WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – There’s massive growth and development happening in Williamson County, and Elizabeth McCreary is right in the middle of it.
As Chief Economic Development Officer for Williamson, Inc., the county’s chamber of commerce, she’s been instrumental in making sure it’s smart growth that benefits businesses, workers, and residents.
“I love now being in economic development knowing that if I do a good job and I’m successful, there will people who have jobs and probably better jobs because of those efforts,” McCreary said.
McCreary has been a big part of wooing companies and jobs to Williamson County from all over the country. She spearheaded a multi-million dollar public/private fundraising campaign for the’s county economic development partnership.
Her knack for sales and building strong relationships has helped close deals to relocate the headquarters of CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc., Dave Ramsey’s company, The Lampo Group, and Schneider Electric.
“It’s all about being able to connect with people at different levels and being able to share the story of Williamson County and build trust,” McCreary said. “They listen to you, and they believe you when they know they can trust you.”
She knows Middle Tennessee well. She’s a Carthage native and an graduate of Middle Tennessee State University. She previously worked for Journal Communications and for Maury County’s chamber of commerce, where she helped bring in two large companies and about 2,000 jobs.
She also has another important role, mom to her two young daughters, so her goal is to focus on the present.
“(I’m) trying to be the best at economic development, being the best at running a program like what we have here in Williamson County, and then trying to be the best mom I can be,” McCreary said. “So when you put all that together, there’s not a whole lot of time for dreaming outside the bubble I’m in right now, and I’m really, really happy where I am right now”
McCreary said she was taken aback by her selection as a News 2 “Woman 2 Watch.”
“I personally nominated other women I look up to and admire a lot, so knowing that there was someone else or other people in the community who felt that way about me is very humbling and flattering. I am grateful for that and I do not take it for granted at all,” she said.
One of those people is Patrick Cammack, Williamson, Inc.’s Economic Development Director, who nominated McCreary.
“It only takes you five minutes talking to Elizabeth when you know she has a genuine interest in making the community stronger, in improving herself as a professional, and personally and improving her work team,” Cammack told News 2.
McCreary was the first person in her family to go to college. She credits her success to passion, hard work, and the powerful women who came into her life and set a strong example.
“I think about my own daughters in this path, and I think about where are they going to be in the next 20 to 30 years and what’s the business community going to look like for them. I hope that I’m paving a really good path for them,” McCreary said.
McCreary also believes in giving back. She is the upcoming vice chair on the board for Special Olympics Tennessee. That’s her official title, but her favorite role is cheer squad at the organization’s Summer Games.