NASHVILLE (WATE) – Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announced Randy Boyd will take over as the commissioner of Economic and Community Development.
Boyd, 55, will replace Bill Hagerty, who announced his departure last month.
I am very excited about this opportunity to serve our state. While working with the Governor last year, we often talked about education being not K to 12 but K to J, with the ‘J’ being jobs. Now, I can work to ensure that those high quality jobs we are educating people for are there for them, I’m first and foremost a salesman, and every salesman likes to have a great product to promote. I cannot imagine a better one than the state of Tennessee and can’t wait to promote it to other businesses around the world. -Randy Boyd
In 2013, Boyd served as a full-time, unpaid special advisory to the governor. During the initiative, he focused on bringing the number of Tennesseans with college degrees or certificates from 32 percent up to 55 percent during the governor’s “Drive to 55” program.
A prominent member of the Knoxville community, Boyd owns Boyd’s Jig and Real, a Scottish pub in the Old City of Knoxville, with his wife. He’s also a owner of the Tennessee Smokies, founder and CEO of Petsafe and chairman of Radio Systems Corporation, which he started in 1991.
“Randy understands the importance of making sure that the business community and educators are working hand in hand to meet our workforce needs,” said Haslam.
The 55-year-old also services on a number of organizations. He’s a campaign chairman of United Way of Greater Knoxville, on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the University of Tennessee College of Business and on the board for Knox County’s Great Schools Partnership. He also started tnAchives, a model for Tennesssee promise that sent over 10,000 high school graduates to a community college, free of charge.
The entrepreneur has also received several awards including Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year for the Southeast in 2008, Tennessee Business Magazine’s CEO of the Year in 2009, UT’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2009, and was inducted into Junior Achievement’s East Tennessee Hall of Fame in 2008.