TWHNC welcomes new CEO
The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration (TWHNC) has hired Warren Wells to be its new Chief Executive Officer. Wells will be the fifth CEO in the Celebration’s rich history. Wells, originally from Bedford County, currently lives in Signal Mountain, Tenn. and is the Assistant Vice President for Government Affairs at Unum Group, a fortune 300 employee benefits company headquartered in Chattanooga. Wells’ wife, Jessica and son Walker will be joining Wells when he relocates back to Bedford County. Jessica is expecting their second son, Wright in June.
Wells joins the Celebration with a wealth of knowledge in state politics. Wells began his career in politics helping Jim Tracy as his deputy campaign manager and eventually serving as his research analyst in the State Senate. Wells later joined Governor Bill Haslam’s administration as Deputy for Legislation and then advanced to a senior staff role in Haslam’s administration as Director for Legislation.
As the Director for Legislation, Wells was the governor’s chief lobbyist and primary liaison between the administration and General Assembly. Wells was also responsible for managing the administration’s legislative agenda. One of the most impactful pieces of legislation that Wells led on was the IMPROVE Act, which contained the largest tax cut in Tennessee history.
As a Bedford County native, Wells is intimately familiar with the impact The Celebration has on the community as well as the prestige of being the World Championship Tennessee Walking Horse show. Jessica is an avid horse lover and has owned and shown Tennessee Walking Horses as well as Thoroughbreds, Spotted Saddle Horses and currently a Paint mare. Wells and Walker have also participated in lead line classes.
“My family and I are extremely excited to be returning home to serve in the community that raised us. The Celebration is the cornerstone of Bedford County, and a treasured asset for all of Tennessee. I am humbled and honored that the board has asked me to serve in this capacity. I have so many fond memories of The Celebration and events on the grounds, including my wedding reception, that it feels surreal that I now have the opportunity to partner with the board in carrying on The Celebration’s great traditions and developing a vision of growth and prosperity. I can’t wait to hit the ground running and serve this community,” said Wells.
Wells is a graduate of Motlow State Community College with a A.S. in Criminal Justice and received his B.S. in Political Science from Middle Tennessee State University. Wells is a first-generation college graduate. Wells also served in the Tennessee Army National Guard from 2001-2010 and in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005-2006, where Wells earned a Combat Action Badge and an Army Commendation Medal.
“We are extremely excited to add someone of Warren’s experience and background to The Celebration. We were fortunate to have several good applicants for the position and conducted a thorough search. Warren first impressed our search committee and then our entire board. What he has been able to accomplish in his career is something that impressed our board, and made all of us confident Warren will lead The Celebration to new heights. We can’t wait for our Tennessee Walking Horse community to get to know Warren and his family and we know our Bedford County community will also be grateful for his family’s return home,” said Celebration Chairman David Crowell.
Warren will officially begin his duties as Chief Executive Officer on June 7th, but in the meantime has already hit the ground running learning more about The Celebration and the upcoming World Championship show in August.