Greg Sparks is strong leader for JDRF

Betsi JamesOur Town Eats

The Tennessee chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation has announced the appointment of three individuals who will serve as the FY24 statewide executive leadership board chairs for their chapters in Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis.

The Knoxville region will be led by Greg Sparks, the chief operations officer of Food City. Greg is our biggest cheerleader during the JDRF Sneaker campaign. He always makes sure we have everything we need to be successful. He is a great supporter and will do JDRF well sitting on their board.

Sparks has been with Food City for almost eight years following leadership roles in retail grocery operations over a 40-year career. He has homes in Kingsport and Nashville. He is married to Adele and has three children. He graduated from Phillips University and has an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

JDRF noted that Food City is a major contributor to the organization. “Food City has supported JDRF over 12 years and raised approximately $4 million toward research.”

Other chairs are Sarah Trahern, CEO of the Country Music Association since 2014, and Kathryn Sumpter, M.D., division chief of pediatric endocrinology at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Dr. Sumpter lives with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and was inspired to pursue her medical career after her diagnosis.

“We are grateful for the collaborative spirit among these three impressive and committed leaders. With a true partnership with volunteers and supporters, JDRF accelerates life-changing breakthroughs to improve lives for all those who live with type one diabetes,” says Andi Holbrook, executive director JDRF Tennessee.

2023 Food City Pep Rallies for Tennessee Vols:

Sept 8 – Austin Peay – Food City #672, 9565 Middlebrook Pike

Sept 22 – USTA – Food City #688, 7202 Maynardville Hwy., Halls

Sept 29 – South Carolina – Food City #626, 1388 Tesla Blvd., Alcoa

Oct 13 – Texas A&M – Food City #682, 7608 Mountain Grove Drive

Come meet cheerleaders; Smokey, both dog and mascot; vendors with samples; and register to win tickets to the game.

Jobs, jobs, jobs: Food City continues to hire for full- or part-time jobs, entry-level or skilled positions. Interested candidates can apply online at or visit any Food City store to complete an application.

Betsi James is special events manager for Food City’s Knoxville and Chattanooga divisions.


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