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Young Professionals of Obion CountyJoin us for our July meeting!

When: Thursday, July 27, 2017 at 6 PM

Where: Downtown Commercial Bank & Trust

Guest speaker: Melissa Halsell
TVA Program Manager: Young Talent and Community Livability

Want more information on YPOC? Text YPOC to 22828 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Baptist Memorial Hospital CafeteriaAny Chamber member interested in receiving the hospital's cafeteria menu weekly may contact Emily Medley, food and nutrition services director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Let us help you spread the word about your available commercial property by listing it at www.obioncounty.org. If you have commercial property you would like to list, please contact Lindsay Frilling at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Citizens Bank Ribbon CuttingFor over 85 years, The Citizens Bank has been serving friends and families in this area with unparalleled hometown banking. Local people have enjoyed serving local people in Hickman and Fulton, Kentucky....and, soon in Union City, TN!

Our emphasis is on taking care of our neighbors and providing excellent customer service, while staying current with the most advanced technology. All of our decisions are made locally. If you have been looking for good old-fashioned hometown banking, get ready! The Citizens Bank is looking forward to its opening in 2017 on Reelfoot Avenue (near Wal-Mart) in Union City.

Membership Director Spotlighted in TVA's - Young Professionals in Economic DevelopmentName: Lauren Tanner

Position/Organization/How long: Membership Director for the Obion County Chamber of Commerce since April 2016. We are located in Union City, Tennessee.

How did you get into economic development? Our Chamber of Commerce and Obion County Industrial Development Corporation (OCIDC) are umbrellaed underneath our Joint Economic Development Council (JEDC). Because of this, even though I am technically a chamber employee, I had the opportunity to dip my foot into economic development and have loved it since. There are only 2 paid employees within all 3 of those organizations (our CEO Lindsay Frilling and me), so I am fortunate enough to be involved in every side of Obion County.

What is the best economic development advice you've been given? You have to start earlier in the school systems if you want a strong, long lasting workforce. The main thing that I hear from professionals in our area is that outside of having the product (site ready properties, land, etc.) the biggest issue facing economic development in NW Tennessee is our workforce and lack thereof. Once people graduate high school, they move away to large cities and don't come back. It is vital that we start educating students earlier about economic development, workforce development, and ending the stigma that industrial jobs are "dirty". Students can get a technical degree or learn a trade, and have a full time, well-paying job sooner than most kids that go to a 4 year school. If we can teach our students sooner that there are more career options local and close to home, then maybe they will take advantage of our local technical colleges and implement their talents in our local industry, thus growing our overall population and workforce. There is nothing wrong with getting a 4 year degree, but there is nothing wrong with getting a technical degree either.

What has caught your attention recently in economic development? Economic development isn't just landing the big industrial projects, it's landing small businesses that bring life and uniqueness to your community. It's about making your community a personal experience for everyone that is there. Specifically where we are in Northwest TN, our young talent or "millennial" generation moves away from our area to larger areas after high school (i.e. Murfreesboro, Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville) and don't come back until they are ready to settle down, then they will move back to these smaller areas in their late 20's/early 30's. Because of this, we are having to think of creative ways to bring fresh, new ideas to our communities to make Obion County a desirable place for this generation to move to, move back to, or not even move away at all.

When you have free time, what do you do? I love to be outside. I got married about 2 months ago, so now that it's summer and we aren't planning a wedding anymore, we love to go out on the boat, hang with our pup, and spend time with friends and family.

What are three fun facts about you? 1) I have a degree in Agriculture Communications and did marketing/communications for the largest continuous John Deere dealership in the world prior to working at the Chamber. 2) I collect set lists. 3) I love sports. I'm a huge Cardinals baseball fan & UT fan. And also, I'm originally from Nashville, so can I get a Go Preds?!

What's on your bucket list these days? Go watch Tennessee play in the National Championship this year, but if that doesn't work out I'm good with watching them in December at the SEC Championship (a girl can dream, right? fingers crossed #GBO) Also, I'm hoping to cross a few more states off my bucket list within the next few years.

What motivates you? Passion. I adore my job, but let's be honest, you don't go into the chamber world for the money. You do it because you love it, you love your community, and you know what it can become if you put your passion to good use. I am originally from an interstate town, and with I-69 (which is on its way to completion) coming straight through Obion County, I know the growth that could potentially happen. I love Obion County the way it is, but knowing the potential it has to be even better keeps me going every day. I am ecstatic to see Obion County grow within the next 10 years and am lucky that I get to be a part of it.

The Sterling Awards 2017: 20 Most Influential Women in West Tennessee ceremony was held on April 4, Equal Pay Day, at the J. Walter Barnes Conference Center at Jackson General Hospital in Jackson, Tenn.

Receiving an award was Mrs. Jenny Kirkland of Union City, chosen as one of the 20 Most Influential Women in West Tennessee.

Mrs. Kirkland is known for her work through the Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Foundation, with involvement in The Union City Rotary Club Scholarship Program, the Union City Rotary Club European Trip, and The Promethean Foundation, serving on the board of directors.

UNION CITY, Tenn. - Twenty-six years after Brent Lee left Union City to go railroading, he is coming home to run his own short line.

The Union City Terminal Railroad is expected to debut in May. The line is an eight-mile stub of the former Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad main line between Union City and Rives, Tenn., where it connects to the Canadian National (former Illinois Central) main line.

"I was born and raised in Union City," Lee says. "I always had the idea if I ever wanted to short line something, it would be that line."

Lee says he spent 24 of his 26 years with the Burlington Northern and BNSF Railway in track maintenance and train service.

Obion County Virtual Spec Building RecognizedBy Eli Dile

It has long been a common practice among economic development organizations to invest in speculative shell buildings as a business attraction tool. Spec buildings make a community more competitive in the site selection process by reducing the time and upfront costs for a company to get up and running in a new community.
But spec buildings don't come without risk. Capital is tied up in construction, and there's no guarantee a company will ever buy or lease it. Plus, constructing a building without a specific industry in mind can limit the range of potential end users, as many have specific facility requirements.

Discovery Park of America Discovery Children's Garden DPA opened a half-million dollar Children's Discovery Garden this past month!

The Robert and Jenny Kirkland Foundation funded the project that features a treehouse tower, zipline, butterfly garden and Rhapsody outdoor instruments