TVC Summit on entrepreneurism starts Wednesday

TVC SummitCOOKEVILLE – On June 1-2, hundreds of regional leaders will gather in Cookeville for the 21st annual Tennessee Valley Corridor (TVC) Summit, which will focus on the vital role of entrepreneurs. A special aspect of the discussion will include approaches on promoting entrepreneurship and economic growth in rural areas.

Additionally, the summit agenda will include updates on activity in our major centers of federal investment in Huntsville, Oak Ridge and Tullahoma; and give attention to TVC’s progress in advanced manufacturing particularly in the automotive industry.

The summit will kick-off at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday with a luncheon hosted by Tennessee Tech President Dr. Phil Oldham, including remarks from:

  • TVC Board Chair Steve Cope
  • Congressman Diane Black
  • Tennessee Rep. Ryan Williams
  • Tennessee Sen. Paul Bailey
  • Putnam County Executive Randy Porter
  • Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton
  • Don Viar, chairman of the Board, Cookeville Putnam County Chamber of Commerce
  • Dr. Malcolm Portera, chancellor emeritus, The University of Alabama System


The first session, hosted by Andy Page, president/CEO of Oak Ridge Associated Universities, will follow lunch, and it will focus on entrepreneurship in the corridor, including the unique approaches to promote entrepreneurship and economic growth in rural areas best exemplified by the efforts of Oldham and the Upper Cumberland’s regional partners. Speakers include:

  • Congressman Phil Roe
  • Lonnie Lawson, president/CEO, Center for Rural Development
  • Oldham
  • Dr. Angeline Godwin, president, Patrick Henry Community College
  • Dr. Daniel Pack, dean, College of Engineering and Computer Science, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga
  • Charlie Brock, president/CEO, Launch TN


There will also be an entrepreneur roundtable, moderated by John Morris, TVC board member and partner, Clear Path Ventures. Panelists will include:

  • Vig Sherrill, co-founder, General Graphene
  • Jeff Brown, executive director and president, Biz Foundry
  • Monsi Roman, program manager, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center’s Centennial Challenges Office
  • Gregory Nichols, program manager of nanotechnology studies, Oak Ridge Associated Universities
  • David Kingsbury, vice president of client services, BizTech


For a full agenda, list of speakers and to register to attend, contact Jennifer Wiggins at (865) 680-1457 or

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