Sen. Corker to serve as keynote at Cookeville chamber annual meeting

PUTNAM COUNTY – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) is scheduled to serve as keynote speaker for the 10th annual membership meeting of the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce, set for March 19 at the Leslie Town Centre. A reception will take place at 5 p.m. with dinner beginning at 6 p.m.

The theme for the event is “Standout Tennessee.”

In addition to the program for the evening, the ceremonial gavel will be passed to incoming chamber board chairman Chuck Sparks by outgoing chairman Ottis Phillips. Sparks, vice president and agency manager of BB&T Legge Insurance, will serve a one-year term as chamber board chairman.

“As Cookeville-Putnam County continues to grow and standout in the state of Tennessee, it is fitting that the theme for this year’s meeting will feature a Tennessee leader whose service stands out, not only on a state and national level, but an international level,” Phillips said.

“As a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and an active member of the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, Sen. Corker is representing our state, our region, our community on an international level. As Tennessee grows and stands out, we all win.”

During the event, Corker will deliver remarks and take questions.

“Once again, we are maintaining our tradition of selecting highly credible and respected leaders as keynote speakers. The significance of Sen. Corker’s insights on industry to international affairs is immeasurable in relation to the long-term impact on the business community of our region,” Sparks said.

In 2012, Tennesseans re-elected Corker to his second term in the U.S. Senate, where he is ranking member of the foreign relations committee and an active member of the banking committee. He has gained a reputation as a pragmatic thought leader in the Senate, particularly on fiscal and financial issues. Corker was a businessman before serving as Tennessee’s commissioner of finance and as mayor of Chattanooga.

Past annual meeting speakers include former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, Oreck Vacuum founder David Oreck; former Boeing CEO Harry Stonecipher; philanthropist Millard Oakley; the Brown family, the first family of football in the Upper Cumberland; NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore; and the presidents of Tennessee Tech University.

Premier sponsors for the annual meeting are Cookeville Regional Medical Center, First Tennessee Bank, Research Electronics International (REI), and Twin Lakes. Reception sponsor is Stonecom Radio.

Tickets are $75 per person or $600 for a table of eight. Chamber members may purchase tickets or tables by contacting Dianne Callahan at (931) 526-2211 or

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