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Tomlinson to retire as Ag Center director

Xavier Smith • Sep 5, 2017 at 7:58 PM

Longtime James E. Ward Agricultural Center director Larry Tomlinson will retire as center director in January, he announced Tuesday night during the Wilson County Ag Management Committee meeting.

“For the last 17 years, this has been a big part of my life. It’s been a good run. I appreciate everybody – past and present – that has been on this committee,” Tomlinson said. “You always get to a place when you get ready to leave that you hope you left it in a good or better shape than when you got here.”

Tomlinson thanked the committee, current Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto and former Wilson County Mayor Bob Dedman, who hired Tomlinson.

Tomlinson said he would help with the transition for a new center director.

“You just get to a point where you know it’s time,” Tomlinson said.

Committee chairman Jeff Joines shared his thoughts on his time with Tomlinson.

“I came into this thinking we could change the world. There’s nothing that we’ve done – the committee or anybody else – could’ve done without the leadership of Larry,” said Joines, who said Tomlinson has become one of his best friends. “It won’t be the same without him. I appreciate all the guidance and his ‘calm downs’ he’s given me over the years.”

Committee member and Lebanon councilor Rick Bell shared his thoughts during the Lebanon City Council meeting Tuesday night.

“During his time, the Ag Center has grown dramatically. We have the Expo Center, obviously, but there’s a lot of other things out there that people don’t see every day that have happened,” Bell said. “People think the fair is the only thing that happens out there, and that’s not true. There are always cattle shows, horse shows, car shows and other things going on. Being the director of the Ag Center is a big job, and Larry has done a good job all these years.”

“It’s been good. It really has,” Tomlinson said.

 

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