'Jackson is full of innovative and talented people.'
By: Jackson Chamber on Oct 22, 2015
Ben Ferguson signs an agreement with AT&T during the company’s fiber-ready announcement at the Jackson Chamber.
Ben Ferguson has worked and traveled all over the United States, but when a job was offered to him in his hometown of Jackson, he couldn’t say “no.” Bringing innovative ideas from his former experiences, Ferguson has been making his mark in the Jackson business community with energetic leadership and the creation of a modern co-working space: theCo.
“Right out of high school, I wanted to travel, but after living and visiting all of these places, I realized that none of them were ever home to me,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson is the president of Personnel Placements, a full-service staffing agency with seven branches providing recruiting and training services in Tennessee and parts of Mississippi and Arkansas. In 2014, Personnel Placements provided jobs for 7,000 West Tennesseans.
After graduating from the University of Tennessee with a degree in business administration, Ferguson began working for Pentair Tool & Equipment in Florida. He also received his master’s degree in business administration from Stetson University.
In 2005, Ferguson was asked to audit Personnel Placements. After the review, Ferguson was offered a job so that he could implement his suggested changes.
“Big cities can offer a lot of things, but my two-minute commute is hard to beat,” said Ferguson. “I like knowing my mechanic by his first name and being able to take my daughter to school every morning.”
When Ferguson came back to Jackson, he attended the Jackson Chamber’s Leadership Jackson, which gave him a new perspective of the city.
“Leadership Jackson gives you a high-level vision of the way that the city works and how you can help,” said Ferguson, who immediately plugged into the opportunities that emerged after Leadership Jackson, such as serving on several area boards.
Ferguson also sat down with Kyle Spurgeon and James Kirkland to discuss engaging millennials in Jackson. The result was the creation of Jackson Young Professionals, a chamber networking group.
Most recently, Ferguson and several other businessmen created theCO, a unique, co-working environment for professionals and creatives. As the CEO of theCO, Ferguson has found a way to stay at the epicenter of entrepreneurial growth in Jackson, he said.
While theCO isn’t at the top of mind when locals think of Jackson, the Jackson Chamber includes a visit to theCo when industrial prospects tour Jackson.
“theCO showcases a different side of Jackson’s workforce and the vision of the community,” said Ferguson. “Jackson is full of innovative and talented people.”
Ferguson, who has served on the Jackson Chamber board of directors for several years, is the first vice chairman and chairmanelect of the board. Next year, he will follow Jim Campbell as the chairman.
“Jackson has been fortunate to have Jim Campbell’s leadership, and, unfortunately, I have to follow that,” said Ferguson. “However, we have such a great team at the Jackson Chamber that they make our job look easy. I’m looking forward to many years of serving Jackson and raising my family here.”