COOKEVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee addressed the 500-plus people in attendance at the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting dinner Tuesday evening, stressing the importance of “servant leadership” in our communities and in government.
Lee spoke about the responsibility that comes with being a leader and how he personally tries to lead with integrity and with the greater good of all at the heart of his decisions. “Servant leadership” was the theme of the event. Congressman John Rose (TN-6) also made a few remarks before introducing Lee.
Several leaders were recognized at the meeting, including Cookeville Chamber President and CEO George Halford, who has announced his retirement after 16 years in his current position. Halford was awarded a proclamation from the state of Tennessee thanking him for his 46 years of service in chamber work and dedication to the betterment of his community. Lee and State Rep. Ryan Williams presented Halford with the proclamation.
Darren Wilson, with The Realty Firm, was recognized as Ambassador of the Year for his outstanding commitment to the chamber as a volunteer and leader.
The annual passing-of-the-gavel tradition continued with outgoing board chairman Bill Curran of ATC Automation handing the gavel over to incoming chairman Mark Odom of Rogers Group Inc. for a one-year term. Odom expressed his appreciation to Curran for his strong leadership and for “plowing a straight row.” Curran shared with attendees that the chamber has achieved many goals over the past year and is in a great position to continue moving forward in 2020, especially with chamber membership at an all-time high.
Premier sponsors for the annual meeting were Ascend Federal Credit Union, Cookeville Regional Medical Center, Farm Bureau Insurance – Phillip Baker, First Horizon and Twin Lakes.
This was the chamber’s 16th Annual Membership Meeting, hosted at the Leslie Town Centre in Cookeville.