Robertson County, TN Welcomes All

The county's 11 communities share a love for diversity and equal opportunity.

By
Brittany Anas
On Thursday, May 13, 2021 - 12:16
Robertson County, Tennessee

Robertson County is a diverse and welcoming community that provides plenty of career and leadership opportunities for all of its residents.

Located just outside of Nashville, Robertson County and its 11 distinct communities share a common thread: They value diversity – racially, ethnically and in terms of career opportunities.

A robust, diversified economy in the county spans from its agricultural roots to a fast-growing manufacturing sector.

The county, says former Springfield City Manager Gina Holt, is unique because of its proximity to Nashville and access to amenities offered by a large, urban city, yet it retains the community feel that’s unique to a smaller, tight-knit county.

“We have unique amenities and a diverse population, along with a diverse economy,” Holt says. “At the end of the day, we are all neighbors who are proud to be ‘minutes from Nashville and miles from ordinary.’”

In Robertson County, Blacks represent 8% of the population, including more than 21% in Springfield, and a growing Hispanic and Latinx population now totals 7.5% of the population in this county of nearly 72,000 residents.

More than 10% of businesses in the county are minority-owned and, throughout the county, women hold many top leadership positions.

Robertson County, Tennessee
Nathan Lambrecht

Diverse Economy in Robertson County

Robertson County residents also have plenty of options when it comes to finding jobs in this affordable community. The region is home to large agribusinesses as well as thriving health care, automotive and logistics sectors.

Plus, when it comes to launching a startup, anyone can find success here, thanks to community support and available resources.

A favorite among locals, Born and Raised Market, a women-owned/operated deli and general store, is just one example of a thriving small business in the region.

Founded in 2019 in Springfield, TN by Karlye Rodriguez, the market specializes in to-go lunches, offering sandwiches, salads and soups. Menu items sport fun, unique names, such as The Milly, a sandwich with grilled zucchini, red pepper, red onions, spinach, feta and hummus on wheat bread.

Equal Opportunities to Excel

Meet three women who are making their mark on the county:

Gina Holt, Former City Manager of Springfield, TN

Holt launched her career in Washington, D.C., with jobs that included working in the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Legislative Affairs Office. She moved to Tennessee to work for a real estate development company and then to Springfield.

“Since my entire career in Robertson County – almost 30 years – has been with the city of Springfield, my growth opportunities have mirrored the growth of the city,” she says.

Three decades ago, the city had just under 200 full-time employees, and now there are more than 250.

“Women in the county have many opportunities for leadership,” she says. “I’ve been chairwoman, president or a board member of several nonprofits, a civic club and church committees.”

In 2019, Holt was recognized by the Tennessee City Management Association as its City Manager of the Year.

“Women in the county have many opportunities for leadership. I’ve been chairwoman, president or a board member of several nonprofits, a civic club and church committees.”

Gina Holt, Former City Manager of Springfield, TN

Ann Schneider, Mayor of Springfield, TN

Born and raised on a dairy farm, Schneider is a lifelong Robertson County resident who has worked in the financial industry for the last 25 years and who was elected mayor of Springfield in May 2016.

Education, Schneider says, has not only been a key to her success, but it’s also been something she’s advocated for during her time in public office. The presence of a Volunteer State Community College campus in Springfield is a way for the region to educate and retain talent.

When it comes to leadership opportunities in the county, Schneider says women, over the years, have paved a path for the next generation of leaders.

“I’ve consistently sought out mentors throughout my career who are successful and who I can learn from,” Schneider says.

Margot Fosnes, Economic Development Officer for Robertson County

Fosnes has a long resume of leadership and has been active in a number of community endeavors in Robertson County over the past three decades. Prior to her economic development role, she was president and chief economic development officer for the Robertson County Chamber of Commerce.

Fosnes, who was born in Jacksonville, Florida, and studied economics at Vanderbilt University, planted roots in Robertson County in 1989.

Her husband wanted to begin a family medicine practice in a smaller community, and they moved here from Florida.

“One of the things that I appreciate about a smaller community is the ability to make a difference,” Fosnes says. “One person can have an idea and make it happen. That’s what makes this kind of work gratifying.”

Want to learn more about Robertson County? Check out the new edition of Experience Robertson County, Tennessee.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brittany Anas is a former newspaper reporter who accidentally became a federal background investigator before quickly retreating back to journalism.