Michelle Earle

Chamber Executive Director Michelle Earle

To remain active in organization’s positive path

After nearly a year as the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce executive director, Michelle Earle is moving into a board director’s position due to accepting a job as FirstBank’s manager of training.

Earle said Wednesday that the position with FirstBank was too good to pass up, but she will remain with the Chamber as a board member, ensuring that the work she had started to enhance the organization’s opportunities to attract and promote business and economic growth will continue in an upward path.

“We’ve had growth at the Chamber, and we’re continuing to grow,” she said. “The only difference is I’m moving into an alternate role as a director.”

The executive director manages the Chamber’s day-to-day operations as a paid employee on behalf of the Board of Directors.

Earle said that when she decided to accept the new job with FirstBank, the board offered to have her become a fellow board member.

She said the Chamber Board will fill her executive director’s position, most likely in 90 days. She added that she will continue handling executive-director leadership duties until the transition is complete.

And, for the time being, there’s still much promotional work to be done to benefit the Chamber, she said.

Earle said work on a video promoting what Franklin County has to offer businesses, industry and residents’ quality of life was started in August, and plans are to have it completed by May 2020.

She said the video will feature business opportunities for those wishing to relocate or expand in Franklin County and will showcase the new Tennessee College of Applied Technology and its  Training Center, the University of the South, Franklin County High School and its educational programs, and other important entities that directly or indirectly bolster the local economy.

“We’re excited the Chamber is experiencing growth and expanding opportunities, and we want to offer those opportunities to someone else who can benefit from it,” Earle said. “We’re expanding in a positive direction, and we look forward to 2020 for growth and opportunity in the community as a Chamber.”

When Earle took over the Chamber’s helm in November 2018, she said at the time she was excited about getting to work to promote Franklin County’s business and economic development opportunities.

She is a 1986 Franklin County High School graduate whose career has focused on human resources with financial institutions.

Before she became Chamber director, she had been a trainer/coach for FirstBank since 2017 after its merger with American City Bank.

She was also American City Bank’s human resources vice president from 2008-2017.

Earle’s career has been immersed in aspects that highlight the Chamber’s focus.

She was the Tullahoma Chamber of Commerce’s president-elect but stepped down from her involvement to accept the position as Franklin County’s executive director.

Earle said she is Franklin County through and through, and her immediate goal is to aid the Chamber in its transition into securing a new executive director.

She said the annual Chamber Banquet is set for Dec. 3 at Cravens Hall on the University of the South campus.

Earle said Chamber Assistant Executive Director Kayla Doney and Manager of Memberships Karlie Bell are already accepting reservations. They can be reached at 931-967-6788 to confirm attendance or email requests to info@franklincountychamber.com.

Earle said the Chamber Banquet will serve as a great catalyst to accomplishing the goals members and directors want to achieve in 2020.

“We’re very excited about what’s going on right now,” Earle said. “We’re looking forward to an exciting time and the great things that are happening and going to happen in our county.”