Creating Jobs, Building the Retail Industry, and Making Our Communities Stronger
August 20, 2021
By Shane Hooper. Photography by James Jordan
The Shelbyville-Bedford Partnership was born out of a need for a county-wide focus on economic and community development. It is tasked with providing the City of Shelbyville and Bedford County with economic and community development for the benefit of its citizens.
The Partnership is formally structured as a 501(c) (6) giving it the ability to function well in both the public and private sectors. This hybrid organizational structure derives strength from being able to work with all stakeholders interested in economic and community development. The organization works closely with elected officials and private developers to work for the common good of the area.
The leadership board for the Shelbyville-Bedford Partnership is made up of elected officials from both the county and the city, and private sector citizens with a wealth of experience in business development. The seven-member board consists of two elected officials from the county, Chad Graham and Jeff Sweeney, two elected officials from the city, Wallace Cartwright and Henry Feldhaus, and three private citizens from Bedford County, Gary Fayard, David Coffee, and Carol O’Brien. I, Shane Hooper, serve as the President/CEO of the organization.
The Partnership is fortunate to have community members willing to volunteer their leadership experience from the private sector to support economic and community development. Each private sector citizen brings more than twenty years of ultra successful business experience to the table. Through a joint venture between the city and county government, the elected officials charted a clear path forward for “Building a better Bedford” and a “Successful Shelbyville.” Community success is amplified when there is goal oriented cooperation among elected officials.
Every community needs leadership focused on making the community better. We are fortunate to have elected officials and private citizens working toward the goal of creating jobs, building the retail industry, and making our communities stronger.
One of the primary goals of the partnership will be to impact job growth in Bedford County. As part of our efforts to grow opportunities for good and highpaying jobs, we work closely with the private sector and government agencies to compete for Bedford’s share of the success in capturing industrial growth and expansion in southern middle Tennessee. This is achieved through relationships with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Tennessee Valley Authority, Middle Tennessee Industrial Development Association, USDA Rural Development, South Central Development District, and many others. Retail growth, recruitment, and sustainability is driven by many factors. Some factors of retail improvements can be quickly achieved, while others will take extensive planning to achieve.
The Partnership and its sister organization the Shelbyville-Bedford Community Foundation work closely on projects identified to have a positive impact on our community. The Shelbyville-Bedford Foundation, a 501(c)(3), is tasked with identifying and working sustainable projects to enrich the community. The foundation has both government and private sector leadership. It can receive tax deductible contributions from those interested in supporting the goal of community development. The goal of the foundation is to positively impact and enrich the lives of Shelbyville and Bedford County residents through improvements to quality of life and quality of place.