Our Staff

Tracy Boatner

Nicole Allen
Vice President

Jennifer Johnsey
Director of Programs, Projects, and Events

Melodie McDonald
Director of Operations

Tracy Boatner is the President of the East Tennessee Economic Council (ETEC). Her work at ETEC is centered on creating economic growth by engaging business and public policy leaders, communicating the opportunities created by our region’s federal assets, and sharing our successes to attract public and private investments.

Before joining the ETEC staff in 2015, Tracy was the Executive Director for the largest nonprofit women’s organization in East Tennessee, the Junior League of Knoxville (JLK), where she led a group of more than 800 volunteers committed to leadership and community service.  During her 15-years with JLK, she worked with many charitable organizations and discovered her heart for nonprofits and the work they do.

Tracy holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from King University.  

Tracy is a Baker Expert appointee serving as an Economic and Community Development fellow at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, University of Tennessee.

Her additional affiliations include:  Past President, Rotary Club of Oak Ridge; Center for Leadership & Community Development Board; Chair, Leadership Oak Ridge Advisory Board; Oak Ridge Chamber Advocacy Committee; Chair Elect, United Way of Anderson County Board; Leadership Oak Ridge Class of 2016; Leadership Knoxville Class of 2012.

Tracy and her family (husband, Ivan, and 4 children) enjoy hiking together on the weekends.  Tracy also enjoys running, reading, and red wine.

Nicole Allen is the Vice President of the East Tennessee Economic Council (ETEC). She is also the Director of Communications and Growth for ETEC. This encompasses membership, strategy, and marketing. 

Originally from Lexington, Kentucky, Nicole has lived in Knoxville since 2001. She has worked for economic development non-profits since coming to East Tennessee.

Nicole has been with ETEC for 18 of those years. With a background in marketing, customer service, and office administration, her work for ETEC encompasses those skills as well as public relations, communications, marketing, event planning, project management, membership services and development, and audio/visual technologies.

Nicole served as a program mentor for a local Girl Scout troop and has been a mentor for the TNAchieves program as a part of the TNPromise Scholarship. She is a member of Leadership Oak Ridge’s class of 2006.

Nicole graduated from Cumberland College with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology.

She lives in west Knoxville with her family (husband, Dr. David Allen, DVM, and two children ages 15 and 9). Nicole enjoys writing fiction, reading, yoga, puzzles, and playing with her children.

Jennifer Johnsey is the Director of Programs, Projects & Events for the East Tennessee Economic Council (ETEC). 

Jennifer comes to ETEC from a lengthy career in radio broadcasting, marketing, promotions, and event management. 

Jennifer was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee and moved to Naperville, Illinois with her family when she was 2.  Her father was transferred to Knoxville in 1987 and she has been here ever since. 

She is a graduate of Farragut High School, Pellissippi State Technical Community College and the University of Tennessee. 

Believe it or not, Jennifer’s love for Event Planning and Management began in the early 90’s as a volunteer at Historic Cherokee Caverns.  She helped organize their Halloween fundraiser called “The Haunted Cave” before it ended in 2008 and still continues to volunteer to this day to assist with the maintenance and preservation of the historic cave.

Jennifer is an advocate for preserving history for future generations.

Jennifer lives in Powell with her 12 year old son, Alex, and her husband of 20 years (Randy).  She loves going to the movies, listening to audio books and watching her son play a variety of sports

Melodie McDonald is the Director of Operations for the East Tennessee Economic Council (ETEC).

She joined the staff in March of 2022. Her part-time work at ETEC includes, but is not limited to bookkeeping, human resource management, customer service, and facilities management.

Originally from Saginaw, Michigan, Melodie moved to Knoxville in 1997.  Prior to working for non-profits, she spent 19 years in the financial industry with a focus on secondary marketing.

Melodie is dedicated to serving others in our community and has been involved in the international ministries in her church, hospitality outreach and helping the homeless.

Melodie attended college at Central Michigan University, where she studied Aerospace Engineering and discovered she enjoyed working with numbers more than equations and made the change to accounting.

She lives on a farm in west Knoxville with her family (husband, Michael and two children and seven grandchildren). Melodie enjoys most outdoor activities, remodeling, woodworking, reading and traveling.