Featured Transparency and Elections

AFL-CIO Won’t Chuck Brown an Endorsement

Tennessee’s largest labor union has declined to endorse the state’s Democratic candidate for governor — and Charlie Brown couldn’t care less.

Gary Moore, president of Tennessee AFL-CIO, said that the union’s general-election endorsement committee has already met and “there was no endorsement at all in the governor’s race.”

“We feel like that [Brown] is certainly fair to a lot of our ideas, a lot of our philosophy, and certainly think he’s a stand-up gentleman, but we just didn’t feel like he was qualified to lead the state,” Moore told TNReport.

Brown is a 72-year-old Morgan County retiree who, without ever campaigning , won the Democratic gubernatorial primary by more than 35,000 votes on Aug. 7. His nearest competition was from John McKamey, a former Sullivan County mayor and the Democratic candidate for governor endorsed by the AFL-CIO in the primary.

A staunch union man, Brown took umbrage at Moore’s assessment. “What are you talking about that I’m not a leader?” he responded when advised in a phone interview of the former Democratic state lawmaker‘s remarks.

Brown contends he’s developed plenty of leadership skills as a workingman over the years, as a foreman, a superintendent, a lead carpenter and a road construction engineer. Even at his first job — helping build railway tunnels near Oakdale — Brown said he was put in charge of handling high explosives his first day on the payroll. 

But even without an official endorsement from union leadership, Brown expects union workers will support him because their interests are his interests.

“I don’t care if they don’t give me no money, I still believe in the union,” Brown told TNReport.

He added, “I’m not worried about the AFL-CIO, I’m worried about the people in Tennessee, and the unions in Tennessee.”

Brown prophesied a victory in November, with or without official labor endorsements. He’s said he’s confident he’ll be the Volunteer State’s next governor because “anymore, people can’t stand Bill Haslam.”

And that includes a lot of Tennessee Republicans, he said. “I’ve had Republicans stop me and say, ‘Hey, we’re not voting for Haslam, but we’re not saying we’re going to vote for you’,” Brown said. Then he wondered, “But who are they going to vote for?”

If victorious at the polls, Brown says he’s got some big plans for when he assumes office. He said he’ll “fix TennCare” and expand it.

“I already know how to get it back to the people, I’ve already researched this,” Brown said. “And I have to go through a bunch of Republicans, but this will work. It’s like (former governor) Ned McWherter brought it into action, I’m going to bring it back into action.”

He also promises to return tenure to the state’s teachers and expand benefits for state employees. And raising the minimum wage to $10.50 is another priority on his to-do list.

However, while much of his agenda matches that of many Democratic Party politicians in Tennessee, a few of his views demonstrate a decidedly more conservative side.

Brown described himself as unapologetically pro-life and pro gun. His belief in the Second Amendment and Holy Scripture is central to his candidacy, he said.

It was God who led him to run in the first place, and it will be God who is leading his campaign, Brown said. “If you don’t like it, I can’t help you,” he said.

But while Brown knows God is in his corner, he’s getting the feeling the Tennessee Democratic Party isn’t.

Brown’s not at all been impressed with the backing he’s received thus far from TNDP, which he likened unfavorably to the Tennessee AFL-CIO. Other than acknowledging he’s their candidate for governor, Brown said the party bosses have done nothing to help him win votes.

“So, I don’t know what they did with that $500,000 they made up at the Jackson Day Dinner,” he said. “I thought that was to help out the candidates.”

TNDP’s communication’s director, Rick Herron, emailed TNReport a statement saying the party is “looking to invest in races” where a difference can be made in “helping effect a victory.”  The party is “constantly evaluating” its budget, Herron wrote, as well as monitoring “the political landscape across the state and the viability of individual campaigns.”

“In making that assessment, we have invested in selected campaigns, both for the August elections and looking toward November, and we will continue to be attentive to solid opportunities,” wrote Herron, who is the son of TNDP Executive Director Roy Herron.

Roy Herron announced Saturday that he won’t be seeking a new term as the party’s chairman.

