MPC Thanks Staff for Years of Public Service

MPC bid a fond farewell to five colleagues in September – three retired, and two others are moving on to new endeavors.

Combined, the departing staff members had 129 years of experience. While we are already missing their expertise and camaraderie, we are excited for them as they start new chapters.

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Dan Kelly retired from MPC after 41 years. He served under six city mayors, four county mayors/executives, eight planning directors, and 131 planning commissioners. He attended more than 450 Planning Commission meetings and hundreds of County Commission and City Council meetings.

Dan reminded us that everyone who visits our office deserves our fullest attention and consideration, which was exactly how he treated all the customers he worked with during his four decades of service.

The experience and knowledge he had of past cases gave him unmatched expertise, and there will be a void without him.

Jo Ella Washburn started her career in public service in 1982, first reporting to Knoxville Mayor Randy Tyree. She then took a position as graphic designer with MPC in 1986, a tenure that would last 32 years. During that time, Jo Ella designed hundreds of documents and contributed artistic creativity to countless plans and projects.

There aren’t many publications that came out of MPC during her time that she didn’t have a role in producing.

And she managed to sneak in some fun projects in her spare time, turning staff photos into comical farewell posters and creating a scandalous employee calendar.

Betty Jo Mahan joined MPC staff in 1997, serving the agency for 21 years. Her retirement has made us appreciate even more the incredible amount of work she did and the vast knowledge she held. Betty Jo kept MPC ticking, ensuring that staff met deadlines and that the Planning Commission, City Council, and County Commission received critical information at the right time.

Her commitment to making a positive impact on the community through her work at MPC carried into her personal life.

She serves as President of the Inskip Neighborhood Association and helped create stability in the area when she initiated the Inskip Small Area Plan. Her hard work was recognized when she received the Diana Conn Good Neighbor of the Year Award in 2014.

In addition to our three retirees, Mike Brusseau and Kelley Segars left in September to pursue new opportunities. Mike stayed 18 years with the agency, boasting attendance at 213 Planning Commission meetings, missing only two.

He wrote Knox County’s Rural Commercial, Neighborhood Commercial, and Agricultural Conservation zoning codes and developed the county’s Rural Retreat regulations.

He was involved with several other projects, plans, and boards during his tenure: One Year Plan updates, Tennessee Technology Corridor Development Authority, city and county Boards of Zoning Appeals, and local and state American Planning Association (APA) positions. 

Kelley Segars also made a big impact over the 17 years she worked for MPC’s Transportation Planning (TPO) division.

She established and continued to expand I Bike KNX, the regional bicycle program, and Smart Trips, an initiative that promotes better commutes.

Always promoting the mission of planning, Kelley served as section director of the Tennessee chapter of APA. She also helped expand outreach and community engagement efforts of the TPO. You can read a farewell statement from Kelley on the I Bike KNX website.

The contributions of these five individuals are vast and have left a lasting impact on our community. We are so thankful for the work they completed and the friendship they provided along the way!