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CYP Spotlight

Clarksville Young Professionals February 2019 Spotlight: James Matthews

When James Matthews initially received a rejection letter from APSU that denied admission because of his grades, he could have taken the news as a sign that college wasn’t in his future. But rather than allowing it to deter his plans, he took the steps needed to be admitted, proudly graduating and then moving on to get a Masters in Business Administration, later using the knowledge he gained to secure a position working with the county. And now, he says, “The rest is history.”

History is still in the works, however; and in his position as the Director of Economic Development for the Clarksville-Montgomery County Industrial Development Board, Matthews is helping shape the history of his community, working to find ways to attract not only more business and increase the population, but also to grow its economy. And as someone who loves his community, he couldn’t be more fitting for the job. “My passion is helping people—especially the people of Clarksville,” says 32 year-old Matthews, a 14-year resident of the city. “I want to bring in businesses that pay higher wages, which ultimately helps improve the quality of life. In hopes of accomplishing that, I also always urge more people to spend locally because it helps create additional jobs throughout our community.”

As the father of three, he has a vested interest in the future generations of Clarksville, and much of his work relates to how it can be bettered for them. “I believe it’s vital to engage our future youth and make them feel connected to our community. If they feel no direct ties here, they’ll be more inclined to leave and be drawn away to bigger cities nearby like Nashville when they grow up. We must sow seeds into our young professionals in the hopes that after cultivation there will be a harvest,” he contends.

Himself a young professional, he has personal experience with the impact that those individuals are currently making, and he sees the need to keep the ball rolling. “When I started working with the IDB, one of my job responsibilities was to get involved with Clarksville Young Professionals. After a few meetings, I quickly understood the importance of having such a group, and I wanted to be involved as much as I could. After continuously being involved over the years, I got the opportunity to be chairman. Being ready and available created more opportunities, and I now sit as a cabinet member for TVA Young Professionals in Economic Development,” Matthews explains. “If you’re looking to build relationships, develop professionally, and become politically and philanthropically active, come join Clarksville Young Professionals!”


It is the mission of Clarksville Young Professionals to create a platform for Young Professionals to build relationships, develop professionally, become politically and philanthropically active and contribute to the economic development and high quality of living in our community.

Clarksville Young Professionals is dedicated to the advancement of our community through community service, professional development and networking opportunities for the emerging business and community leaders ages 21-45.

For more information, visit

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