Education Featured NewsTracker

Haslam Wants to ‘Hold Our Place in Line’ for Federal Pre-K Expansion Dollars

The Tennessee Department of Education is sending a letter of intent to apply for a federal pre-kindergarten expansion grant. But it’s just a placeholder to ensure access to future federal funds, Gov. Bill Haslam said this week.

Haslam said he’s still not ready to start advocating the state expand its existing pre-k program, which now serves about 18,000 mostly lower-income kids.

His administration’s letter to the Obama administration is “basically a way for us to save our place for an application down the road,” the governor told reporters in Knoxville Wednesday.

The announcement that the state intended to apply for the funds comes on the heels of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s visit to Tennessee as a part of his 2014 Back to School Bus Tour to discuss education progress in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. One topic discussed at several stops was the recently announced expansion grants, funded as part of President Obama’s “Pre-k For All” initiative.

At an event in Chattanooga this month, Duncan said he hopes Tennessee will sustain its impressive climb in education quality. He said applying for the federal pre-k grants would bolster that effort, and “could mean as much as $70 million over the next four years” for the Volunteer State.

Haslam said he won’t be inclined to push for expanding pre-k in Tennessee until the final results are in from a Vanderbilt study on the long-run benefits that early-education provides students.  “You look at  academic progress that’s being made and the social progress that’s being made by the child, and then you make a decision based on that,” he said.

The governor said he’s “ultimately a data-driven person.” If the results of the study call into question pre-k’s overall effectiveness, he indicated he’ll be considering whether education funds would be used better elsewhere — such as improving teacher pay or expanding funding for higher education.

Those results are expected sometime in 2015.

“First, we get the date off the study, see the impact, and then decide, in a realm of possibilities for the state to fund, Should that take priority?” Haslam said.

Press Releases

Herron: Guv’s Education Summit will Ignore GOP’s ‘War’ on Public Education

Press release from the Tennessee Democratic Party; September 18, 2014:

NASHVILLE, Tenn.– Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Roy Herron released the following statement today on the governor’s education summit in Nashville:

“Today’s education summit and its focus on Common Core is just a minor skirmish that ignores the major battles being waged by Republicans in their on-going War on Public Schools. This administration’s education policies feed fat cats while starving students and teachers. Out-of-state corporations and in-state segregation academies are pilfering, plundering, and profiting from the private pickpocketing of public funds.

“Virtual schools have been a complete failure, sending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to an out-of-state corporation while students receive one day (nine hours) a year in actual instruction. The K-12, Inc. Virtual Academy has been literally the worst performing school in the state.

“Instead of giving needs-based scholarships to tens of thousands more qualified students, or giving Tennessee’s teachers the two-percent raise he’d promised them, the state’s first billionaire governor has continued abolishing the inheritance tax on billionaires, so that hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars go to rich heirs and heiresses while schools do without.

“The administration’s vaunted “Tennessee Promise” promises much but delivers little and has simply moved money from the lottery scholarship fund in a shell game while adding not a single dime in new funding for education and also hurting four-year universities.

“We should be investing in the success of our public schools, our teachers, and our students, not draining hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into private pockets. Rather than taking our students to a ‘summit’, these Republican raids on taxpayer dollars for out-of-state corporations and in-state segregation academies will take Tennessee schools down the wrong road.”

Press Releases

TN Supremes Pick Haslam’s Chief Counsel as Next AG

Press release from Tennessee’s Administrative Office of the Courts; September 15, 2014:

Herbert H. Slatery, III will be the next Attorney General and Reporter of Tennessee, the Supreme Court announced this morning in Nashville.

Slatery, of Nashville, has served as Gov. Bill Haslam’s chief counsel since 2011. Prior to that, he was an attorney at a Knoxville law firm for 30 years.

“He is an excellent lawyer with proven leadership ability and sound judgment,” said Chief Justice Sharon G. Lee, who stood with the other justices to make the announcement about their unanimous choice in the courtroom at the Supreme Court building in downtown Nashville.

“It’s an incredible honor,” said Slatery in remarks after the announcement was made. “I am profoundly grateful for this opportunity.” He thanked his wife, Gov. Bill Haslam, and Attorney General Robert Cooper, Jr.

