Parker J, Trent '59
1999 Award of Honor
A native of Kingsport, Parker J. Trent not only felt a duty to his country, but to the call of higher education. Trent joined the United States Army after two years at ETSU and served as a military policeman and with the military police investigation station both stateside and in Korea. After receiving an honorable discharge, he returned to Tennessee to further his education at ETSU.
At ETSU, Trent received a degree in chemistry in 1959. Upon graduation, he taught chemistry, physics, and biology at Sullivan West High School in Kingsport. Trent was then employed by Eastman Chemical Products, Inc. in 1961 as a technical service chemist. In subsequent years, he has held various positions such as chemist group leader, senior chemist, laboratory supervisor, and product manager. Trent also held the titles of Assistant Director of Sales, Director of Plastic Sales, Director of Performance Plastics Business Organization, and Vice President Ð Performance Plastics Business Organization. His last assignment was as Vice President - Plastics Alliances before his early retirement in April 1997.
During his career, Trent has consistently aspired to supplement his knowledge. Through the University of Tennessee in Kingsport, he completed various management classes in the MBA program. Additionally, Trent has taken various management development courses. At Eastman, he completed various company-sponsored management and leadership sessions and attended the International Series on Asia and Latin America, conducted through the University of South Carolina.
His civic and community activities include being on the Board of the Greater Kingsport-Hawkins County Chapter of the American Red Cross, on the board of Sullivan County Children's Advocacy Center, a member of the Kingsport Economic Development Board, on the Welmont Holston Valley Medical Center Citizen Advisory Board, a member of the Plastics Pioneer Association and the National Plastics Museum Association. Trent is an active member of the Glen Alpine United Methodist Church where he is a lay leader, a member of the Staff-Parish and Finance committees, and a member of the Administrative Board. Previously, he has held a variety of other positions in the community and church including serving as the chairperson of the Sullivan County Board of Education; past Conference Director of United Methodist Men for the Holston Conference, which he held for five years; and was named a "Tennessee Colonel" during Governor Lamar Alexander's administration.
Trent and his wife, the former Barbara Sue Bailey, reside in Kingsport. They have two children, Tina King, an ETSU graduate and lead medical technologist for MedX Labs, resides in Kingsport, and Brian Trent, a salesperson for Sir Speedy Printing Company of Johnson City. Completing their family are two grandchildren, Dallas, 9 and Amy, 2.