Jason Quick was recently selected as the new City of Tullahoma Administrator. On Target News conducted a question and answer session with Quick so citizens could learn more about Quick and the role of city administrator.
Many Tullahoma citizens are familiar with the name Jason Quick, as the former principal of Tullahoma High School. Now, Tullahoma residents will know you as the new City Administrator. Some folks might be asking how an educator became a city administrator. Tell us about your work background, education, and life experiences that helped you become the person the Board of Mayor and Aldermen trusted to lead city operations.
A native of Tullahoma, I departed upon high school graduation for what has turned out to be a unique personal and professional journey. I firmly believe the accumulation of my experiences has prepared me for the role of City Administrator for Tullahoma.
Prior to entering the field of education, I enjoyed a successful twenty-plus-year career in healthcare administration. During this time, I led several large company divisions with over one hundred employees and $40M in revenue. My roles allowed me to gain valuable leadership experience in many areas of business, including finance, operations, marketing, and compliance. I chose to enter the field of education as an opportunity to serve others, namely youth, in helping them to avoid many of the pitfalls today’s adults, including myself, made at that age. My years in the classroom and serving in administrative roles led me back to Tullahoma three years ago. I had longed to return home, but the right opportunity did not present itself until the opening at my alma mater. Coming back to Tullahoma in an educational role allowed me to bring my experiences in other locations and cultures and passionately introduce them to the students, faculty, parents, and community. During my time at THS, I was able to introduce various academic programs and theoretical practices to reach the students and prepare them for lifelong success more effectively. They do not care what you know until they know that you care. Likewise, establishing a re-connection with the community and its support of our young people was something that brought me much pride during my tenure. Tullahoma has outstanding young people who will serve as the next generation for our community and its future!
What are some of the things that intrigued you the most that you wanted to apply for the job?
If one wants to gain a clear understanding of the current climate culture and receive a glimpse of the future of a city, the local high school is the perfect setting. As the principal of THS, I was able to see both the opportunities and challenges that were facing our students and parents both now and in the future. Likewise, I have had the opportunity to live in a city during its earlier years of tremendous growth and accompanying woes (Franklin, TN), a city that did not seek to grow beyond its traditional means (Martin, TN), and a city that has strategically embraced and planned for growth and change that has led it to become a leading example for many municipalities nationwide (Huntsville, AL). Undoubtedly, Tullahoma is at a pivotal moment in its history, and its approach towards growth, while maintaining the rich traditions and family values that have made it unique, must be strategic. We must find the proper balance that meets the needs of our current and future residents. This is the most exciting time in the history of our wonderful city!
What is the most important for you to personally achieve in your first month as city administrator?
My plan is to begin creating relationships with every city employee based on respect and trust. I want to know everyone’s name and what they need from me to be the most successful employee and person they can be. It is all about serving those who serve the community of Tullahoma.
How important is it to communicate the activities of the departments with the citizens, such as police, fire, your office, recreation, streets…?
Communication with the citizens of Tullahoma is very important. The staff and I work for the citizens, and they deserve to know what is going on within the community we all call home. We will seek to make sure we are creating effective, timely messages that can reach out to the citizenry through multiple channels.
What do you believe are Tullahoma’s best assets?
If you were to draw a triangle between Chattanooga, Nashville, and Huntsville, Tullahoma is perfectly situated on so many fronts. Arnold Air Force base and its economic impact on the surrounding area cannot be overstated as we continue to seek ways to partner to meet their growing needs. As they grow, so do we. The Tullahoma Municipal Airport is one of the finest (and busiest) in the state and makes an excellent first impression for incoming travelers. Our retail hub is quite impressive for a city our size and continues to gain interest from corporations seeking to plant their flag. Tullahoma enjoys a high-caliber experience for those interested in the arts. But, I believe our biggest asset lies within our people and the spirit, innovation, and commitment to maintaining a quality of life that is unmatched by our local city peers.
What excites you the most about the City of Tullahoma?
One word…opportunity. Never has Tullahoma been better positioned or equipped to capture the opportunity before it now to embrace the past while building its future for generations to come.