A few weeks ago, ETSUcon invited me, Dennis, and NASA Mission Control Specialist Holly Griffith to host a panel talking about NASA and popular culture. We had an opportunity to talk with ETSUcon’s chair and Johnson City, Tennessee resident Fred Poag.
After his first taste of DragonCon Fred wanted to bring a bit of that experience to Johnson City. The initial idea behind ETSUcon was to give a sub-culture a venue to convene and geek out over a shared love for comics and anime on East Tennessee State University’s campus. As you’ll hear in the interview, the idea that a convention can bring people together is one of empowerment and dynamic growth for a town like Johnson City, Tennessee. Where Fred plans to take this convention idea is nothing short of extraordinary.
Fred has a passion for platforms that reach out to people and he sees his skill sets changing the Tennessee landscape for the better. We talked at length about the social conditions of Johnson City and the surrounding area and how hard work and a larger-than-life persona may be used to better one’s community. Fred has a talent for rallying; the conference circuit may very well only be a small testament to that skill. Fred noted toward the end of our interview that there are a variety of celebrities and interesting speakers he’ll be reaching out to including figuring out a way to get Quentin Tarantino to the tri-cities area for a chat.