Knoxville Economics Forum

The Knoxville Economics Forum, established in 2010,
is a non-profit organization dedicated to the open discussion of economic policy issues. Learn more

Past Events:

SunTrust Chairman and CEO Bill Rogers

The Forum is pleased to welcome SunTrust Banks, Inc. chairman and CEO William H. Rogers, Jr. to the podium for our spring 2017 meeting. Mr. Rogers has spent a career at SunTrust Banks, Inc., moving through corporate banking, corporate finance, retail banking and mortgage divisions. He has been CEO since 2011 and added the chairman role in 2012. Mr. Rogers has focused his efforts on the company's purpose-driven mission of Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being. As a part of that purpose, SunTrust launched the onUp movement to help build financial confidence across the country. During Mr. Rogers' remarks, he will address how businesses and communities can build financial confidence.

Please join us in welcoming Mr. Rogers to the Forum on Friday, March 31th at Club LeConte, atop the First Tennessee Building, 800 South Gay Street.

Breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. followed by the program at 8:00. The cost of attendance is $20, payable on the day of the event (cash or check only). To make a reservation, fill out the form to the right. Space is limited, so make your reservation today.

Economist Alan Viard

The Forum was pleased to host AEI Economist Alan Viard to the podium on October 28, 2016. Dr. Viard spoke about the potential for reform to the business tax following the 2016 election and evaluated the pros and cons of the candidates' proposals.

Commissioner Randy Boyd

The Forum is pleased to welcome Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd to the podium for a discussion of economic issues facing the state of Tennessee. Commissioner Boyd is the founder and executive chairman of Radio Systems Corporation, which he started in 1991, and the outgoing chairman of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC). He is a member of a large number of non-profit and education-related boards, including being the chairman of tnAchieves, a mentor-assisted scholarship program he began in 2009. In 2013, he took a year leave of absence from Radio Systems to serve Governor Bill Haslam in a volunteer role as his Special Advisor on Higher Education assisting in the development of the Drive to 55 initiatives and the Tennessee Promise before being named ECD Commissioner in December 2014. Commissioner Boyd was the 2014 University of Tennessee Alumni of the Year, 2014 Tennessee Business Round Table Gordon Fee Achievement Award, 2014 Pinnacle James Haslam Leadership Award, Ernst and Young's Entrepreneur of the year for the Southeast in 2008, Tennessee Business Magazine's CEO of the Year in 2009, UT's Entrepreneur of the Year in 2009, and was inducted into Junior Achievement's East Tennessee Hall of Fame in 2008.

Please join us in welcoming Commissioner Boyd to the Forum on Friday, March 27th at Club LeConte, atop the First Tennessee Building, 800 South Gay Street.

Breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. followed by the program at 8:00. The cost of attendance is $20, payable on the day of the event (cash or check only). To make a reservation, fill out the form to the right. Space is limited, so make your reservation today.

Justice Gary R. Wade

Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Gary Wade was the Forum's speaker on Friday, December 12. Justice Wade is a co-founder of Friends of the Smokies, a 20-year old organization dedicated to protecting and maintaining the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. His remarks focused on the region's "Mountain Heritage", and he provided a history of the founding of the national park and its subsequent role in regional economic development.

Peter Diamond

The Forum welcomed Nobel laureate Peter Diamond to the podium on November 8, 2013. Dr. Diamond's comments on "Unemployment and Debt" addressed the role of fiscal and monetary policy in addressing the current unemployment and debt issues. Dr. Diamond is an Institute Professor Emeritus at MIT where he taught from 1966 to 2011 and is known for his work on optimal taxation and his overlapping-generations analysis of the effects of the public debt.

Mark Emkes

Mark Emkes spoke to the Forum on February 7, 2013. Mr. Emkes is the Commissioner of Finance and Administration for the State of Tennessee where he acts as the state's chief operating officer in charge of budgeting and finance functions. His appointment by Governor Haslam was, in part, sparked by his success in private industry, having spent 33 years with the Bridgestone Firestone Corporation. Mr. Emkes' remarks focused on the fiscal condition of state government, and the impact of the Affordable Care Act on Tennesseans.

Jane G. Gravelle

On April 20, 2012, the Forum welcomed Jane Gravelle to the podium to discuss competing methods for dealing with the country's long-run fiscal situation. Dr. Gravelle is a Senior Specialist in Economic Policy at the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and a renowned specialist in the economics of taxation, particularly the effects of tax policies on economic growth and resource allocation. Her comments focused on the difficult choices facing Congress as they seek to address the rapid growth of the national debt and again of the nation's workforce.

Bob Corker, US Senator

On August 8, 2011, the Forum welcomed Senator Bob Corker to the podium for a timely discussion of national economic policy and the US fiscal crisis. Senator Corker is a leading voice in congressional discussions of debt reduction and, as a member of the Senate Banking Committee, a critical collaborator on financial reform in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis. Senator Corker's remarks centered on the policy options for addressing the United States fiscal crisis

Press Coverage:
knoxnews.com/news/2011/aug/13/roger-harris-cut-spending-and-tax-breaks
knoxnews.com/news/2011/aug/08/bob-corker-says-sp-move-was-a-wake-up-call/

Dennis P. Lockhart, president of the Atlanta Federal Reserve

On April 8, 2011, the Forum welcomed Dennis P. Lockhart, president of the Atlanta Federal Reserve, to the podium. Mr. Lockhart is the fourteenth president and chief executive officer of the Atlanta Federal Reserve, having held that post since March 2007, and serves on the Federal Open Market Committee. Mr. Lockhart's comments related to the state of manufacturing in the United States, and the policy options facing the Federal Reserve in its attempt to promote the still-sluggish economic recovery

Press Coverage:
bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-08/lockhart-says-fed-should-take-time-in-removing-stimulus-as-recovery-modest.html
• reuters.com/article/2011/04/08/usa-fed-lockhart-exit-idUSDZE7DS01620110408
knoxnews.com/news/2011/apr/09/ceo-of-fed-speaks-in-knox/
knoxnews.com/news/2011/apr/08/feds-lockhart-downplays-impact-commodity-price-inc/
tnjn.com/2011/apr/08/federal-reserve-bank-of-atlant/

Kelly King , Chairman and CEO of BB&T

On October 8, 2010, the Forum welcomed Kelly King, Chairman and CEO of BB&T, to the podium. Mr. King has been with BB&T since 1972 and was elected to the CEO position January 1, 2009. He also serves as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Mr. King's remarks, entitled "After the Crisis", focused on the causes, consequences, and potential remedies for the United States' fiscal crisis.

Press Coverage:
knoxnews.com/news/2010/oct/04/focus-on-economics-at-forum/
• blogs.knoxnews.com/harris/2010/10/controversial-speech-perfect-start-for-new-forum.html
blogs.knoxnews.com/harris/2010/10/kelly-king-economy-needs-a-new-congress.html