Headshots - Kristy S Final

Kristi M. Sowards

Senior Sales Manager

Kristi M. Sowards generates and executes regional, national, and international sales in the sports, manufacturing, trade, insurance, military and medical markets. Sowards handles the negotiation and execution of contracts with clients and coordinates events with Convention Center staff.

Sowards, who started her career with the Convention Center in 2011, has also served as the catering sales manager and food and beverage manager. She has been honored as the Center’s Manager of the Quarter in 2011 and Leader of the Year in 2012. She also was recognized in 2012 as the Greater Knoxville Hospitality Association Service/Supplier Employee of the Year, and in 2015 she was recognized as the Greater Knoxville Hospitality Association Volunteer of the Year.  In addition, she received the Tennessee: MPI President’s Award in 2014.

She has extensive experience in the field of hospitality, including owning her own catering company. Sowards attended Pellissippi State and the University of Tennessee and was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She is a graduate of Introduction Knoxville and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Citizen’s Academy.

She is community-oriented and has volunteered with United Way of Greater Knoxville Investment Committee, has served as a United Way of Greater Knoxville “Loaned Executive,” and a volunteer for CAC Mobile Meals, Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee, Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum, and Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley, Greater Knoxville Hospitality, and Meeting Planners International.

Awards and Recognitions:

2011- Knoxville Convention Center’s Manager of the Quarter
2012- Knoxville Convention Center’s Leader of the Year
2012- GKHA Service/Supplier Employee of the Year
2014- Tennessee: MPI’s President’s Award
2015- GKHA Volunteer of the Year


Phone: 865-251-6037
Mobile: 865-740-4427

Email: kristi.sowards@asmknoxville.com


701 Henley Street
Knoxville, TN 37902


What is your favorite activity to do in Knoxville?

I probably have 100 favorites, but at the top of the list would be anything outdoors – hiking, kayaking and fishing; sports, UT football and basketball; and live music, all of it, Big Ears festival, Knoxville Jazz Orchestra, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, et al.

What is your favorite location in Knoxville?

Neyland Stadium on home game Saturdays.

What do you think sets Knoxville apart as a great city to visit?

Knoxville is a perfect place for groups/associations/ conventions to visit because they are not lost in the crowd here – they are the big fish in the pond. Our community embraces visitors and comes together to offer awesome dining, outdoor activities, great music venues, art, history and fabulous festivals, all in a very walkable downtown area.

What is your favorite part about working at the Knoxville Convention Center?

I am a Knoxville girl and a true fan of our city. I love coming to work every day to talk to people about what we have to offer and highlight why Knoxville is a great fit for them.

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