About the Mayor

Chaz Molder 2023Chaz Molder was elected to the office of Mayor in 2018, at the time, the youngest Mayor in Tennessee and the youngest Mayor in the city's 200+ year history. He was re-elected in 2022, both elections were successful by very wide margins. Born and raised in Columbia, a product of Columbia's public schools, a graduate of the University of Tennessee, and law school graduate of the University of Memphis, Chaz returned home in 2009 to pursue his childhood dream of 'raising a family, practicing law, and pursuing a political career,' as he stated in his high school yearbook when asked where he would be in ten years. 

Chaz is married to Elizabeth Molder, his college sweetheart, whom he met when he was serving as President of his Fraternity and she was serving as the President of her Sorority. Their first date was on the campus tennis courts, and while neither will admit who won that match, Chaz readily admits he won the ultimate match when she agreed to marry him two years later at the conclusion of a scavenger hunt across UT's campus. Of their many shared interests and passions, their support and love of the University of Tennessee are high on their list. 

Elizabeth, a public school teacher, retired from the teaching profession in 2010 to help raise 3 young children, Marley (13), Hugh (10), and Bebe (7), who all attend local public schools in Columbia. 

Chaz, an avid runner, has participated in a number of marathons and half-marathons, and countless 5k races, the Mule Day 5k and Duck River Trail Run are among his favorite races, despite having run all across the country. In addition to running, Chaz enjoys spending time outdoors and traveling with his family. But no matter how far and wide his travels take him, his favorite place in the world is anywhere where he's surrounded by Liz and the kids, and their dog Knox. 

Chaz's passion is making Columbia the very best it can be and he particularly enjoys spending time with Columbia's youth. In 2019, he helped form the first Columbia Mayor's Youth Council, now in its 4th year, the Council has had as much of an impact on Columbia as any other board and commission in city government. He tells young people all the time that he wants Columbia to be a place that they will want to return home to one day, just like he did; and, if they don't return home, he wants Columbia to be a place where they are always proud to call their homeplace. 

Among Chaz's many mentors and people who provided an inspiration for him to serve, Chaz constantly draws back to Columbia's first female Mayor, Barbara McIntyre. When Chaz was student body president at Columbia Central High School, Chaz called Mayor McIntyre to 'lodge a complaint.' Mayor McIntyre picked up the phone, took the call, and solved the problem. A lesson Chaz learned then that guides him today in his role as Mayor. 

Chaz often says there's never been a better time to be Mayor, and he works hard each and every day to make sure folks feel the same love and adoration for this place we call home.