The award was announced during AARC’s annual conference on Nov. 5-7 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Kingsport City Manager Jeff Fleming, Visit Kingsport Associate Executive Director Lara Potter, and Discover Bristol’s Director of Marketing Chelsea Ketron attended the conference to receive the award.

The Seal of Approval honor is presented annually to communities from across the U.S. that demonstrate a cutting-edge commitment to attract retirees through lifestyle programming, amenity development, communication programs and education. Award winners are evaluated by a national panel of retirement destination experts on a variety of criteria, including health care, retiree-appropriate housing, lifestyle amenities, adult education, recreational and cultural opportunities and governmental and private support of retiree-focused programs.

Sullivan County has no state income tax, four mild seasons, extensive outdoor recreation and community-focused amenities, which are desired among today’s retirees. Attendees to the three-day conference participated in educational seminars and networking sessions alongside representatives from 14 states and Canada.

NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership represents a collaborative partnership among Sullivan County and its communities to promote everything the area has to offer. NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership collaborates with Visit Kingsport and Discover Bristol, which serve as the marketing arms for retiree recruitment as well as tourism promotion and development in Kingsport and Bristol.

For more information about retiree recruitment in Bristol, contact Chelsea Ketron at [email protected] or go to In Kingsport, contact Lara Potter at [email protected] or go to

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