Governor Haslam Signs Broadband Accessibility Act

Gov. Bill Haslam signed the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act in Brownsville last week. After studying broadband access statewide and finding that nearly 834,000 Tennesseans go without broadband access, TNECD strongly supported the measure designed to increase broadband access to Tennessee’s unserved citizens. – See more at:

SUPERINTENDENT SPOTLIGHT: Dr. LaDonna McFall (Coffee County)

TOSS is please to announce that our March Superintendent Spotlight is Dr. LaDonna McFall, who has served as the superintendent of Coffee County Schools for four years now. In her time at Coffee County, the district has seen immense growth. As reported in the SCORE State of Education in Tennessee, Dr. McFall’s district has seen a 26.6% growth in 3-8 Math TCAP scores since 2011.

Dr. McFall shared that in her district, they believe in developing their students socially and emotionally, as well as academically. Therefore, they emphasize good citizenship and anti-bullying in several ways. Three years ago, they implemented the Olweus Anti Bullying Program across the district. She said that they believe that a well-rounded, empathetic, empowered student is the foundation for success in a changing world, so they continue to refine their practices to ensure their students become better equipped to handle the challenges they face.

When asked what her favorite part of her job is, Dr. McFall state, “I am a teacher and a coach at heart. I love working alongside my teammates to increase the level of instructional capacity of our administrators and teachers, and most importantly I love spending time with students. Whether it’s reading with them, watching them participate in extracurricular activities, or helping them with homework, I feel fortunate that I have the opportunity to play a small roll in the lives of children.”

Finally, we asked Dr. McFall to share one of her favorite memories from her time as superintendent in Coffee County so far. She told the following story: “I have so many wonderful memories, but one comes to mind. I was getting ready to sit down and read a book to some kindergarten students. One little fella tugged on my pants leg; I looked down at him and he said, ‘I’m not sure who you are, but you smell good. Can I sit beside you?’ That was one of the most genuine compliments I’ve ever received.”

All of us at TOSS are so honored to work with incredible leaders and educators like Dr. McFall.

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2017 CCYP Summit Wrap-up

It is, indeed, good to be alive right about now! The first-ever Coffee County YP Summit is in the books – and oh, what a day it was!

As expected, Amy Lynch, generational expert, gave a very inspirational keynote, helping us to recognize the unique gifts that each generation brings to the workplace. The tabletop discussions that followed illustrated that everyone in attendance had hung on every word. It was fun to laugh at the stereotypes and eye opening to take part in conversations with Millennials and Boomers (I’m a Gen Xer).

The afternoon sessions did not disappoint. After her quick rendition of Michael Jackson’s moonwalk, Natalie Hughes, Ascend Federal Credit Union, gave a sobering presentation on financial principals taught and practiced by Dave Ramsey. Will Thomas, Exchange Media Group, showed us through his then and now Indy Racing example that being busy doesn’t equal being productive and gave us some common-sense strategies to minimize distractions. Carter Sain of Coffee County Bank reminded us that good leadership is based on good relationships and creating an environment where people want to be.

Christina Sheer, a marketing professional with Michael Hyatt & Company, donned in hot pink, no less, shared useful tips on branding ourselves with consistency for maximum impact. And as the day began to get long, Joe McKamey ignited the crowd with high-fives and an enthusiastic talk on launching his own legacy through running a small business in a small town.

A panel of young professionals including Taylor Rayfield of Coffee County Schools, Tisha Fritz of 93.9 The Duck/101.5 The Rooster, Hope Sartain of the Tullahoma Chamber of Commerce, and Bryan McAdams of Tullahoma Funeral Home, rounded out the agenda. Lane Yoder led the panel discussion on pursuing your passion through volunteerism.

My takeaway? Boy, we have a lot of talented people in this community! And there was a sense of unity in the room from the very beginning – we all seemed like friends, even almost like family. The energy was amazing!

So thank you, again, to Exchange Media Group, our presenting sponsor, for their vision to create an event to cultivate the skills and enthusiasm of the young professionals who will inevitably effect change and contribute meaningfully to Coffee County.

Thanks to all our supporting sponsors and to our exhibitors and speakers and to all who attended.

  • ~ Terri Hudson

$41,000 Tourism Enhancement Grant

The Manchester Tourism and Community Development Commission in partnership with the Manchester Area Chamber of Commerce and Manchester Parks and Recreation is pleased to announce they have received a $41,000 tourism enhancement grant from the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development & Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. These funds will be matched by the Manchester Tourism and Community Development Commission to total $58,000 and will be used for additional electrical infrastructure and facility enhancements at the Manchester Parks and Recreation’s Soccer Complex.

“This is exciting news for our community, as our commitment to invest into impact continues to position our city to strengthen, develop, and grow. The most exciting aspect for me; however, is the collaboration between the Recreation Department, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Manchester Tourism and Community Development Commission. This is a perfect example of the synergy we have created by leveraging strong community partnerships. Obtaining this grant is exciting for the community right now, but the partnerships and relationships we are building are even more exciting for our future,” said Ryan French, Vice Mayor and Chairman.

“The state’s Tourism & ECD do a great job supporting rural communities, and we are honored to have received this grant. Installing lights at the soccer complex will not only allow for longer play and more tournaments but will provide a need for out-of-town guests to have dinner after play, sleep over, and have breakfast in Manchester the next morning. It’s all about capturing dollars. It was privilege to work alongside our Tourism Commissioners and Parks and Recreation on this grant,” said Terri Hudson, Executive Director, Manchester Area Chamber of Commerce

“The Parks and Recreation Department is excited to work in partnership with the Manchester Area Chamber of Commerce and the Tourism Commission on providing electrical service to the new Soccer Complex. The partnership allowed us to tap into the Tourism Enhancement Grant program funding to further develop the Soccer Complex. The electrical service is an important step forward to creating a venue for soccer to attract tournaments and tourism dollars to our local economy,” said Bonnie Gamble, Director, Manchester Parks and Recreation