“He has played an important role in drafting major legislation during the current term and has worked closely with all branches of government. The people of the state of Tennessee can be proud to have someone of his caliber and experience representing them,” she said of Slatery.

Speaking for the Court, Chief Justice Lee thanked all of the applicants for their efforts and their commitment to public service.

“It was a challenging process because of the quality of the applicants. In the end we selected the person who we thought would be the very best lawyer to serve all Tennesseans,” she said.

The Court also praised the work of the outgoing attorney general.

“The Court extends a special thank you to Attorney General Robert Cooper, Jr. for his eight years of dedicated service to the people of Tennessee, as he has led that office with the highest level of skill and intellect,” Chief Justice Lee said.

Chief Justice Lee spoke to this year’s open process for selecting the state’s attorney general, describing how the Court accepted applications from any licensed attorney in the state. The completed and detailed applications were then made available to the public on the Court’s website. The Court also held a public hearing where the applicants and their speakers made their case for appointment and members of the public expressed their opinions about the applicants. Finally, the members of the Court asked questions of the eight applicants during public interviews.

Slatery is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of Tennessee College of Law. He has served as counsel to Governor Bill Haslam since 2011. Before serving in the Governor’s office, he practiced law for 30 years with Egerton, McAfee, Armistead and Davis in Knoxville. Slatery and his wife, Cary, have two children who both live in Knoxville.

Press Releases

Haslam Names 13 New Members to Higher Ed Boards, Reappoints 2

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; September 11, 2014:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced the appointments of thirteen new members and two re-appointments to Tennessee’s higher education boards.

Bill Lee, Pam Martin and Alex Martin will serve as new members of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC). Shannon Brown, Bill Evans, Julia Wells, Rhedona Rose, R.J. Duncan and David Golden will serve as new members of the University of Tennessee (UT) Board of Trustees. Barbara Prescott, Leigh Shockey, Rebecca Reeves and Dottye Webb will serve as new members of the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR).

“We want to thank the new and current members for serving and the important work they do for higher education in Tennessee,” Haslam said. “There is no doubt that attracting and growing Tennessee jobs is directly tied to education, and these new appointees’ bring a variety of experiences and backgrounds that will help us in this effort.”

Lee is CEO of Lee Company, a comprehensive facilities solutions and home services company with over 800 employees. He is a member of the Downtown Rotary Club of Nashville, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Board of Directors for the Nashville Business Coalition. He is also the chairman of YMCA of Middle Tennessee and past president of the Associated Builders and Contractors. Lee lives in Franklin and will represent the Seventh Congressional District on THEC.

Pam Martin is the president of Cushion Employer Services and is the chairwoman of the Minority Business Advisory Council in Nashville. She was previously the vice president of community development for SunTrust Bank. She has also served as vice chair of the Conventions and Visitors Bureau on the Nashville Chamber of Commerce Board of Governors, chairwoman of Nashville’s Tourism and Conventions Commission, and as an executive board member of the United Way of Nashville and the Nashville Chamber of Commerce. The Nashville native will represent the Sixth Congressional District on THEC.

Alex Martin is a sophomore at Tennessee Tech University. He is a senator in the Student Government Association and a representative on the Inter-fraternity Council, and he serves on the Ad Hoc University Admissions Standards Committee. The Portland-native will serve as a student representative on THEC.

Brown is the senior vice president/chief human resources and diversity officer for FedEx Express, the world’s largest express transportation company. He serves on the boards of the March of Dimes and the Lausanne Collegiate School. Brown is chairman of the board for United Way of the Mid-South, and he is a member of the central board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis. Brown lives in Memphis and will represent Shelby County on the UT Board of Trustees.

Evans is a member of the faculty at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He joined St. Jude as a student in 1972 and most recently served as president and CEO from 2004-2014. He served on the board of Memphis Tomorrow until July 2014, and he currently is a member of the board of Launch Tennessee and the U.S. Board of Pharmacy Specialists. Evans lives in Memphis and will represent Shelby County on the UT Board of Trustees.

