‘My goal is to make Jackson a better place to live’

By: Jackson Chamber on Sep 15, 2015

After years serving as the office administrator in the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee's office, Doug Roth came back to the banking world in 2002. The Jackson Chamber and its Leadership Jackson program played a role in that transition.

“I had a job that kept me behind the scenes, so being in Leadership Jackson helped me to get re-involved in community events,” said Roth, who was in the Leadership Jackson Class of 2003.

Roth, who is a Jacksonian, said that he learned many things about Jackson that he didn’t know before as a result of the program.

For instance, his Jackson Leadership class attended a Jackson City Council and a Madison County Commission meeting; it was Roth’s first experience with both. 

He and Frank McMeen, a Leadership Jackson cohort, discussed the experience in the parking lot after it was over. McMeen suggested that Roth should run for a position on the county commission. 

Three months later, a county commission seat became available in Roth’s district. He was appointed to finish the term and then was elected to serve another four years. 

“Leadership Jackson catapulted me into county government and into a position that I would have never considered,” said Roth. “Leadership Jackson had a huge impact on my life, for good.”

One of his achievements as Madison County Commissioner, he said, was serving on the technology committee, which assisted in the process of updating the county website to make Jackson more attractive to businesses and families researching a move to Jackson.

“The more attractive Jackson and Madison County can look on the web, the better the opportunities we have to acquire new businesses and families,” said Roth. 

Roth received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Middle Tennessee State University, majoring in finance. He had made it well-known that he never intended to move back to Jackson, but when the opportunity presented itself to be a management trainee with Jackson National Bank, he came home. Jackson National later became BancorpSouth.

Three years ago, Roth became the Jackson Market President of BancorpSouth and was appointed to serve on the Jackson Chamber Board of Directors. 

“As a board member, it is our responsibility to highlight the positives that the Jackson Chamber has to offer West Tennessee,” he said. “People come to Jackson to work and play; the chamber has an important role in all of that.”

Roth serves on nine different boards and has served as the chair for numerous community events and fundraisers. He has received a diversity of awards over the years, including the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Jackson’s Finest Young Professional award and the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation’s Jackson Award for Volunteerism. 

Although an Arkansas Razorback fan, Roth said that he takes living in the Volunteer State seriously. “My goal is to make Jackson a better place to live.” 

Roth and his wife, Michelle, and hunting dog, Gracie, have been pleased to live in Jackson, close to family. While his plan was to never return to Jackson, Roth has since recanted and believes that Jackson’s small town feel and strong community has made it his ideal hometown.

Roth encourages other locals to be involved, because it will only make the community stronger, he said. 

“The naysayers who insist that there is nothing to do in Jackson are not involved, because I see overlapping events every weekend. The more people get involved, the stronger Jackson will become.”

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