TN Chamber of Commerce names new Director of Manufacturing

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Tennessee Chamber President and CEO Bradley Jackson named longtime manufacturing veteran Denise Rice as the incoming Director of the Tennessee Manufacturers Association on Tuesday.

A former manufacturing plant manager and operations director for Cormetech’s manufacturing facility in Cleveland, Tenn., Rice founded and serves as President of Peak Performance, Inc., a workforce training and industry consulting agency specializing in the instruction of lean manufacturing techniques and strategic business planning designed to optimize operational efficiency.

Before being named to the position, Rice had over 25 years of combined career experience in various manufacturing specialties across Tennessee, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and New York. She has served on the board of the Tennessee Chamber and the Chattanooga-based Tennessee Association of Manufacturers.

Rice also became a renowned advocate for engaging young students in industrial education and STEM learning, working with Cleveland State Community College’s OneSource Workforce Readiness Center and serving as an industry advisor to Cleveland High and Walker Valley High School’s engineering programs.

In her new role, Rice will be responsible for planning and directing organizational and programmatic activities for the Tennessee Manufacturers Association under the operational umbrella of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

In announcing her appointment, Tennessee Chamber Board Chairman Greg Martz noted, “After an extensive search, we are thrilled that Denise will be joining the Tennessee Chamber. Having managed a facility in Tennessee, Denise understands the challenges of manufacturers and is uniquely qualified to spearhead operations for Tennessee’s premier manufacturing advocacy organization.”

“It’s an honor to work with manufacturers and the state chamber," Rice said. "Manufacturing in Tennessee has a long and rich history, and I look forward to leveraging both the existing statewide manufacturing network of the Tennessee Chamber and growing our outreach and work around manufacturing.”