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Joe Scarlett to Keynote at 60th Annual Governor's Conference on Economic and Community Development

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 | 04:55am

Former Tractor Supply Company CEO and Chairman to Address Commissioner’s Luncheon on Oct. 3, 2013

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced today that Joe Scarlett, former CEO and chairman of Tractor Supply Company, will keynote the Commissioner’s Luncheon Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 at the 60th Annual Governor’s Conference on Economic and Community Development. Hundreds of state and local officials, business leaders and economic developers will convene at the recently opened Music City Center for the event held Oct. 3-4 in Nashville.

“This year’s Governor’s Conference marks a milestone year as we celebrate our 60th anniversary, and I am honored to have Joe participate as a keynote speaker,” ECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty said. “A prominent, well-known figure in the business world and visionary leadership education advocate, Joe played a pivotal role in the transformation and success of one of Tennessee’s most beloved companies, Tractor Supply Company, whose revenues quadrupled under Joe’s direction. His background and experience lends a unique perspective to economic development practices from which our conference attendees can benefit, and I look forward to hearing more from him in October.”

Scarlett began his career at Tractor Supply Company in 1979 where he held leadership roles, including CEO and chairman, until his retirement in 2007. He led the initiative to return the company to profitability through improved customer service and focused product selection as part of a classic leveraged buyout in 1982. Scarlett also directed the successful 1994 effort to take the company public and during his 10-plus years as CEO, the company’s revenues quadrupled and the price of its stock increased tenfold.

Tractor Supply Company was honored by Forbes magazine as one of the “Best Managed Companies in America” and Scarlett was recognized as Ernst & Young’s Southeast Entrepreneur of the Year. Scarlett also served for 20 years on the board of the nation’s largest retail trade organization including four as its chairman.

“The time I spent with Tractor Supply Company was extremely rewarding, and I am fortunate to have the opportunity to address the state’s leaders and top job creators at this year’s Governor’s Conference,” Scarlett said. “I’ve learned a lot throughout my career and while times continue to change and businesses evolve, the core value structure remains the same. I thank Gov. Haslam and Commissioner Hagerty for giving me this opportunity, and I look forward to sharing my experiences and lessons learned in October.”

Scarlett’s background is not limited to the business world, but also extends to his passion for leadership education. In 2006, Scarlett and his family endowed the Scarlett Leadership Institute. The Institute is committed to improving business leadership skills with a strong emphasis on ethical behavior. Although the Institute will close at the end of the year, it has seen a tremendous amount of companies participate in the high quality leadership and management education programs which resulted in a multitude of successful graduates.

For more information on the 60th Annual Governor’s Conference on Economic and Community Development, please visit

About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies which help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. The department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find us on the web:  Follow us on Twitter: @tnecd.  Like us on Facebook: 


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