On May 29, Jenna Cole-Wilson announced on the Benton County/Camden Chamber of Commerce Facebook page that she had resigned as executive director and would be vacating the position effective Friday, June 7. In the wake of the highly successful JumpFish Jamboree event, and after being in the director’s seat for less than two years, her resignation took many by surprise.
“Leaving the Chamber at this time was not something that I had planned, but I was offered an unexpected professional opportunity that was simply too good to pass up,” Cole-Wilson explained. “I will be the new Director of Patient Relations for Complete Dental Care, a firm that is based in Jackson. This was not a decision that I made lightly, but one that I made as the best choice for my family.”
Cole-Wilson started at the Chamber in 2013 in the role of executive assistant under the guidance of former Chamber Director Sara Kilgore. She assumed the role of director of tourism in 2016, then moved on the executive director’s position when Kilgore left in June, 2017. Cole-Wilson described her years at the Chamber as “the most amazing, rewarding journey.”
“Initially I applied at the Chamber because I saw it as an opportunity to better myself,” Cole-Wilson said. “Ultimately, serving through the Chamber became an opportunity to better the community where I was born and raised, and where I choose to live with my family. Being Chamber Director has been the most rewarding job, and I appreciate the opportunity I have had to serve Benton County in this capacity.”
Under the leadership of Cole-Wilson, Chamber membership grew to record-breaking numbers. Due to her growing profile, Cole-Wilson was invited by Tennessee Department of Tourist Development (TDTD) to speak at the 2017 Governor’s Conference on Tourism. Her efforts as director were recognized in 2018 by TDTD, and she also received a Congressional Certificate of Recognition from then U.S. Congressman Marsha Blackburn.
During her tenure at the Chamber, Cole-Wilson brought in $152,500 in grants, recruited a number of fishing tournaments to Benton County and hosted the JumpFish tournament, published numerous Benton County events in the Tennessee Vacation Guide, implemented “#ShopLocal” campaigns, continued the tradition of Bargain Highway, assisted in Benton County becoming a pilot community for the Tennessee River Line project, and helped Benton County get into the Property Evaluation Program from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.
“The Chamber has so much momentum going right now, and I simply want the community to keep supporting and encouraging whoever is selected as the next executive director,” Cole-Wilson said. “I have no doubt that the Chamber Board will find a new director who will bring great vision to the office and keep that momentum going. I am excited to watch the Chamber continue to grow.”
Stephanie Harcleroad will remain in the executive assistant position, and the Chamber remains open to assist any member in need of help. Anyone who has questions or needs assistance before a new director is hired, please contact Harcleroad at 731-584- 8395.