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☷ Bristol Tennessee - Christina Blevins Bristol at Work

☷ Bristol Tennessee - Christina Blevins Bristol at Work

Bristol , state Tennessee
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   The article below is one in a series called Bristol at Work that profiles employees of the City of Bristol Tennessee . Please follow us on Facebook to see other profiles in this series .
    
   As a young teen , Christina Blevins relished sunny afternoons when she could enjoy the sights , the sounds , and the people in her hometown of Grundy , Va . , as she walked home from school and the part - time job she held at her father’s law office . Even then , she had a deep appreciation for historic buildings and understood the importance of a vibrant downtown .
   “I used to stop at the music store on my way home and buy a cassette tape for my really cool Walkman and then go to Jerry’s , the local convenience store , and get a slush puppy , ” she said . “I did that every single day . I just loved walking through my town and talking to people I knew . ”
   But time passed and things changed quite a bit in the small town .
   Grundy underwent a major transformation , thanks to efforts by the US Army Corp of Engineers to combat flooding , and Christina went away to college . She earned a degree in business management from Radford University , then married her high school sweetheart . The couple moved to Linville , N . C , and Palm Desert , Calif . before finally settling in Bristol .
   Christina has since earned an MBA from King University and now works as Community Development Specialist for the City of Bristol , Tennessee , overseeing a host of federal programs that serve low - and moderate - income residents . She has helped get the ball rolling on countless housing rehabilitation projects , sidewalks improvements , and neighborhood revitalization projects throughout the City , tackling the mountains of paperwork required to provide safe , sanitary housing for those who qualify .  She also helps those in our community who face discrimination when attempting to buy or rent housing , referring them to the division of the U . S . Department of Housing and Urban Development that is charged with enforcing the Fair Housing Act .
   She’s been employed by the City for just over 5 years , but she’s actually been involved in restoring Bristol buildings for much longer .  
   After working in the insurance industry for a few years , she went to work as Executive Director of Believe in Bristol , an organization committed to preserving and promoting downtown Bristol . In that role , she spent nearly a decade scheduling events , cultivating relationships with business owners , and leading activities designed to draw the community downtown . It didn’t happen overnight , she said , but thanks to private and public investment and community support , State Street began to come alive .
   Christina and her husband , Eric , were key players in the movement .  
   After creating livable loft space downtown and moving in , they began buying old buildings and carefully restoring them according to historic preservation guidelines . To date , they have helped breathe new life into dozens of historic residential and commercial buildings , leaving their lasting mark on the community .
   “We love Bristol and we love historic preservation , ” she said , noting that they always choose quality products so they improvements the make will last a good while . “It’s a passion that we share . ”
   They also share a love of music and music festivals . They are regulars at Bristol’s Rhythm & Roots Reunion each September , and also have attended Shaky Knees in Atlanta , Virginia’s Floyd Fest , Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island and Pickathon in Oregan . Rock , folk , and bluegrass – they love all genres . They’re big fans of boating on South Holston Lake , too , and exploring places they’ve never been . They became parents seven years ago to Ruby Claire , a first grader at Haynesfield Elementary , who shares her parents’ love of music and traveling .  
   As our nation celebrates both Community Development Month and Fair Housing Month , the City of Bristol proudly salutes Community Development Specialist Christina Blevins , who adopted Bristol as her home and now works tirelessly to pitch in and make it a good place to live for all of us . She’s another perfect example of Bristol at Work .
   

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