Prayer and experience led Shelton to this point

Cookeville – Former City of Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton has ventured into the consulting business. He announced on Facebook Monday afternoon the opening of Shelton Consulting Solutions, a consulting firm for “businesses, elected officials and government entities looking for answers, seeking strategic solutions, and pursuing new ways to respond to all the challenges life might bring.”

According to Shelton, this has been 40 years in the making.

“I believe it’s right on time,” said Shelton in a statement. “Anyone that knows me, knows my heart is in service, improving the lives of others, strengthening our community and serving those around me.”

Shelton told the Upper Cumberland Business Journal, prayer and experience led him here. Any concerns were secondary.

“I’ve prayed for direction and feel like my past experience, especially where business and government intersect, led me to this place,” Shelton said. “I believe you should never let uncertainty stop you from pressing forward. We only get one life and it’s a gift from God. I’ve learned that if something doesn’t work out, then it’s not meant to be. When one door closes, keep walking and another one will open and it’s likely to have something better inside.”

The firm will focus on advising in Public Relations (marketing and communications), public affairs (economic and community development) and leadership in vision and strategy.

“I’ll help you find the way forward,” said Shelton. “My work and service has never been about a title, and I’m honored to continue what we’ve started and build an even stronger future for the Upper Cumberland region with both Better Cookeville and Shelton Consulting Solutions.”

Experience in the Mayor’s office will help guide Shelton, however.

“I uniquely understand the political process, governmental funding and budgeting, and the structure and stamina required to get desired results. I know how to speak the language of elected officials and cut through the red tape,” said Shelton.

The Upper Cumberland region is growing. With a record breaking 2022 in the rearview, 2023 looks to be trending upward in new business growth. Shelton experienced growth firsthand in his time as mayor and he says the future is bright for the Upper Cumberland.

“I believe our entire Region will continue to grow and I want to continue to help with that growth,” said Shelton. “Through 16 years of public service experience, I have a dynamic base of relationships throughout the 13 County Upper Cumberland region in all economic sectors including government, manufacturing, health care, retail business and education. This empathy and understanding gives me a keen insight into the opportunities and challenges facing our rural communities and governments.”

The firm will exist alongside Better Cookeville. Shelton, along with his wife Shannon, founded the nonprofit in 2018.

“Better Cookeville was designed to be an economic catalyst to enrich the lives of citizens in the Upper Cumberland,” said Shelton. “We founded many initiatives and events, including SlideCKVL, Downtown ICE, Christmas in the Park and our signature event, Red, White and BOOM which we will again produce on July fourth.”

Marketing is key when searching for business solutions. Shelton said the best way to market is through digital media.

“Digital media, specifically social media, is the most effective,” said Shelton. “We were able to launch and build my social platforms, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. This allowed citizens to interact and share their questions and desires directly with me. … Even though my term as Mayor ended, I want to continue to use those platforms to communicate with the people who have believed in and relied on me to provide value, information, news, and content that matters to them and their families. I want to continue to be a community leader and influencer, and help our entire Region be successful.”

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Photo courtesy of Ricky Shelton.

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