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Philip Oldham
Economic Development
Philip Oldham, Vice Chair
Objective: To facilitate in the creation and retention of quality, primary jobs for the citizens of Putnam County and the region through a targeted and comprehensive marketing plan and program via public/private partnerships through the Highlands Economic Partnership (HEP).
  • Putnam County Economic Development Contact Team
    Philip Oldham
    To be the catalyst in the creation of 21st Century jobs for the citizens of Putnam County and the Highlands region.
    Serve as the “point of contact” and virtual sales team for Cookeville, Algood, Baxter, Monterey, and Putnam County.
    Provide support and input for the 2015 Marketing Plan and Program of Work of the HEP.
  • Existing Industry Committee
    Randy Adams
    To partner with industry leaders to maintain a comprehensive business retention and expansion program that provides information and resources necessary to enable existing industries to thrive.
    Continue local industry visitation program (minimum goal of three per month) with emphasis upon expansion, retention, and problem solving.
    Sponsor annual May salute to industry recognition program and activities.
Community Development & Public Policy Division
Phillip Baker, Vice Chair
Objective: To improve the quality of life in Cookeville and Putnam County, and serve as the “voice of business” at all levels of government.
  • Adopt-A-School Program
    Kaitlin Salyer
    To provide tangible ways for chamber members to support the public schools in Putnam County, this program was launched in 1989. The program provides numerous options for organizations to make an impact in the school/s of their choice.
    Expand the number of adopters by 10% in 2015.
    Coordinate and plan all adoption ceremonies with schools, adopters and Chancellor Thurman. Provide ongoing assistance to existing adopters and schools.
    Plan and host an annual adopt-a-school meeting to celebrate and showcase the school and adopter partnerships.
    Meet bi-monthly with committee to strategize ways of attracting new adopters, to plan and to execute the program throughout the year.
  • Community Appearance Committee
    Jill Horner
    To develop a program to improve our community and region’s aesthetic appearance and first visual impression by developing and implementing an improvement program with emphasis on major entranceways.
    Continue to implement the action plan and explore funding opportunities.
  • Highlands Health and Wellness Committee (regional)
    Debbie Johnson/Lindsey Arftsen
    To foster the development of a healthier workforce and work with region’s medical community to expand services, with emphasis upon physician recruitment.
    Continue to promote wellness and healthy lifestyle choices through the Highlands Fitness program.
    Assist Cookeville Regional Medical Center and other medical facilities in recruitment of more physicians to Highlands region.
Membership Development Division
Melissa Mitchell - Vice Chair, Vice Chair
Objective: To strengthen the organizational and financial structure of the chamber for greater service to membership with emphasis on recruitment, retention, benefits and engagement.
  • Ambassadors Committee
    Melissa Mitchell
    To serve as the chamber’s volunteer public relations team and assist the chamber in membership recruitment and retention.
    Maintain a team of 30 ambassadors.
    Recognize ambassadors with “Ambassador of the Year” program.
    Continue milestone membership anniversary program.
    Create a member outreach program to “adopt” new members by obtaining feedback, reminding them of events, meeting them at events, introducing them to members, ensuring their needs are being met and addressing any concerns.
    Contact members to show appreciation and improve retention rate.
    Track member contacts for accountability and reporting purposes.
    Assist in new member recruiting.
    Assist in moving members to tiered dues.
    Represent the chamber at networking events, ribbon cuttings and groundbreakings.
  • Membership Golf Tournament Committee
    To provide a quality golf outing and membership networking opportunity to promote relationship building in an alternative setting.
    Plan and execute the 2020 Annual Membership Golf Tournament Friday before Memorial Day weekend coordinating all aspects of the event including logistics, registration, sponsorships and marketing.
  • Small Business Expo Committee
    To provide semi-annual tabletop expos for members to showcase and promote their respective products and services.
    Plan and execute the 2018 spring and fall Small Business Expos coordinating all aspects of the events including logistics, sponsorships and marketing.
    Open the event up to the public.
  • Chamber Networking Events
    To provide a range of networking opportunities for members to engage, and learn and develop long-term, meaningful relationships in a variety of settings.
    Business Before Hours: Bi-monthly meetings that encourage and promote interaction of members and featured key leaders to discuss relevant and timely topics pertaining to business and community developments.
    Business After Hours: Held quarterly in the evening, bringing together upwards of 250 business leaders for networking, door prizes, hors d'oeuvres and refreshments.
    Business Coffees: Communicate with the business communities in the cities of Algood, Baxter, Cookeville and Monterey to network and gain input and suggestions from our partners.
Highlands Economic Partnership
Don Viar, Vice Chair
Objective: The Highlands Economic Partnership, launched in 2006, by the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce, is a collaborative, public/private sector program designed to boost economic and community development in Jackson, Overton, Putnam and White counties. Now in Phase IV Year I, the chamber continues to support its regional economic and community development program as a member of this partnership.
  • Strategy I: Economic Development
    Be a catalyst in the creation and retention of 2,000 quality primary jobs through effective cooperation with Highlands partners.
  • Strategy II: Workforce Development & Education
    Provide the Highlands with a 21st century workforce by improving education attainment and job readiness of our current and future workforce through enhanced training, education, skill development, and work-based learning opportunities to match the needs of targeted and existing industries.
  • Strategy III: Community Development & Advocacy
    Recognizing that community development precedes economic development and companies are attracted to thriving communities with vibrant downtowns, retail centers, and attractive parks and green-ways, HEP will focus on programs to enhance the quality of life for the region.
Convention & Visitors Bureau
Kevin Bowling , Vice Chair
Objective: To promote Putnam County as a tourist destination through public/private partnerships and by encouraging local citizens and visitors to discover the community’s sports and recreational opportunities, scenic back roads, arts and crafts, historical sites, musical heritage, shopping and dining venues. To be a catalyst in attracting resourceful retirees to the county and region who will become net economic assets.
  • Visitors Bureau Advisory Board
    Kevin Bowling, Chair
    Work with local, state and regional partners to enhance awareness of Putnam County’s attractions, dining, lodging, shopping and recreational opportunities.
    Develop and engage a more active CVB council through work sessions with state partners and review and enforcement of terms.
    Develop and structure a stronger, more specialized CVB staff.
    Educate and engage with hospitality partners on a higher, more frequent level in order to build relationships and generate a broader team effort toward overall growth in visitor development.
    Assist in attraction and event development with a focus on increasing overnight stays to Putnam County.
    Sales & Marketing
    Conduct work sessions and increased partnerships with city and county partners to determine long-term overall sustainability options for the CVB overall (including sports council)
    Retiree Recruitment
Workforce Development & Education
Adam Bernhardt, Vice-Chair, Vice Chair
Objective: Be an advocate for lifelong education and a catalyst for the region to provide an excellent 21st century workforce that meets or exceeds the requirements of future and present employers.