Ted W. Abernathy, Jr., CEcD, Executive Director, Southern Growth Policies Board Ted’s 30-year economic development career has included work for cities, counties, regions and the private sector. He served as Executive Vice President and COO for the Research Triangle Regional Partnership where he developed and implemented national, award-winning strategic plans on collaboration models and innovative cluster development.
Southern Growth Policies Board is a 40-year old public policy think tank that provides economic development research and policy advice for 13 Southern states. Current work includes state innovation best practices, local economic development planning, work for EDA on innovative regional clusters, and foundation work in cleantech, tax policy, and workforce-economic development alignment.
Mayor Tom Beehan has served on the Oak Ridge City Council since 2001. He served as Mayor Pro Tem for his first six years and became mayor in 2007. He has continued to serve as mayor since then and was re-elected in 2012.
Mayor Madeline Rogero was elected the 68th Mayor of the City of Knoxville on November 8, 2011. She is the first woman to hold the office. Mayor Rogero is dedicated to promoting a vibrant local economy, strong neighborhoods, a high quality of life, a thriving downtown and a greener Knoxville. She believes Knoxville’s strength comes from the diversity of its people and the beauty of its natural resources. During the past 31 years, Mayor Rogero has served Knoxville as a community development director, county commissioner, non-profit executive, urban and regional planner, community volunteer, and neighborhood champion.
Mayor Tom Taylor was first elected to the Maryville City Council in 2001, serving as Vice Mayor from 2003-2008. He was elected Mayor by a Council vote in 2012. He is a native of Maryville and is an owner of Commercial Cutting Equipment, Inc, which sells and services commercial lawn equipment through dealerships in Maryville and Knoxville. Mr. Taylor has served on numerous boards including acting as Chair of the Great Smoky Mountains Association, Fort Loudoun Regional Library System, Tennessee Advisory Council on Libraries and as an Executive Member of the Great Smoky Mountains Council Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America.
Kevin Anton has served as the Chief Sustainability Officer for Alcoa, Inc. since 2010. In this role, he is responsible for developing a comprehensive strategy that integrates the company’s sustainability efforts. Anton joined Alcoa in 1998 and has worked for more than 30 years in the metals and mining industry. He is a vice president of Alcoa, Inc. and sits on the Alcoa Executive Council.
Bob Booker joined DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, Inc., in 2004 and is the senior manager of Legal Services and Corporate Compliance. He oversees the company’s legal, environmental engineering, safety and health, community relations, communications and ethics departments.
Teri Brahams became the executive director for Pellissippi State Community College’s Economic and Workforce Development (Business and Community Services) Division in 2006 after spending 10 years as the college’s director of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC). As executive director, Brahams is responsible for overseeing the activities of not only the TSBDC, but also the continuing education and economic development programs of the college.
Carol Evans has directed the Legacy Parks Foundation since July 2007, and has helped the organization raise three million dollars in private donations for parks, trails and open space. The Foundation has acquired nearly 300 acres of parkland in Knox County and helped preserve more than 900 acres of open space in East Tennessee.
Jennifer Evans is currently Vice President of Public Policy & Education at the Knoxville Chamber and was hired to develop and implement a workforce development strategy for the greater Knoxville region. She works with business and industry, local workforce agencies, multiple K-12 education systems, the post-secondary community and state and local elected officials.
Jim Evans has served as the Vice-President, Marketing & Air Service Development Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority since July 2007, where he is responsible for all airport marketing programs, including air service, advertising, and industrial development. He has spent more than 30 years in the commercial aviation industry with Delta Air Lines, Piedmont Airlines, US Airways, and Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (VA)
Mark Field has been the Knoxville Chamber since 2003 and currently serves as senior vice president of membership. Field is also the board chair of Together! Healthy Knox, an initiative that began in May 2010, with twenty community partners and the mission, “a community approach to better health.” The initiative’s vision is to build a diverse, vibrant community that nurtures good health and quality of life.
Doug Lawyer is Vice President of Economic Development for the Knoxville Chamber, where he has worked since 2001. In his role at the Knoxville Chamber, Doug oversees the agency’s programs and staff in business recruitment, retention and expansion as well as economic development marketing. The Knoxville Chamber also serves as the lead agency in a regional economic development partnership entitled Knoxville- Oak Ridge Innovation Valley
David Mansouri is the Director of Advocacy and Communications at the Tennessee State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE). In this role he oversees the organization’s statewide advocacy initiatives and strategic communications efforts focused on ensuring that students in Tennessee graduate high school prepared for college and the workforce.
Robert “Bob” Martineau, Jr., was selected seventh Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam in January 2011, after more than 25 years as an attorney in environmental law. His environmental leadership at TDEC was recognized at the national level in August 2012, as he was elected by his peers as Secretary-Treasurer of the Environmental Council of the States, the national association of state environmental directors. This is the first time a head of TDEC has been elected to any top leadership post at ECOS.
Thom Mason, Ph.D., was named Director of ORNL and President and CEO of UT-Battelle in 2007. As Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s largest science and energy laboratory, he has an interest in advancing materials, neutron, nuclear, and computational science to drive innovation and technical solutions relevant to energy and global security. Dr. Mason currently serves as the Chair of the Innovation Valley Board of Directors.
Cindy McConkey is the senior vice president of corporate communications at Scripps Network Interactive. A journalist by training, McConkey was a reporter at USA TODAY in Washington, D.C., establishing herself as one of the first female journalists to cover the national sports scene. Her past experience also includes writing for Gannett News Service and the Associated Press, among other publications, and has a distinguished 15-year tenure as a public relations and marketing consultant.
Matthew Murray, Ph.D., serves as the director of the Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy and associate director of the Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) at the University of Tennessee. He currently directs the program in Public Administration in the Economics Department and holds the title of Ball Corporation Professor of Business.
Grant Rosenberg is the Vice President of Housing for Southeastern Housing Foundation II and Neighborhood Housing, Inc., both supporting organizations of Knoxville Leadership Foundation, where he oversees the acquisition, financing, development, and marketing of single-family and multifamily properties throughout East Tennessee
Ted Wampler, Jr., is president and COO of Wampler’s Farm Sausage Company. In 2012, he was the first recipient of the Loudon County Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Person of the Year Award which recognized the efforts made toward using more sustainable energy alternatives at the company. Wampler’s Farm Sausage also won the TennSEISA Solar Champion Award for 2012. Currently, the company is installing the first commercial Proton Power CHyP (Cellulose Hydrogen Power) System in the world.