top of page

Who We Are

The Highlands Economic Partnership, launched in 2004 by the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce as the Highlands Initiative, is a collaborative, public/private sector program designed to boost economic and community development in Jackson, Overton, Putnam and White counties. Our investor companies are comprised of business leaders throughout the region, key officials, chambers of commerce, and government agencies at the city, county, state, and federal levels. These investors play a fundamental role in the program's development.

Burgess Falls in Cookeville, TN.jpg


Our team intentionally focuses on the workforce development, career exploration and recruitment of new companies in these (8) industry sectors.

Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics

Trucking & Logistics


Computer Sciences

Skilled Trades




Meet Our Team

Amy New

President and CEO

As the leader of our team, Amy has played a crucial role in the expansive success of our initiatives and vision for the future. Her exceptional skill set, true passion and creativity has inspired massive growth.


Adam T. Poe

Vice President

Adam Poe is one of our senior professionals, with an eye for what businesses need to grow and scale. With years of experience in sales, fundraising, and motivational speaking, Adam is passionate to see the growth trajectory continue to skyrocket for our region.



Audrie Garton

Program Coordinator

After a strong impact as an elementary school teacher, Highlands Economic Partnership was pleased to welcome Audrie Garton to the team. As a motivated, results-oriented professional, she will oversee all things that impact our organization's programming initiatives.


Ryan Barnhart

Executive Director

Ryan Barnhart holds the position of Executive Director at the Highlands Training Center, where he oversees the organization's operations and strategic planning. He is responsible for ensuring that the center's programs and services meets the needs of its clients. 


Stacey Baxter

Campus Director

Stacey Baxter is the Campus Director of the Highlands Training Center. In her role, she oversees the day-to-day operations of the center.



Charles Cobb

Employment Assistance Coordinator

Charles Cobb is the Employment Assistance Coordinator for the Highlands Training Center, assisting individuals with finding a career that meets their needs and strengths. 



bottom of page