The Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce filled the Embassy Suite's ballroom with community leaders who were recognizing the successes achieved in this community over the past year.
Since the current year's chairman of the board had to leave after 9-days in office, the 2014 chairman had to serve early. As a result, Wilson Bank and Trust's County President Barry Buckley (left photo) is serving two-terms and continues in this new year.
It was pointed out that Rutherford County, Tennessee is currently one of the hottest places to do business and one of the fastest growing counties in the United States. Located in the center of the southeastern U.S., Rutherford County is only a short drive from 75% of the country’s major markets.
A hilarious video showing Chamber President Paul Latture with a long white beard along with head-banded Stephanie Brackman successfully leading their camou-crew into landing over 4,000 new jobs for Rutherford County.
The local Chamber of Commerce continues to get phenomenal support from the county's business community. This "Business At It Best" awards dinner was again a sell-out, which is more proof of the great job the staff continues to do.
Business Person of the Year
Murfreesboro Medical Clinic's President and CEO Joey Peay was recognized as the Business Person of the Year.
Peay is a Certified Medical Practice Executive by the American College of Medical Practice Executives and has led Murfreesboro Medical Clinic since 2003. Prior to that, he served as the clinic’s chief financial officer. Since beginning his career at the Clinic in 1998, it has grown from a low of 37 physicians to more than 70 today. Most of that growth has occurred under Peay’s leadership, and necessitated two building projects that he oversaw, the most recent being a 155,000 square-foot addition which opened in January, 2013. All of this growth has been in spite of the tremendous challenges facing the health care industry.
Peay graduated with honors from Middle Tennessee State University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and passed the Uniform CPA Exam in 1988. Peay spent the first 10 years of his career with KPMG, an international public accounting firm, leaving in 1998 as a senior manager.
A 2001 Leadership Rutherford graduate, Peay currently serves as chairman of the Kittrell Volunteer Fire Department Board of Directors, and is a member of the Rutherford County Board of Directors of the American Heart Association, MTSU Accounting Advisory Board, Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants and Medical Group Management Association.
Peay is an elder and clerk of session at Cripple Creek Presbyterian Church. He and wife Charlotte have four children, Madilyn, Natalie, Zachary and Carolyn.
Lifelong Murfreesboro native and leader John Hood received the Business Legend award. He grew into this honor through a lifetime of service to the community. He started at WGNS in the late 40s and early 50s. John's abilities took him to Samsonite, Middle Tennessee State University and Mid South Bank and Trust. He also accomplished much for the people of this area through service as a representative in the state house of representatives.
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.
Hood is a devoted community advocate, has volunteered for many civic and non-profit organizations, and emceed countless community events and fundraisers. Affiliations include the Exchange Club of Murfreesboro, United Way of Rutherford & Cannon Counties, Read to Succeed and the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, where he has served as a diplomat for the past 18 years.
Previous leadership roles include national president of the Exchange Clubs of America, chairman of the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, president of the Tennessee School Boards Association, chairman of the Tennessee Advisory Board for the AAA Auto Club Group, president of the MTSU National Alumni Association, and treasurer of the Rutherford County Emergency Communications District. He was the 2012 recipient of the Murfreesboro City Schools Foundation’s Excellence in Education Award.
John and wife Marilyn have been married for 62 years, and 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.
John concluded with a phrase that was used often by the late Tommy Martin: "Remember, God loves you, and so do I." The audience went wild at that point and gave Hood a long standing ovation.
Each year, Leadership Rutherford honors a graduate who has consistently gone the extra mile in service not only to the community, but to their business as well. This year's recipient is Sheri Morgan.
Morgan has owned Tri Star Title & Escrow, LLC since 2005. She manages six employees and on a daily basis, develops business relationships in the real estate industry and process and closes transactions. In 2013, her company closed 1,591 transactions.
“Sheri is very deserving of this award,” said Leadership Rutherford Director Stephanie Brackman. “She is an individual so passionate about leadership and her community, and gives of herself tirelessly. Sheri does whatever she can to bring joy and create better lives for those around her.”
Morgan worked at Service Escrow & Title prior to owning her own business, and before then, served as branch manager for both American General and CitiFinancial. She currently serves on the board of directors for Special Kids and the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, where she serves as treasurer, and is past president of Leadership Rutherford.
She is an active volunteer for Holiday Fest, Main Street, Special Kids, First Shot Basketball, American Heart Association, Middle Tennessee Association of Realtors, Greater Nashville Association of Realtors, Homebuilders of Middle Tennessee, Rutherford County Homebuilders and DreamCatchers Therapy. She was a Rutherford County Chamber Diplomat for two years and a 2008 Leadership Rutherford graduate.
“I was always very shy and bashful growing up, and stayed to myself,” said Morgan. “All of this changed when I attended Leadership Rutherford with the Chamber of Commerce several years ago. I became a different person, opening up and speaking in public. This changed my personality and gave me self-esteem. Leadership Rutherford was the best thing I ever did for myself.”
Morgan and husband Joe live in Smyrna. They have one son, Matthew, who with wife Amanda, have a son, Ryland. She is a member of New Vision Church in Murfreesboro.