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Start Roland: Millington native named executive director of Chamber of Commerce

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

Millington Area Chamber of Commerce Chairman R. Glynn Williford introduces Terry Roland as the new executive director of the chamber at the monthly luncheon held at the Millington Family YMCA last week.

Whether a business owner or Shelby County Commissioner, the sight of Terry Roland at a Millington Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon was routine.

But at the latest gathering with the Chamber held Aug. 7 at the Millington Family YMCA, Roland was kind of the man of the hour. Before getting to guest speakers like Millington YMCA Director Lizzie McLean and Millington Municipal Schools Superintendent Bo Griffin, Chamber Chairman R. Glynn Williford introduced Roland as the new executive director of the organization.

“It’s like a dream job to me,” Roland said. “I can come back and market the place I love the most, my home, that’s Millington. I never stop doing it, but I’m just changing roles now. We’re in a renaissance now. I feel lucky and blessed to be back home to help bring this renaissance forward.

“We’ve got so many amenities and good things happening now,” he continued. “We’ve got to work on getting households, work on getting people into our local businesses and bring businesses in here.”

Roland has been in business in his hometown for decades. He followed in his father Clarence Roland’s footsteps operating Roland Tires before entering politics. Now the iconic Millington business located at 4998 Navy Road has Terry’s brother Eric handling the day-to-day operation.

Roland Tires is an active part of Flag City history. Terry is familiar with the times of Millington prosperity and moments of disaster.

“One of the things I’m really proud of is the $60 million Resilience Grant that we’ve got in,” Roland said. “Being born right here in Millington, I’ve witnessed several floods. This Resilience Grant is going to take mitigation factor away from us. We can go from being known as Flood City back to Flag City.

“Helping to get Veterans Parkway done, the Shoppes at Millington Farms,” he added, “we’ve got Fite Road completed, the bridge at Raleigh-Millington completed. It’s a safer community.”

With Millington’s infrastructure stronger than ever, Roland is ready to use his new role to improve other aspects of Flag City working with Millington Schools, NSA Mid-South, local businesses and community leaders.

“I feel humbled, I’m blessed,” Roland said.. “I get to do the thing I love best, help me hometown. I was born on Easley. We’ve been in business for 53 years on Navy Road. This is a dream job that I get to come back and help my hometown proposer and grow.”

Roland’s previous job was Shelby County Board Commissioner being first elected 8 years ago in District 4, Position 3. In August 2014, Roland was re-elected to serve the people of District 1, which includes Shelby Forrest, Millington, Arlington, Rosemark and the Kerrville area. Following his re-election Commissioner Roland’s colleagues elected him Chairman Pro Tempore for the 2014-2015 session. In September 2015, the Board of Commissioners elected him to serve as chairman.

Another title Roland earned is Trojan, graduating from Millington Central High School before enrolling at the University of Memphis.

The husband of the former Christi Tedington is setting up office back in Millington as Chamber executive director. Roland said he learned his work ethic from his mother and father, as he worked in his family businesses, Roland’s Amoco and Roland’s Tire Service.

“Millington and Rolands are kind of synonymous,” he said. “Kind of like Babe Howard and Millington. Like Dr. Boatwright and Millington. There are others. This community has been so good to me.

“It’s my way of helping and giving back to this community,” Roland concluded. “That is what I am here for, to give back to this community and help the future generations so they can have something special.”

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