For Cookeville Glass and Mirror President Donna Lawson, giving back to the community is more than just good business. The California native strongly believes that it’s the responsibility of local businesses to support the community which supports them.
A native of Huntington Beach, California, Ms. Lawson admits feeling a bit of culture shock when she moved to the Upper Cumberland region from a big city 13 years ago. “It was hard for me at first, since I’d lived in one place my entire life. But then I got to know the people and enjoyed the changing of the seasons. Then I fell in love with it.” Ms. Lawson’s youngest son is her business partner and also loves the area. She learned about her local PBS station from the previous owners of Cookeville Glass and Mirror, who also supported WCTE. “I felt that it would be nice to continue that support, because Cookeville Glass had been involved with it for so long,” she said.
Cookeville Glass and Mirror has been in business for 25 years and currently does primarily commercial glass projects. “We just finished doing the TTU Residence Hall, we did the TTU Nursing building. We’ve done the movie theater. We’ve done a lot of commercial work.” A Business and Professional Member of WCTE, Ms. Lawson is passionate in her conviction that doing well must be accompanied by doing good in the community. She’s enthusiastic about WCTE and her support of the station. “I enjoy watching the programs that are about the area. We support the Great TV Auction, the Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree, the Cookeville Christmas Parade and other things. We enjoy being part of that so that WCTE is able to serve us, bring wonderful things to the community and let us know what’s going on.” Other local causes that Ms. Lawson supports include Friends of Cookeville-Putnam County Animals, CityScape, the YMCA Turkey Trot, the Fraternal Order of Police’s “Shop with a Cop” program and drug awareness for children.
Ms. Lawson clearly believes that giving back to the community that supports her business is a win-win proposition. “I’ve been very fortunate in owning this business,” she said. “So when people come to Cookeville Glass, I hope they feel good that a portion of their money goes toward helping the community.”
By Mark Dudney
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