Jackie Cowden began as an adjunct professor in the fall of 2018 and teaches a leadership course in the Business School that she developed: R S V P (Responsibility-Stewardship-Vigilance-Passion). She is working to trademark the concept. She semi-retired in 2016, selling her stake in a corrugated manufacturing and graphic design company in Lebanon where she served as CEO. Prior to her 30 years in manufacturing she was an executive in a local retail company (Cain-Sloan) that sold to Dillard’s. During her career, Ms. Cowden served on many boards holding the chairman’s position for several of them including United Way of Wilson County, Custom Packaging Inc., Sumner Academy, Cumberland University (currently), and CedarStone Bank (current vice-chairman and organizer). She is a partner in a real estate company specializing in acquisitions and sales of commercial and retail spaces and raw land.
Ms. Cowden has received awards from Cumberland University as “Alumnus of the Year”, the Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce as “Industrialist of the Year”, Nashville Business Journal’s “Woman of the Year for Manufacturing”, Wilson County “Impact Award” (both years), and was a member of Leadership Middle Tennessee class of 2011. Her speaking engagements include being the keynote speaker for Women’s Month at Fort Campbell Air Force Base; she introduced Dr. Paul Stumb at the inauguration of his presidency for Cumberland University; and she was the key note speaker at a dinner honoring CU graduates and parents where she gave a speech on her RSVP concept.
Ms. Cowden holds two degrees from Cumberland: an Associate of Arts and a Masters degree in Organizational and Human Relations Management. Her Bachelor of Arts degree is from Vanderbilt University in sociology with an emphasis on race relations.
Ms. Cowden’s interests include philanthropic causes, integrative and alternative health-care, and religious studies.