FEBRUARY 10, 2016

Political Action Committee Gives Businesses Voice in Local Elections

FRANKLIN, Tenn.Williamson, Inc., the chamber of commerce and economic development arm in Williamson County, announces the formation of the Williamson Business Political Action Committee (PAC) to give businesses an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen their voice in the local political process.

While Williamson, Inc. has previously taken positions on various state and local issues that impact county businesses, the Williamson Business PAC will, for the first time, enable the business community in Williamson County to participate in local elections with a clear, united voice.

In keeping with Williamson, Inc.’s six-point strategic plan of being an influential business advocate, the Williamson, Inc. Chamber is committed to being the resource for relevant information about governmental policies and regulations and legislative affairs that affect business. The Williamson Business PAC was established to influencewithin the confines of the lawpolitical elections that will impact the Williamson County economy both locally and at the state level.

The Williamson Business PAC’s first course of action will begin with a focus on the August 2016 Williamson County school board elections. The decision to participate in the Williamson County school board elections is predicated on the fact that significant gains in achievement and individual success stories are being overshadowed by headlines and distractions that put the reputation of Williamson County Schools at risk. The PAC’s goal is to raise the level of engagement of the business community to help move our public school systemsour number one economic assetforward.

“The economic future of Williamson County, and specifically company expansion and relocation decisions, is directly tied to the strength of our public school systems,” said Williamson Business PAC Chairman Dennis Norvet. “They are our number one strategic advantage, driving talent to our community.”

The district continues to lead Tennessee in achievement, athletics and the arts:

  •   Williamson County Schools consistently ranks as one of the highest achieving districts in the

    state based on the 2015 TCAP results.

  •   The district ranks first in the areas of reading/language arts, mathematics, science and social

    studies for grades 3-8 and first in Algebra II, Biology I and English I & II.

  •   Last year, WCS students posted a record-high 23.8 ACT composite average scorethe highest in the history of the district.

  •   The $135.9 million in college scholarships that graduates earned in 2015 saved parents money that can be invested back into the local economy.

    These results represent a high level of academic standard and integrity that Williamson, Inc. believes should remain an integral part of our district for years to come.

    “As an organization with a strong partnership with Williamson County Schools, we understand and recognize these results do not happen overnight and do not happen by accident,” said Nelson Andrews, owner and general manager of Andrews Cadillac/Jaguar/Land Rover Company. Protecting this economic asset and keeping our public schools as strong as possible is the single best thing we can do to ensure our continued economic growth and prosperity.

    The Williamson, Inc. Chamber and the Williamson Business PAC will have distinct boundaries in terms of governance and financing.

    The current members of the PAC Board of Directors are Chairman Dennis Norvet of Skanska, Treasurer Bryan Echols of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, Secretary Mark Cleveland of Hobby Express, Paula Harris of Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon, Inc., and Nelson Andrews of Andrews Cadillac/Jaguar/Land Rover Company.

    The PAC Board of Directors will be selected on an annual basis by the Chamber Executive Committee on recommendation of the Vice Chairman of the Chamber board. The Williamson Business PAC Board is not governed by the Williamson, Inc. Board of Directors. The CEO of the Williamson, Inc. Chamber is not an officer or board member of the Williamson Business PAC but will be an integral part of PAC activities.

    Learn more about the Williamson Business PAC at www.williamsonpac.org. ###

    Williamson Business PAC Chairman Dennis Norvet is available for media interviews. To schedule, contact Director of Communication Charlane Oliver at 615-938-7483 or charlane@williamsonchamber.com