Dr. Michael Torrence

IMPACT Leadership – Chairman

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 For 24 years, Michael Torrence has successfully worked across the public-private sector, government agencies, both technical and community college, public and private university, and international organizations in service to students, executives, complex organizations and institutions, policy makers, and stakeholders to develop a well-rounded understanding of organizational structures and leadership. He has a diverse portfolio that spans, but is not limited to Training, Teaching, Technology, Leadership Coaching, Organizational and Institutional Effectiveness, Community Relations, Assessment, and Strategic Planning. Michael blends a strong background in leadership with an emphasis on collaboration and team building that focuses sharing strategies to optimize the growth of individuals and organizations through constant communication and parallel trust.                         Michael.Torrence@volstate.edu


Dr. Bharat Soni

IMPACT Leadership - Vice-Chairman

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The Vice President for Research and Economic Development provides leadership of research efforts in strategic alignment with regional economic development efforts. He directs the Office of Research and oversees the Millard Oakley STEM Center, Tech-REDI Regional Economic Development Institute, and the Center for the Management, Utilization and Protection of Water Resources.
Dr. Soni has a long history of contributions in cross-disciplinary research and education with strategic focus on research to build technologies to address 21st Century engineering grand challenges. Dr. Soni led the establishment of the immersive visualization and Virtual Reality environment at UAB with applications to medical, health-care and general education and training, rehabilitation, engineering design, analysis, evaluation and marketing, and homeland security.

 Phone: (931) 372-6074    

E-mail: bsoni@tntech.edu


Andrea V. Burckhard

IMPACT Leadership - Secretary/Treasurer

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Andrea began her career in sales and marketing throughout Europe in the office equipment and office supply industry and set up successful distribution channels in thirty five countries. She has been in the business world for thirty years, living and working in Brussels Belgium from 1986 through 1999. When returning to the United States in 1999, she began a new chapter in her life as the Executive Director of the Byrdstown-Pickett County Chamber of Commerce, specializing in regional tourism, economic development and relationship building. Today, Andrea V. Burckhard is an Agent with New York Life Insurance Company, owns and operates her own practice since 2007 and services the Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky markets. She has the LUTCF designation through the American College and is a NAIFA member. 

320 E. Broad St., Ste. 1A, Cookeville, TN 38501

 Tel: 931-525-5433  Fax: 931-525-6636  Cell: 931-265-1959




Dr. Robert Owens - IMPACT Leadership

Community and Programming Affairs

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Dr. Owens currently serves as one of two Assistant Vice Presidents for Student Affairs at his alma mater, Tennessee Tech University, this after serving for approximately eight years as Director of Minority Affairs.  He received all of his post-secondary credentials at TTU, from undergraduate to the Ph.D. 

Dr. Owens enjoys being involved in the community, as is evidenced by his service on various local boards.  Of note, is his service to and through Cookeville IMPACT, which he co-founded and now serves as the President Emeritus.  Dr. Owens is also an ordained minister and the Pastor of the newly-planted Kainos Church in Cookeville, TN.

He has also become a fixture at local baseball fields and basketball gyms in his role as a coach of youth sports teams.   He is the husband of Dana Mason-Owens and father to their five wonderful children.                                           



Chris Shah

IMPACT Leadership - Marketing  

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Chirag (Chris) Shah is a well-known businessman in the Cookeville community operating, “Happy Hour Wine and Liquor” and “Diamond Impact” since 2002.  Chris owns and operates several other businesses and real estate ventures in Cookeville, the Upper Cumberland, and Tennessee with his family and business partners. 

Chris came to United States in 2001 and planted his roots in Cookeville in 2002.  Chris received a BS in Chemistry in Ahmadabad, India and a MBA in Business Operations Management from the University of Western Sydney in 2001. He also has a diamond grading degree that he received from the Gemological Institute of America in 2002. He is very active in the Cookeville community and serves on several boards including: the TTU Friends of the Library board; Cookeville Looking Forward; Impact Leadership; and a member of the Cookeville Putnam County Chamber of Commerce. Nameste!          chris@hhliquor.com