Chamber's "Business At Its Best" January 31st at Embassy Suites

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The Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce' BUSINESS AT IT'S BEST is set for 11:30 Thursday morning, January 31, 2019, at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center. Tickets are $50 for members and $65 for non-members. Get your tickets by calling the chamber at 615-893-6565 or visit



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.


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 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.

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 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.

Again, the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce's 2019 BUSINESS AT ITS BEST at the Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference Center (1200 Conference Center Blvd.). This is presented by Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital/Ascension. In addition to celebrating the past year's accomplishments and sharing what's in store for the organization's future, we will present Rutherford County's most prestigious awards, the Business Legend and Business Person of the Year along with the Leadership Rutherford Pinnacle award. TICKETS: $50 for members, $65 for non-members; table of 10 $500; Corporate sponsor $1,500; Table Topper Sponsor $200. Contact Stephanie Brackman at or phone 615-893-6565.

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Business At Its Best, Gordon Ferguson, John Harney, John Hood, Pinnacle Award Kevin Arnold, Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, WGNS
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