Governor Lee Establishes Economic Recovery Group To Reboot Tennessee Economy

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Thursday Governor Bill Lee established the Economic Recovery Group, a joint effort between state departments, members of the legislature and leaders from the private sector to build guidance to safely reboot Tennessee’s economy. 

“COVID-19 has not only created a public health crisis, it has hurt thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of hardworking Tennesseans,” said Governor Lee. “As we work to safely open Tennessee’s economy, this group will provide guidance to industries across the state on the best ways to get Tennesseans back to work.”

The group is led by Tennessee Department of Tourism Development Commissioner Mark Ezell. 

“This public-private partnership will prioritize connection, collaboration and communication across industries, the medical community and state government,” said Commissioner Ezell. “We’re grateful to these leaders for serving at a critical time in our state’s history.”

Sammie Arnold will serve as the chief of staff for the Economic Recovery Group. Mr. Arnold currently serves as the assistant commissioner of Rural Development at the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. 

Members of the Economic Recovery Group include:

Governor Lee Administration Representatives:
Mark Ezell, director
Sammie Arnold, chief of staff
House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R – Portland)
Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson (R – Franklin)
Brandon Gibson, senior advisor to Governor Lee
Bob Rolfe, Department of Economic and Community Development
Greg Gonzales, Department of Financial Institutions 
David Gerregano, Department of Revenue 
Dr. Charles Hatcher, Department of Agriculture 
Dr. Jeff McCord, Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Hodgen Mainda, Department of Commerce and Insurance
Tony Niknejad, Governor’s Office
Brig. Gen. Scott Brower, COVID-19 Unified Command
Dr. Morgan McDonald, TN Dept. of Health, Deputy Commissioner
Butch Eley, Department of Finance & Administration 
 
Industry Representatives:

Jim Brown, National Federation of Independent Business      
Bradley Jackson, TN Chamber of Commerce    
Beverly Robertson, president & CEO of the Memphis Chamber of Commerce
Rob Ikard, TN Grocers & Convenience Store Association 
Rob Mortensen, TN Hospitality & Tourism Association 
Colin Barrett, TN Bankers Association 
Fred Robinson, TN Credit Union League 
Dave Huneryager, TN Trucking Association 
Will Cromer, TN Hospital Association 
Mayor Kevin Davis, president of TN County Services Association
Mayor Jill Holland, president of TN Municipal League
Jeff Aiken, TN Farm Bureau 
Tari Hughes, Center for Non-Profit Management 
Roland Myers, TN Retail Association
Clay Crownover, president & CEO of Associated Builders & Contractors of Tennessee

The Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council issued this statement, "Governor Lee's idea of an Economic Recovery Group is not only incomplete but also an inaccurate snapshot of Tennessee's economy. The fact that there is not a single labor or employee representative listed speaks volumes about his true priorities. Governor Lee is clearly more concerned with ensuring that his business associates and friends make the important decisions and get back on their feet first, rather than our state's working families. It is both critical and frankly non-negotiable that labor have a seat at the table during these conversations. Until that happens, it is impossible for our state's economy to begin to fully work for all Tennesseans." 


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