Rose is the executive vice president of the Tennessee Farm Bureau, where she has worked for 28 years. She is a past state president of the Tennessee Future Farmers of America (FFA) Alumni Association and holds the Honorary American FFA degree. She is a board member of the Maury Alliance and the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Rose resides in Columbia and will represent the Fourth Congressional District of the UT Board of Trustees.

Wells is vice president of marketing services at the Pictsweet Company. She serves as state finance chairwoman and Volunteer Girls State chairwoman of the American Legion Auxiliary. She is a National Frozen Food Hall of Fame inductee and serves on the board of directors for the American Frozen Food Institute Foundation and Christ Community Church. She has previously been a member of the University of Tennessee, Martin Development Council. Wells resides in Jackson and will represent the Eighth Congressional District on the UT Board of Trustees.

Duncan is a junior at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where he is a member of the Student Government Association. He has been involved with community service through the Boys and Girls Club and through Boy Scouts of America, where he earned the rank of Eagle Scout. The Nolensville native will represent students from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville on the UT Board of Trustees.

Golden is a professor of food microbiology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and the current chairman of the Faculty Senate. In 2013 he received the Alumni Outstanding Teacher Award from the University of Tennessee Alumni Association. He has served on the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods. Golden lives in Knoxville and will represent UT faculty on the UT Board of Trustees.

Prescott is the executive director of PeopleFirst Partnership, the education and talent arm of Memphis Fast Forward. Prior to taking the position with PeopleFirst, she served as vice president of Allie Prescott & Partners, LLC. She is a licensed professional counselor and operated a private counseling practice for more than 30 years. She is a former member of the Memphis City School Board where she served twice as president and vice president. She also sat on the board of directors of the Tennessee School Boards Association. She presently serves on the boards for New Leaders New Schools, the Salvation Army, and the Salvation Army’s Joan and Ray Kroc Community Center. Prescott resides in Memphis and will represent the Eighth Congressional District on the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Shockey is CEO and chairman of Drexel Chemical Company, serving in that role since 1998 after starting with the company in 1980. She is also the co-founder of Veritable Music. She serves as chairwoman of the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce and the Tennessee District Export Council, and she is the regional legislative coordinator for the Southeast region of the National District Export Council. She is a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners, Leadership Memphis, and the Moss Society of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Shockey resides in Rossville and will represent West Tennessee on the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Reeves is a junior at the University of Memphis, Lambuth. She received her associate’s degree in psychology at Dyersburg State Community College, and while attending Dyersburg State she served as the Student Government Association president, secretary for the Tennessee Board of Regents Student President’s Council and vice president of fellowship for Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Reeves resides in Friendship and will represent students on the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Webb has worked at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology, Newbern since 1998, and she currently is the test center manager and technology foundations master. She also serves as the Local Skills Chapter advisor and student government advisor, and was named the 2013 Tennessee Postsecondary SkillsUSA Advisor of the Year. Webb resides in Milan and will represent faculty on the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Haslam also reappointed John Foy and D. Crawford Gallimore to the UT Board of Trustees.

Press Releases

Haslam: Warby Parker to Open Davidson County Office

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; September 3, 2014:

NASHVILLE— Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty along with Warby Parker ( co-founders Neil Blumenthal and Dave Gilboa announced today the transformative lifestyle brand will open a Nashville office, its first outside of New York. The brand will initially open in a temporary location, with plans to build out a permanent space in the near future. As part of the expansion, Warby Parker will create more than 250 new jobs in Davidson County over the next five years.

“We want to thank Warby Parker for investing in Tennessee and creating these high quality jobs in Nashville,” Haslam said. “Tennessee’s central geographic location and strong creative class makes us a natural fit for a design company like Warby Parker, and today’s announcement is another step toward our goal of becoming the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

“Tennessee continues to set itself apart as a state where companies can feel confident in leveraging new investment,” Hagerty said. “Warby Parker is another example of a cutting edge brand deciding to locate in Tennessee, taking advantage of our low cost of living, ideal, central location, and creative and talented workforce pool. Our state offers visionary companies like Warby Parker an environment most conducive to continued success, and I welcome their expansion to Tennessee. I appreciate these new jobs they are creating in our communities and look forward to their continued presence in our state.”

