NASHVILLE -- Gov.-elect Bill Lee has named Clay Bright, a top executive in one of the nation's largest privately held construction firms, as commissioner of Tennessee's Department of Transportation.
Bright, a regional vice president of Birmingham, Ala.-based Brasfield & Gorrie, was one of three top appointments made Tuesday by Lee as the Williamson County Republican prepares to be sworn in as Tennessee's 50th governor on Saturday.
The incoming governor also is replacing Rebecca Hunter of Hamilton County, the current commissioner over the Department of Human Resources, with Juan Williams, operations manager for the Duke Energy Nashville Resource Center where he advises managers, supervisors and employees on matters including operations and workplace culture.
Lee also named David Salyers as commissioner over the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.
The incoming governor said in a statement that all three appointees "bring a high level of expertise and deep knowledge of our state. I look forward to working closely with these appointments as we build forward-thinking solutions for Tennessee."
As commissioner of transportation, Bright will head one of the largest agencies in all state government with a budget of some $2.4 billion He's worked 36 years for Brasfield & Gorrie and played a key role in opening the general contractor's Nashville office. During his private sector career, he's been involved in some of the largest and most complex projects in Tennessee, including the construction of the 33-story AT&T Building in downtown Nashville.
Before assuming his current position as operations manager for Duke Energy's Nashville Resources Center, Lee served as the director of Change Readiness for Duke Energy, with focuses on business process, talent management and restructuring.
In addition to nearly 17 years of human resources and operations experience, Williams is an active member of the community and serves on the Pencil Foundation Board of Directors.
Salyers, of Madison County, currently serves as the executive director of the West Tennessee River Basin Authority, a division of the Department of Environment and Conservation.
He is a registered professional engineer, geologist and certified professional hydrologist who has worked with WTRBA for more than 20 years to develop conservation solutions for West Tennessee streams and rivers. During his tenure, he helped secure millions in federal grants for Tennessee and was also instrumental in developing Tennessee's recently released water plan known as TN H2O.