Chamber celebration honors best of business

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Rutherford County’s business community will gather once again to honor local, outstanding professionals during the Chamber of Commerce’s annual Business at its Best celebration.

Held on Friday, Feb. 1, at Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center, Business at its Best will feature kick off at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m.

Throughout the past 12 months, Murfreesboro has celebrated the groundbreaking and opening of Amazon’s fulfillment center, Nissan launched its battery plant, and the entire county has experienced continued growth in the housing market.

Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce President Paul Latture explains how the Business at its Best event is a time to celebrate the past year’s accomplishments, and look toward the future at the same time.

“Our recent economic development successes, made possible by the key leaders in our community, will definitely add to that sense of celebration and pride that we all share for Rutherford County,” he said.

“It’s the Chamber’s mission to promote economic development and a quality of life to all residents in Rutherford County, and we don’t take that lightly. In terms of economic development, we are going to continue to focus on recruiting target markets, including advanced manufacturing, corporate headquarters, distribution and logistics and the service sector.”

As in years past, three professionals will be awarded during the celebration for their accomplishments. The Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce named Andrea Loughry as the 2012 Business Legend of the Year, Pat Murphy, plant manager of the General Mills plant in Murfreesboro, as the 2012 Business Person of the Year, and Murfreesboro Chief of Police Glenn Chrisman as the 2012 recipient of the Pinnacle Award.

“We are fortunate to live in a community that has many successful business men and women,” Latture continued.

“Our Business Legend award honors someone who has a lifetime of successful business and community service, and our Business Person of the Year award goes to someone who has contributed significantly to our business environment in 2012. We have outstanding recipients this year in Andrea Loughry and Pat Murphy, and I definitely think they, as well as our past honorees, serve as inspiration for our Chamber membership by sharing their stories on how they were able to achieve and maintain success in their fields.”

Loughry is president emeritus of Miller Loughry Beach Insurance Services, Inc., a member of Pinnacle National Financial Partners, and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The University of Tennessee. She has taught on the high school level and served as a tenured assistant professor at Middle Tennessee State University.

A writer and speaker on the unique American higher education structure of citizen governance, she is a former vice-chair of the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees and immediate past chair of the UT Foundation Board. The Association of Governing Boards currently lists Loughry on their national board of directors.

Loughry was the first female chair of the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, and in 1990, was honored by the Chamber as the Business Person of the Year. She was a charter member of Leadership Rutherford and a member of its original board of directors. Instrumental in the organization of the Mind 2 Marketplace consortium, she served as the first chairman of this Middle Tennessee initiative to connect people with ideas to the marketplace. She was awarded the Joe M. Rodgers Spirit of America Award from the MTSU College of Business in 2005.

Murphy honored for leadership

Murphy has managed the General Mills facility in Murfreesboro for the last seven and a half years, which under his leadership, has become one of General Mills’ largest and highest-performing plants.

In 2012, the plant completed its Yoplait expansion, which included more than $100 million in capital investment and the creation of nearly 80 new jobs, bringing the total plant employment to almost 900 General Mills employees.

His leadership values start with the safety of his employees and the products they produce, as reflected by a recent span of over 5.7 million hours worked without a lost time injury.

Another leadership focus for Murphy has been the development of his people, which is serving as a solid foundation for future growth and competitiveness of the facility, and has resulted in the progression of five plant managers and numerous other functional leaders

Murphy also believes strongly in the service of his community and volunteers actively with the local United Way and Boys & Girls Clubs, having recently chaired both organizations’ board of directors. In addition, he was recently elected to the serve on the 2013 United Way of Tennessee board.

Chrisman reaches 'Pinnacle'

Leadership Rutherford named Chrisman as the Pinnacle Award recipient, which is given to someone who has demonstrated significant leadership throughout his or her career.

“Chief Chrisman is a man of honor and integrity, and a very worthy award recipient,” Leadership Rutherford Director Stephanie Brackman said. “Always a professional, he has committed his career to making Murfreesboro safe for our residents, businesses and visitors, and makes the people around him better.” 

Chrisman is a Rutherford County native and attended the public school systems of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County. He graduated from the last class of Murfreesboro Central High School in 1972.

He was employed as a police officer by the Murfreesboro Police Department in December of 1976. He advanced through the ranks from police officer to sergeant, lieutenant, captain, deputy chief, and was appointed Chief of Police, on Sept. 1, 2003.
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Andrea Loughry, Business, Business at its Best, Business Milestones, Chamber of Commerce, Event, Glenn Chrisman, Nonprofit, Pat Murphy
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