Locally Owned Murfreesboro Is A Nonprofit Organization Dedicated To Promoting Independent Businesses And Building A Stronger Local Economy By Joining Together In Marketing, Government Advocacy, And Support For New Businesses.

About Locally Owned Murfreesboro

In early March 2015, local business owner Gretchen Bilbro and downtown resident Leslie Russell Yost attended an event in Nashville where a representative from the American Independent Business Association spoke about the national organization.

AMIBA’s mission of helping communities and local businesses thrive resonated with the pair. They then recruited the original board — Roxann Covington, Cheryl Lisi and Michelle Willard — to help organize a local AMIBA affiliate for Murfreesboro.

From there they recruited charter members and developed a mission statement.

That’s how Locally Owned Murfreesboro became an organization of independent local business owners dedicated to promoting the benefits of shopping locally to the community and building a stronger local economy by joining together in marketing, government advocacy and networking.

To put it simply, LOM was formed Because Murfreesboro Matters.

Executive Board

Gretchen Bilbro


Gretchen Bilbro is the owner and manager of Cultivate Coworking, an independent communal office space in downtown Murfreesboro. Bilbro spearheaded the formation of Locally Owned Murfreesboro because she felt there needs to be a unified group to speak for independent businesses and promote the benefits of supporting your neighbors’ businesses.

Michelle Willard


A Rutherford County native, Michelle Willard is a local journalist who has covered topics in the county from government and schools to business and events. She believes a town’s character can be found in the businesses that make it unique.

T. Matthew Chase



T. Matthew Chase is the Principal and founder of Tandem Financial, a boutique investment firm located in downtown Murfreesboro. Matthew has lived in Murfreesboro for 12 years with his wife Kristen and two sons. As a business owner and father, Matthew is committed to leading by example for his children and doing everything he can to help local business, and philanthropy.

Roxann Covington


Roxann Covington is the director of new business at Contract Management Services, a Murfreesboro-based company that provides administrative and bookkeeping services for independent businesses. Covington works with small businesses on a daily basis and sees the kind of support they need to be successful.

Leslie Russell Yost


Leslie Russell Yost is known for her hair and outspokenness, which serves her well as an advocate for supporting independent businesses. Russell Yost was drawn to AMIBA’s message because she loves the sense of community and vibrancy locally owned businesses bring to Murfreesboro.

Christy Hackinson

Board Member

Christy Hackinson is the co-owner of The Alley on Main, a scratch-made restaurant focusing on high-quality ingredients. 

She believes locally owned businesses bring people together and strengthen relationships that help communities grow.

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