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Hodgen Mainda / Staff File Photo by Matt Hamilton

This story was updated at 9:22 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020 to correct the spelling of Hodgen Mainda's name.

NASHVILLE — Tennessee Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Hodgen Mainda on Tuesday submitted his letter of resignation to Gov. Bill Lee on Tuesday, a little over a year after the former Chattanooga-based EPB vice president took the post.

In his resignation letter to Lee, dated Monday, Mainda wrote he has "an opportunity to transition to the private sector and at the same time, spend more time with my young family."

Mainda stated his last day will be Nov. 13, adding that by that time, "I expect to leave the department and staff in a good and stable place. I will be available by phone and email if any questions arise after my departure.

"As we discussed, it has been an honor and a privilege to serve in your cabinet," Mainda wrote Lee. "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and appreciated the opportunity to support you in leading the state serving 6.8 million Tennesseans."

Saying the job "has been very fulfilling," Mainda noted that while "the last eight months have been challenging, I am proud of what we have accomplished with response to the tornado events, COVID-19, reopening the economy with ERG and the work with the Law Enforcement Reform Partnership."

Mainda said he will miss "all my colleagues and staff" as the state's "hard-working and dedicated employees."

"I apologize for any inconvenience caused by my departure and will do whatever I can to make this transition as smooth as possible," he wrote.

As commissioner, Mainda was heavily involved in the state's responses in March and April as tornadoes swept first through Middle Tennessee and later in Hamilton and Bradley counties and other parts of East Tennessee.

In a visit to Hamilton and Bradley counties, he said the tornadoes arrive at a "unique time" in light of the coronavirus pandemic. He urged those hit by the storms to continue to practice social distancing and said anyone seeking insurance damages to contact their insurer immediately and take pictures of any damages to help verify storm damages. He also cautioned residents to be wary of "bad actors" who might "try to scam them."

Mainda, whose father was a former financial adviser to Kenya's president, left his native Nairobi in 1997 to play rugby at Middle Tennessee State University and studied political science. Before going to work for EPB, he previously had worked in government relations and business development jobs in Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga for a law firm, a physicians practice and later Noon Development and River Branch Strategies in Chattanooga.

While in Chattanooga, Mainda served on the boards of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, WTCI, Memorial Hospital Foundation and The United Way of Greater Chattanooga. Former Gov. Bill Haslam also had appointed him to the board that oversees the Tennessee Education Lottery.

Also on Tuesday, Tennessee Department of Human Services Commissioner Danielle W. Barnes announced she is leaving the state in mid-November after 16 years to return to the private sector.

Contact Andy Sher at asher@timesfreepress.com or 615-255-0550. Follow on Twitter @AndySher1.

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