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Connect Columbia Steering Committee
In 2017, an advisory steering committee was asked “How would you connect Columbia?” Their answers are reflected in Connect Columbia, the city’s current comprehensive plan. The quinquennial review and update process began with the formation of a committee similar to the 2017 advisory committee. The Planning Commission first identified a diverse group to represent the varied interests and perspectives of the community. Then the chairman of the Planning Commission invited theses individuals to assist in the preparation of the plan.
Steering Committee members advise city staff working on the plan and act as ambassadors to the broader community. The committee is comprised of fifteen individuals who have volunteered to act as a focus group providing direction throughout the update. Two individuals also served in 2017. The role of the steering committee is to provide high-level guidance. The steering committee ensures that the plan makes sense both inside and outside of City Hall. With their help, the Planning Commission will craft a plan that ensures development over the next five-to-twenty years benefits all residents of the city.
The members of the committee - listed below - are diverse. They come from all parts of the city's Urban Growth Boundary. They are male and female, black and white. The youngest is a high school student; several possess decades of wisdom and experience. Together they represent the community's major institutions, as well as entrepreneurs and engaged citizens. The committee includes life-long residents of Columbia, as well as relative newcomers. These individuals reflect Columbia's strengths, as well as the community's unique character.
Rose Rainey moved to Columbia in 2002 from Houston, Texas where she worked in the oil industry. Once she settled to the slower pace of life, she and others founded the local community bank called Heritage Bank and Trust. Rose has roots in Columbia as a local investor, real estate agent, and small business owner. Her priorities for Connect Columbia encompass future residential development and business growth, while maintaining Columbia charm and reserving adequate greenspace.
Elizabeth Gallegos moved to Columbia from San Antonio, Texas in 2020. She quickly got involved in service to her new hometown. Gallegos was selected to be selected to be an Experience Tennessee ambassador and is a member of the current class of Leadership Maury.
Nancy Williams moved to Columbia from Franklin, Tennessee. She currently serves as Director of the Tennessee Main Street program. A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Williams worked as the as Main Street Program Director for the Downtown Franklin Association and the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County.
My name is Kaliente'Conway Glenn. A born and raised native of Maury County. What a pleasure, a blessing it is to be equipped with the stamina to be a member of many committees in our county. I always take pride in my gregarious personality and love for my family. My hope for our city is that we keep the charm that has kept families here from generation to generation, while enhancing our land, way of life, diversity, and economy.
Savannah Honea grew up in Columbia. A senior at Columbia Central High School, Honea is involved in a variety of community programs for rising young leaders. She serves as the current chair of the Columbia Mayor’s Youth Council.
Lydia Fowler moved to Columbia in 2015. An entrepreneur, she is Co-Founder & Registered Dietitian at Climb Physical Therapy & Nutrition. Fowler attended Lipscomb University where she earned a B.S. in and a Master’s Degree on her way to becoming a dietician.
Jonathon Butler is a Middle Tennessee local who moved to Columbia from nearby Franklin. He attended Columbia State and Middle Tennessee State University. Butler is a realtor with Parks Realty as well as an entrepreneur. He recently launched Butler Stationary located in the CAB building, part of the emerging Columbia Arts District.
Beverly Mitchell came to Columbia in 1990 and has been a Columbia State professor of English ever since. She is active on several non-profit boards including the Columbia Arts Council. Theatre is Mitchell’s passion; she has written/directed plays at the Maury County Arts Guild and Watershed Public Theatre. An arts advocate, she believes that the community benefits from public art, whether it be music, performance, visual, culinary, etc. Living in Riverside, Mitchell has a love for the character of Columbia’s older neighborhoods and a desire to see Columbia grow thoughtfully, keeping its current community appeal.
Trent Ogilvie, is a lifelong resident of Columbia and the CEO of Columbia Housing and Redevelopment Corporation. He is a visionary community leader serving on the Columbia Power and Water Systems Board, Kings Daughter School, Columbia Peace and Justice Initiative, and Connect Columbia Steering Committee. His top priorities for Connect Columbia is exploring the possibility of inclusionary zoning practices to expand access to affordable housing and enhancing livability with “strategic” community development.
Kara Williams is a native of Columbia and a graduate of Central High School and Middle Tennessee State University. For 13 years, she has worked as the Chamber Director for the Maury County Chamber & Economic Alliance. Kara is a graduate of Leadership Maury and a member of the Columbia Rotary Club. Previously, she worked in the non-profit social services sector in Maury County. Kara is passionate about the success of the business community and our quality of life. Her top priorities for Connect Columbia include embracing and managing growth as well as maintaining the charm that makes our community special.
Bryson Leach is a lifelong resident of Columbia, freelance graphic designer, sign fabricator and retail store(s) owner with his wife Susan. Together they own Needle & Grain and Little Neighbors stores in Downtown Columbia. His passion for Columbia is known throughout town and he shows it too by painting murals and distributing mule stickers on cars and water bottles all over town. His top priorities for Connect Columbia are the promotion of good and quality design values to our infrastructure, homes and businesses, equity for all current and new citizens in terms of zoning and ordinances, and a better connected city where everyone can feel like they’re a short walk away from one another.
Originally from West Tennessee, Katie Baker is a local entrepreneur and real estate broker. She is the Owner and Broker of the Katie Baker Group, part of Re/Max Encore, which she founded after a career in cell tower development. Baker is a supporter of the Children’s Miracle Network. Baker’s team has managed leasing for the Factory at Columbia as it has transitioned from an industrial facility to a collection of shops, restaurants, boutiques and event venue.
Diane Davis is a native of Maury County and a graduate of Trevecca Nazarene University. She served on the original 2017 Connect Columbia Steering Committee. Davis works for Columbia State’s Office of Access and Diversity. She is active in community service having served in various roles for the Legal Aid Society of the Cumberland, Hopewell AME Church, and the African American Heritage Society of Maury County.
Dave Webb moved to Middle Tennessee in 2019, after living and working in the suburbs of a large city and growing up overseas. Dave is a retired business executive, following a career in business operations and financial management. He now serves his community volunteering at his church and at a Maury County non-profit called Pay Grace Forward. Dave has been married nearly 42 years and has two grown daughters.
Robert Caldiraro has been a resident of Maury County for over 40 years. He is employed by Maury County as the Director of Building and Zoning. One of his priorities is emphasizing lighted pedestrian paths, especially around parks and schools. He would also like to see more vegetation as buffers and green space requirements in commercial properties throughout Columbia further highlighting the rural character and beauty of Maury County. One of Robert's priorities is to support developer funded infrastructure and offsite improvements.