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Hannah Hopper




CHIEF OF STAFF | EMERALD YOUTH FOUNDATION

Most of us have experienced moments of being homesick. Whether a visit to summer camp, an extended vacation or moving to another city, that feeling of longing for home can be a very strong pull. This was the feeling native Knoxvillian Hannah Hopper experienced during her stint working outside of Knoxville for the Office of the Governor. And while she loved the work, her love of Knoxville kept tugging on her heart. Making her way back to her beloved hometown and then being presented with the opportunity to serve young people through Emerald Youth Foundation was exactly what Hopper felt called to do.

As the current Chief of Staff for Emerald Youth Foundation, Hopper feels like she is home. “I am very proud of where I came from,” said Hopper. “I am proud to be from Knoxville and to have attended Fulton High School. The fact that I grew up in the neighborhoods we serve at Emerald greatly influences my work. There is no substitute for having actually been in the very same school hallways and ballfields where our Emerald kids are now. Having that experience to draw upon gives me a better understanding and perspective than some. I am very grateful for that.”

Hopper never wastes an opportunity to experience all that her hometown has to offer. She loves the proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and visits as often as she can. She also appreciates all the activities that the city itself provides. “I love visiting downtown, exploring the vibrant arts scene and eating at all the fantastic restaurants,” she stated. “There is also a generous business community, as well as great citizens and leaders who make all this happen. Overall, Knoxville is a great place to live and work.”

In looking to the future of the city she loves, Hopper sees the potential centering around the ability to continue with innovative thinking. “There has been so much success in our area, from business recruitment and retention to progress made in education,” she explained. “It would be easy to get comfortable with the way things are, but in order to progress, we will continue to need leaders who are willing to think creatively, look at data objectively and pursue ideas that are calculated and thoughtful. I believe the Knoxville we leave our children depends on our ability and willingness to do just that.”

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