President Jeff Aiken to Serve on Governor’s Economic Recovery Group

On Thursday, April 16, 2020, Governor Bill Lee established the Economic Recovery Group, a joint effort between state departments, members of the legislature, and leaders from the private sector to build guidance to safely reboot Tennessee’s economy. TFBF President Jeff Aiken serves to represent the interests of the agriculture community. COVID-19 has not only created a public health crisis, it has hurt thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of hardworking Tennesseans,” said Gov. Lee. “As we work to safely open Tennessee’s economy, this group will provide guidance to industries across the state on the best ways to get Tennesseans back to work.”

The group is led by Tennessee Department of Tourism Development Commissioner Mark Ezell.

“This public-private partnership will prioritize connection, collaboration, and communication across industries, the medical community and state government” said Ezell. “We’re grateful to these leaders for serving at a critical time in our state’s history.”

Sammie Arnold will serve as the chief of staff for the Economic Recovery Group. Arnold currently serves as the Assistant Commissioner of Rural Development at the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. Members of the Economic Recovery Group include:

Lee Administration Representatives:

Mark Ezell, Director
Sammie Arnold, Chief of Staff
House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R – Portland)
Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson (R – Franklin)
Brandon Gibson, Senior Advisor to Governor Lee
Bob Rolfe, Department of Economic and Community Development
Greg Gonzales, Department of Financial Institutions
David Gerregano, Department of Revenue
Dr. Charles Hatcher, Department of Agriculture
Dr. Jeff McCord, Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Hodgen Mainda, Department of Commerce and Insurance
Tony Niknejad, Governor’s Office
Brig. Gen. Scott Brower, COVID-19 Unified Command
Dr. Morgan McDonald, TN Dept. of Health, Deputy Commissioner
Butch Eley, Department of Finance & Administration

Industry Representatives:

Jim Brown, National Federation of Independent Business
Bradley Jackson, TN Chamber of Commerce
Beverly Robertson, President & CEO of the Memphis Chamber of Commerce
Rob Ikard, TN Grocers & Convenience Store Association
Rob Mortensen, TN Hospitality & Tourism Association
Colin Barrett, TN Bankers Association
Fred Robinson, TN Credit Union League
Dave Huneryager, TN Trucking Association
Will Cromer, TN Hospital Association
Mayor Kevin Davis, President of TN County Services Association
Mayor Jill Holland, President of TN Municipal League
Jeff Aiken, TN Farm Bureau
Tari Hughes, Center for Non-Profit Management
Roland Myers, TN Retail Association
Clay Crownover, President & CEO of Associated Builders & Contractors of Tennessee

In addition to the full committee, 12 different sub-groups have been established to focus on industry specific needs. TFBF Executive Vice President Rhedona Rose will serve as the chair of the Agriculture and Food sub-group.