Cookeville Chamber CEO job description

Position:  President/CEO                                                                                                            

Re: January 2020

Full-Time/Salaried Position: Includes some weekends, evenings and/or early mornings.

Work Location:  Cookeville Office – Leslie Town Centre

Summary of Position: Responsibility for overall operation of the Cookeville – Putnam County Chamber of Commerce, which includes:  the Highlands Economic Partnership, the Highlands Foundation, the Public Building Authority, Leadership Putnam, and the Cookeville – Putnam County Visitors Bureau.  Reports to the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Cookeville – Putnam County Chamber of Commerce.


The President/CEO is responsible for working with the Board to develop and implement an active and aggressive Program of Work in keeping with the mission and strategic goals and objectives of each organization under the Chamber’s umbrella. The Program of Work should anticipate and meet the emerging needs of our community and its strategic partners; i.e., city and county governments, public agencies, Tennessee Tech University, etc.  An annual Board planning retreat will be utilized to assist in program development.

The President/CEO is responsible for motivating and inspiring the staff and volunteers to accomplish the goals and objectives set in place by the Board. This includes not only the implementation of programs and policy, but also the interpretation of those same programs and policies. The President/CEO is responsible for reporting regularly to the Board of Directors on the achievements of each organization. The President/CEO is the key leader in all areas of Community and Economic Development for the Chamber and Highlands Economic Partnership. 

  • Directly leads, mentors, and supervises Vice Presidents for: Operations, Workforce Development & Education, Communications & Development, Visitor Development, Organizational Development, Economic Development, as well as supervising the Executive Assistant.
  • Leads and develops the annual legislative agenda and public advocacy plan.
  • Ensures budgets for all departments are formulated and executed in an orderly process.
  • Makes all budget recommendations to the appropriate committee of the Board as outlined in the by-laws.
  • Ensures that financial policies are in place and followed.
  • Responsible for the successful execution of the funding process and investor relations for the Highlands Economic Partnership.


The President/CEO is responsible for providing leadership to staff in a way that encourages teamwork, creativity, efficiency, professional growth and development. 

The President/CEO will empower the Vice Presidents to carry out their job assignments and responsibilities.  Empowerment includes employment, dismissal and assignment of duties of staff reporting to management staff.  It also includes close communication with and involvement of management staff on budget and policy development and operations matters concerning their areas of responsibility.  After approval of the budget by the Board, the Vice Presidents are empowered to manage the budgets on a daily basis.  

  • Ensures Vice Presidents are familiar with the personnel policy manual and adhere to it.
  • Approves all new hires and terminations in advance of any action. 
  • Ensures salaries and benefits are set for support staff in such a way as to encourage and retain staff. 
  • Ensures Vice Presidents perform an annual written evaluation of each staff member reporting to them and maintain accurate personnel files with documentation of employee performance both good and bad.  


The President/CEO is responsible for coordinating and allocating resources of all programs and staff to create an atmosphere for success within the Chamber.  

The President/CEO is responsible to the Board of Directors for the coordination, direction and implementation of fiscal and general Board policy.  The President/CEO is responsible for the development and provision of physical facilities to accommodate the organization and affiliates. The President/CEO will also perform operational duties where required by the position.  

  • Keep staff informed and motivated through effective communications. Share status of organization policies and practices, program of work, actions, and other current business.
  • Establish and maintain a satisfactory working relationship with community leaders, public officials, private and public agencies.
  • In concurrence with the Board of Directors, responsible for the location, design and upkeep of facilities and equipment, for both the Chamber and the Leslie Town Centre, which provide for efficient operation and an attractive “front door” to the community.
  • Is a member of various community boards by virtue of position.



  • Bachelor’s Degree or comparable professional leadership experience. 
  • Professional leadership experience with chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, or comparable organizations. 
  • Proven leadership in the successful recruitment of targeted economic sectors. 
  • Proven experience working with regional economic development boards or commissions.
  • State and federal government relations experience.
  • Successful completion of the Institute for Organization Management or Economic Development Institute. 
  • CCE or CEcD Professional certifications (or equivalent experience).
  • Professional leadership experience for 5+ years.


  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Ability to develop and implement programs and to maintain excellent investor relations to ensure the sustainability of Chamber programs. 
  • Ability to successfully work with governments and non-governmental agencies to achieve Chamber, Highlands, and community goals.
  • Ability to professionally present Chamber and Highlands programs to local governments, civic clubs, chamber membership, and other organizations.
  • Ability to professionally develop, manage, motivate and mentor the staff to ensure the achievement of goals and objectives of the annual program of work.
  • Ability to manage multiple budgets to achieve the financial and operational goals of the chamber.
  • Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to efficiently manage multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Proven experience in leading and managing change.
  • Proficient with the use of modern communications technology and social media platforms.


  • Final candidates will provide consent to background and reference checks.
  • President/CEO will be required to establish full-time residency in Putnam County within six months of hire.

For more information about the job requirements, prospects may visit Qualified candidates are encouraged to submit a cover letter and resume to by Feb. 14, 2020.

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