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Former Cracker Barrel executive takes reins of Tennessee business public policy group from retiring Howorth

Nashville, TN,

July 1, 2016:  The Tennessee Business Roundtable (TBR) today announced the appointment of Patrick J. Sheehy as Executive Vice President upon the retirement of former TBR Executive Director Charlie Howorth.  Sheehy succeeded Howorth effective July 1.

“We’re pleased to welcome Pat Sheehy as the next leader of our organization,” said Harold Carpenter, Chief Financial Officer of Pinnacle Bank, who serves TBR as President of its Board of Directors.  “Our Board believes that Pat’s public affairs experience, professional reputation and enthusiasm position him well to rally Tennessee’s business leaders in support of public policies that help all Tennesseans succeed in learning, working, and building their businesses and communities,” Carpenter added.  “We’re grateful to Charlie Howorth for serving the TBR over the past three-plus years, and for his help in selecting Pat to succeed him.  We feel Pat is the right person to help the TBR achieve its vision of becoming the most respected and influential policy voice for the business community in Tennessee.”

Sheehy joins the TBR with over two decades of public affairs experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors.  Most recently, he served as Senior Director of Public Affairs for Lebanon-based Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc., where he headed the company’s Government Relations department for over a decade.  In that role, Sheehy executed federal and state advocacy and PAC activity for the company, managed its national and state trade association relationships, and led several key corporate social responsibility, philanthropic and issues management initiatives.

“Since its founding over three decades ago, the TBR has brought together strategic thinkers and business leaders who want to enhance Tennessee’s vibrant economic climate and optimize the quality of life and well-being for all Tennesseans,” said Sheehy.  “The people of Tennessee bring our businesses and our communities to life—they are our current and future workforce, customers, builders, and leaders.  Working to develop and implement pro-business public policies that benefit the people of our state is a mission which I’m honored and excited to have the opportunity to carry forward.”

Prior to joining Cracker Barrel in 2003, Sheehy served as an advocacy writer and later as Manager of State Legislative Affairs for the Washington, D.C.-based National Restaurant Association, where he coordinated state advocacy efforts among the Association’s state affiliates and chain restaurant members.  He began his career in the Washington, D.C. office of former U.S. Representative Tom Petri (R-WI), where he served the citizens of Wisconsin’s Sixth District as a congressional caseworker, Legislative Correspondent and Legislative Assistant working on a wide variety of federal policy areas.

Sheehy is a 1993 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies and Political Science and was named a Juris Veidemanis Outstanding Senior in International Studies in 1993, and was a recipient of the UW-Oshkosh Alumni Association’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award in 2000.  Sheehy has served on the Board of Directors of the Nashville-based Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association, and as a Director and two-term Chairman of the Board of the National Council of Chain Restaurants, a division of the Washington, D.C.-based National Retail Federation.  He and his family reside in Mount Juliet.


The Tennessee Business Roundtable (TBR) is a membership organization for senior-level business leaders across Tennessee.  Its mission is to develop and to seek to implement public policies that enhance Tennessee’s vibrant economic climate and to optimize the quality of life and well-being for all Tennesseans.  Founded in the belief that a vibrant economic climate is driven by an educated, healthy populace and sound state fiscal policies, the TBR seeks to be the most respected and influential policy voice for the business community in Tennessee.




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