Haslam Announces Chief-of-Staff Mark Cate Returning to Private Sector

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; May 13, 2015:

Cate to return to the private sector

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced that Mark Cate, the governor’s chief of staff, will be leaving the administration to return to the private sector to establish a strategic consulting and management firm.

“Mark has been a key player and a valuable part of our team since my first campaign for governor,” Haslam said. “He is talented at keeping a lot of balls in the air at the same time and keeps us moving forward as a team. I wish him and his family all the best in his new endeavors. I will miss having him in the Governor’s Office.”

As chief of staff, Cate has served as a top advisor, strategist and negotiator for the administration. He has managed the Governor’s Office, assisted the governor in day to day activities and has acted as his liaison to various departments, agencies and internal and external stakeholders. He has also overseen top-level, strategic projects and initiatives of the administration including civil service reform known as the TEAM Act, workers’ compensation reform, and the governor’s Drive to 55 initiative, which includes the Tennessee Promise. Before serving in state government, Cate managed the Bill Haslam for Governor campaign.

“It has been the highlight and highest honor of my career to serve Governor Haslam and to be a part of the incredible team of talented women and men he has assembled,” Cate said.
“Our state is so fortunate to have a leader who is passionate about serving citizens, committed to finding the right answers, and is focused on the most important issues like making sure every child has a great education.”

Before joining the Haslam campaign, Cate was vice president at Knoxville real estate development firm Lawler-Wood, where he had oversight of the company’s facilities/property management division, managing various development projects and guiding the firm’s marketing and business development efforts. He previously served 16 years in executive management in higher education at Maryville College. During his tenure he served as chief development officer, chief marketing officer, chief planning officer and chief financial officer.

Cate, 49, received a bachelor of science degree from Carson-Newman College and a master’s degree from the University of Tennessee. He also attended Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management. Cate currently serves on the board of directors of the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation, the Governor’s Health & Wellness Foundation, and the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation.

Mark and his wife, Cathy, live in Brentwood, Tenn. and have two daughters, Bailey and Abbie. Cathy serves as the executive director of Leadership Tennessee, an initiative of the Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership at Lipscomb University.

Cate will continue in his role through the summer. The governor will name a successor at a later date.