Pierce’s dedication to children is the key to her success


Editor’s Note: This October, we will celebrate our 30th class of 40 Under Forty honorees. Each week in 2022, The Business Journal of Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia will highlight one of our 2021 40 Under Forty honorees leading up to the announcement of our milestone class this fall.

A major key to success is identifying your strengths and pursing a career that allows those strengths to shine on a daily basis. Regan Pierce is very clear about what she is good at, and for that reason, she has found a great deal of success both personally and professionally.

“My talent is kids,” said Pierce, senior director of youth development at the Greater Kingsport Family YMCA. “Being here and being able to see these gaps in our community, having the tools and resources to meet those and knowing that we’re making a difference in kids lives – that is my motivation.”

Those who work with Pierce on a daily basis say she is an innovative, fearless leader. Pierce attributes that fearlessness to her mentors, who encourage her to step out of her comfort zone and pursue ideas that might seem a little wild.

“All of those people have been very encouraging to me,” she said. “They have told me to believe in myself, take these ideas and see what you can do to make them happen.”

Pierce has been working at the Kingsport Family YMCA for seven years, but she really stepped up during the COVID-19 pandemic by completely reinventing the youth services offered by the organization. Under Pierce’s leadership, the YMCA has been able to extend services beyond its walls through the Y on Wheels Program, which brings snacks, meals, STEM education and other essential items to kids in low-income areas. The Y on Wheels program and the feeding program Pierce started serve a combined 500 meals per week to youth in need.

Although her background is in early childhood, Pierce now deals with children of all ages, and her programming is making a huge difference in the community. She is involved in many wellness initiatives, including Healthy Kids Day, and represents the YMCA in the community on a regular basis.

As Pierce moves forward, her goal is to take the initiatives that have taken root during COVID and continue expanding on them.

“My goals are all based around my programs I’ve started here,” she said. I want to expand those, which means making more of an impact.”

Next week we will profile Alicia Phelps of the Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association. If you would like to nominate someone for inclusion in the 2022 class of 40 Under Forty, visit 40under.com and follow the instructions.

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