The Nashville office marks the first time Warby Parker will expand its corporate team outside of its New York City headquarters. The company’s commitment to providing incredible customer experiences means hiring and housing a large, talented team outside of the 300-plus employees who currently work in New York City.

“Nashville is such a vibrant city—we’re thrilled to put down roots there,” Neil Blumenthal, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Warby Parker, said. “We will continue to expand our New York headquarters, but this is an exciting next step that will allow us to fuel future company and customer growth.”

“We’re constantly seeking ways to build closer relationships with our customers,” Dave Gilboa, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Warby Parker, said. “Opening an office in Nashville will allow us to do just that as we expand our Customer Experience team, tap into a talented local workforce, reach customers from a different time zone and build a presence in a really dynamic and culturally interesting city.”

Warby Parker is an online-native brand that has now expanded to include six free-standing retail locations around the country, and eight showrooms, including one in Nashville at Imogene and Willie, located on 12th Avenue South. The new Nashville office will focus first on hiring employees for its Customer Experience team, with the possibility of adding team members to other departments in the future.

“Nashville is known the world over as a center for creative talent, and fast-growing companies like Warby Parker understandably are attracted to the innovation and creative culture in our city,” Nashville Mayor Karl Dean said. “I thank Warby Parker for their investment in Nashville, which further demonstrates the vibrancy of our city, the strength of our workforce, the low cost of doing business here and the area’s high quality of life.”

“TVA and NES congratulate Warby Parker on its decision to locate operations in Nashville, Tennessee,” TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley said. “We are proud to be partners with the state of Tennessee, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County to support companies like Warby Parker that locate, add new jobs and continue to grow in Nashville.”

Warby Parker is a transformative lifestyle brand with a lofty goal: to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while leading the way for socially-conscious businesses. Founded in 2010 by friends Neil Blumenthal, Dave Gilboa, Andy Hunt and Jeff Raider, the company seeks to radically transform the optical industry while demonstrating that companies can do good in the world, scale, and make a profit without charging a premium for it. Warby Parker designs their glasses in-house, cutting out middlemen and unnecessary markups, while providing their customers a world-class purchasing experience. Eyewear starts at $95, and for every pair sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need through their Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program. To date, Warby Parker has distributed over 1 million pairs of glasses globally to people in need.

The company expects to be operational in Nashville by mid-October of this year and plans to begin hiring immediately. People interested in applying for a role on Warby Parker’s Customer Experience team can visit

Press Releases

Haslam, General Assembly Speakers to Convene Education Summit in Nashville

Press release from the office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; September 2, 2014:

Review of Tennessee’s progress, update on current status and discussion on future success

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam joined Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell today to announce that key stakeholders of K-12 education from across the state will come together in Nashville on Thursday, September 18 for Tennessee’s Education Summit: Progress of the Past, Present and Future.

“There is nothing more important to the future of our state than getting education right,” Haslam said. “We are making historic progress in Tennessee, and as part of that progress there has been a lot of change and discussion. This is a chance to review where we’ve been, take a look at where we are today, and make sure we’re planning for where we want to go.”

“The progress our state has made in education over the past few years has been nothing short of remarkable. As the cause of reform continues, it is important to take stock and reflect on our past successes with an eye towards mapping our future progress,” Ramsey said. “It is now more important than ever to ensure we provide our students with a strong, world-class education rooted in Tennessee values. I look forward to this opportunity to listen, learn and discuss how Tennessee can build on its historic gains in education.”

“We need to ensure that Tennessee students are getting the very best education possible, so that they can compete on the global stage,” Harwell said. “One of the most important things we can do as policymakers is facilitate discussions with those stakeholders who are working with our children every day, and determine what progress we have made, and where we can do better. We have made significant progress, but there is more that can be done.”

