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New year, new president for Nashville Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Aaron Tollett is the new president of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce. He is a graduate of Nashville High School, Arkansas State and Southern College of Optometry.

By Louie Graves

News-Leader staff

The new president of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce looks forward to a year of community service along with traditional events of the chamber.

Optometrist Aaron Tollett is the 79th person to serve as president of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce. 

Previous presidents have worked in a judge’s robes and a pharmacist’s smock, but Tollett is the first to wear scrubs to work. His are black, he says, because of the orange and black theme of his business.

He is a 2012 graduate of Nashville High School who spent four years at Arkansas State University and a further four years at Southern College of Optometry in Memphis.

His wife, Lisa, is director of rehab at the Springs of Mine Creek nursing and rehab center. They have a son, Rhett, 2, and are expecting a daughter in July.

Tollett’s brother Tyler is a pharmacist, and his business is located two blocks north on Main Street.

The new chamber president says he will continue the chamber’s notable projects such as the Peach Blossom Festival and Stand Up for America.

New will be a project connected with the Solar Eclipse on April 8, 2024. The chamber is pairing with the City of Nashville to promote a “Fun Glow Run” at dark in the city park.

Other than that, he says the chamber hopes to continue serving residents, businesses and industry in the community. A part of that will be a salute to longtime Husqvarna employees during the chamber’s annual awards banquet.

The all-male tradition of chamber presidents was ended in 1997 with the election of Deb Kinkade. She served a term, then a year later she stepped in to fill the vacancy when a vacancy was created by the serving president moving from town.

Although the chamber was organized here in 1921, there were apparently some years in which it was inactive. Photos of past presidents line a wall in the back room of the chamber’s office on Main Street.

The new president says he thinks a trend has begun with young people anxious to get involved in community service such as the chamber.

Presidents and their years include:

1921-24 Bert Johnson

1925-30 George E. Bell

1931 Bert Johnson

1938-39 Glen Wallace

1940-41 Rex Ramsay

1942 Cecil Callaham

1944 Forest Wilson

1945 R.M. Stuart

1946 Bob McClure

1947 Boyd Tackett, H.A. Firmin

1948 Nathan Coulter

1949 Dave Ryan

1950 Hearn Latimer

1953 Frank Elder

1954 Louis “Swampy” Graves

1955 Bobby Steel

1956 Ralph Wilson

1957 Jack Rorex

1960 Jay Toland

1961 Deward Sharp

1962 Lester Stueart

1963 Neely Cassady

1964 Don Coulter

1965 Bernie Kreul

1966 David Pile

1967 Edgar McCrary

1968 Pat Honeycutt

1969 Al Backus

1970 Ralph Wilson

1971 Ronny Blakely

1972 James Chandler

1973 Dale Hamilton

1974 Edwin Dale

1975 Bruce Anthony

1976 Joe Branch

1977 Pete Gathright

1978 David Boden, Roy Reaves

1979 David Pile

1980 Kenneth Wilson

1981 Louie Graves

1982 Price Kreul

1983 Rick Castleberry

1984 Herschell Teague

1985-86 Mike Reese

1987 Larry Teague

1988 Dennis McBride

1989 Wendell Hoover

1990 Jerry Jacobs

1991 Sammie Cox

1992 Don Cooley

1993 Greg Tate

1994 Mike Kinkade

1995 Rob Hainen

1996 Donnie Parrish

1997 Deb Kinkade

1998 Roger Cox

1999 Roger Cox, Deb Kinkade

2000 Price Kreul

2001 Sheila Kreul

2002 Floyd Clark, Jr.

2003 Don White, Sr.

2004 Tina Chism

2005 Ronny Woods

2006 Earl Sanders

2007 Cary Lott

2008 Charlie Peek

2009 John Gray

2010 Rusty Hagler

2011 Dena Tollett

2012 Tim Pinkerton

2013 Wendy Haddan

2014 Mary Woodruff

2015 Ouida Terrell

2016 Noelle Couch

2017 Will Martin

2018 Bill Craig

2019 Tammy Gibson

2020 Loren Hinton

2021 Mark Dale

2022 Carlos Martinez

2023 Michelle Boone

2024 Aaron Tollett