Joseph Graves

Union’s Community Development Director Joseph Graves submitted his resignation Monday after 10 years on the job.

Graves is taking the position of president/CEO of the Dickson County Chamber of Commerce.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity in Tennessee but Union and Franklin County will always hold a place in my heart,” Graves told The Missourian.

Dickson County has about 50,000 residents and is located 30 miles from Nashville, Tenn. He will be responsible for economic development, the Chamber of Commerce and tourism, and he will manage a staff of three.

He added that he was attracted to the position because of its location and his duties.

“I like the location and proximity to Nashville, which is a very fast-growing major city,” Graves said, “and I’ll have the ability to do Chamber and tourism work.”

Graves’ final day at Union City Hall is July 21 and he begins his new job July 28.

“I’m having a harder time moving from Union than from my hometown to Union,” Graves said. “Not only did I grow personally and professionally, but I met my wife, had a child and owned a home.

“A lot of big events in my life had occurred in Union,” he added. “I will forever be tied to Union.”

City Administrator Russell Rost said the board of aldermen will discuss options to fill the position. In the interim, Rost and Community Development Assistant Wanda Parsons will continue operations of the office until a replacement is found.

During Graves’ tenure in Union, several major employers have been recruited, including: American Plastics, ADB, Climate Express and Prestige Technical Services.

There have been others that expanded, including PharmTech, Silgan and Turn Key Tool & Die.

“I have been honored to play a role in the creation of over 800 jobs in the past decade which included a recession,” Graves said.

He noted that he has enjoyed his work in Union, and his role within the community.

“I made a lot of connections and I will miss those friendships and the ability to create hope for those looking for work locally,” Graves said.

He further added that there are several more projects are on the horizon, including a major industrial project slated to sign a contract this week.

Graves said there have been other major changes to the business community in Union, and the city now has a Missouri “Certified Site.”

“When I arrived the Union Corporate Center occupants had only dial-up Internet,” he said. “Now the Union Corporate Center has two high-speed fiber optic providers.”