Jan 14, 2020

Chamber of Commerce continues CEO search


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce search for its next President/CEO continues after current President/CEO George Halford announced his retirement last year. Halford, a 47-year chamber professional, has served the Cookeville-Putnam County community and surrounding region for 16 years as the chief executive and will continue in his leadership position until a new CEO is selected.

A diverse search committee is being led by Chamber Executive Committee member, Phillip Baker. “The committee will follow an intentional process to attract a broad candidate pool and will present a slate of qualified candidates to the Chamber Board of Directors for their consideration,” stated Baker. “We’re looking for a CEO who’ll continue providing strong leadership, as the chamber works with our strategic partners to continue the growth we’ve come to enjoy in Putnam County.”

The President/CEO position is responsible for the overall operation of the organization, including the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce with its membership focus, the Highlands Economic Partnership with its economic, workforce development and education programs, the Highlands Foundation, the Public Building Authority, Leadership Putnam, and the Cookeville-Putnam County Visitors Bureau. The President/CEO will guide the staff and lead the organization’s programs of work with accountability to the Board of Directors. The new CEO is expected to provide leadership and direction that creates high levels of enthusiasm, expectancy, momentum and pride among the public and private partners, membership, staff and business community.

An outstanding opportunity for an experienced executive, the next President/CEO should be a creative, visionary leader. The successful candidate must be a skilled communicator and team builder who can lead, inspire, and manage staff. The CEO will build positive relationships with the board of directors, volunteers, members, community and governmental leaders.  As a highly visible leadership position within the community, the incoming executive will have significant influence on the continued positive growth and development of the city, county and region in the years to come.

Preferred qualifications include: Five or more years of professional leadership experience with chambers of commerce, economic development organizations or similar organizations; a bachelor’s degree or comparable leadership experience; proven leadership in the successful recruitment of targeted economic sectors; proven experience working with regional economic development boards or commissions; state and federal government relations experience; successful completion of the Institute for Organization Management or Economic Development Institute; CCE or CEcD Professional certifications or equivalent experience.

Qualified candidates are encouraged to submit a cover letter and resume to by February 14, 2020.