Randy Boyd exits Haslam cabinet; will seek ‘ways to best serve our state’

News release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD) Commissioner Randy Boyd will return to the private sector February 1, serving as chairman of Radio Systems Corp., the business he started in 1991.

During Boyd’s two-year tenure as commissioner, the state has been recognized as first in the nation for advanced industry job growth, first in foreign direct investment, and second in the growth of household median incomes. ECD has also set several records and generated nearly 50,000 new job commitments and nearly $11 billion in capital investment in the state.

Boyd joined the administration in 2013 as a special advisor to the governor for higher education, helping create the state’s Drive to 55 initiative, the Tennessee Promise and Reconnect programs and other initiatives to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary degree or certificate to 55 percent by 2025.

“The State of Tennessee has gained so much from Randy’s service. To put it simply: without Randy, there is no Tennessee Promise or Drive to 55 or a comprehensive approach to job growth via workforce development,” Haslam said. “I will miss his energy, passion and deep commitment to bringing economic growth and success to every corner of the state, and I am grateful for everything he has done for Tennessee.”

As commissioner, Boyd established ECD’s first Division of Rural Development and co-chaired the Governor’s Rural Task Force to accelerate rural development and job creation in all counties of the state. He served as chairman of the Governor’s Workforce Sub-Cabinet, Aviation Task Force, and Launch Tennessee, the state’s public-private partnership to support Tennessee entrepreneurs and small businesses grow the jobs of the future.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to serve the governor and the people of Tennessee,” Boyd said. “The governor has taught me what a positive impact one can have in public service. The people of Tennessee and ECD’s staff and many partners have inspired me with their passion and determination. It has been an honor to serve and one I’ll always cherish. Now, I look forward to returning home to Knoxville to continue to find ways to best serve our state.”

In addition to Radio Systems Corp, Boyd chairs Boyd Sports, owner of the Tennessee Smokies and Johnson City Cardinals, and tnAchieves, the non-profit program that has helped more than 44,000 Tennessee Promise students across 85 counties pursue college opportunities with the support of more than 15,000 volunteer mentors. Boyd and his wife Jenny, who have two grown sons, reside in Knoxville where they attend Erin Presbyterian Church.

Note: Well, there’s speculation that Boyd will run for governor in 2018 and he hasn’t ruled it  out. Declaring that Haslam has ‘taught me what a positive impact one can have in public service” and that he will “continue to find ways to best serve our state” does nothing to discourage such talk. Indeed, you could almost interpret such comments as a coy way of getting things started.

UPDATE/Note: From The Tennessean:

In an interview, Boyd said when Haslam named him to the post in late 2014, he told the governor that he would only stay in the position for two years, which he said was partially based on family reasons.

“Leaving at 4 o’clock every Monday morning and getting back late Friday night is sometimes stressful,” he said. “I’m looking forward to actually waking up in my own bed at a reasonable hour and seeing my wife a little bit more often.”

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