Chamber of Commerce spotlighted local "Business At Its Best"

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Friday night's Chamber of Commerce "Business At Its Best" banquet at the Embassy Suites certainly lived up to its name.

Thank You Chairman Peter Demos

Outgoing 2012 Board Chairman Peter Demos completed a very successful year during which many new technologies were added that make membership more beneficial. He thanked his family and the staff at Demos' Restaurant for allowing him the time to serve in this top position.


“We got Amazon this year, and we had a tremendous amount of job growth,” Demos said. “We were one of the top counties in the nation in job growth.”

In an unusual year, only one board member will roll off the board, Demos said.


Welcome Chairman Barry Buckley

Wilson Bank's Barry Buckley stepped forward as the 2013 chairman, and vowed to continue the focus on adding more tools that will attract visitors and make Rutherford County their destination. This includes the expansion of Destination Rutherford, the Chamber's visitors center and gift shop, along with providing needed services to membership. 

Thank You Mona!

Mona Herring will officially step-down from her duties at Vice President of the Chamber's Visitors and Convention Bureau. Over the past 8-years along, Rutherford County has experienced an 80 per cent increase in tourism. Herring will be retiring this Spring, and as she concluded, "This will give me more time to be with our number one volunteer, my husband James." 

Glenn Chrisman Pinnacle Award

The Pinnacle Award was presented to Murfreesboro Police Chief Glenn Chrisman. This is presented annually to a Leadership Rutherford alumni who has demonstrated significant leadership throughout their career. 

(left photo) Chief Glenn Chrisman and his wife Lucy share their love for the community at the Chamber's annual banquet. 

He was born in Rutherford County and graduated from Central High in 1972. He completed his undergrad studies in 1992 and went on to earn a master's degree in criminal justice administration in 2001, both from Middle Tennessee State University. In addition, Chief Chrisman graduated from the 170th session of the FBI Academy as well as finishing the Leadership Rutherford program in 1996.

Glenn became an officer with the Murfreesboro City Police in 1976 and advanced through the ranks to become chief in 2003. He is the current president of the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police, while continuing to stay active in several local organizations.

Chrisman told WGNS News . . . 

He and his wife of 37-years, Lucy, live near where he grew-up in Fosterville. They have one grown daughter, Jackie.

Pat Murphy Business Person of the Year

General Mills Plant Manager Pat Murphy was selected as the Business Person of the Year. As he began talking, Murphy chuckled and said he thought Chamber President Paul Latture was playing a joke when told of the award. But then he noted, "It's our 900 employees who do so much for this community that have brought this recognition.

(left photo) Pat Murphy proudly holds the Business Legend award for a constant flow of friends congratulate him. 

Murphy has managed the General Mills facility in Murfreesboro for the last seven and a half years, which under his leadership, has become one of General Mills’ largest and highest-performing plants. In 2012, the plant completed its Yoplait expansion, which included over $100 million in capital investment and the creation of nearly 80 new jobs, bringing the total plant employment to almost 900 General Mills employees.

His leadership values start with the safety of his employees and the products they produce, as reflected by a recent span of over 5.7 million hours worked without a lost time injury.  Another leadership focus for Murphy has been the development of his people, which is serving as a solid foundation for future growth and competitiveness of the facility, and has resulted in the progression of five plant managers and numerous other functional leaders. 

Murphy told WGNS . . . 

Murphy also believes strongly in the service of his community and volunteers actively with the local United Way and Boys & Girls Clubs, having recently chaired both organizations’ board of directors. In addition, he was recently elected to the serve on the 2013 United Way of Tennessee board. 

Andrea Loughry Business Legend of the Year

A true legend in the Heart of Tennessee was honored as the 2013 Business Legend. While not wearing a signature hat, Andrea Loughry's sincere love for the community filled the ballroom with emotion. 

(left photo) A surprised Andrea Loughry is greeted with an emotional standing ovation and then a rush of well-wishers at the end of the event.

Loughry challenged those present with two goals. First, get more involved in local education, from birth and continuing throughout life. And second, the fact that Rutherford is one of the fastest growing counties in the nation, it is important for the public to have strong involvement in the future of this community.

After the presentation, Andrea Loughry spoke with Bart about how Rutherford County residents need to become more involved in the destiny of our community. . . 

Loughry is president emeritus of Miller Loughry Beach Insurance Services, Inc., a member of Pinnacle National Financial Partners, and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The University of Tennessee. She has taught on the high school level and served as a tenured assistant professor at Middle Tennessee State University.

A writer and speaker on the unique American higher education structure of citizen governance, she is a former vice-chair of the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees and immediate past chair of the UT Foundation Board. The Association of Governing Boards currently lists Loughry on their national board of directors.

Loughry was the first female chair of the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, and in 1990, was honored by the Chamber as the Business Person of the Year. She was a charter member of Leadership Rutherford and a member of its original board of directors. Instrumental in the organization of the Mind to Marketplace consortium, she served as the first chairman of this Middle Tennessee initiative to connect people with ideas to the marketplace. She was awarded the Joe M. Rodgers Spirit of America Award from the MTSU College of Business in 2005.

A woman who launches, Loughry helped organize Rutherford Books from Birth, a gourmet club, a book club, the first Rutherford County Circle of Red for Heart Association, first Women as Keepers of the Culture for United Way, and her most recent development is a monthly salon.

Andrea and Ed Loughry have a son, Cannon and his wife, Beth; a daughter, Lady, and her husband, Bart Hamilton and seven grandchildren proudly living in our community.

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