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Northwest Tennessee Organization Appoints Executive Director

Cheryl Oglesby-Townes

Oglesby-Townes is first African American female to serve as director for Northwest Tennessee Economic Development Council.

DRESDEN (July 1) – The governing body of a local organization assisting community members with energy bills, affordable food and head start made history last week when it announced the first African-American female would be leading the program.

The Board of Directors of Northwest Tennessee Economic Development Council recently appointed Cheryl Oglesby-Townes as the Executive Director of Northwest Tennessee Economic Development Council located in Dresden. Northwest TN Economic Development Council is the local Community Action Agency in Northwest Tennessee, serving the counties of Benton, Carroll, Crockett, Dyer, Gibson, Henry, Lake, Obion and Weakley counties.

The Agency provides services to children and families in the northwest service area through the programs of CSBG (Community Services Block Grant), LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program), TEFAP (Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program) and the Head Start/Early Head Start Program.

The Head Start/Early Head Start Program provides services in the eight counties of Benton, Carroll, Gibson, Henry, Lake, Obion, Madison and Weakley.

Oglesby-Townes has served as a 30-year employee of Northwest Tennessee Economic Development Council and previously served in various roles with the Agency, most recently as Human Resource Administrator.

Oglesby-Townes is a 1988 graduate of McKenzie High School and received her bachelor’s degree in Management and Organizational Development from Bethel University. She also received her certification from SEACAA (Southeastern Association of Community Action Agencies) as a Certified Community Action Manager in August 2002. She is a former Head Start parent and Early Head Start and Head Start grandparent.

Oglesby-Townes resides in McKenzie. She is married to Jessie Townes, Sr., who serves as Vice Mayor for the City of McKenzie, and is mother to Breonna Oglesby. She has two bonus children: Jessie, Jr. and Samantha, and five grandchildren.

Oglesby-Townes’ appointment to the position of Executive Director is a very historical moment for the Agency as she is the second female appointed to serve in this position and the first African-American female to serve in the position. For more information regarding Northwest TN Economic Development Council, visit

1 Comment

  1. Francis Ann Cunningham on May 18, 2023 at 10:06 am

    Like to get application to work there

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