Kennedy builds youth and buildings

Sandra ClarkOur Town Leaders

Johnson & Galyon Construction is building one of Knoxville’s largest projects – the $115 million expansion now underway at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. We wrote about that project here.


Doug Kennedy, chief executive officer of Johnson & Galyon, was present at the opening of the expanded emergency department on March 7. Covenant Health leaders praised the contractor for being ahead of schedule and within budget.

Also this year, Kennedy stepped down after 15 years as board chair for Emerald Youth Foundation. He remains on the board. Emerald CEO Steve Diggs said Kennedy’s “faithful, steady leadership has been absolutely instrumental in the growth of our organization, and we will see the ripple effects of his influence for decades to come.”

Johnson & Galyon is an established leader in Knoxville construction, headed for years by Jim Bush. Read about its projects here.

As John Crooks wrote here, “Throughout his 40-year career in construction, Kennedy, an architect by trade, has been part of many notable projects including East Tennessee Children’s Hospital – NICU & Surgery Addition, the additions and renovations to Neyland Stadium, the Whittle Communications corporate building, the renovations at Rockefeller Center in New York City, and the renovation and restoration of Ayres Hall, a landmark structure at the University of Tennessee.”

Kennedy graduated with honors in 1978 from the University of Tennessee with a degree in architecture. Doug and his wife, Vicky, reside in Knoxville and have raised three children: Justin, Kristin and Ryan.

He has volunteered with several organizations over the years, but his heart belongs to the kids of Emerald Youth. He says: “I have spent many years in the construction industry and learned a lot about building things the right way. Building young leaders is something I have seen up close through Emerald Youth, and I am sincerely grateful for my time as chairman as well as my friendship with Steve Diggs.

“It has been one of the greatest joys of my life to serve children and families in urban Knoxville through this role, and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to be engaged in the years ahead.”

Our Town Leaders is a Thursday feature. To suggest an honoree, email sandra.clark@KnoxTNToday.com.

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