By KEVIN WARNER
Bill Hagerty, President Donald Trump’s nominee as the U.S Ambassador to Japan, told those at the Friends of Scouting 2017 Williamson County Good Scout Event that being Senior Patrol Leader of his scout troop in Gallatin 40 years ago helped develop his confidence as a leader.
Hagerty, 57, co-founder of Hagerty Peterson & Company, a private equity investment firm, and Eagle Scout, who served as Tennessee Commissioner of Economic Development from 2011-2014 and on the Trump transition, spoke At Embassy Suites Hotel Cool Springs about how the skills he learned in The Boy Scouts of America helped him in his life and business career.
The event also garnered over $62,000 in pledged donations from business for The BSA Natchez Trace District.
“I think the two points I made that Scouts teaches you leadership and confidence,” Hagerty said referencing his speech. “The leadership skills are all learned through the patrol method in Scouting.”
The patrol method, which breaks the scouts in to smaller groups that work together within the troop with its own leadership structure, helped Hagerty have the confidence get his first job at 14 and was named senior patrol leader in his Gallatin, Tenn., Troop at 17 which went to the BSA National Jamboree in Washington D.C.
“I didn’t think about it at the time, but as I look back on it was because I understood how to be a leader, how to listen, how to organize my thoughts, how to set goals and how to execute them,” he said.
The event, a breakfast highlighting the accomplishments of the 2,973 youths 76 Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, venturing crews and exploring posts in the district, which had 100 boys become Eagle
Scouts this year. Middle Tennessee Council Scout executive Larry Brown called it a success.
“It was outstanding our largest crowd ever for that event,” he said. “We had a lot of Eagle Scouts in the room, a lot of Scouting families, but we kind of reengaged some people who haven’t been involved in Scouting for a while.”
U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, State Rep. Charles Sargent and other local government officials attended the event.
Proceedings started with a welcome by Friends of Scouting chairman Mark Buchanan and presentation of the colors by BSA Troop 8 of Brentwood. Scout Davis Heard delivered the invocation. Eagle Scout Dan Condra, BSA Troop 13 shared his story in Scouting as well.
After Hagerty’s speech, fellow Eagle of Scout Ray Capp and BSA Central Region Director Al Lambert and others presented Hagerty with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.
Given since 1969, the award goes to Eagle Scouts who have done exceptional service to Scouting, their community or nation.
“I think it’s the recognition of the investment that adult leaders placed in me as a boy,” said Hagerty who now works with his son’s troop. “It’s taken a lifetime to translate but I hope that the leadership abilities that I learned in Scouting as a boy will continue to guide me as I move on to Japan and try to represent our nation there to the best of my ability.”