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Our Team

Corey Johns

Executive Director
Connected Tennessee

 

Corey Johns is the Executive Director for Connected Tennessee, a division of Connected Nation, Inc, where he provides leadership and vision to accelerate the growth of broadband and related technology in the state of Tennessee.

Corey joined Connected Nation in February 2009 as Connected Tennessee’s State Operations Manager for the East region. There he implemented, on a regional basis, a statewide strategy promoting the integration and expansion of technology and sustainable broadband adoption programs across East Tennessee. A year later, he was promoted to Senior Stakeholder Relations Manager for Connected Nation, where he served as a primary point-of-contact for state officials, economic developers, key stakeholders, industry representatives and the public regarding the state broadband initiative programs and demand stimulation activities of Connected Nation.

Prior to joining Connected Nation, Corey served as an economic development officer in one of the Southeast’s most dynamic tourism communities. He has broad experience in public and governmental affairs and has worked in the private, public, and not-for-profit arenas. He is a proud graduate of the University of Tennessee.

Jennifer Cobb

Public Relations Specialist

Jennifer is a Public Relations Specialist for Connected Tennessee where she develops and distributes media advisories and press releases, responds to media requests and arranges media interviews when appropriate. Jennifer contributes to media relations effort by developing story concepts and writing and distributing routine communications materials including monthly electronic newsletters, regular blog entries, social media updates and other campaign materials as assigned. Jennifer also administers Connected Tennessee’s website, maintaining home page quality and integrity of content and manage outbound media compilations to stakeholders.

Prior to joining Connected Tennessee, Jennifer worked for the Greater Phoenix Urban League in Phoenix, AZ as Development and Public Relations Director. In this role she was responsible for successfully planning, organizing and controlling all activities leading to the implementation and conclusion of annual fundraising events as well as ensuring all correspondence, literature and gifts are distributed properly. Jennifer also developed and implemented communication for all forms of electronic and print marketing including press releases, quarterly newsletter and fundraiser promotion. Jennifer holds a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Communications from Grand Canyon University.

 

Alyson Ferine

East TN State Operations Manager

Alyson Ferine serves as Connected Tennessee’s State Operations Manager for the East Tennessee region. In this position, Alyson manages Tennessee’s Trail to Innovation, a statewide strategy that promotes technology use and works to increase both the availability and adoption of broadband (also known as high-speed Internet) through mapping and research. Alyson also mobilizes local technology planning groups called eCommunity Leadership Teams. In this role, Alyson is responsible for determining each East Tennessee county’s current use of technology and making plans for the best way to utilize technology in order to improve local government services and provide better healthcare and education, ultimately helping Tennessee communities remain economically strong. Alyson is based in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Before joining the Connected Tennessee team, Alyson served as an Account Executive and Public Relations Specialist for Davis Newman Payne Marketing Communications, Knoxville’s oldest established advertising agency. In this role, Alyson was responsible for copywriting, drafting press releases, collaborating closely with programmers, developers and clients on creating and updating websites and other interactive projects and conducting project management for both the agency and its clients. Prior to her tenure with Davis Newman Payne, Alyson acted as Director of Marketing and Development for William King Regional Arts Center in Abingdon, Virginia, where she provided direction and leadership in developing and implementing marketing strategies to increase regional participation and corporate donor giving. Alyson holds a B.A. in History from Roanoke College in Roanoke, Virginia.

Deanna Ward

State Operations Manager

Deanna Ward is Connected Tennessee’s State Operations Manager for the West Tennessee region. In this position, Deanna manages Tennessee’s Trail to Innovation, a statewide strategy that enhances the supply of available technology and broadband through mapping and research and mobilizes local technology planning groups called eCommunity Leadership Teams. In this role, Deanna is responsible for determining each West Tennessee County’s current utilization of technology, and making plans for the best way to utilize technology in order to improve local government services and provide better healthcare and education, ultimately helping Tennessee communities remain economically strong.

Deanna previously worked for Mark IV Automotive, where she served for 13 years as Education and Training and Helpdesk Manager for all of Mark IV North American Divisions. In this position, Deanna provided education and training in Information Systems Applications to 21 sites and more than 2,000 employees. Prior to her position with Mark IV, Deanna performed as Juvenile Court Clerk for Henderson County, where she logged and managed over 500 Juvenile and General Sessions Child Support Cases per year. Deanna holds a B.S. in Business Management from Bethel College in McKenzie, Tennessee.