People and Places

Youth Leadership Rutherford applications are now available to current high school juniors for The 2018-2019 school year.

Youth Leadership Rutherford is a selective personal development, civic education, and community engagement initiative for high school seniors in Rutherford County. Conducted by the Leadership Rutherford Executive Director and the Business Education Partnership Foundation Executive Director, Youth Leadership Rutherford is a private, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to community leadership development.  Applications are due by February 26th.  

Youth Leadership Rutherford consists of a weekend orientation program in September, seven seminar days from October – April, and graduation in May. Each day focuses on a major area of community concern and explores issues of leadership within the context of the subject. The goal of each program day is to open the minds of participants to different viewpoints surrounding each issue and to enable young people to become more visionary leaders. The program also includes five independent project assignments as well as studies of individual strengths and careers. To learn more about applying and the program, visit, or call (615) 278-2008.

Rutherford County Students win National Theater Awards at 2018 Junior Theater Festival

Students from Oakland Middle School, Siegel Middle School and Bradley Academy Musical Theater in Murfreesboro and Roy Waldron Elementary Drama in La Vergne won national awards and earned recognition at the 2018 Junior Theater Festival Atlanta at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, GA.  The Junior Theater Festival Atlanta united 6,000+ students and educators from 130 educational musical theater groups representing 30 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

 Bradley Academy Musical Theatre won a Freddie G Award for Excellence in Music group award. Oakland Middle School and Roy Waldron Elementary Drama both won a Freddie G award for Excellence in Ensemble Work. Roy Waldron Drama’s Andre Cohen also won a Freddie G award for Excellent Achievement in the Broadway JR. Slam.  In the Broadway Junior slam a select group of teachers and students are randomly picked to stage a scene and song in one hour.

Bradley Academy Musical Theatre’s Jaden Gatewood and Kayla Ramsey were two of 240 students who made it to the call-back for future Broadway Junior shoots for “how-to” choreography videos for soon-to-be released Broadway Junior musicals.  The shoots will be taped in New York City this summer. Bradley Academy Musical Theatre’s Markell Waobizkeze and Jorie Miller,  Oakland Middle School’s Chandler Maples and Sydney Barnett, Roy Waldron Elementary Drama’s Cameron Balballosa and Janiyah Mayes, Siegel Middle School’s Johnny Pletincks and Abby Arias, were named to the Junior Theater Festival All-Stars, made up of outstanding performers attending the festival. The All-Stars performed a song during the closing ceremony for all 6,000 festival attendees.


Franklin Synergy Bank Commits $1 Million Investment in Rutherford County The bank unveils “The Big Rutherford Giveback” a 10-year community investment campaign.

Franklin Synergy Bank, a leading Tennessee community bank, is pleased to announce the Big Rutherford Giveback. Franklin Synergy Bank has committed to invest $1 million in the Rutherford County community over the next ten years. The announcement was made at the grand opening of its new Medical Center Parkway location in Murfreesboro.

Since 2007, Franklin Synergy has been providing financial services to those in Williamson County, most recently expanding into Rutherford County in 2014. To celebrate the bank’s exponential growth and its commitment to create a higher standard of community banking, this $1 million pledge will go to strengthen the people and businesses of Rutherford County.
“At Franklin Synergy Bank, we are serious about our mission to enrich not only the lives of every customer that walks through our doors, but also the neighborhoods that we all call home,” said Richard Herrington, Franklin Synergy Bank’s Chairman and CEO. “I’m proud to be part of a bank that knows how to live out its values in order to achieve its vision—that of a greater community for all.”

Rising from the smallest bank headquartered in Tennessee to one of the largest 300 banks in the nation with over $3 billion in assets, Franklin Synergy Bank has a historically strong focus on growth and goal setting. In 2015, Franklin Synergy achieved its longstanding goal of becoming a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “FSB.”

By pledging to give $1 million during the Big Rutherford Giveback, Franklin Synergy Bank reaffirms that its focus is firmly on the future and continued growth of the communities it serves.

“We’re proud to be a part of the Rutherford County community and feel it is important to invest in its continued success,” said Lee Moss, President of Franklin Synergy Bank. “It’s an exciting time to live and work here in Rutherford County and Franklin Synergy Bank is happy to play a role in the county’s bright future.”  

Teb Batey Named Leadership Rutherford Pinnacle Award Winner

Leadership Rutherford has named Rutherford County Trustee Teb Batey as the 2017 recipient of the Pinnacle Award, given to someone who has demonstrated significant leadership throughout his or her career.

 Batey, a lifelong Rutherford County resident, has served in his current position since 2006. During this time, he and his team have worked to improve efficiencies in order to increase rates of return and significantly reduce the cost of banking services. In addition, he expanded the trustee’s office to a second location in Smyrna and streamlined payment options.

After selling B&B Awards and Engraving, a partnership he started as a junior in high school, Batey pursued a degree in business administration from David Lipscomb University. After graduation, he returned to the family business, Batey’s Office Supply and Photo, to work full time and to complete a Master of Business Administration degree from MTSU.

 Batey is a 2015 Leadership Rutherford graduate and has served on many civic and professional boards during his tenure in county government. He was a founding board member of the Tennessee Association of Property Tax Professionals and was chaplain for the County Officials Association of Tennessee. In 2014, he was recognized as the Tennessee Outstanding Trustee of the Year.

 A minister for the Milton Church of Christ since 1989, Batey serves on the board for Barnabas Vision and Journeys in Community Living. He has a love of farming and was named the Tennessee Cattleman’s Association’s Beef Producer of the Year in 1988. He and wife Kari live in the Milton Community with their son Houston and daughters Kate and Taylor. The Bateys were forever touched by the love of friends, family, and their great community when they lost their son Paul in 2014.

Rutherford County Chamber honors Bill Jones, John Black

The Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce has named Pinnacle Financial Partners Area Executive Bill Jones as the 2017 Business Legend of the Year and Smyrna / Rutherford County Airport Authority Executive Director John Black as the 2017 Business Person of the Year. Both will be honored at the Chamber’s annual Business at its Best celebration on Thursday, Feb. 1, at the Embassy Suites Murfreesboro Hotel & Conference Center.

 Jones has almost 30 years of financial services expertise, and as area executive, currently leads all efforts of Pinnacle Financial Partners in Rutherford and Bedford counties. Prior to its merger with Pinnacle in 2006, he served as executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Cavalry Banking, following seven years as a trust officer. His experience also includes serving as vice president and trust officer for SunTrust Bank. He launched his career at Provow, Jones and Associates, an insurance and financial planning firm.

Jones has been involved with Destination Rutherford since 2003, and has chaired the economic development initiative since 2007. He is chairman of the Rutherford County Industrial Development Board and Christy-Houston Foundation. He serves as director for the Middle Tennessee State University Jones College of Business and previously served on the board of directors for the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce and Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital.

John Black began his career with the Smyrna / Rutherford County Airport Authority in 1991. During his tenure, the Airport Authority has invested over $127 million dollars into the airport and twice garnered the State of Tennessee’s Airport of the Year Award. Black is a recipient of the coveted Airport Manager of the Year award for the Federal Aviation Administration Southern Region.

 He is the immediate past president of the Smyrna Rotary Club, has served as an aerospace adjunct faculty member in the Middle Tennessee State University graduate studies program since 2001, and serves on the board of directors for TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center. He is the past president of Arnold Community Council, and previously served on the board of directors for the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce. He is a graduate of Leadership Middle Tennessee and Leadership Rutherford, which honored him in 2015 with the organization’s Pinnacle Award.