Rutherford County Chamber Announces Distinguished Award Recipients

Jan 10, 2023 at 11:47 am by WGNS News

(Rutherford County, Tenn.) – The Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce has named Terry Haynes as the 2022 Business Legend of the Year, Chris Jones as the 2022 Business Person of the Year and Terry Schneider as recipient of the Leadership Rutherford 2022 Pinnacle Award. These three honorees will be recognized at the Chamber’s annual Business at its Best celebration on Tuesday, February 7, at Embassy Suites Murfreesboro Hotel & Conference Center.

2022 Business Legend – Terry Haynes - Terry Haynes serves as managing general partner and CEO of Haynes Bros. Lumber Co. It is a company that has been a fixture in Rutherford County since 1951.


Haynes is a Murfreesboro native and Riverdale High School graduate. He attended the University of Tennessee and received a degree in Business Administration. After college, he went into the family business becoming the assistant manager and buyer of floor coverings and cabinets. Haynes wasn’t afraid of hard work and it showed as he rose through the ranks at the company – becoming general manager and then the managing general partner and CEO in 1994.

His efforts have literally shaped the landscape of Rutherford County.

Haynes is very active in the Middle Tennessee community, currently serving on Primary Care and Hope Clinic’s Board of Directors. He was past chairman of Destination Rutherford and the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce. Haynes also previously served on the following boards: Cavalry Bank, Middle Tennessee Medical Center Development Foundation, and the Carolina-Tennessee Building Materials Association. He was past board president for Stones River Country Club, United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties, and the Young Executives Tennessee Building Materials Association.

Haynes is married to the former Lisa Swafford; they have two children, Robert and Kristin, and four grandchildren.

2022 Business Person – Chris Jones - Chris Jones is Middle Tennessee Electric’s President and just the fifth CEO in the cooperative’s 85-year history.  A 24-year veteran of MTE, he is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he earned his degree in communications. 

During his tenure as CEO, Jones has navigated the organization through several severe weather events, the acquisition of United Communications, and the merger with the Murfreesboro Electric Department.

Chris is active in Middle Tennessee, serving MTE members and the community through several avenues. He is a graduate of Leadership Rutherford, past chair of the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, chair of Destination Rutherford, past chair and current board member of the Williamson County Chamber of Commerce, board member of United Communications, the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association, the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce, Middle Tennessee Industrial Development Association, and United Way of Rutherford and Cannon counties.

In 2022, Chris received the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s J.C. Brown CEO Communication Leadership Award, which recognizes an electric cooperative or public power district CEO/general manager committed to advancing communication. Chris has also been awarded the Pinnacle Award from Leadership Rutherford and the Rutherford County Impact Award from the Nashville Business Journal.

Chris spearheaded efforts to persuade the Tennessee General Assembly to allow cooperatives to provide broadband services to rural areas. In 2018, MTE partnered with United Communications to expand broadband in underserved Middle Tennessee Counties.

Chris lives in Murfreesboro with his wife, Bonita, who is a retired teacher. They have two grown daughters, Cayln and Chrisln.

Leadership Rutherford 2022 Pinnacle Award – Terry Schneider - Terry Schneider is the owner of FASTSIGNS in Murfreesboro and Cookeville, although she feels the title “chaos coordinator” reflects her position better. A native of Tampa, Florida, Schneider holds a degree from the University of South Florida where she was active in her sorority Alpha Delta Pi.

Schneider’s family relocated to Middle Tennessee, and she recalls it immediately felt like home. She worked as a software engineer for Verizon. But her dreams of owning her own business came true when she bought into the FASTSIGNS franchise in 2009. Through tenacity and determination, she grew the Murfreesboro store into a thriving business that employs seven and now serves as a mentor location to new franchisees. Her success doesn’t stop there; she recently purchased another store in Cookeville, and it is quickly capturing market share.

A 2012 graduate of Leadership Rutherford, community is everything for Schneider. She has been involved with many local organizations including the Blue Raider Athletic Association, Junior League, United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties, 100 Women Who Care, and Big Fluffy Dog Rescue. She has held board leadership positions with the American Red Cross, Leadership Rutherford, and the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce.

Terry Schneider has two children, Bobby and Cameran. She shares a love of travel with her recent fiancé Ronnie Smith.

The three distinguished recipients will be honored at the Chamber’s annual Business at its Best event at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, February 7, at Embassy Suites Murfreesboro Hotel and Conference Center. Reservations are $55. To reserve a seat, please contact the Chamber at 615-893-6565 or visit

About - The Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, which includes the Convention & Visitors Bureau, Destination Rutherford, Economic Development and Workforce Development, seeks to promote economic development and a quality of life to benefit all residents of Rutherford County. Programs, events and services are offered to both its nearly 2,200-members and non-members. Learn more at


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