Knoxville, Tenn. — During his first week in office, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs named several new senior staff members.
“I am committed to filling my administration with people who are aligned with my goal of providing the citizens of Knox County the services they expect while maintaining fiscal responsibility and transparency,” said Mayor Jacobs. “We’ve been able to hit the ground running with the staff now in place and we’re excited about the great things on the horizon for Knox County.”
As announced in Mayor Jacobs’ inaugural address, two of the positions are new under his administration. With education being one of Mayor Jacobs’ top priorities, he named State Representative Roger Kane to the newly created position of education liaison. The purpose of his role is to take a comprehensive overview of the county’s entire education infrastructure and ensure it is providing our children with the tools necessary for success, not only in school but throughout life. He will also work with the Knox County Schools, technical colleges, private schools, home schoolers and the private sector with emphasis on career and technical education opportunities. Moreover, Mayor Jacobs plans to continue working closely with Superintendent Bob Thomas and the Knox County Board of Education.
Another gap Mayor Jacobs hopes to fill with the new Diversity Development Manager, Darris Upton’s role is ensuring equal economic opportunities are available to small, minority-owned, women-owned as well as veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses. Upton, a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, recently worked in a community relations role with the City of Knoxville’s Office of Neighborhoods. He also worked as a case manager for the Knoxville Community Action Committee.
Other appointments made by Mayor Jacobs include: Jim Snowden, Sr. Director of Engineering and Public Works; Dwight Van de Vate, Director of Community Development; Zack Webb, Interim Director of Information Technology; and Paul White, Sr. Director of Parks and Recreation. All other senior directors have been retained. The Mayor’s transition team of Bryan Hair and Rob Link have moved into their roles as Chief of Staff and Communications Director, respectively.