change the way you view leadership

The Leadership Putnam program consists of one weekend retreat in September and eight topic-oriented, one-day seminars.  The retreat provides structured exercises and presentations that explore theories of leadership and personal power as well as decision making through group discussion.  The one-day seminars focus on major areas of community concern and explore the issue of leadership within the context of the day's subject.

Honing your leadership skills

Leadership Putnam is geared toward people who live and/or work in Putnam County and have a desire to learn more about our area and improve their leadership skills along the way.


Ordinarily, recruitment is ongoing with applications due August 1st each year for the class, which begins in mid to late September and continues through May of the following year.

engaging our future leaders

Leadership Putnam Youth Academy (LPYA) is an annual summer program available by application to rising juniors in Putnam County schools.  LPYA is typically held the first full week in June and is limited to twenty-four students.  The program is a hands-on learning experience for young people to learn about our community, develop leadership skills, and explore possible careers.  Any Putnam County high school sophomore may apply.  Guidance counselors at each high school have applications and additional information.

Making a difference now

Group projects are an important part of the Leadership Putnam (LP) program.  Each year, the class divides into groups that focus on a community interest or need.  From this, they create and execute a project. Listed below are projects that have been completed by past LP classes.



  • Recycle for Racquets: Partnered with PSI Metals and Putnam County Schools to collect recyclables and use the proceeds to purchase tennis racquets for the Putnam County Schools After School program.  Enough proceeds were generated to purchase approximately 90 tennis racquets for this program.
  • Healthy Cooking/Eating Fair: Joined with Covenant Church and the Putnam County Health Department to conduct a workshop that taught participants how to prepare low-cost, healthy meals.  Attendees were given recipes and ingredients to take for their personal use.  An estimated 126 families attended the workshop.
  • Suit Bank: Partnered with the TTU College of Business to collect gently used professional men's and women's clothing and accessories for its closet for business students.  The team coordinated drop-off sites around the county and collected over 100 suits for use by students.



  • Backpack Drive: Worked with Save-A-Lot to coordinate a day in December to collect food items to use to fill backpacks from the Putnam County Schools program.  The project was highly successful and Save-A-Lot indicated they would be happy to help with this effort yearly.  One team member actually dressed up as Santa Claus during the drive.
  • Welcome Program: This team narrowed their original project scope.  They solicited items from area businesses to use to create "welcome packets" for newcomers to Putnam County which included gift certificates and other useful items.
  • Northside Community Center:  Partnered with Covenant Church to continue to develop the Northside Community Center by contributing sweat equity and collecting books for the children's library.



  • Northside Community Center: Partnered with Covenant Church to prepare the Center to open to low socio-economic families in the community.  This involved obtaining resources and sweat equity.  The Center is now open and serving needy families through partnerships with the Putnam County Health Department and others.
  • Dogwood Park Mural Project: Worked with Roland Advertising to design a mural to be placed on the concrete wall owned by First Presbyterian Church.  The design concept was agreed on by all parties involved and the Cookeville City Council allowed the team to make a presentation at a Council Meeting and expressed support for the project.  Funds have yet to be obtained to maintain the mural into the future.
  • Putnam County School System (PCSS) Family Engagement Initiative: Worked with administrators from PCSS to design, print, and distribute a flyer throughout the school system.
  • Animal Rescue Shelter Assistance: Provided sweat equity and resources to the PET Care Campus' emergency shelter facility for displaced animals.



  • Hyder-Burks Pavilion Expansion: Completed an economic impact study relative to expanding the current Hyder-Burks.  City, County, and State officials were approached to secure funding for the project and was approved by all but the State.  They plan to keep pursuing funding in FY 12-13.
  • Genesis House Toy Drive: Collected new/used toys and toiletries at various points in the community and delivered to Genesis House during the Christmas season.
  • Ensor Sink Graffiti Removal: Secured products and equipment to remove graffiti at Ensor Sink Park and devoted two days of clean up to this project.
  • SACS Event: Laid the ground work and coordinated a co-ed softball tournament to benefit SACS.  The organization plans to make this an annual event.
  • Leadership Putnam Website Improvement: Gathered information and photos of LP alumni members and compiled for implementation into the updated LP website.



  • Career Skills Forum: Coordinated a half-day workshop open to the community which provided speakers that addressed such topics as resume building tips, interviewing skills, personal presentation, etc.  The group also provided a "drop box" for attendees to leave a resume and these were distributed to local HR managers.
  • Beautification of ATMS: Secured funding for and provided landscaping and a commemorative plaque at Avery Trace Middle School.  The project team provided the labor and all materials to complete the project.
  • Genesis House Toy Drive: Collected new/gently used toys at various points in the community and delivered toys to Genesis House during the Christmas season.
  • Take the Lead Youth Day: Recruited at-risk high school students from around the county and held a leadership day that included program solving skills development and a variety of motivational speakers.



  • Vital Support: Worked with the Vital Program in Putnam County Schools and secured and donated laptop computers to the program for students to use as part of the on-line learning program.
  • Komen for the Cure Study: Obtained data from female LP alumni members regarding whether or not they were current on their annual mammogram screenings.  This survey also polled women on whether or not they had access to care.  100% of the respondents reported that they did have insurance coverage.
  • Highlands Natural Area Brochure: Put together a comprehensive guide that highlighted areas of interest (parks, golf courses, bed & breakfasts) to visitors and residents of Putnam, White, and Overton counties.
  • Rails/Trails Website: Gathered information and worked with Rail Authority representative to design a mock-up for a proposed website for the Rails to Trails project.  Included estimated cost for construction and maintenance of the site.



  • The 100 Club: Established a fund to provide financial assistance with emergency service employees families in times of crisis.
  • Bryan Symphony Orchestra: Obtained funding to provide refurbishing an area of the BSO auditorium by providing additional seating, carpet, and lighting.



  • Industry Appreciation Event: Coordinated and held the first Putnam County Industry Appreciation golf tournament.  Tennessee's Three Star Program requires an industry appreciation event be held annually to maintain Level III status.
  • Adopt-A-School Promotion: Created promotional material for Putnam County's Adopt-A-School program.
  • Skate Park: Performed a study to determine an ideal location and how to obtain funding for the construction of a local skate park.



  • Komen for the Cure Affiliate: Provided vital information during the charter application period to Komen for the Cure which established the Upper Cumberland affiliate of Komen for the Cure.  Komen provides mammograms and breast health information to under and uninsured women.
  • Rails for Trails: Established a 501c3 organizations to raise funds for the completion of the rail project that will see the railroad completed to Monterey along with a trail for bikers, hikers, etc.
  • PEP Foundation Marketing Strategy: Completed a marketing strategy for the PEP Foundation (an LP04 project) which included the creation of a website, brochures, and informational products for the public as well as educators.



  • Three Star Accreditation: Served as the county liaison to gather reports and information from officials and then completed and submitted the application for Level 2 of the Governor's Three Star Accreditation program.
  • Friends of the Baxter Depot: Established a 501c3 organization to raise fund and then distribute those funds to rebuild the Baxter Depot.  Worked with city officials and railroad officials to procure the land and materials needed for construction.
  • LP Student Spotlight: Coordinated with every county school and with the Herald-Citizen to spotlight a student for community
  • Leaders Against Meth: