Meet Seth Penley, Creative Producer at The High Road Agency, located both in Kingsport and Johnson City, Tennessee. The digital marketing agency offers a variety of services under the slogan “be bold, be heard, be found”. The Best of 2020 campaign has included services all the way from pet care to travel. Seth is a native of the Appalachian Highlands area and has lived here his entire life, except for a very brief stint in Atlanta, Georgia. That brief departure only made him appreciate the beautiful, rolling hills and pasture lands of the surrounding highlands more now than he did before. “If someone was looking for a place to live and work, I would encourage them to move here because it is such a wonderful place”, says Seth.
Seth and his family love just about everything living in this area. Though their home is in Johnson City, his wife’s parents live in Kingsport. Thus, they are familiar with both spots. Surrounded by mountains on almost every horizon, he likes being able to experience all four seasons very distinctly, with decent snows in the winter in which their young son can play and fall colors that people come from far away to see. With access to still water, white water, and hiking trails everywhere, there is plenty to do outside. “It is incredibly affordable to live here compared to many other areas of the country,” set reflects. “Also, it feels very small (a very hometown kind of feeling), but we still feel like we have access to lots of things…with growing downtowns, breweries and restaurants…”
Because the area of northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia are so close to larger areas like Charlotte, Nashville, and Atlanta, we have access to things that we may not have here, but we are always able to come back home and not deal with awful traffic, pollution, etc. Seth further points out “We have always said that this just seems like the perfect place to raise a family.”
When asked about his family, Seth openly shared how much he loves them. He and his wife, Stephanie, are getting ready to celebrate eleven years of marriage in April. They have two twin twenty-five-year-old daughters and an almost-six-year-old son.
The High Road Agency, where Seth is employed, considers it a success story how they handled the pandemic last year, particularly the first few months when everyone was really hit the hardest. Briefly, almost everyone was shut down, and then for a while only “essential” businesses were open. Thankfully, The High Road Agency was able to remain open yet had to work quickly with many of their clients to figure out how to create new ways to communicate with stakeholders. They had to help clients figure out new and different kinds of messaging as part of a brand-new world full of uncharted territory. Where clients would have been scheduling The High Road Agency for video shoots, for example, they had to rethink how to help in different much more creative ways.
“How could we help our clients’ brands not get lost in the months and months of quarantine and isolation?” Seth asked. “I believe we did that very thing for so many customers. A good example of this is Visit Kingsport. We have been working very hard for them since last summer to make sure that people still know that when the time is right and in the safest way possible, Kingsport is still very much a wonderful place to visit. As restrictions continue to ease and people begin to travel again, we want Kingsport and the surrounding area to be at the forefront of where folks want to travel to enjoy some wonderful experiences with their families.” Though the pandemic was challenging for everyone, Seth believes his amazing team was able to show some real creativity and versatility.
When asked what the future will look like for The High Road Agency in the Appalachian Highlands and the region beyond, Seth states: “We want to continue to grow in our market and be a trusted name in full-service marketing.”