FRANKLIN – George Halford, Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce president/CEO, was honored on Sept. 26 at the Tennessee Economic Development Council’s (TEDC) Fall Conference held in Franklin. Halford was awarded the organization’s Legacy Award for lifetime achievement during his 46 years working with chambers of commerce across Tennessee.
“George has been such an integral part of TEDC for so many years,” said TEDC President Susan Maynor, “Many of us in TEDC have been able to take advantage of George’s knowledge and experience. Tennessee is a better place because of George Halford.”
Halford began his career in the chamber world in his hometown of Meridian, Miss. in 1972. He moved to Tennessee and began chamber work first in 1975 in Trenton, which was followed by tenures in Athens, McMinn County, Cleveland and Clarksville, until he was led to Cookeville to serve as CEO for the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce 16 years ago. His work here has been groundbreaking for the region with the launch of the Highlands Economic Partnership (HEP), a public/private partnership with Jackson, Overton, Putnam and White counties, expansion of the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and growth in membership services for the chamber of commerce.
“I am very humbled and fortunate to serve in this great state and in my community of Cookeville,” said Halford. “It has been and still is a great joy.”
Halford is only the sixth person to receive the award from TEDC, which is timely with the announcement of his retirement at the end of the year. The chamber board of directors and staff have expressed their excitement for him to receive this recognition for the contributions he has made for Putnam County, the HEP partner counties and other Tennessee communities.