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Williamson County: Destination for Professionals

County edges competitors for top talent

By Bill Lewis on April 3, 2017

Brentwood TN
Jeff Adkins

When it comes to recruiting and keeping top talent, companies with a presence in Williamson County have an advantage over their competitors in other locations.

Actually, they have more than one advantage, including some of the nation’s best public schools, a wide choice of colleges and universities, an unparalleled quality of life and a variety of housing choices and prices to fit every stage of life.

It’s possible for residents to attend the county’s excellent K-12 schools, graduate from college, enjoy their entire career in a rewarding position and then retire without ever needing – or wanting – to leave Williamson County.

Why Franklin TN made it for the first year on our Top 100 Best Places to Live list

“We have the best of both worlds in Williamson County,” says Cindy Wakefield, vice president, corporate communications, for Tivity Health. The company, previously branded as Healthways, changed its name in 2016. But the company’s commitment to being in Williamson County remained as strong as ever.

“We had the option to relocate the company headquarters during this time, but made the decision to remain in Williamson County and continue to be part of the dynamic business community here,” Wakefield says.

Health Care Hub

She counts off some advantages of having a corporate presence in Williamson County.

“Easy access to the Nashville International Airport and downtown Nashville, as well as access to some of the best public schools in the nation here in Williamson County, is vital in recruiting top talent,” she says.

In addition, Williamson County is a national hub for health care, and Tivity wants to be part of that.

“From public and private hospitals to tech and health services companies, the health care community in Williamson County continues to grow and be an incubator for transformation across the sector. There are endless opportunities to improve the lives of millions of people through research, quality care initiatives, transformative technology and collaborative IQ,” Wakefield says.

Franklin and Williamson County’s Top 25 Employers

For Shelley Moeller, Williamson County means opportunity. After she and her husband, Mike, were transferred to Williamson County by their corporate employers years ago, the owner of Harpeth True Value offered to sell the hardware store to them. They never looked back.

“As small-business owners we can’t think of a better environment to do business in. It is a great place to live and work. We eat here, worship here and shop here. Our children went to public schools. We are proud to call this home,” Shelley Moeller says.

For the Moellers, who moved to Tennessee from another state, the fact that Tennessee has no state tax on earned income was a big plus. So is the sense of community they feel in Williamson County.

A Caring Community

“The residents take care of their own and intentionally support their local businesses. We in turn give back a great deal to our community,” she says.

“Fast forward to today, our excellent schools, the quality of life that makes it easy to recruit and keep top talent, the family-orientated culture, our location close to Nashville and the airport” are all important factors, Moeller says.

Home goods retailer Kirkland’s moved its headquarters to Maryland Farms from the Opry Mills area of Davidson County in 2014. The combination of Williamson County’s quality of life, the sense of community and room to grow in the perfect location were all factors in that decision.

“A company’s location is an important part of its identity and can play a role in its relationship to customers, community and shareholders,” says Gara A. Pryor, Kirkland’s vice president for human resources.

What other cities are near Franklin?

The desirability of Williamson County as a place where people want to live, work and raise their families also was important.

“There’s always the element of human capital considerations when making the decision to relocate, and I know this played a big role in our selection” of Williamson County, Pryor says.

Williamson County is a destination of choice for individuals at every stage of their lives, Moeller says.

“We have what people want, some green space, a great place to live and raise a family. Once people move here, then the grandparents move here to be near their kids. It is hard to compete with the quality of life available in Williamson County,” she says.

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