Participants of the meeting will be educators, administrators, elected officials, business leaders, higher education officials and representatives from advocacy groups including the following:

Achievement School District
Drive to 55 Alliance
Professional Educators of Tennessee
State Collaborative on Reforming Education
Superintendent Study Council
Teach Plus
Tennessee Association for Administrators in Special Education
Tennessee Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
Tennessee Board of Regents
Tennessee Business Roundtable
Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Tennessee Charter School Center
Tennessee County Services Association
Tennessee Department of Education
Tennessee Education Association
Tennessee Higher Education Commission
Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association
Tennessee Municipal League
Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents
Tennessee Parent-Teacher Association
Tennessee Principals Association
Tennessee School Boards Association
Tennessee State Board of Education
University of Tennessee

Four senators appointed by Ramsey and five House members appointed by Harwell will also participate in the summit.

Press Releases

Haslam Announces AIG Expansion, Relocation in Nashville

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; September 2, 2014:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty and AIG officials announced today the company will expand its Davidson County operations by developing headquarters for the marketing and distribution of financial products related to life insurance.

The expansion will add approximately 200 new jobs over the next three years.

“We want to thank AIG for its continued investment in Tennessee and the jobs they are creating in Davidson County,” Haslam said. “We remain focused not only on recruiting new businesses to the state but also helping our existing industries continue to grow here. Today’s announcement is another step toward our goal to make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

“Tennessee has attracted some of the world’s largest corporations to our state, and it’s reassuring to know that our state’s business-friendly environment and quality workforce can aid in their growth and success,” Hagerty said. “AIG is a globally recognized, thriving company and with clients in more than 130 countries worldwide, I am pleased to see that AIG has chosen to expand its Tennessee operations.”

In order to accommodate the expansion, AIG’s life insurance organization plans to relocate operations in 2016 to a new facility that will be built at 340 Seven Springs Way in Nashville. The new jobs will include financial advisory roles as well as training and operations positions.

“At AIG’s life insurance division, we offer a variety of best-in-class products and services to secure the livelihoods of everyday Americans, allowing them not only to retire with dignity and send their kids to college, but also helping protect them against bad things when they happen,” said John B. Deremo, Executive Vice President and Chief Distribution Officer, Life Insurance, AIG Financial Distributors. “We are excited that our new location within a new office building will provide more space as well as more amenities for our current and future employees so that they can better serve our customers.”

“AIG is an excellent and well-respected corporate citizen in Tennessee, and I am pleased they have chosen to expand their existing operations here,” Speaker Beth Harwell said. “I congratulate the company on this latest success and thank them for the new, quality jobs created for our citizens.”

“Companies like AIG are choosing Nashville to consolidate their operations based on the strength of our workforce, the low cost of doing business here and the area’s high quality of life,” Mayor Dean said. “I thank AIG for expanding in Nashville, which further demonstrates the vibrancy of our city as an attractive place for quality jobs.”

“It is a testament to our region’s economic strength that AIG has chosen Nashville as the best place to grow their operations,” Courtney Ross, chief economic development officer for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, said. “The thriving economy of the Nashville region and our skilled workforce creates a perfect environment for AIG’s continued success.”

“TVA and NES congratulate AIG on its plans to expand operations and create more jobs in Nashville,” TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley said. “We are proud to be partners with the State of Tennessee, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County to help Nashville area companies grow and offer new job opportunities.”

AIG regularly explores real estate options to ensure that the organization is effectively utilizing locations and providing employees with modern, state-of-the art office space. AIG is committed to making the relocation as quickly and professionally as possible, while taking great care that the important day-to-day business is not disrupted and that service to AIG customers continues seamlessly.

To find out more about AIG, or to apply, please visit

Press Releases

Haslam Names Purkey TEMA Director

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; August 29, 2014:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced the appointment of David W. Purkey as a deputy commissioner of the Military Department where he will direct the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA).

Purkey has served as interim director of TEMA since the April retirement of Jim Bassham. He will also continue to serve as the governor’s Homeland Security advisor and assistant commissioner for the Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

“David has extensive experience in emergency management and safety, and he knows how critical it is for state and local governments to cooperate during emergencies,” Haslam said. “I appreciate his continued dedication and willingness to serve his fellow Tennesseans.”

