Press Releases

Phillip Fulmer to Keynote 61st Annual Governor’s ECD Conference in Nov.

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Economice & Community Development; August 18, 2014:

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced today that Phillip Fulmer, former University of Tennessee football head coach, will be the keynote speaker at the Commissioner’s Luncheon Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014 during the 61st Annual Governor’s Conference on Economic and Community Development. The conference theme will focus on “The Tennessee Story” celebrating the state’s exceptional craftsmanship, dedicated workforce and the unmatched experience of living and working in Tennessee. Hundreds of state and local officials, business leaders and economic developers will convene at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel for the event held Nov. 13-14 in Nashville.

“We look forward to this year’s conference as we highlight ‘The Tennessee Story’ and the distinguishing elements that set our state apart from the rest,” TNECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty said. “As a Tennessean, I know college football is a beloved tradition that runs deep throughout the South, and I couldn’t be more pleased to have Coach Fulmer join us as a keynote speaker. Coach Fulmer will offer a unique perspective to effective leadership and teambuilding skills from which all of our conference attendees will benefit, and I look forward to hearing more from him in November.”

One of the winningest coaches in SEC history, Fulmer ranks eighth all-time among SEC coaches with 152 wins and is tied for fifth all-time with 98 SEC regular season wins. His record at the University of Tennessee as head coach is second in school history behind the legendary General Robert Neyland.

During his time at the University of Tennessee, Fulmer earned a national championship, two conference titles and seven divisional crowns while winning more than three-quarters of his games.

“I’m honored to join Gov. Haslam and Commissioner Hagerty at this year’s Governor’s Conference,” Fulmer said. “I’ve learned many lessons throughout my career that extend beyond sports and into both the business world and everyday life that have helped me become a better leader. I treasure the time I spent at the University of Tennessee and look forward to sharing my experiences both on and off the field with state leaders and the people responsible for making Tennessee the business-friendly state it is known to be.”

Fulmer spent more than 30 years at his alma mater as a player, assistant coach and head coach.

Fulmer currently serves as a consultant and special assistant to Richard Sander, athletic director at East Tennessee State University. He is also a partner with BPV Capital Management in Knoxville, Tennessee.

For more information or to register for the 61st Annual Governor’s Conference on Economic and Community Development, please visit

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Haslam’s Three New ‘R’s

Gov. Bill Haslam can be found emphasizing new fundamentals of education in a video from the Southern Governors’ Association, which met over the weekend in Asheville, N.C.

“They used to say that education was the ‘three R’s’ — reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic,” Haslam says in a video on workforce development. “But now it’s changed.”

Haslam applies three new “R”s.

“It’s about Relevance — making certain what you’re learning really does apply to what you need further in life,” he begins.

“Rigor — raising the standards.

“And Relationships — having the right, caring adults in front of students.”

Haslam has made the placement of the right teachers and principals in schools one of the cornerstones of his education reform agenda.

In a separate video from the SGA, Haslam addresses the governor’s role in innovation.

“Sometimes the role of governor is all about connecting,” Haslam says. “It’s about connecting somebody that has a great idea that can be taken to the marketplace maybe with other folks who have capital or have people who can provide exposure.”

Haslam has a $50 million program called INCITE in the Department of Economic and Community Development, where the goal is to help innovative ideas reach the market and enhance their visibility. INCITE is an acronym for innovation, commercialization, investment, technology and entrepreneurship.

Haslam also has a program in ECD called Startup Tennessee, where the idea is to match new businesses with capital and mentors from business to help the start-up businesses to grow.

Both the INCITE program and Startup Tennessee are part of the governor’s overall jobs program called JOBS4TN. The Haslam administration will host the 58th annual Governor’s Conference on Economic and Community Development in Nashville Sept. 22-23.