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Lottie Ryans

Douglas Henry State Museum Commission

Lottie Ryans has served as the Director of Workforce and Literacy Initiatives for the First Tennessee Development District since April 2016. In this role, she develops creative partnerships and programs to ensure a strong workforce pipeline working with k-12, post-secondary, economic developers and business and industry.  She also works with school systems and community partners to address literacy issues in an eight county region. Ryans frequently serves as a speaker for professional development workshops and as a panelist for community engagement forums.  She also participates in business recruitment initiatives with regional partners.

Ryans’ professional history includes a 32-year telecommunications career.  She retired in 2015 after serving as Vice President and General Manager for CenturyLink’s Western North Carolina/Tennessee Division. She also was partner in Perfectly Planned, an event company serving Northeast TN and Southwest VA from 2015-2018.

Her civic history includes being a three term elected member of the Johnson City Board of Education including service as board chair and being a TSBA Master Board’s Member.  Some of her current board positions include Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, Second Harvest Food Bank, the ACT State Council,   Northeast Tennessee Workforce Development Board, Trustee for Milligan College, Northeast State Community College Foundation Board, and the ETSU College of Business & Technology Dean’s Advisory Council and the Carter County Chamber Foundation Board. 

She served two years on the State Workforce Board in a position appointed by Governor Haslam.  She also
has served as chair for the Johnson City Chamber and the Washington County Economic Development Council. She served on the organizing team for the Holy Friendship Summit, a gathering of medical, community and faith based leaders to address the opioid crisis in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.  Ryans has received numerous local and national honors, most recently being named as a Trefoil Society honoree for the Appalachian Girl Scout Council and an inductee in the Johnson City Washington County Chamber Hall of Fame.  She is a graduate of the 2018/19 Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute cohort and the 2019/20 Leadership Tennessee cohort. 

Ryans is a graduate of the University of Tennessee.

She and her husband Eric have been married for 40 years and are the proud parents of three adult daughters and a son in law.  They are active members and leaders at Calvary Church.