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Caring Workplaces are committed to overcoming stigma and creating a work culture focused on caring through “connection, compassion and community”.  The principles of Caring Workplaces focus on creating a healthy and safe environment where employers, employees and communities can collaborate to create positive change and eliminate barriers for those impacted by addiction and incarceration.

Caring Workplaces Team


Lottie Ryans

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Kristina Peters

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Scott Vaughn


Deanna Wood

Director of Workforce and Literacy Initiatives

Caring Workplaces   Employer Manager

Caring Workplaces   Employer Coordinator

Caring Workplaces  Assistant

In her role with the development district since 2016, Ryans develops creative partnerships and programs to ensure a strong workforce pipeline.  She works with school systems, community, business, workforce and post-secondary partners to create programs and initiatives that address literacy and workforce.  The goal of her work is  to create  strong communities, resilient individuals  and a strong economy for our region. Caring Workplaces is an example of work to create nontraditional workforce pipelines. 

A native of Louisville, Ky but living in Johnson City, TN for over 30 years, Kristina joined the First TN Development District in 2021 as the Workforce Employer Coordinator, helping to start the Caring Workplaces Initiative.  In her previous 22 year career, Kristina was the  Director of a Corrections program, where she operated and managed a TN Dept of Corrections felony Community Corrections program as well as a regional misdemeanor probation program. In 2022 Kristina became the Caring Workplaces Manager.  In this new role Kristina is responsible for the day to day operations and oversight of the Caring Workplaces program whose mission it is to build a recovery friendly ecosystem of workforce development in Northeast TN.

Originally from Kingsport, TN Scott is a retired Army Veteran who has spent 20+ years working in roles across the globe.  Most recently he served as the Local Veteran Employment Representative and Business Services Coordinator for the American Job Center in Northeast Tennessee working to connect local employers with Veterans and other underserved communities.  As the Employer Coordinator he will work to recruit local employers to become certified Caring Workplaces.

Having moved  from Denver, CO. to the Johnson City area to be closer to family and grandchildren, Deanna is looking forward to supporting this valuable initiative.          In the role of the Caring Workplaces  Assistant, she will be available for project and office management as well as the administrative needs.  Please contact her if you have any questions or would like to be put in contact with our Caring Workplaces Manager or Coordinator. We are here to help and we look forward to working with you!

Meet Our Certified Peer Recovery Specialists

Meet Jennifer Jones 

Meet Helena Johnson 

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