2022 Executive of the Year
Bernedette Douglas, Cleveland-Bradley County Chamber
The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce Executives (TCCE) recognizes Bernadette Douglas, former Cleveland-Bradley County Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President as the 2022 Executive of the Year. The award was given at its annual meeting held in Medina, Tennessee. The award recognizes one chamber professional in the state of Tennessee who has made a significant difference in their chamber. “I’m honored to have been selected by my peers for this honor. It never could have happened without the incredible team of dedicated volunteers and staff at the Chamber over these past 40 years,” Douglas expressed.
The Chamber’s Communications & Marketing director, Aaron Weatherford, nominated Douglas specifically for her more than 40 years of leadership at the Chamber, but also for her mentorship to him and many others during her time at the Chamber. “Bernadette is admired and highly respected in the business community. The impact that she has made in individuals and businesses alike will continue to be felt for many years to come,” Weatherford said. Bernadette began her career with the Chamber in 1981, retiring in 2022.
2022 Volunteer of the Year
John Dunagan, Greater Gibson County Area Chamber of Commerce
The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce Executives (TCCE) recognizes John Dunagan , Jack of All Trades with the Greater Gibson County Area Chamber of Commerce as the 2022 Volunteer of the Year. The award recognizes an individual’s outstanding achievements, involvement in local chamber events, program implementation and participation in the community (including civic, charitable, educational and other activities).
The Chamber’s Executive Director, Libby Wickersham nominated Dunagan specifically for his willingness to pitch in wherever he is needed – be it doing repairs on the chamber building, setting up/breaking down events, weeding flower beds, moving offices, re-wiring all Christmas lights for downtown Trenton, etc. “Joh volunteers his time to help multiple organizations and groups. He does all of this out of the goodness of his heart, never asks for anything in return, and has a smile on his face while he’s doing it. Thank you John for being a great cheerleader to the local chamber staff and a role model to our community” said Wickersham.
2022 Professional of the Year
Linda West, Milan Chamber of Commerce
The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce Executives (TCCE) recognizes Linda West, Executive Assistant with the Milan Chamber of Commerce as the 2022 Professional of the Year. The award recognizes an outstanding chamber professional who ahs helped advance the mission of his/her chamber and is seen as a role model in the community.
Linda was nominated by the Executive Directors of the Milan, Greater Gibson County, and Humbolt Chamber of Commerce. Although each director represents their own individual Chambers, they came together on this nomination because Gibson County is unique and unites in many ways to support their entire county. “It may sound odd to nominate another Chamber’s employee for a staff award, but Linda West isn’t just an admin for the Milan Chamber, she’s a part of our Gibson County Team! She has been a vital part of the Chamber World for over 32 years! I’m not sure what I would do without her.” Said Amanda Love, Executive Director Humbolt Chamber of Commerce. “Linda is a person we all turn to for advice to see how things have been done in the past and how we can effectively transition with the times and remain true to our heritage. She loves her community, and the community loves her/ She is a local treasure chest of knowledge.” said Julie Ward, Executive Director of the Milan Chamber of Commerce.
2022 Event Excellence
“River Jam” Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce
The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce Executives (TCCE) recognizes Tennessee River Jam hosted by the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce with the 2022 Event Excellence Award. The event recognizes a chamber that excels in marketing and producing an outstanding special event.
Tennessee River Jam has become a staple event in the West Tennessee region. What started out as a three day music festival created to diversify the portfolio of a tourism economy, has grown into a 2.3 million dollar economic driver in two years. The festival is completely planned, produced, and executed by the staff of Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce. Despite being canceled in 2020, TNRJ came back even stronger the next year. Overwhelming financial support from local sponsors enabled the event to continue which truly made it a community-wide effort. The event welcomed 11,500 participants from 19 states and 123 different cities. 27 artists played for the 8 venues during the four day festival. With a goal of staying true to its community and West Tennessee roots, 2023 is set to be the best year yet!