Lewis Lavine, advisor to governors and non-profit groups, dies aged 71

Lewis Lavine, who served as chief of staff to then-Gov. Lamar Alexander in the 1980s and went on to a career as a public relations specialist with a focus on non-profit organizations, died of heart failure Wednesday at the age of 71. He also was an advisor to Gov. Bill Haslam in the early days of the current governor’s administration.

The Tennessean describes him as a respected non-profit, business and government leader known as “a convener, conversation builder and connector.” Further from the obituary story:

For 12 years, Lavine led the Center for Nonprofit Management, working as a champion for hundreds of charity organizations.

When he retired from nonprofit leadership in 2016, Lewis returned to The Ingram Group, a consulting and lobbying firm where he previously served as chairman.

Alexander, now a U.S. senator, expressed a great respect for Lavine.

“Thousands of non-profits help more people and spend contributions more effectively because of Lewis Lavine’s leadership at Nashville’s Center for Nonprofit Management,” Alexander said in a statement.

“For eight years in the governor’s office, he set high standards and made good policy, three of those as my chief of staff. He was a dear friend.”

Lavine was married to his wife, Marcia, for 47 years. The couple had one daughter, Nathalie, and son-in-law, Keith Russell.

2 Responses to Lewis Lavine, advisor to governors and non-profit groups, dies aged 71

  • Sen. Ken Yager says:

    Lewis Lavine is one of the most principled public servants I have had the privilege to work with. He and I worked together on projects during Gov. Alexander’s administration. We reconnected not too long ago for a good conversation. I am indeed sorry to read this news. My condolences to his family.

  • Commissioner David W. Purkey says:

    Another Tennessee patriot passes from our midst… Good, good man.

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