GOVERNOR LEE ANNOUNCES LEADERSHIP TRANSITION AT TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced Commissioner Bob Rolfe’s departure from state government to enter the private sector. Stuart McWhorter will return to the Lee administration to serve as the commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD), effective July 11.

“Bobby has played an invaluable role in my cabinet by recruiting new businesses and industry to our state, supporting existing companies and expanding economic opportunity across Tennessee, particularly in our rural communities,” said Lee. “I commend his service to Tennesseans and wish him much success as he enters the private sector.”

“It has been an enormous privilege to serve Governor Bill Lee and former Governor Bill Haslam to lead this department over the last five and a half years,” said Rolfe. “I am also most grateful to the 100 colleagues at ECD that I have had the honor of working closely with on a daily basis. For this opportunity to serve Governor Lee, the General Assembly and the citizens of Tennessee, I am humbled.”

Rolfe has served as ECD commissioner since March 2017. During his tenure, ECD has landed roughly 660 projects, which represent more than 112,000 job commitments and $33 billion in capital investment.

Under Rolfe’s leadership, Tennessee has secured several record-breaking wins. In 2021, he led ECD’s recruitment efforts to land Tennessee’s fourth automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) when Ford Motor Company selected Tennessee to build one of the largest battery and vehicle manufacturing campuses in the U.S. Ford and SK Innovation’s $5.6 billion investment represents the largest single capital investment in state history. Additionally in 2021, Oracle, the world’s largest data management company, announced it will locate new tech operations in Nashville. At 8,500 jobs, the Oracle project is the single biggest jobs announcement in Tennessee’s history.

Stuart McWhorter will succeed Bob Rolfe as Commissioner of ECD.

“Stuart has been a tremendous asset to the administration, and his knowledge of both the private and public sectors will ensure Tennessee continues to lead the nation as the best place to do business,” said Lee. “I appreciate his service and am confident Tennesseans and our economy will thrive under his leadership.”

McWhorter served in the Lee administration as the Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration (F&A) before departing for the private sector in 2020. McWhorter cofounded Clayton Associates in 1996, a venture firm that established FCA Venture Partners. McWhorter has a diverse background in entrepreneurship, new and small business financing and enterprise value creation.

McWhorter earned his bachelor’s degree at Clemson University. He and his wife, Leigh Anne, reside in Nashville with their five children.

About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies that help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. To grow and strengthen Tennessee, the department seeks to attract new corporate investment to the state and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find us on the web: tnecd.com.

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