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Five questions for Gary Mabrey

Robert Houk • Oct 31, 2018 at 12:00 AM

Johnson City native Gary Mabrey is serving in his 30th year as president and CEO of the Johnson City Chamber of Commerce. In addition to leading the five-star accredited local Chamber, he has also served on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Board.

He and his wife, Jackie, have three daughters and one grandson.

Mabrey describes himself as “definitely a cat person.” He says Henry Mabrey is his “early morning confidant, who serves as my 5 a.m. wake up. He naps on my lap as I read the newspaper, drink coffee and have quiet time.”

And his favorite musical performers?

“I like all genres, from Rascal Flats to Lady Gaga to Andrea Bocelli to Maroon 5.”

1.) What do you find most satisfying about your job?

“The most satisfying aspect of my job is the growth our community and region are experiencing, and the role the Chamber of Commerce continues to play in working with others to build our economy to compete, attract new business, support existing business and be welcoming to all who choose us.”

2.) Who is the most famous person you've ever chatted with?

“Gerald Ford, who addressed our 75th Chamber celebration. Must also include Colin Powell at a U.S. Chamber meeting.”

3.) What goes into how you rank a good day?

“My approach is that every day will be a ‘good day,’ even when the unexpected arises. I draw on the team at work and family at home as well as friends,

to ensure that we take care of the situation, making a difference that matters and tomorrow will build on previous successes or less successful ones.”

4.) Where is your ideal vacation destination?

“My ideal vacation destination would be St. Simons Island, Georgia. A great beach, food, golf and close to Jackie’s family.”

5. ) How do you describe Johnson City to people who may not be familiar with our region?

 “I share that Johnson City is in the northeast corner of Tennessee, known as Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia/Western North Carolina region, nestled near trails, mountains, lakes and natural beauty of our Appalachian Highlands, near Tennessee’s oldest town of Jonesborough, a few miles from the fastest half-mile NASCAR track in Bristol and home of East Tennessee State University, an amazing Veterans Affairs Hospital and close to the Martha Washington Inn in Abingdon, Virginia and the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.

“(Just my standard 30-second Chamber elevator speech.)”

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