Purkey is a native of Hamblen County and graduated from East Tennessee State University in 1981 with a bachelor’s in Public Health. He earned a master’s in Public Health in 1987 from the University of Tennessee.

“Governor Haslam, Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons, and Major General Max Haston have placed a great amount of trust and confidence in my abilities to lead public safety operations across our state,” Purkey said. “The Military Department as well as the Department of Safety and Homeland Security have accepted me as a member of their teams, and I promise my colleagues and local governments that I will not forget where I came from.”

In 1995, Purkey was appointed to the vacancy of Hamblen County mayor and was elected four times before voluntarily retiring in 2010.

He first entered government as a judicial assistant to his mentor, Judge James K. Miller. He has served as a 9-1-1 dispatcher; Morristown – Hamblen County Emergency Management director; Tennessee state trooper assigned to the Nashville and Fall Branch districts; Tennessee Bureau of Investigation special agent assigned to the Chattanooga region; and police accreditation manager for the City of Morristown. He served in the Tennessee Army National Guard and United States Army Reserves for eight years, and he has been a licensed emergency medical technician for the past 35 years.

Haslam recently reappointed Purkey to the Tennessee Medical Examiner Advisory Council.

Press Releases

Haslam Announces 135 Job Expansion at Federal-Mogul in Rutherford Co

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; August 27, 2014:

NASHVILLE—Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty along with Federal-Mogul officials announced today the company will invest $6.2 million to expand its current distribution facility in Smyrna, Tennessee and create 135 new jobs in Rutherford County.

“We are thankful for Federal-Mogul and their continued investment in our state and the new jobs they are creating in Middle Tennessee,” Haslam said. “When companies like Federal-Mogul choose to reinvest here, it speaks volumes about our workforce and the quality of Tennessee-made products, and today’s announcement is another step toward our goal of becoming the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

“Tennessee continues to set itself apart as a global leader in the automotive industry,” Hagerty said. “Major automotive manufacturers like Nissan, Volkswagen and General Motors support a robust pipeline of more than 900 automotive manufacturers and suppliers located throughout our state. I am pleased Federal-Mogul will continue to be a part of why Tennessee has been named the No. 1 state in the nation for automotive manufacturing strength an unprecedented four years in a row, and I appreciate the new jobs they are creating in our communities.”

“Federal-Mogul is pleased to continue investing in Smyrna,” Paula Silver, Federal-Mogul’s vice president of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations, said. “We have a dedicated and hard-working team here that takes pride in distributing high quality products for our customers. We are excited to grow our Smyrna operations and create more job opportunities.”

Federal-Mogul is expanding its existing Worldwide Aftermarket Distribution Center in Smyrna, due to the recent purchase of part of Affinia’s product line. Affinia is a leader in the manufacturing and distribution of automotive replacement products.

As part of this expansion, Federal-Mogul will increase its Smyrna footprint from 600,000 square feet to 800,000 square feet. This larger warehouse and distribution capacity will allow the facility to become more productive.

“Today’s announcement of 135 new jobs by Federal-Mogul is great news for the Town of Smyrna and Rutherford County,” Smyrna Mayor Mary Esther Reed said. “The Town of Smyrna continues to experience positive job growth and we thank Federal-Mogul for their confidence in our community for this additional investment.”

Federal-Mogul Holdings Corporation is a leading global supplier of products and services to the world’s manufacturers and servicers of vehicles and equipment in the automotive, light, medium and heavy-duty commercial, marine, rail, aerospace, power generation and industrial markets. The company’s products and services enable improved fuel economy, reduced emissions and enhanced vehicle safety.

“TVA and Middle Tennessee Electric congratulate Federal-Mogul on its announcement to expand in Smyrna, Tennessee,” TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley said. “We are pleased to partner with the state of Tennessee, Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, and city and county officials to assist Federal-Mogul’s additional investment to create new jobs.”

In addition to its Smyrna location, Federal-Mogul has operations in Smithville and Sparta, Tennessee. In total, approximately 1,000 people are employed at Federal-Mogul’s three Tennessee locations.

People interested in applying for these new jobs in Smyrna should contact Missy Rogers, human resources manager, at