“I uniquely understand the political process, governmental funding and budgeting, and the structure and stamina required to get desired results. I know how to speak the language of elected officials and cut through the red tape."
"I believe our entire Region will continue to grow and I want to continue to help with that growth. Through 16 years of public service experience, I have a dynamic base of relationships throughout the 13 County Upper Cumberland region in all economic sectors including government, manufacturing, health care, retail business and education."
"This empathy and understanding gives me a keen insight into the opportunities and challenges facing our rural communities and governments.”
Led Cookeville through the devastating 2020 tornado. During the City’s worst ever natural disaster, he helped lead both the response, as well as, the recovery. He also organized and spearheaded the official tornado relief fund raising over $2.3 million…100% of which was given to the 473 families.
During his 8 years as Mayor, over 5500 new jobs were created and $350 million in Capital Investment announced for Cookeville resulting in a record low unemployment rate in Putnam County. Unique experience in Quality of life, public safety, parks, and healthcare initiatives. Founded two new community festivals that are now the premier events in Cookeville. The 9th annual Red White & BOOM Fourth of July Celebration, featuring the 2nd largest fireworks show in TN, and Christmas in the Park
Ricky has over 40 years experience in marketing, sales, and promotions.
While serving as Mayor of Cookeville, he built from zero to grow to the largest social media reach in middle Tennessee. We continue to consistently grow the Facebook and Instagram platforms achieving over 5 million organic impressions in the past 90 days! We can help your business or organization with digital marketing solutions.
Cookeville native and lifelong resident; he attended Cookeville High School and graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a degree in Business/Marketing. Served 16 years in public office.
From 2007-2021, he worked as a Diabetes Sales Specialist with AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals throughout Middle and East Tennessee. In January 2021, Shelton joined the Senior leadership team at Cookeville Regional Medical Center as Chief Strategy Officer and served there until September 2022.
Served on numerous boards in his capacity as Mayor, including the Upper Cumberland Development District, Vice Chairman Upper Cumberland Regional Airport Authority, Putnam County 911 Board, as well as the Joint Economic and Community Development Board. In 2020, he was appointed by TN Governor Bill Lee to the TN Homeland Security Council.
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