The Crossville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce board unanimously approved a contract with David Rutherford to serve as interim Chamber executive Friday morning. 

The former Crossville city manager agreed to serve up to six months to assist the Chamber in recruiting a full-time president and CEO. 

Board member Ed Camera said Rutherford is not interested in taking the job on a permanent, full-time basis.

“He said he was happily retired,” Camera told the Chamber board on a Friday morning conference call.

Among the activities included in the agreement is to work with city and county leadership and the Chamber to “revitalize” the Horizon Initiative. Rutherford was Crossville city manager when the 19 community meetings were held to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing the community. 

Since those meetings were held, a steering committee was formed; the Cumberland County Rising anti-drug coalition has gained nonprofit status; the city and county joined forces to develop an industrial building pad that achieved Select Tennessee status; and local industries have added more than 250 new jobs in the county. 

The school system joined with local employers to offer a work ethic diploma for high school students demonstrating good attendance, behavior, career readiness training and industry certifications. Tennessee College of Applied Technology is working toward Cumberland County becoming a “Work Ready Community” under a program from ACT Inc. 

The redevelopment of Garrison Park, which is nearing completion, also grew from the Horizon meetings. Crossville Mayor James Mayberry said youth participating in the effort noted there was nowhere for children living in the downtown area to play, and it was too far to walk to Centennial Park. 

Rutherford will take on several projects identified by the Chamber through the Horizon Initiative, including working with local churches and organizations on an “Adopt A School” program similar to the partnership in place between Martin Elementary and Crossville First United Methodist Church. 

Under the contract, Rutherford agrees to work a minimum of three days a week, though he adds it would likely be more, with days determined based on needed activities or meetings scheduled. 

Rutherford will take the role as an independent contractor, with no benefits. He will be paid $6,866 per month. The agreement can be terminated at any time with compensation paid for work performed.

Rutherford began work Monday.

The Chamber board voted May 13 not to renew its contract with Brad Allamong, who had served as Chamber president since 2013. Board Chair Vickie Upchurch and Vice Chair R.J. Crawford cited Allamong’s strong industrial recruitment scores in an annual evaluation. However, the board scored Allamong low in areas of membership growth and retention.

Heather Mullinix is editor of the Crossville Chronicle. She covers schools and education in Cumberland County. She may be reached at hmullinix@crossville-chronicle.com.