Pictured above – Tech President Phil Oldham receives the Economic Impact Award from Cookeville Chamber president and CEO Amy New. 

Tech’s impact on the local economy is accelerated by the work of Rural Reimagined

Cookeville – Tennessee Tech University received the annual Economic Impact Award from the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce for its $1.52B imprint on the Tennessee economy at the Chamber’s annual meeting on Feb. 7. 

The Chamber also named Tech President Phil Oldham as chairman of the board for 2023 and recognized Tech communications coordinator Gina Padgett with its annual Ambassador of the Year award. 

“Tennessee Tech is proud to be an economic engine for not only the Upper Cumberland, but also the entire state,” said Tech President Phil Oldham. “From the career-ready graduates we produce each semester, to our first-in-class academic research, to the nearly 1,200 jobs we provide here on campus and the transformative work of Rural Reimagined, Golden Eagles leave a lasting mark on our region with a ripple effect that spans across Tennessee and beyond.” 

Tech’s impact on the local economy is accelerated by the work of Rural Reimagined, the university’s strategic initiative dedicated to leveraging Tech’s unique assets to support the success of rural areas. Established in 2019, Rural Reimagined already has a presence in roughly 60 of Tennessee’s 76 rural counties and has helped more than 125 small businesses over the past year. 

The Chamber’s Ambassador of the Year award is given annually to one volunteer “ambassador” who goes above and beyond for the organization. Chamber ambassadors collect points monthly for volunteering at events, attending ribbon cuttings, welcoming new Chamber members, and a wide range of other activities. 

A Tech staff member for more than 22 years, Padgett served in the Crawford Alumni Center and as an adjunct instructor before assuming her current role in the university’s Office of Communications & Marketing. 

“Gina represents her community and Chamber with grace and excitement,” said Amy New, president and CEO of the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce. “She always has a smile on her face and is willing to serve in any capacity needed. Our Chamber is lucky to have her as our Ambassador of the Year.” 

“We value our partnership with the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce,” added Oldham. “It is an honor to serve as Chairman of the Board for 2023. I thank them for their recognition of both the university and our dedicated staff members like Gina Padgett who demonstrate what it means to live Wings Up.” 

Learn more about Tech’s impact on economic and community development at https://www.tntech.edu/ecd

Photo courtesy of Tennessee Tech.

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