New president set to take reins of Nashville chamber

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    Bill Craig, Chief Financial Officer at Howard Memorial Hospital, is the new president of the chamber’s board of directors. He was elected to the chamber board in 2015.

    A total of 76 citizens have served as president of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce since its organization in 1921.

    Bill Craig, Chief Financial Officer of Howard Memorial Hospital, is the latest.

    He will officially be handed the gavel by outgoing president Will Martin, Diamond Bank, at the chamber’s annual awards banquet in February, although he is already serving in that capacity.

    He was elected to the chamber’s board of directors  in 2015.

    Craig has been the financial officer at HMH since 2010, coming to the position with 25 years of hospital financial experience at two Hot Springs hospitals. He and his wife, Cherie, built a home here in 2012.

    She is an RN in the hospital’s cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation department.

    Craig is also vice president-elect of the Nashville Rotary Club.

    Five persons have served more than one term as chamber president.

    They are the founding board president, “Peach King” Bert Johnson, who served from 1921-24 and in 1931, and David Pile, Ralph Wilson, Deb Kinkade and Price Kreul.

    Several presidents served terms lasting more than one year.

    Eight women have served as chamber president, breaking the all-male tradition in 1997.

    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.

    Presidents and their years include the following:

    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