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Zion Stone & Jurnee's Journey Foundation Spay/Neuter Voucher Program

This week on the Goal Getter Podcast with Karissa Winstead, I sit down with Jurnee Carr Stout. Stout is a native of the Tri-Cities. She has a Master's in Nonprofit Management and uses her voice to help pet families in the area through the Jurnee's Journey Foundation Spay/Neuter Voucher Program. She is also the Co-Founder and COO of Zion Stone, a stone manufacturer located in Kingsport. To put a cherry on top, Jurnee is also a pageant director. She and her husband Jordan are the proud dog parents to a rescue chihuahua named Java.

Zion Stone is a stone manufacturer located in Kingsport, Tennessee. In my previous post, I told you I would touch on some local companies that we used during our home building process. Zion Stone manufactured the stone that was used on the exterior of our home and on our fireplace. Our fireplace is the focal point of our home and we get a lot of compliments on it.

"The stone is a cement based product and it goes into a mold, comes out and mimics natural stone and it's half the weight and half the price," Stout said. "I never thought that I would be in this sort of industry because I love glitter and pink, but I love it. It's great to be an executive and a co-founder of our family business and we're doing a lot of great things in the area. We reach everywhere from Gatlinburg up to Abingdon and beyond."

She said over the past year or so they have been very busy with people buying more homes to renovate or who are building new homes. "We've done a lot even through Covid and we are blessed to stay in business and we have a lot coming up soon too," she said.

I asked Stout where the idea of Zion Stone came from. "My father has been in construction since he was a teenager," Stout explained. "So I kind of grew up watching him on heavy equipment and helped him with some of his other businesses. A month after I started my master's in Non-profit Management Program, he came to me with this idea. He said 'hey, let's make some stone'. I was like, 'how do you do that, what are you talking about?'. So, we went through a lot of trial and error and ended up making our own product from scratch. I say it's kind of like making cupcakes but it just doesn't taste as good," Stout said.

Jurnee was only 20 years old when she became the COO of Zion Stone. "I've always been very goal oriented," she said. "As a child I knew exactly where I wanted to go to school. I've always had big dreams and big aspirations. Even as I was growing up my mom would say I was going to be the CEO of a company one day and here I am!"

Jurnee was involved in pageantry growing up and is now a Pageant Director. She said that instilled a lot of structure in her life. "People have a misconception about pageantry that it's what they see on TV, little girls in make up. There is a place for that in the pageant world, but my personal experience has been growth and development that I could not have got in the classroom."

Stout also created the Jurnee's Journey Foundation Spay/Neuter Voucher Program. "I was a Girl Scout and to earn one of those patches on our sashes we went to the animal shelter and held a donation drive with blankets and food," she explained. "Whenever I was walking through the shelter, I just noticed something was different. There were too many animals in the shelter and I wondered what happens when there's not enough room. I learned the truth that they are euthanized. So, I knew that I had to do something about it. So, that's why I started Jurnee's Journey Foundation. We are a 501c3 non-profit organization focused on providing support to animal shelters and rescues in the area and sponsoring spay/neuter surgeries for pet families," she said.

Stout said they have directly sponsored more than 300 surgeries and helped more than 65 organizations in 10 states and three other countries. The majority of the funds stay in northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia. They have also provided more than 200,000 pounds of food, litter, etc.

She said if anyone wants to make donations to Jurnee's Journey, they can drop off items such as food or pet supplies at Zion Stone. They also do community service projects at their pageants.

If you would like to order anything from Zion Stone, you can visit their website. It is located at 114 Regional Park Dr Bldg. 1, Kingsport, TN 37660.

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