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October 28, 2022

Creating a Downtown Out of Whole Cloth

CM - 1.5


9:30 am - 11:00 am


Salon B



Jeremy Pearson

Planning Director//City of Alcoa

A native of East Tennessee, Jeremy has been employed with the City of Alcoa since November of 2001. He holds both undergraduate and professional postgraduate degrees from the University of Tennessee. In 1999 Jeremy received a Bachelor of Science in Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design, minoring also in Business Administration, and in 2001 received a Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning. Concentrations of study included land use planning and real estate development. Jeremy is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and holds a Tennessee Real Estate license. Jeremy serves as the directing staff to the Alcoa Municipal/Regional Planning Commission, the Alcoa Board of Zoning Appeals and the Alcoa Tree Board. He also provides technical planning advisement to the Alcoa Board of Commissioners. Jeremy has represented the City in a variety of board appointments and chairmanships, and is an alumni of Leadership Blount. Jeremy’s work is comprehensive in nature and focuses on planning and implementation strategies for achieving the City’s long and short pallrange development goals. Jeremy, alongside other City staff, which included the project team, was the City’s lead for development of the Springbrook Farm Master/Vision Plan for Redevelopment of the former Alcoa West Plant site. The staff focus is now on implementation of this plan.

Wayne Blasius

Planning & Development Director//City of Oak Ridge

Wayne grew up in the Chicago suburbs before adopting East Tennessee as his home in 1977. Prior to his appointment with the City of Oak Ridge in September 2017, he led the East Tennessee Community Design Center from 2014-17; an organization he had served as a volunteer on and off over three decades. He had previously founded InSite Development Corporation in 2001, a real estate development/management firm that completed major downtown Knoxville historic rehabs such as the Phoenix and Mast General Store/Gallery Lofts. InSite also provided consulting services for Oak Ridge National Lab. Earlier in his career, Blasius served as supervising planner at MPC and Deputy Community Development Director for the City of Knoxville. In 1996, he left the City to join Denark Construction as Vice President/Business Development. Blasius earned a bachelor’s degree in economics (with emphasis in environmental studies) from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and a master of science in urban planning from UT-Knoxville. He received his Tennessee Real Estate license in 2007. 

Community involvement is a strongly-held value for him. He has held board chairmanships with the Knoxville Central Business Improvement District, Big Brothers-Big Sisters, and Good Shepherd Counseling Center; and board memberships with Leadership Knoxville (including serving as chair of the Introduction Knoxville program committee), Knox Heritage, Oak Ridge Fund for Achieving Community Excellence, Nine Counties One Vision Downtown Plan Task Force, Knoxville Chamber  Executive Committee, Pellissippi State Technical College President’s Associates, Knox Housing Partnership Board; and as Dogwood Arts Festival Parade Co-chair.  Blasius has previously held memberships with the American Planning Association, Tennessee-American Planning Association, the Urban Land Institute, and the American Institute of Certified Planners. He currently serves as Chairman of the regional Transportation Planning Organization Technical Committee.