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GOP Governor Candidate Bill Lee Brings His “Believe in Tennessee Tour” to Smithville (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

September 7, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

Republican gubernatorial nominee Bill Lee brought his “Believe in Tennessee Tour” to Smithville Friday as part of his 95 county journey across the state in the 95 days leading up to the November General Election.

A crowd greeted Lee inside the county complex where he made his remarks.

M2U02812 from dwayne page on Vimeo.

Lee, a cattle farmer and businessman, is a newcomer to politics but believes he knows what Tennesseans want in a Governor.

“I have never run for office. I am a true outsider but I have learned a lot in the last year and a half. I think people want a good job, a good school for their kids, and a safe neighborhood. That’s what matters to every single Tennessean in every single county,” said Lee.

The loss of his first wife in a farming accident several years ago caused Lee to reassess his outlook on life and his service to others.

“I lost my first wife when I was 40 in an accident on my farm. That was devastating. I had four little kids and I was in the middle of my career. It so profoundly impacted who I am. Because of that life changing experience God changed my heart in that process. The Lord walked me through that tragedy in a powerful way and because of that I got involved in some things that I had not been as heavily involved in which was non-profit work,” said Lee.

“I got involved in a young man’s life through an inner city at-risk youth program. I spent one evening a week with this kid every week for five years. That kid was failing every class in his school. I worked with his grandmother to get him moved to another school and after that his whole educational outlook changed. What I saw was the power of a good education in the life of a child and what I became was a man passionately interested not only in this kid’s life but in the fact that every single kid that lives in Tennessee deserves to have a school system and an education that gives them a bright future. We have some good schools in our state but we are still in the bottom half of states in America. We have a lot of work we can do in education,” Lee continued.

“I also got involved in a non-profit ministry called Men of Valor. I decided to mentor a man coming out of prison. I spent one morning a week with that guy every week for years and that relationship opened up my eyes to the issue of recidivism. Returning to prison and re-entry and things that relate to public safety. Right now in the state of Tennessee about 95% of the people who are in prison or jail in this state will get out. They will be released because they have served their terms and they will come out into our communities. Right now 50% of those people will recommit a crime in our community within the first two years of being out and they will go right back in. We pay for that in so many ways. I got really interested in that subject thinking we can do better than that in Tennessee,” Lee said.

“I found myself realizing that I had spent most of my adult life trying to make life better for the 1200 employees of my business and their families but maybe that it was my job to make life better for six and a half million people. That was a compelling thought to me and it caused me and my wife Maria to spend a year praying and then we made a decision to run,” said Lee.

“The voters of Tennessee have honored me and given me the great privilege of being where I am today which is being the Republican nominee for Governor. I am really proud to be here. What it has done is remind me even more importantly how much I want to serve and how I do want to use my life to impact this state for good”.

“We’re calling our 95 counties in 95 days tour the “Believe in Tennessee Tour”. We are going to every single county and meeting with people and sharing my heart for Tennessee and what I believe about it”.

“We have 15 counties in poverty and they are all rural. That is problematic for me and it is something we have to address. We have a 50% (incarceration) recidivism rate. That is not good enough. We can do better. We’re in the bottom half of states in America in education. We are a remarkable state with remarkable people but we have some remarkable challenges before us,” Lee continued.

“This is a very good state in which to live, work, and raise a family. We are privileged to be Tennesseans. I am proud of this state and where it is today because of the local and state leadership we have had. We are the envy of many states in this country but good is the enemy of great and we can do better. As good as we are I believe with the right leadership we can go to the next level in our state. That’s why I am calling this my “Believe in Tennessee Tour” because I believe that Tennessee can not only be a better place for six and a half million people but Tennessee can lead the nation. We are positioned and poised to do just that. We can show other states how to improve their schools rapidly and how to change educational outcomes. One man is not going to do that. I believe profoundly in self governance but together we can create a state that goes from good to great,” said Lee.

Open Style Karate Tournament Fundraiser to be held at the DeKalb County Community Center

September 7, 2018

Center Hill Martial Arts Club is hosting the second annual open style karate tournament on September 15, in the DeKalb Community Center auditorium at 712 South Congress Blvd. Smithville Tn.

Competitors should arrive at 9 am, doors will open to the public at 10 am. The event charges $8 for spectators, and $40 per competitor for all events. The traveling competition team will hold a bake sale, and beverages will be available.

This year the tournament will be held in honor of the former head instructor Shihan Douglas Ross, who passed away earlier this year.

Events that competitors may enter include fighting, forms, weapons forms, and a creative Kata division. Black Belts will compete first, then all colored belt events will take place.

Center Hill Martial and Healing Arts Club has been teaching yoga and martial arts classes in Smithville for the last 6 years. Offering gentle yoga classes, power yoga classes and all ages, family style martial arts classes since 2012, the club moved into a their new space in February this year, at 2580 Nashville Hwy, Smithville, TN. You can find out more about practice times and classes taught at or by calling 615-418-6220.

Sullivan Attains Prestigious Distinction

September 7, 2018

James Sullivan of Smithville, vice president customer experience officer of Motorists Insurance Group, has earned the Master of Insurance Operations Professional (MIOP) level of distinction. He is the first Motorists associate to do so and is one of only two in the world to hold this designation to date.

The MIOP distinction is earned by completing four graduate level courses of study: Chartered Insurance Operations Professional (CIOP), Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (LSSBB), Customer Experience and Analytics Professional (CXAP) and Master of Change Management & Coaching (MCMC).

Motorists is committed to being a leader in the industry and looks for the same enthusiasm for progress in their associates.

“I think it speaks volumes of James’ commitment to continuous professional development and to his high standard of excellence and dedication to his role as a leader in our organization,” said John Kessler, senior vice president and chief strategy officer of Motorists. “I couldn’t be more proud of him.”

Through earning this distinction, Sullivan gained deep knowledge and insights that set a precedent for pursuing professional development, not only for other Motorists associates, but also for the global insurance industry.

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