Tennessee Governor-elect Bill Lee announced four appointments to his cabinet for departments including Commerce and Insurance, Financial Institutions, Safety and Homeland Security, and Tourist Development.
“I am pleased these four talented individuals have agreed to join my cabinet and lead these important departments,” said Governor-elect Lee. “Their experience and institutional knowledge will be invaluable as we build long-term solutions for our state.”
The governor-elect named the following appointments:
· Julie McPeak – Department of Commerce and Insurance
· Greg Gonzales – Department of Financial Institutions
· Jeff Long – Department of Safety and Homeland Security
· Mark Ezell – Department of Tourist Development
Julie McPeak currently serves as the commissioner of the Department of Commerce and Insurance and she will continue in this role in the Lee administration. Before leading the department, she practiced as counsel to the Insurance practice group of law firm Burr & Forman LLP. She also served as the executive director of the Kentucky Office of Insurance (KOI). Before her appointment as executive director, Ms. McPeak spent nine years as an attorney for KOI, the final five as general counsel. She also served as general counsel to the Kentucky Personnel Cabinet. Ms. McPeak, who brings more than 20 years of legal and administrative experience in state government, is the first woman to serve as chief insurance regulator in more than one state.
Putnam County native Greg Gonzales currently serves as the Commissioner of the Department of Financial Institutions and he will continue on in this role. Mr. Gonzales is a past Chairman of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), which is the professional organization of state banking commissioners in the United States. Commissioner Gonzales, for a number of years, served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Money Transmitter Regulators Association (MTRA), an organization of a majority of the states that regulate funds transfer companies. He serves as Chairman of the State Liaison Committee that incorporates the state supervisory perspective into the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council. He served on the U.S. Treasury’s Bank Secrecy Act Advisory Group. Commissioner Gonzales currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission. He also currently serves on a national task force studying how new technologies are affecting the U.S. payment systems.
Jeff Long will serve as the Commissioner of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security. He was elected as the sheriff of Williamson County in 2008. He has served in the criminal justice field for the past 44 years as an assistant district attorney for the 21st Judicial District, special agent in Charge with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Investigator for the 21st Judicial District, arson investigator with the Tennessee Fire Marshall’s Office, Captain with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office and Federal Hospital Police Officer with the Veterans Administration Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. He is past-president of the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association, a current member of the National Sheriffs’ Association and current member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Mark Ezell, a seventh generation Tennessean, will serve as the commissioner of the Department of Tourist Development. Mr. Ezell has worked with Dean Foods since 1998 as a senior executive focused on brand development for Purity Dairies and other southeast dairies. Mr. Ezell spearheaded philanthropic efforts to create the Purity Foundation and other Middle Tennessee efforts like the successful Moosic City Dairy Dash. He is a nationally recognized brand developer who coordinated the creation and implementation of the iconic “Milk Mustache – Got Milk?” campaign. His 35 years at Purity Dairies, including time as president and general manager, helped the former family-owned company receive recognition as a “Brands That Built Nashville” winner from the Nashville American Advertising Federation.
On Nov. 7, the transition unveiled a new website - transition.billlee.com. The site includes detailed information about the governor-elect’s policy priorities, a section where Tennesseans can submit their resumes to potentially join his team, and most importantly, a section where Tennesseans can share their ideas with the governor-elect and his team.