Senate confirms Chattanooga business executive Bill Kilbride to TVA board

Bill Kilbride
photo Bill Kilbride

Chattanoogan Bill Kilbride, the retired Mohawk Industries executive who headed the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce for three years before his retirement last year, will join the Tennessee Valley Authority at its next board meeting Aug. 21-22 in Knoxville.

The U.S. Senate Thursday voted to confirm the 68-year-old Kilbride to the TVA board that oversees America's biggest government owned utility.

President Donald Trump picked the retired Chattanooga business executive to fill the last vacancy on the TVA board, becoming the fifth Tennessean on the nine-member panel. He succeeds Eric Martin Satz , who left the TVA board at the end of last year, and Kilbride's term will last through 2023.

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who serves on one of the Senate panels that helps oversee TVA and backed Kilbride for the post, praised Kilbride as "an accomplished businessman" who he said " understands TVA's mission - providing low cost, reliable, and clean power to the residents and businesses in the seven state TVA region.

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., said he was "thrilled" by Kilbride being named to help direct TVA.

"I know Bill will bring an abundance of knowledge and expertise to the TVA Board," Fleischmann said. "From his track record of success at Mohawk Industries, to his time leading the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce to be recognized as the 2017 Chamber of the Year, Bill has demonstrated he knows how successful businesses work and how to take great organizations to new heights."

TVA's part-time directors are paid $51,005 a year and serve 5-year terms to oversee the operations of the federal utility, which is America's biggest government-owned utility with annual revenues of more than $10 billion.

Kilbride is the only Chattanoogan on the TVA board. The last Chattanooga TVA director was Dr. Barbara Haskew, a former TVA manager and economics professor at Middle Tennessee State University who was appointed by President Obama and served on the TVA board from 2009 to 2014.

Prior to coming to Chattanooga and transitioning into the carpet industry, Kilbride worked in financial services in New York for 20 years where he held positions in banking operations with several national banks and roles at the New York Stock Exchange. He also served as first vice president of planning for Dean Witter Financial Services.

He joined Mohawk in 1993 when it acquired American Rug Craftsmen, which he was president of at the time, and he became president of the Chattanooga Chamber in 2014 before retiring last year.

Kilbride has also been an active civic leader in Chattanooga as a member of The Bright School Board of Trustees, a gubernatorial appointee to chair the Tennessee Arts Commission, past chairman of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Chancellor's Advisory Board, past chairman of Tennessee Wesleyan College, and a past member of the board of the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority. He has also served as a trustee of the Hunter Museum and of First Centenary United Methodist Church in Chattanooga.

Contact Dave Flessner at or at 757-6340.