In 2008, Cortney Piper founded Piper Communications at the height of the recession to provide strategic, public relations services for clients in the clean energy and technology sectors. Her dedication and commitment to a job well done has allowed her firm to grow steadily, achieving meaningful results for local, regional, national and international clients. Never one to back down from a challenge, a client once referred to her as a “GSD’er.” In other words, she gets stuff done.
After running for a seat on Knox County Commission, Piper landed a spot as WATE-TV’s (ABC affiliate) political contributor, appearing weekly on Tennessee this Week and providing commentary on current news and events.
Piper’s energy expertise led her to launch the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (a 501(c)(3) organization) in 2014 and currently serves as the Executive Director, while Piper Communications provides organization management. The organization champions advanced energy as an economic development and job creation strategy.
Over the years, Piper Communications has had the pleasure of working with clients to promote innovative technologies and advanced energy initiatives, projects and policy in Tennessee, the southeast region and country. Balance is the perfect word to describe Piper’s work in communications and what she calls “bridge building.” Being forward-thinking enables Piper Communications to establish clear lines of communication with people of diverse backgrounds, goals, agendas and political affiliations.
She was recognized as one of the Greater Knoxville Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” in 2014 and was also awarded the East Tennessee Economic Council’s Postma Young Professional Medal. Cortney is a member of the East Tennessee Economic Council Board of Directors; graduate of Leadership Oak Ridge class of 2009 and Leadership Knoxville class of 2013. She also serves on The University of Tennessee Political Science Department’s Board of Advisors, and University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine’s Board of Advisors. She is the past chair and current board member of Visit Knoxville (appointed by Mayor Tim Burchett and Mayor Glenn Jacobs) and was recently appointed to serve on the Knoxville Mayor’s Climate Council.
A native of Michigan, Piper attended the University of Tennessee on a swimming scholarship and earned degrees in Political Science and Sociology. Fifteen years of 5 a.m. workouts at the pool taught Piper to take initiative and to be persistent until she achieved the desired outcome.
She lives in East Knoxville with her husband Barry Armstrong, their three children and formally feral cat, Frieda. When she’s not working, Piper enjoys watching UT sports and Red Wings hockey, keeping up on the latest news and current events and going for walks in her Holston Hills neighborhood. On early mornings these days, you’ll find her at South Landing CrossFit instead of a swimming pool.