Cookeville Chamber restarts search for next CEO

By Jay Albrecht
UCBJ Associate Publisher

COOKEVILLE –The Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce has officially restarted its search for a new president/CEO in the wake of last year’s retirement announcement by its current leader.

George Halford, a 47-year chamber professional, has served as the organization’s president/CEO for 16 years and is expected to continue in that role until his successor is named. Halford is the chamber’s second-ever CEO, following Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber founder and president Eldon Leslie in that position.

formal job description has been created and advertised by the chamber’s search committee. 

“The committee will follow an intentional process to attract a broad candidate pool and will present a slate of qualified candidates to the chamber board of directors for their consideration,” stated Phillip Baker, a chamber board member who leads the search committee. “We’re looking for a CEO who’ll continue providing strong leadership, as the chamber works with our strategic partners, to continue the growth we’ve come to enjoy in Putnam County.”

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.

The chamber’s board of directors first began searching for a new CEO in early 2019 following Halford’s retirement decision, but board members decided to stretch the search into the current year to ensure the best possible candidate could be hired. Officials hope a candidate can be hired and on the job in the second quarter of 2020.

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