Haslam cabinet

Stephen Smith named Haslam chief of staff; Jim Henry remains deputy to governor

News release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced Stephen Smith will serve as his chief of staff to oversee day-to-day operations of the governor’s office and serve as top advisor and strategist. Smith joined the governor’s office in August 2016 and most recently served as senior advisor to the governor. He has served in the Haslam administration since 2011, previously as deputy commissioner for policy and external affairs for the Tennessee Department of Education.

Continue reading

Katie Ashley appointed top Haslam administration lobbyist

News release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced Katie Ashley will serve as director of legislation, the governor’s chief advisor and strategist for legislative matters.

The Crockett County native is one of the longest serving Haslam staffers, starting out on his campaign in 2009 before becoming a legislative liaison in 2011 and handling one of the governor’s top priorities: education in Tennessee.

Continue reading

Wells steps down as Haslam administration lobbyist

News release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced today that Director of Legislation Warren Wells will leave the administration on December 1 to join the government affairs team at Unum in Chattanooga.

Wells, 34, has served in the Governor’s Office since 2011. He became Gov. Haslam’s chief strategist for legislation in 2015 and was instrumental to the passage of the IMPROVE Act, the Reconnect Act and the STRONG Act, landmark initiatives for Haslam.

Continue reading

TDOT chief to focus on fed road revenue in new role

News release from AASHTO

PHOENIX – The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ Board of Directors today (Friday) elected Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer, as the association’s president. Carlos Braceras P.E., executive director of the Utah Department of Transportation was elected Vice President and Scott Bennett, P.E., director of the Arkansas Department of Transportation, was elected Secretary-Treasurer.

Continue reading

Haslam names Reen Baskin as communications director

News release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced Reen Baskin will become the new communications director for his administration, a Cabinet-level position on his senior staff.

“As a trusted and valuable member of this administration since my first year in office, Reen is incredibly talented and hard-working, and I’m excited to have her take on this new role in the administration,” Haslam said. “Her knowledge and experience with the many facets of state government will serve our communications efforts – both internal and external – well.”

Continue reading

Haslam appoints Knoxville lawyer to TN Claims Commission

News release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has named William A. Young of Knoxville to the Tennessee Claims Commission, replacing William O. Shults of Newport whose terms expires June 30.

The appointment is for the Eastern Division and is subject to confirmation by resolution of both houses of the Tennessee General Assembly.  The three commissioners hold eight-year terms.

(Note: Shults was the last appointee of former Gov. Phil Bredesen on the commission and had served since 2006, first filling a vacancy and then to a full term in 2009. The salary is about $160,000 annually.)

Continue reading

David Smith exits as Haslam director of communications

News release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced that David Smith, his director of communications and one of the longest serving members of his staff, will leave the administration in August to start his own business as a communications consultant.

Continue reading

Haslam appoints Bob Rolfe as ECD commissioner

News release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced Nashville business executive Bob Rolfe as commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD). An innovative business leader, Rolfe, 56, has more than three decades of experience in business and investment banking in Tennessee.

Continue reading

Haslam staff changes: Smith promoted; Simmons hired

News release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced Jayme Place Simmons will join his senior team as special assistant to the governor for strategy and policy director as Stephen Smith becomes senior advisor to Haslam, serving as a top advisor and strategist for the administration and assisting the governor with day-to-day activities.

Simmons, who currently serves as chief of staff for the Tennessee Department of Education, is returning to the governor’s office where she previously served during his first term as an education policy analyst. Simmons starts her new position on February 13.

Continue reading

Top Haslam advisor/strategist Leslie Hafner resigns to work for Harwell

News release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE – Gov. Bill Haslam today announced that Leslie Hafner is leaving the administration to serve as senior policy advisor to House Speaker Beth Harwell.

Joining the governor’s Cabinet in 2011, Hafner served as Director of Legislation before becoming the governor’s senior advisor in July 2015, serving as a top advisor and strategist for the administration and assisting the governor in day-to-day activities.

“Leslie has been an invaluable member to our team, and every achievement we’ve had since 2011 has Leslie’s influence behind it – from the TEAM Act to Tennessee Promise,” Haslam said.  “Her judgment, experience and knowledge extend far beyond the legislative process, touching on just about every facet of the governor’s office. I will miss her counsel and look forward to working with her in her new capacity. She will be a great asset to Speaker Harwell.”

Continue reading