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Longtime UCHRA director passes at 67
P Bennett
Phyllis Bennett, 67, who was in charge of the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency for over 30 years, died Saturday.She had been undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer.Bennett began her career with UCHRA in 1973.She was executive director of the agency from 1978-2011.Bennett served four years as president of the Tennessee Association of Human Resource Agencies, as well as being selected for Who's Who in American Business Women.During her 34-year tenure as executive director, she not only established but practiced the agency's motto of "Delivering Hope" to the people of the area by providing access to services through each of the 14 county offices she established.Her giving spirit showed daily when seeing or riding UCARTS or CATS (Cookeville's first mass transit system) traveling area streets and highways or providing home-delivered meals and electrical assistance to the most needy in the region.Bennett's accomplished goals show when visiting or seeing Tennessee Careers Centers or when visiting Lakeside Resort & Educational Complex which was to help displaced workers through educating for new careers or promoting existing ones in the hospitality industry.The needs of young people were never far from her heart. The Upper Cumberland's need to house and council young people are realized through the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency's Residential centers; Chance, Indian Mound and Cumberland Mountain School.Her visions for delivering this hope were made reality by her leading role in the expansion of Cover Kids, which provides insurance for uninsured children in low income homes, the Imagination Library; the Highland Initiative with the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce and N.C.D.S. Inc. and numerous other programs that assisted those in need. Although her passion was to provide for all in need, her heart was always for the people of the Upper Cumberland Region.