From Our Participants


“If you are interested in learning more about Knoxville, building your connections, having a positive impact on our community, or all three, I would highly recommend Introduction Knoxville. I felt like I participated in a VIP tour of Knoxville and learned so much about the history, industry, and culture of our area. The IK program is professionally led, well organized, perfectly executed and filled with a lot of fun! You will leave each session with new knowledge, stronger relationships, anticipation of the next session, and an enhanced pride in our region. It was a wonderful experience!”

Tolly Harris
Vice President, Customer Care
Jewelry Television

“I’ve been to many cities in my professional career, but couldn’t say I’d found my new home in Knoxville until I became part of the “best class ever” with Introduction Knoxville. The comprehensiveness and care taken by Sandi Swilley and her experienced team showcased the best Knoxville has to offer, including how the many parts connect. The entire experience made the difference in me feeling included and later contributing in a meaningful way to the Knoxville community. Thanks Introduction Knoxville and Go Vols!”

Robert Nobles, DrPh, MPH, CIP
Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Research Integrity
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

“As a transplant with a new company expanding in the area, Introduction Knoxville was the perfect mix of discovery, networking and business. Every minute of my time was treated as a precious commodity. The program is well executed and topics are extremely relevant to senior leaders investing in themselves and their companies. It created immediate relationships outside my normal sphere which eased the transition.”

Stephen Deucker
Vice President & General Manager, Vision Center
Cirrus Aircraft

“I recently moved to Knoxville to become the executive director for Centro Hispano, an educational nonprofit for the immigrant community. The Introduction Knoxville program was recommended by a host of community leaders. Intro Knox opened a whole new world to me. I can’t say enough about the meaningful connections I made through this program and the incredible network and Knoxville fabric I have become a part of. I recommend this program to everyone I meet! It doesn’t matter if you moved here yesterday or if you’ve lived here your whole life, it’s one of the best investments you could make in becoming better connected to community.”

Claudia Caballero
Executive Director
Centro Hispano de East Tennessee

“You don’t know Knoxville until you’ve been part of Introduction Knoxville. Lifelong residents and new arrivals alike get a behind-the-scenes look at where Knoxville came from, where it is today, and where we’re going as a community. Through the class, you will increase your local connections by 50x and make a lot of great friends in the process.”

Brandon Bruce
COO & Co-founder
Cirrus Insight

“Introduction Knoxville provides instant connectivity and unique opportunities to explore our community. This was one of the most valuable investments of time provided to me in my professional career. Jump on the chance to participate!”

Aneisa McDonald
Executive Director
Pellissippi State Community College Foundation

“Introduction Knoxville provides an incredibly insightful view of the community from many perspectives – historical, political, economic, educational, and cultural. Perhaps more importantly, the program provides a catalyst to the unique talents of each class member, unleashing their leadership and energy to drive Knoxville forward. As a newcomer to the area, I felt blessed by both the class and my classmates.”

Dave Miller
President East Tennessee Region
First Tennessee Bank

“Introduction Knoxville is an invaluable experience for anyone wishing to learn more about Knoxville and our rich heritage. It doesn’t matter if you are new to our area or if you’ve lived here all of your life, I guarantee you that the Introduction Knoxville program will open your eyes to a Knoxville you never knew existed. The opportunity to be a part of the program is something I am very grateful for. My employer believes in this program and its value and I appreciate their asking me to participate.  Also, the camaraderie of the class was electric!”

Debby Saraceni
Vice President Marketing and Physician Services
Covenant Health

“I couldn’t recommend the experience highly enough. Each week I have come home from the class eager to share information with my wife and family. It has opened my eyes to so much about the city of Knoxville and the surrounding areas, and given me a sense of how I might fit into the community in which I now live. The course hasn’t shyed away from the issues that face the city, but has given all of us a sense that by being involved, we can all grow Knoxville for the better.”

Dylan Jones
Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer
Scripps Networks Interactive

“Introduction Knoxville bridges the gap between our community and individuals who strive to learn more about where they live, work and play. After relocating from Atlanta, GA, Intro Knox reconnected me to the place I called home years ago as a student at the University of Tennessee. The professional team led me on a journey where I explored our history, discovered current issues facing the community and connected with prominent business and civic leaders. Most important, I engaged with classmates creating relationships I will have for a lifetime. Becoming a member of the “best class ever” positioned me to contribute to my organization in more meaningful and relevant ways, providing an immediate return on their investment. Thank you Introduction Knoxville. Job well done!”

Lorene Jackson, M.Ed.
Vice President, Corporate, Foundation & Government Relations
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley

“My Intro Knox experience simply couldn’t have been any better. The IK staff are some of the most amazing individuals I have had the pleasure of meeting. Each and every one of them went out of their way to make sure all members of the class were engaged, educated on the subject at hand, and make all in attendance feel overly welcome. I would recommend this class to lifetime Knoxville residents and newcomers alike. The inside view of our scruffy little city you get from this class is worth its weight in gold.”

Michael Shuemaker
Director of Marketing | Brand Management
Prestige Cleaners & Prestige Tuxedo

“Intro Knox serves as an intense, connecting mechanism to all things special, important and worthy of investment in Knoxville. I didn’t know I could learn about and love Knoxville any more than I had already in my 15 years here, but I did! If you are struggling to get plugged-in to our community, this is your answer.”

Ellie Kittrell
Executive Director
The Muse Knoxville