Navigating Our Future: Best Practices Case Studies from the Tennessee Regions’ Roundtable Network

cover of the publication - click to access
Click to download (PDF)

A new publication from the Tennessee Regions’ Roundtable, sponsored by the NADO Research Foundation, highlights innovative community and economic development projects being implemented throughout Tennessee.  Stories presented from the state’s diverse regions and communities demonstrate collaborative leadership, strategic partnerships, and implementation-funding techniques that readers can put to use in their own communities.

The outstanding achievements showcased in this publication come from across the three regions of the state:  West, Middle, and East Tennessee.  Diverse in both geography and culture, these three grand divisions boast their own cultural, historic, natural, and economic assets, and each faces its own opportunities and challenges.  Over twenty case studies demonstrate a wide range of projects in both major metropolitan and rural Tennessee, including regional planning; neighborhood and corridor revitalization; historic preservation; transportation investments; entrepreneurship initiatives; tourism strategies; and others.  Through a combination of local, state, and federal funding, all of the projects are improving the quality-of-life for Tennessee’s residents and making the state a great place to invest in and do business.

Each case study is designed to provide useful and applicable insight into the process of leading community and economic development efforts, including information on project leaders, technical assistance providers, and funding sources.  A comprehensive contact and resources section at the end of the publication offers further information and expertise for each of the stories told.  The profiles of leadership, collaboration, and implementation are just a few of the countless stories waiting to be told across Tennessee.

The Tennessee Regions’ Roundtable is a statewide initiative supported by regional organizations, affiliate organizations, state and federal partners, and funders that are all working together to create an integrated network to catalyze current and future regional efforts throughout Tennessee.  For more information on the Tennessee Regions’ Roundtable Network, contact Dr. Bridget Jones, Cumberland Region Tomorrow Executive Director, at [email protected].

Click here to download the publication (PDF)

On April 16, 2014 the NADO Research Foundation and the Tennessee Regions’ Roundtable hosted a webinar highlighting stories from ‘Navigating Our Waters.’  Click here for more information or watch the recording below:


This publication was supported in part by funding under awards to the NADO Research Foundation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Highway Administration.  The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public.  The authors and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of statements and interpretations contained in this publication. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Government.  For more information, please contact NADO Research Program Manager Brett Schwartz at [email protected].


Contact Karron Grant

Applications cannot be saved and returned to at a later time. It is recommended you compile all of your information in advance in a word processor and cut and paste into the application below.

2023 Impact Awards

The primary applicant must be a NADO member. Project partners, both NADO and non-members, can be recognized under "Project Partners" below.

Primary Project Contact:
This person will be the designated point of contact for all future awards-related correspondence.

Organization Address

Project Location (if different from Organization Address)

Executive Director

Additional Organizational Information
Please upload your organization's logo which will be included on the winning project award certificate.

Project Information
This title will be printed on the award certificate for winning projects and in all 2022 NADO Impact Award materials and cannot be changed.

Project Summary & Questions
Please craft clear, thoughtful, and engaging responses to the following questions. Use the following sections to tell us how your project has made an impact, such as its use of creative funding mechanisms, efforts to create efficiencies or reduce costs, unique partnership models, and emphasis on building resilience and/or enhancing your region's quality of life.

For award-winning projects, the information provided below may be used verbatim to inform project descriptions that will be published in the 2023 NADO Impact Awards materials and included on the NADO website.

Please submit at least one photo showing your project in action. Please keep file size to a minimum (<2Mb) and use JPEG format. If uploading multiple files, ZIP files prior to submitting. If you have trouble uploading images they can be directly emailed to Brett Schwartz at [email protected]. Include the project title they correspond to in the subject line of your email.

Note: Submitted photos may be used in NADO Impact Awards materials and in other NADO published materials with credit to your organization. Please also consider submitting photos for NADO's 2023 Photo Contest, which will be held this summer.

Your application is not submitted until you are directed to a confirmation page. If you have any questions or are unsure if your application has been submitted, please contact Brett Schwartz at [email protected]

Contact Melissa Levy

Contact Krishna Kunapareddy

Contact Andrew Coker

Contact Lara Gale

Contact Katie Allison

Contact Jack Morgan

Content Questions Form

Registration Questions Form

Hotel Questions Form

New Speaker Inquiry

Job Listing Inquiry

Joe McKinney serves as Executive Director of the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO). Headquartered in Washington DC, NADO provides advocacy, education, research, and training for the nation’s 500+ regional planning and development organizations.

Joe has thirty-one years of experience having served in city, county, regional, national association, and government management since 1991. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a candidate for a master’s degree in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

McKinney has provided congressional testimony on numerous occasions regarding the importance of regional development organizations in helping shape the nation’s economic growth. He is nationally recognized for promoting innovative solutions in areas such as planning and economic development, workforce development, transportation and transit, and aging services.

Contact Danny Tomares

Contact Dion Thompson-Davoli

Contact Ciara Ristig

Contact Bret Allphin

Contact Brett Schwartz

Contact Carrie Kissel

Contact Scott Brown

Contact Jamie McCormick

Contact Joe McKinney

Contact Krystal De Leon

Contact Brittany Salazar

Contact Laurie Thompson

Contact Mirielle Burgoyne