⊕ Ovation Awards 2015: Best Citizen/Excellence in Leadership


Honoring business leaders, managers and elected/appointed officials who have helped pave the way and are promoting a strong business and economic environment in the Upper Cumberland.


FREDDY DUNCAN SR. Owner, Duncan & Sons Moving & Storage | PUTNAM COUNTY | 809 E. 20th St. Cookeville | (931) 526-9500

Freddy Duncan.
Freddy Duncan.

Whether moving near or far, Duncan & Sons Moving & Storage has been a leader in the Cookeville market for nearly 35 years. But behind the scenes, the company has long been a supporter of community causes.

Duncan & Sons has lent a hand to Toys for Tots, coordinating toy pick ups and drop offs throughout the Putnam County area for the charity that distributes gifts to in-need kids on Christmas; as well as Habitat for Humanity, recently sponsoring the dream sweep yard sale to raise funds for the non-profit. Upcoming is a 20th anniversary celebration for Habitat at Dogwood Park over Labor Day weekend. In addition, Duncan & Sons participates in the nationwide Move for Hunger, donating non-perishable food items to Helping Hands, items that are otherwise left behind – and thrown away – during a move. And they contributed to relief efforts during February’s devastating ice storm.

“We’ve just jumped in where there’s a need,” said owner Freddy Duncan Sr. “We don’t really do it for the recognition. I just like helping people out.”

On the business side, Duncan & Sons is always on the go – quite literally. The company handles an average of three or four moves a day, from local to cross- country. They were also the first in Cookeville to offer climate-controlled storage in 2005.

“We’re a family business,” Duncan said. “Our crew is part of our family – we have some guys who have been here for a long time – and that’s what we do (everyday), we take care of families. Every time we go out, we do the best job we can.”



Todd Herzog may be “retired,” but the former Accu-Router president is still very active in Warren County via a number of volunteer organizations.

Among his many roles, he’s on the executive council at Motlow College and had a hand in selecting its new president, Anthony G. Kinkel. There’s Habitat for Humanity. And for the past 21 years, he’s written a monthly column for the local newspaper aiming to better educate residents on the industry that surrounds them.

“People drive by these plants everyday and have no idea what’s going on inside, what the expertise is, what the financial investment is,” Herzog said. “With my background in industry, I understand that language. It’s been an educational process over a period of time.”

Then there’s perhaps the biggest piece of the puzzle. Herzog has chaired the Business Round Table Action Committee (BRTAC), a unit of the local chamber of commerce, for over 20 years. Herzog and BRTAC were instrumental in implementing the mechatronics program at Motlow, a combination of mechanical, computer and electronic engineering instruction. Or more simply put, a way to provide local industries a more technically skilled workforce. The program has been in place since 2010. Now the focus is on robotics.

“Eleven plant leaders met with (then) Motlow president (MaryLou Apple) and said, ‘We have a problem. We have a serious problem. We can’t find qualified, entry-level workers.’ Mechatronics is a starting point. Now we’re talking about taking that to a much higher level with robotics.

“Our main objection has been to raise the education level of the citizens in our county,” he added. “Even if we improve that (level) by a year or two, that has a dramatic effect long term. The wealth of the county goes up, the quality of life goes up, crime goes down.”


About the awards

The Upper Cumberland’s annual Ovation Awards honor the top businesses and individuals in the region. Among the 29 total awardees in 2015, 20 are first timers. Ovations were awarded in seven categories overall, including:


Ovation Award winners are nominated by Upper Cumberland Business Journal readers and selected by the UCBJ staff. The awards were first founded in 2008.

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