EDGE Changes at the top: Who's in and who's out in 2018

EDGE Changes at the top: Who's in and who's out in 2018

December 1st, 2018 by Dave Flessner in EDGE

Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp waves to the crowd during a "Get Out The Vote" rally at the Dalton Convention Center on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018 in Dalton, Ga. Republican Brian Kemp is facing off against Democrat Stacey Abrams for governor in Georgia.

Photo by C.B. Schmelter

Gallery: Changes at the Top

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While Tennesseans and Georgians elected a new governor this year to lead their respective states, many of Chattanooga's biggest employers also got new bosses during 2018.

In the past year, new CEOs were named to head Chattanooga's tourism bureau, the biggest bank and one of the biggest hospitals. New pro soccer teams coming to town also hired new leaders while the region's biggest employer and utility is searching for a new CEO.

In November, Franklin, Tennessee contractor Bill Lee, who is also a cattle farmer, was elected to succeed Bill Haslam as Tennessee's next governor in January. U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, another Williamson County Republican, was elected to replaced the retiring Bob Corker as U.S. Senator. Corker says he is still considering options for the future, but he says he will live in Chattanooga.

In Georgia's highly contested gubernatorial contest, voters narrowly elected former Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp to succeed Nathan Deal.

In the private sector, the executive changes in Chattanooga this year were not near as tumultuous at the elections of 2018.

Jay W. Dale, a 25-year banker, was named the local head of Chattanooga's biggest bank, First Tennessee Bank. Dale succeeded Jeff Jackson as the market president in Chattanooga after Jackson was promoted to Florida market leader for Capital Bank, also owned by the parent company of First Tennessee.

At CHI Memorial Hospital, Janelle Reilly was named to succeed Larry Schumacher, when Schumacher was promoted to oversee CHI hospitals across the Southeast United States as CHI prepares to merge with another Catholic-owned nonprofit chain, Dignity Health.

Barry White, formerly head of the Convention and Visitors Bureau in Augusta, Georgia, assumed his job in February as the new president of the Chattanooga Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, succeeding Bob Doak who retired after 15 years as head of the local tourism-promotion agency.

As Chattanooga prepares for the possibility of two new pro soccer teams next year, Sheldon Grizzle was named the new general manager of the Chattanooga Football Club, while the newly named Chattanooga Red Wolves hired former FC manager Sean McDaniel as president and general manager and Tim Hankinson as head coach.

Perhaps the biggest local power broker, Tennessee Valley Authority President Bill Johnson announced he is retiring as head of America's biggest government owned power utility. The TVA board has begun searching for his successor. In 2018, TVA did name its first ever chief operating officer, Mike Skaggs, and a new nuclear chief, Tim Rausch.

Derek Bullard from Charlotte, North Carolina, is the new president and chief executive officer for Siskin Children's Institute and Rosalind Connor is the new CEO at Bethel Bible Village. Major Mark Smith was appointed as the Area Commander for the Salvation Army