Two Northeast State leaders were recognized among the region’s next generation of movers and shakers in The Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty class of 2017.
Jennifer Thacker and Mary Beth Oxendine-Woodby were selected as 40 Under Forty recipients recognizing the region’s professionals for noteworthy career and civic accomplishments. The entire 40 Under Forty class was featured in the Journal’s December issue.
As Northeast State’s director of the Kingsport Center for Higher Education (KCHE), Thacker provides leadership and management for operations for administrative and support staff. She works in coordination with other departments, Kingsport campus buildings, staff, city and state officials, and other stakeholders.
Thacker received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from East Tennessee State University (ETSU), a Master of Education from Milligan College, and is entering the dissertation phase of her Ph.D. in Education – Cultural Studies from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She began her career in education as a high school English teacher then transitioned to post-secondary education. She joined Northeast State as site coordinator for the Gray campus in 2010 and later took on the role of cohort and academic support specialist. In addition to reestablishing and directing the College’s cohort-based programs, she served as director of Northeast State at Bristol prior to moving to her current role as director of KCHE in November 2015.
Oxendine-Woodby has built a career around strengthening the region’s workforce. As career development coordinator for Northeast State, she works closely with area employers to ensure that they have access to highly-skilled job candidates. She has been working at Northeast State since 2011. Oxendine-Woodby works closely with individuals, school systems, and community agencies to promote training opportunities and job skills. She has also been an active volunteer with the United Way of Greater Kingsport since 2012, serving on councils in both leadership and member roles. Oxendine-Woodby has served as a tnAchieves mentor since 2014 to help Tennessee Promise students adjust to college.
“I am honored and humbled to be selected as a 40 Under Forty recipient this year,” said Oxendine-Woodby. “Being recognized alongside such a talented group of professionals is truly inspiring.”
Oxendine-Woodby earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from ETSU and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Development from Tusculum College. She holds credentials as a Global Career Development Facilitator and a Certified Professional Resume Writer. Prior to joining Northeast State, Oxendine-Woodby worked in the Tennessee Department of Labor Career Centers, providing training and pre-employment services through the Alliance for Business & Training.
Award nominees are 39 years old or younger as of October 2017, live and work in East Tennessee or Southwest Virginia, are involved in their communities and show the potential to be a leader in the business community during the next decade.
According to the Journal, this year’s 40 Under Forty honorees inducted the 1,000th member since the class began in 1993. The Journal promotes young talent through this program — one that has become the top honor for the region’s businesspeople under the age of 40.