John Lowry named one of Williamson County’s most influential people

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John Lowry, executive director of Spark, has been named one of 30 notable and influential people in Tennessee’s fast-growing Williamson County by the Nashville Business Journal.

John LowryLowry was recognized with a Nashville Business Journal Williamson County Impact Award at a luncheon April 24 and was featured in a special section of the Nashville Business Journal. Lowry was recognized for his leadership in launching Spark in Williamson County last year. Spark, located at 3252 Aspen Grove Drive in Frankin, officially opened its 6,400-square-foot-facility on Nov. 8. It is Lipscomb University’s first university-operated off-campus facility.

“This recognition reflects the impact that Spark and Lipscomb University are having on Williamson County in its first few months of existence,” said Lowry. “We are pleased that Spark is providing a needed service to the community and able to serve those who live and work in this area.”

Among other honorees were Darrell Waltrip, owner and president, The Darrell Waltrip Automotive Group; Jim Wright, CEO, Tractor Supply Company; Dan Crockett, president and CEO, Franklin Mortgage Company; Richard Herrington, president, Franklin Synergy Bank; Ernie Clevenger, president, CareHere LLC; Mike Wells, CEO, Jackson National Life Insurance Company; Lynda Scobey Stone, CEO, Puffy Muffin Inc.; and Bo Bartholomew, CEO, PharmMD.

“The Impact Awards honors the leaders, community supporters, business owners and developers who are having the greatest impact on the economy and communities of Middle Tennessee,” Cindy S. Guier, Nashville Business Journal associate print editor, wrote in the special section, included in the April 26 edition.

Nominations for the recognition came from the public and Nashville Business Journal staff. From those nominations, 60 eligible nominees were identified. Nominees were then asked to vote on each other.

“This private voting process was designed to find out which individuals truly have had the greatest impact on their community according to their peers,” said Guier.

Consistently ranked as one of the best places to live and work in the United States, Williamson County is home to more than 185,000 people and more than 6,000 companies, including dozens of corporate headquarters.

Earlier this year, the opening of Spark was named one of Williamson County’s top business stories of 2012 by Franklin Home Page.

Spark is an in-demand destination for corporate meetings because of the flexibility of its meeting space, the technology, custom-branding capability and customer service, among other features. Recently, the Williamson County Chamber of Commerce opted to move its monthly board meetings to Spark and other partnerships are in the works.

The facility is designed to create an environment for innovative ideas in learning, business, faith and the community. A technology-rich facility, Spark offers flexible space and innovative delivery systems for corporations and community organizations in the area who are looking for resources that encourage fresh thinking as well as for Lipscomb graduate, executive education and certificate students.

After only seven months of operation, Spark has had more than 2,500 people utilize its space and services. It is home to more than 100 graduate students enrolled across seven academic programs, including graduate programs in business, technology, education, and counseling, making Lipscomb the most comprehensive graduate education provider in Williamson County.

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