"2019 Business At Its Best" Was Packed!

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Chelsea Fancher, Mike Gann (WGNS photo)
(center) Pinnacle winner Kevin Arnold and his wife (L) and mother (WGNS photo)
(L-R) John Batey, John Harney (Business Person of the Year) (WGNS photo)
(center) Doug Young Lifetime Achievement Award recipient John Hood, and son Mark (L) and daughter Rebecca Hagan. (WGNS photo)
Outgoing Chairman Lou Caputo (photo by Frank Caperton)
New Chair Chris Jones presents outgoing chairman award to Lou Caputo (photo by Frank Caperton)
2019 Chairman Chris Jones (photo by Frank Caperton)
(L-R) Business Legend Gordon Ferguson is honored by Bill Jones (photo by Frank Caperton)
Holli Montgomery with Schwan Cosmetics (photo by Frank Caperton)
Business Person of the Year John Harney (photo by Frank Caperton)
(L-R) Murfreesboro City School's Lisa Trail and Dr. Linda Gilbert (photo by Frank Caperton)
(L-R) Mark Pirtle presents John Hood with the Doug Young Lifetime Achievement Award (photo by Frank Caperton)
(L-R) Smyrna Police Chief Kevin Arnold receives Leadership Rutherford's Pinnacle Award from Dane Appalsammy. (photo by Frank Caperton)
(L-R) Bart Walker and Chris Bratcher (photo by Frank Caperton)


(MURFREESBORO) It was another "standing room only" BUSINESS AT ITS BEST luncheon in the main ballroom at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center. In fact, there was a lengthy waiting list for tickets.

The passing of the Chairman of the Board gavel ceremoniously went from TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center's Lou Caputo to Middle Tennessee Electric's Chris Jones.


Among other goals for the coming fiscal year, Chairman Jones noted that he was committed continuing to attract corporations that would enhance the quality of life here in Rutherford County and offer good paying positions to our residents. He said this would be accomplished through the close working relationship with Destination Rutherford.

He noted that an emphasis will be placed on those who can take advantage of this community's growing aviation and corporate services.


In addition, Jones pledged to grow the community's economic base while enhancing tourism through cross-promotions.


John Harney is a lifelong resident of Rutherford County where he is a commercial real estate broker with the Parks Group and CEO of Park Trust Development. He began his real estate career in 1984 and in 1989 moved to Bob Parks Realty to help create the commercial sales division.

Harney said . . .

In the early 90s, Harney became a partner in Park Trust Development. He has been involved in developing more than 25 residential communities as well as office condominium parks and two industrial projects including the Joe B Jackson and I-24 industrial parkway corridor. Harney was instrumental in bringing some of the following businesses to Rutherford County: Amazon Distribution Center, NHK, Interstate Warehousing, Verizon Call Center, Tennessee Technology Center in Smyrna, Nelson Mazda, Chevrolet Buick GMC of Murfreesboro, and Honda of Murfreesboro. His numerous restaurant deals include Red Lobster, Logan's, Ruby Tuesdays, Chili's, Demos', Toot's, and many more.

Harney is a graduate of Leadership Rutherford; past board member of the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce; past president of the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring; an Eagle Scout, Silver Beaver Award recipient and is an executive board member of the Middle Tennessee Council of the Boy Scouts; a trustee of the Sam Davis Home Memorial Association; and a board member of Intend Ministries. Harney and his wife, Debbie, have been married for 40 years and have two children and three grandchildren.


Gordon Ferguson serves as the president and CEO of Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital and president of the Saint Thomas Regional Hospitals. He received a bachelor's degree in business administration with honors from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and earned a master's degree in hospital and health administration from the University of Alabama, Birmingham. In 2007, Ferguson became a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and previously served as president of the Healthcare Executive Forum of Middle Tennessee (HEFMT).

Ferguson commented . . .

Ferguson serves as a board member and executive committee member of the United Way of Rutherford & Cannon Counties; he is a board member of the American Heart Association, Rutherford County; the Business Education Partnership Foundation; Leadership Middle Tennessee; Alive Hospice Murfreesboro Advisory Board; and the Franklin Synergy Bank Community Board.

Ferguson was the 2011 chairman of the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He also serves on the boards of the University of Tennessee Knoxville Alumni Association; the University of Tennessee President's Council; the University of Alabama-Birmingham Graduate Program in Healthcare Administration Alumni Board; and serves as vice-chair of the Tennessee State Board of Education. Gordon and Cindy have two sons, Robbie and Andy. He enjoys cycling, swimming, boating and UT athletics.

Doug Young Lifetime Achievement

John Hood is director of government and community affairs at Middle Tennessee State University. A Rutherford County native, Hood's blood runs True Blue. In 1954, he received a bachelor's degree from MTSU followed by his Masters of Education in 1974.

John told NewsRadio WGNS . . .

Prior to Hood's current position at MTSU, he represented the 48th District in the Tennessee General Assembly House of Representatives from 1996 to 2008. Preceding that, he spent 20 years of his career as vice president of marketing for SunTrust Bank, 10 years at MTSU as the first director of development, followed by assistant to the president, six years as personnel manager for Samsonite Corporation and 10 years in radio broadcasting for WGNS and WMTS. He is a military veteran, having served in the United States Army from 1954 to 1956.

Hood was a member of the Rutherford County Quarterly Court (now the County Commission) from 1968 to 1978 and the Murfreesboro City School Board from 1967 to 1983.

He was the 2012 recipient of the Murfreesboro City Schools Foundation's Excellence in Education Award. In 2014 the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce named Hood as Business Legend of the Year. Hood was inducted in to the Tennessee Journalism Hall of fame in 2016, and in 2017 he was honored with the American Red Cross "Hero" Award.

John and his late wife, Marilyn, have three children, Garry W. Hood, Rebecca Hagan and Mark R. Hood; and four grandchildren, Christin H. Waters, twins Grady and Cooper Hood and John Robin Hood.

Leadership Rutherford's Pinnacle Award

Leadership Rutherford has named Smyrna Police Chief Kevin Arnold as the 2018 recipient of the Pinnacle Award, given to someone who has demonstrated significant leadership throughout his or her career.

Chief Arnold commented . . .

Chief Kevin Arnold began his career in law enforcement in 1979 working for the MTSU Police Department as a student officer. In 1982 Chief Arnold transitioned to the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office as a jailer, eventually working his way through the ranks at the Sheriff's Office as a Deputy Sheriff, Narcotics Detective, and a General Detective. Chief Arnold was selected as Officer of the Year in 1985.

He graduated from MTSU in 1982 with a Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice Administration. In 1997 Chief Arnold graduated from the FBI National Academy, Class 190. Chief Arnold has completed various trainings from basic police to command level supervision. In 2010 Chief Arnold was presented the Director's Choice Award by the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police recognizing him as the Police Chief of the Year for Middle Tennessee. Chief Arnold served as President for the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police for 2017/2018 for over 1,000 members.

Chief Arnold is married to Lynn and they have two "perfect" grandchildren that they enjoy spoiling. In his spare time Chief Arnold enjoys attending MTSU Blue Raider sporting events, cheering on a variety of professional sports teams, golf, and reading.

Read more from:
Business at It's Best, Embassy Suites, Gordon Ferguson, John Harney, John Hood, Kevin Arnold, Murfreesboro, Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, WGNS
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