Back home in ‘paradise’

Published 9:12 am Saturday, June 26, 2010

MURFREESBORO — Thomas Wolfe once said you can never go home again, but Judy Hachey realized home was exactly the place she wanted to be.

For years Hachey lived in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. Since then she has returned to her hometown of Como, living in the same house she grew up in.

Just a few weeks ago she began her job as the executive director for the Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce.

“This area is dear to me and I want it to be successful,” she said.

Hachey grew up the only child of Thomas and Emmaleigh Matthews. Like Murfreesboro, her family’s historical roots run deep. Hachey’s grandfather was a ferry tender at Parker’s Ferry.

She attended Murfreesboro High School until the 8th grade when she began attending school at Ridgecroft. After graduating high school, she attended the Louise Obici School of Nursing and began her 12-year nursing career at Southampton Memorial Hospital in Franklin, Va. Hachey said the last five years she worked as head nurse in a skilled care facility.

“When I was still working in nursing I stepped out and started my own business with Mary Kay,” she said.

That business has proved successful for Hachey as she remains a part-time Mary Kay consultant and has earned her first career car.

Hachey eventually went on to work in cold call sales with a water purifying company and then with a mortgage broker as a loan officer until January when the business closed its doors. She originally returned home to care for her parents who have since passed away. She now lives in her childhood home with the love of her life, Larry, and Fat Boy, her 15-year-old cat.

Hachey recalled how she heard about the position through Chamber President Dell Aycock.

“I thought well, why not come to Murfreesboro and utilize my talents out in the community,” she said.

Though she comes from a business and customer service background, Hachey said she’s still learning how the Chamber operates.

“Everyone has been very, very gracious and very nice,” she said.

Once she gets everything under her belt, Hachey has plenty of ideas to promote Murfreesboro and its businesses.

One of those ideas is bridging the gap between the Murfreesboro Chamber and the Ahoskie Chamber of Commerce.

“There’s a lot of things we could do (together) for this area,” she said.

She also plans on getting information together to create packages for bed and breakfasts and other area attractions.

Increasing the Chamber’s membership, learning how to write grants and working with businesses one on one are just a few more goals Hachey has in mind.

She also would like to make her position full time to make the area more visible to those tourists, business owners and other interested parties inquiring about it.

“What intrigues me about the Chamber is that I get to use my creative side to incorporate ideas that might help businesses and the community,” she said. “I also love working with people.”

The return home for Hachey was not a tough decision. Those big city lights soon faded and the allure of heritage and history, neighborly people and just the right amount of distance from the buzz of nearby cities made all the difference.

“I realized very quickly I didn’t like the city,” she said. “In my opinion this is paradise.”