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Overton Chamber’s Cantrell Certified As Economic Developer

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Overton Chamber’s Cantrell Certified As Economic Developer

Livingston Overton County Chamber Of Commerce Executive Director Shannon Cantrell has a new title next to her name.

Tennessee Certified Economic Developer.

Cantrell completed a 100-hour program through the University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services to become certified. She said it takes about two years to complete. It includes a number of different courses designed to help the student become an economic resource to the community.

“A lot of the things I do here at the Chamber come naturally,” Cantrell said. “The economic development piece, where it concerns industrial development and business recruitment, those type of things didn’t come quite as easy, and those are things that are basically learned. So being able to be a part of this program kind of allowed this position for me to come full circle. So I feel much more confident in being able to move forward and really begin to help making a difference in this community, whether it’s the city or the county, and offer my support and help when it comes to small business recruitment, industrial development, and business expansion and retention and things like that.”

The coursework included everything from marketing to the economics of small business growth. Retention and expansion were covered as was entrepreneurship.

“It just has really opened my eyes about the importance of growth and the importance of being pro growth, as well as just making sure that you’re given the attention that you need to give to your local businesses while trying to recruit new businesses as well,” Cantrell said.

Cantrell one of five to graduate from this particular class. Graduates from previous classes also served as mentors. The final piece of the class was a 15-page paper about an economic development project followed by a presentation on the subject.

“My project was on public art as an economic driver in rural Tennessee, and it was a very interesting project and I loved learning about how art does drive economic development and how much it can bring to a community,” Cantrell said.

Cantrell said she believes that her job as Chamber Director means learning as much as she can to help the county grow.

“And I love being able to give back to my community in the way that I do here,” Cantrell said. “And just because this one certification is behind me, I’m just going to move on to another one.”


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