’s economic, social, and cultural growth. 

Our Quest

Our Quest

We are a diverse group of community minded, action driven people. Our mission is to SPARQ long-lasting, impactful improvements to our hometown by cultivating the community’s economic, social, and cultural growth. 

Our People

 

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Carey was born and raised in South Pittsburg, TN. A graduate of South Pittsburg High School in 1996, Carey went on to complete her B.A. degree in Business from Maryville College in Tennessee.

Carey relocated back to South Pittsburg in 2008 and began working for Lodge Manufacturing in 2009. She is currently the Director of Product Marketing for Lodge. Carey and husband Mike Garland built a home in South Pittsburg in 2012 and are raising two boys, Hank & Alex. The family are members of Christ Church Episcopal in South Pittsburg. They own a company, Team G, LLC, that refurbishes homes in South Pittsburg to provide affordable, quality homes to rent for the community while renovating the area.

Carey became a National Cornbread Festival volunteer in 2007. She joined the Executive Committee in 2011 and continues to hold a seat on this board. Carey is a founding member of the newest 501C3 in South Pittsburg, SPARQ – South Pittsburg Area Revitalization Quest. Carey holds a seat on the board and is acting President.

Carey Garland - President

 

Carey was born and raised in South Pittsburg, TN. A graduate of South Pittsburg High School in 1996, Carey went on to complete her B.A. degree in Business from Maryville College in Tennessee.

Carey relocated back to South Pittsburg in 2008 and began working for Lodge Manufacturing in 2009. She is currently the Director of Product Marketing for Lodge. Carey and husband Mike Garland built a home in South Pittsburg in 2012 and are raising two boys, Hank & Alex. The family are members of Christ Church Episcopal in South Pittsburg. They own a company, Team G, LLC, that refurbishes homes in South Pittsburg to provide affordable, quality homes to rent for the community while renovating the area.

Carey became a National Cornbread Festival volunteer in 2007. She joined the Executive Committee in 2011 and continues to hold a seat on this board. Carey is a founding member of the newest 501C3 in South Pittsburg, SPARQ – South Pittsburg Area Revitalization Quest. Carey holds a seat on the board and is acting President.

Walker Henley - Vice President

 

Walker Henley is a Tennessean through and through, having lived in all corners of the state. He was born and raised in Memphis until he headed to Knoxville for college at the University of Tennessee. After completing a degree in communications, he followed his girlfriend (now wife) to Nashville where they lived for 5 years until finally settling down in her hometown of South Pittsburg, where they are now raising 2 beautiful children.

Though Walker is a transplant to South Pittsburg, he is committed to the community and enjoys being involved in civic groups whenever possible. He is a former board member of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce. He helped start the town’s recycling program. And also spurred his company to adopt the main stretch of highway in town where he leads quarterly cleanups.

Walker works as the Retail Manager for Lodge Cast Iron running their 4 Factory Stores, among other miscellaneous marketing functions. When he’s not selling skillets or cleaning up trash, you can usually find him hiking on one of Marion County’s many beautiful trails.

Beth Duggar - Treasurer

 

Beth has been employed as the Vice President – Customer Service for Sequachee Valley Electric since 1998. Responsible for superior customer service for the 5 offices of SVEC and also billing and collections for the 34,000-member cooperative.

Before coming to SVEC Beth spent 20 years in the banking industry, with the last, as the CFO for then Marion Trust & Banking Company. Her education began in 1979 as a graduate of South Pittsburg High School, a 1984 graduate from UTC with a degree in accounting and then in 1997 a Graduate Banking degree from LSU’s banking program.

Beth has been very active in the leadership of many community organizations including the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, Boy Scout Troop 63 and a board member of Grandview Medical Center. She is currently the Treasurer and founding member of SPARQ, and the Marion County Arts Council, an active member of the South Pittsburg Rotary Club, and President of the National Cornbread Festival.

She is married to Shannon Duggar and they reside in South Pittsburg and have three grown sons.

Mandy Finotti - Secretary

 

Born and raised in South Pittsburg, TN, Mandy received her Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Tennessee Tech University and years later received her Master of Business Administration. After spending some time in Raleigh, NC, as a marketing assistant for the Kidney Council, Mandy relocated to the Nashville area, where she worked in the banking and pharmaceutical industries.

To be closer to family, Mandy moved back home to South Pittsburg, TN, in 2015, where she began her career as Manager of Customer Care for Lodge Cast Iron. Since becoming the eCommerce Manager in 2019, Mandy has focused on digital marketing for the leader in cast iron cookware. She is very active in community organizations, serving as the Secretary for SPARQ, a member of the Chamber Board of Directors, the Arts and Crafts Chair for the National Cornbread Festival, and is on the AITB (Arts in the Burg!) Marketing Committee.

Mandy is married to Craig Finotti, and they together have one daughter, and Craig has two grown sons. Mandy and Craig previously fostered three sibling boys who are and will always be part of their family.

Marcus Banks - Board Member

 

Marcus was born and raised in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. Art found me at a very young age.  After graduating from South Pittsburg High School, Marcus attended East Tennessee State University, where he studied Criminal Justice and Fine Arts.

After graduating from ETSU, he returned home to South Pittsburg . He has displayed art at the Beene-Pearson Library, Marion County Arts Council, other venues in the Chattanooga area, and completed many commission from local to abroad.

Margaret Tucker - Board Member

 

A native of Manhattan Beach, California, Margaret Tucker is a self-taught artist and nature photographer. Growing up on the beaches of Southern California and being exposed to art museums at a young age, she developed a passion for nature and the arts.

In 1998, she and her husband Walter set out on an adventure and relocated in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. They built a home on a 49-acre plot of forest on South Pittsburg Mountain where they live with their two dogs. She enjoys walking in the woods and photographing the diversity of nature in Tennessee.

Being raised in a large family, spending 14 years as a para-professional at South Pittsburg High School, and 13 years of experience in a small business environment, Margaret has developed a unique business perspective, organizational skills, and appreciation of community. Margaret has used her experience and love of community to organize fundraising events, children’s art shares, develop a social media art share page for kids, design murals for a kid’s game room in the basement of the local Legion Hall and develop websites and social media for organizations. She is currently collaborating with other local artists on several community art projects and is dedicated to helping develop artistic experiences in the community.

Tejha Ross-Mitchell - Board Member

 

I attended elementary and high school at South Pittsburg so it will always be Pirate Pride and Orange & Black for life. I now reside in Chattanooga with my two daughters. I have been into art for as long as I can remember. It took me a few years to actually open up to it and now I can’t see myself ever giving it up. My art mediums are acrylics and canvas but soon I hope to venture out into oil pastels. I am heavily drawn to classic cartoon characters as my muse. I have had my artwork displayed at the gallery held in the American Legion during the National Cornbread Festival 2018 as well as at Hammers for the 2020 Artober front street artist appreciation displays. Margaret Taylor-Tucker was actually the first person to display my work in her wonderful, art freedom forward place Creative Zone during its opening debut. For that she will always hold a special place in my heart and is one of the people I think about when I need to get to work on something new. I am excited to see all of the artists that are about to emerge in South Pittsburg and be a helping hand in some finding their passion and being able to freely create.