Ashley Lynch has worked for Pinnacle at Turkey Creek property management since 2008, but her memories of the Turkey Creek area go back much further. Her grandparents lived at the end of Herron Road, which ends near the current location of J.C. Penney. The family had no idea what would eventually spring up there.
“It was just fields,” she says.
Ashley is now director of security for Bayer Properties. She is also secretary of the Farragut Tourism/Visitor Advisory Committee. Her grandfather, Doyle Arwood, owned and operated Knox County school buses for 35 years, and he influenced her decision to serve.
“My grandfather was a big part of the community, and I wanted to be a big part, too.”
Christmas shopping is in full swing at the Pinnacle. Activity geared up the first week of November, she says. A new Christmas tree was installed this year, and the lights came on the Friday before Thanksgiving. She spoke with one customer who saw the tree from the interstate and stopped at the shopping center to get a closer look.
“This has been a good, steady year for traffic.”
She thinks the Pinnacle’s visibility from the interstate makes it a regional draw. Some travel from Cookeville or Crossville just to shop there, and others stop on their way to destinations like Gatlinburg, Nashville or Chattanooga.
“We’ve got lodging and restaurants, and it’s easy to get in and out. We also have some unique stores,” she says.
Ashley attended Farragut High School, as did both her parents. She lived off Grigsby Chapel Road and remembers when the road ended at Campbell Station Road, which was just two lanes. She used to ride the bus to school with her grandfather, who would stop at the recently demolished Phillips 66 for coffee. She likes what Farragut has become since then.
“It’s been a positive change,” she says. “You can’t avoid change. It’s going to happen.”
Her close relationship with her grandparents was part of the inspiration for the Pinnacle’s Be a Santa to a Senior program, which she started last year. Bayer Properties partners with Home Instead Senior Care to collect, wrap and distribute Christmas gifts to underprivileged seniors. Last year, 611 gifts were delivered. This year’s goal is to deliver 1,000 gifts. Two wrapping parties are already fully staffed with volunteers.
Wish lists are available on trees outside the Bayer office (located between Bed Bath & Beyond and World Market) and participants can also purchase items from an Amazon gift list. The deadline for donating items is Dec. 19.
Ashley could never have imagined the shopping center that would eventually develop so close to her grandparents’ backyard and the impact that it would have on the community. But she’s proud of the role she plays with an organization that draws so many visitors to Farragut.
“It makes me proud to be part of something big like this.”
Town of Farragut public relations and marketing coordinator Wendy Smith is your reliable “insider.”