Founder and principal consultant for Appalworks, Katie Hoffman has created a new company designed to promote cultural heritage as a tool for both place-based, sustainable economic development and for the educational enhancement of the region’s students. Though she focuses mainly on Appalachia, Katie’s expertise is applicable in a number of other contexts. She welcomes the opportunity to work with any group who might find her services useful.

Katie earned her Ph.D in English from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her MA (English), is from East Tennessee State University, and her BA (English) is from The College of William and Mary in Virginia. She has served as a consultant to a number of cultural heritage projects , including the 2003 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC. Before the festival, she served on the curatorial committee and was later appointed Co-Chair of the Appalachian section of the festivities on the national mall. From 2008 to 2011, Katie served Project Assistant to the Whisman Scholar for the Appalachian Regional Commission (Dr. Jean Haskell). They coordinated a number of workshops across the region that focused on asset-based regional economic development in the area of  local food systems. That project culminated with a three-day colloquium in Asheville, NC attended by over 300 people from 13 states.

Along with her business and academic skills, Katie is a talented singer/songwriter and a performer of traditional Appalachian music. She has been singing, playing, and lecturing about traditional music for over three decades. Her CD, Beautiful Day (2004, Now and Then Records) showcases Katie’s original songs and was produced by Raymond W. McLain of the wonderful McLain Family Band. Katie was the Traditional Music Producer for a four-part series, Appalachia: A History of Mountains and People, that aired on PBS in 2009. Frequent musical collaborators are her husband, Brett Tiller, and her friend and colleague Roy Andrade, an acclaimed musician and a faculty member at East Tennessee State University.


The Nature Camp Foundation: Director of the Nature Camp History Project

Nature Camp, Incorporated: Vice-President and Secretary of the Board

The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail: member of the Traditional Music Education Committee

Birthplace of Country Music: Member of the Education Committee

Appalachian Sustainable Development: member of the Learning Landscapes Committee, focused on educational programs for regional students


Before she was an academic, Katie was in the banking business, spending time in the corporate marketing office of  Sovran Bank (Norfolk, VA) as a management associate, then settling into a retail banking career that introduced her to the particulars of sales, service, small business lending, mortgage lending, human resource management and business development. community service. After moving to the mountains, she managed retail bank branches in Southwest VA (Weber City) and Northeast Tennessee (Gray) before returning to school to earn her MA in English.


[Section under construction] Katie has spent over 20 years in higher education. She earned her Masters in English at East Tennessee State University, then taught at Tusculum College for over a decade before leaving to complete her Ph.D in English at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Katie taught at Hampden-Sydney College (her father’s alma mater) and Virginia Commonwealth University before leaving to create Appalworks and become a full-time cultural heritage consultant.


In December of 2012, Katie returned to the hills of East Tennessee and decided to create a new kind of business–one that would make use of her extensive experience in the area of Appalachian Studies. She created Appalworks as a business that would allow her to earn a living while engaged in promoting the region’s place-based resources: the people, land, and cultural heritage that she has adopted as her own.




Comments are closed.