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Governor Haslam Appoints Cookeville Community Leader to TN Arts Commission Board

Nashville—Governor Bill Haslam recently appointed Johnnie Wheeler of Cookeville to sit on the Tennessee Arts Commission Board for a five-year term.

“Serving on the Tennessee Arts Commission is an important responsibility, and we thank Johnnie for her commitment. Her knowledge and experience will benefit the Commission and all Tennesseans,” said Commission Chair Ritche Bowden.

Wheeler recently retired after 37 years with the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency and continues to be greatly involved in her community, having served for several years as President of the Cookeville Rescue Mission Board. She was the past president of the Cookeville Jaycees for two terms and vice president for Alliance against Domestic Violence.

She was the state chairperson for the County Commissioners Association, chairperson of Putnam County Commissioner, and chairman of the National Associations of Counties Department of Labor and Workforce of Washington, DC. Wheeler also served on the State Departments Labor and Workforce Board and was president of the Tennessee County Services Association. She additionally served on Governor Bredesen’s Department of Safety Board and Home Land Security and the Meth Taskforce.

“Johnnie is a long-time community leader who will be a great asset to our mission of moving communities forward through the arts in Tennessee,” said Tennessee Arts Commission Executive Director Anne B. Pope.

The long list of Wheeler’s accomplishments also include serving as treasurer for NACO Women of NACO Committee Washington, DC, serving on the NACO Board of Directors Washington, DC, and as president of Southeastern Employment and Training Association.

Wheeler has represented Concern for Citizens Involved for Change. She has served on the Putnam County Fair Board and Tennessee Technological University’s Interdisciplinary Studies Board of Directors. She was a mediator for the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program.

Wheeler has been voted Outstanding Citizen, Business Women of the Year, Humanitarian of the year, and has received the Alice Littleton Award.

The Tennessee Arts Commission consists of 15 members who convene quarterly and are broadly representative of all geographic areas of the state and all fields of the performing, visual and literary arts. Commission members serve five-year terms with the chair and other officers being elected annually. For more information, visit