Economic Development


Kathy Barber : Economic Development Specialist, CIS

Kathy Barber

Economic Development Specialist, CIS

(865) 974-6621 | 1610 University Ave., Knoxville, TN 37921

Kathy Barber joined UT CIS as an Economic Development Specialist in October 2017.  Her primary focus is to manage the Asset Based Planning initiative, working with rural communities across the state to leverage community assets for economic development.

Kathy gained her experience and passion for economic development while serving six years at the Oak Ridge Economic Partnership as Existing Industry Manager and Economic Development Project Manager for the Oak Ridge, TN community.  She was also actively involved in workforce development, tech-led economic development, and promoting entrepreneurship, as part of the regional initiative – Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley.

Kathy grew up in the metro area of Denver, CO and earned her BS degree in Business Administration – Marketing from the University of Northern Colorado.  She is a 2009 graduate of Leadership Oak Ridge.


Kim Denton : TCED Director, CIS

Kim Denton

TCED Director, CIS

865.974.8464 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921

Kim Denton serves as the Tennessee Certified Economic Developer (TCED) Director for the University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services.  The TCED Program provides quality training, continuing education and professional development opportunities for economic and community development practitioners and community leaders.

Denton came to the university in 2014 as Associate Director in the UT Office of Corporate & Foundation Engagement, which connects industry and foundation partners to opportunities in research, innovation, technology and economic development.  Denton also served as Associate Director of Corporate Relations in the UT Haslam College of Business, where she built a corporate engagement program and managed corporate partnerships.

Prior to coming to UT, Denton spent 15 years as President/CEO of the Oak Ridge Economic Partnership leading the economic development efforts for greater Oak Ridge.  She previously served as Marketing Director for Tennessee’s Resource Valley (now ETEDA) and as Director of Marketing & Corporate Communications for PHP Companies (now Humana).

Denton is past chair of the Tennessee Economic Partnership, past president of the Tennessee Economic Development Council and currently sits on the CDFA Tennessee Advisory Committee and Blount Mansion Board of Directors.  

Denton earned her B.S. in Marketing Communications from the University of Florida and is a Certified Economic & Community Developer.  She is married to Dennis Denton, an account manager with WW Grainger, and enjoys sports, travel and antiques.

Misty DePriest : Resource Program Manager, CIS

Misty DePriest

Resource Program Manager, CIS

931.626.5321 | 193 Polk Ave., Suite C, Nashville, TN 37210
Beth Phillips : Economic Development Team Leader, CIS

Beth Phillips

Economic Development Team Leader, CIS

865.974.0268 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921

Beth Phillips leads the Economic Development Team of the University of Tennessee’s Center for Industrial Services, an agency of the Institute for Public Service.  Working with partners across the state, the team focuses on connecting businesses, governments, and economic development organizations with the assets of the university to grow Tennessee’s economy.  Phillips is also the Director of the University’s EDA University Center, which leverages university resources to build regional economic competitiveness, help existing companies innovate and expand, and advance entrepreneurship and technology commercialization.  Her team also manages the Tennessee Certified Economic Developer program, and coordinates its technology-led economic development efforts, including the SBIR/STTR (Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer) Assistance Center.  Phillips has over thirty years’ experience in economic and community development in Tennessee, including working with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to recruit new businesses to the state, support existing industry retention and expansion, and enhance community economic competitiveness.  Phillips received her undergraduate degree in marketing and transportation from the University of Georgia, and her MBA from the University of Tennessee.  She and her husband have two daughters and live in Knoxville, where she is active in many community organizations.

Dwaine Raper : Solutions Consultant Team Leader, CIS

Dwaine Raper

Solutions Consultant Team Leader, CIS

423.926.8282 | 2112 North Roan St., Johnson City, TN 37601

Dwaine Raper leads the Solutions Consultant Team at the University of Tennessee’s Center for Industrial Services(CIS).  CIS is an agency of the Institute for Public Service, and the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partner Center serving the state of TN.  The CIS Solutions Consultant Team provides industrial extension services throughout the state of TN, working with manufacturers and industry partners, helping them improve performance and profitability, and to grow.  Before joining CIS in 2007, Dwaine gained 15 years of manufacturing operations and supply chain management experience with manufacturing companies in the automotive and electronics industries.  Dwaine holds two business degrees from East Tennessee State University (MBA and BBA).  He also maintains supply chain management related professional certifications; Certified Production and Inventory Manager (CPIM) and Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), both from APICS – The Association for Operations Management.

Gordon Reed : Solutions Consultant, CIS

Gordon Reed

Solutions Consultant, CIS

423.426.2606 | 104 Peace Pipe Bend, Crossville, TN 38572

UT-CIS Responsibilities:

Gordon is the Solutions Consultant for the Upper Cumberland Region. He helps companies and communities succeed, grow and create high quality jobs.

Career Overview:

Gordon is a senior level manager with experience managing and growing customer relationships, leading project teams to exceed customer, contractual, and corporate requirements, and creating and managing project schedules, resources, and financials. He has 5 years of Supply Chain Management experience coupled with 24 years of Project and Program Management. He has experience across a variety of industries, Automotive, Medical, Aerospace, Defense, Consumer and Industrial Elecronics.


            Areas of Expertise:

·         Operations Management

·         Supply Chain Management

·         Project/Program Management

·         Account Management/Business Development

·         Product Development/Design Management

Education / Credentials:

  • (BSBA) Bachelor of Science, Business Administration, Production and Operations Management – Tennessee Technological University