December 9, 2019 – Mayor-elect Indya Kincannon has announced additional members of her cabinet.
Mayor Kincannon’s senior leadership team will be structured around three Deputies: a Chief Operating Officer, a Chief Policy Officer, and a Chief Economic & Community Development Officer. The three Deputies will be joined on the Mayor’s Cabinet by Police Chief Eve Thomas, Fire Chief Stan Sharp, Law Director Charles Swanson, as well as a Director of Community Empowerment, a Chief Financial Officer, and a Director of Communications.
“Strong leadership and effective management are core to any organization,” said Mayor-elect Kincannon. “My leadership team is aligned around the issues that matter to the people of our City: high quality and efficient government services; policy leadership to address tough issues collaboratively and transparently; and inclusive economic development that expands opportunities for all Knoxvillians.”
David Brace will continue in his role as Chief Operating Officer, a role he has held since 2017. Brace will oversee numerous City departments, including Public Service, Parks and Recreation, Engineering, Plans Review and Inspections, Fleet Services, Information Systems, Finance, Employee Benefits and other operating departments. With over 16 years of experience at the City, Brace is committed to continuously improving the responsiveness, efficiency and quality of services for Knoxville residents and businesses.
“As Deputy Mayor, David Brace will continue to promote stability and excellence within the core functions of City government,” said Mayor-elect Kincannon. “He is a trusted partner within City government and the many organizations he works with to serve the Knoxville community.”
Joining the Kincannon administration as Chief of Economic & Community Development is Stephanie Welch, who will resign from her City Council position prior to stepping into her new role with the administration in mid-February. Welch will lead the City’s efforts to invest in Knoxville’s workforce and infrastructure in ways that catalyze private sector investment across the City while maintaining a focus on housing affordability, community wealth building, and inclusive economic development.
“Having previously served in top positions at Great Schools Partnership and the Knox County Health Department, as well as on key committees such as the Recode Stakeholder Advisory Board and the Better Building Board, Stephanie Welch brings a well-respected ability to maintain strong economic and business vitality while also deepening the city’s commitment to entrepreneurship, workforce development, and responsible revitalization,” said Mayor-elect Kincannon.
Erin Gill, the Director of Sustainability under Mayor Madeline Rogero, will serve as Chief Policy Officer and oversee Communications, Sustainability, and the Center for Service Innovation (a.k.a. 311 and 211), as well as State/Federal legislative affairs and other projects. Gill will work across departments and sectors to implement strategic initiatives, policies, and accountability mechanisms necessary to advance Mayor Kincannon’s priorities and values on sustainability, equity, innovation, and inclusive economic development.
“Erin Gill has demonstrated incredible vision, strategic abilities and policy acumen in her role as Director of Sustainability. She knows the city well, has great relationships with external partners and is the ideal person to make sure our policy goals are well-integrated into every aspect of city government.”
Dr. Bill Lyons, who currently serves as Deputy to Mayor Rogero and Chief Policy Officer, will stay on as a Special Advisor to Mayor Kincannon through her transition.
Also under Policy will be a new division of Community Empowerment, led by Charles Lomax, a former Knoxville-Knox County Planning Commissioner and City Council candidate. Building upon the work of retiring Senior Director of Community Relations Avice Evans Reid, Lomax will deepen the City’s focus on advancing inclusivity, diversity, and equity, and champion Mayor Kincannon’s commitment to actively engaging residents and neighborhoods to promote collaborative decision-making and problem-solving.
“Charles Lomax has a passion and skill for serving our community,” said Mayor-elect Kincannon, “In his role as a pastor, on the Planning Commission, and on my transition team, he has demonstrated a deep understanding of the needs of our residents. His vision and enthusiasm for resident engagement and community building will be an asset to my senior leadership team.”
Mayor-elect Kincannon is accepting applications for several positions: Chief Financial Officer, Chief Technology Officer, and Director of Transit. Current Finance Director, Jim York, and Director of Information Systems, Janet Wright, are retiring at the end of the year. Eric Vreeland will serve as Acting Communications Director during the transition and continue as Deputy Director of Communications in the new administration.
“As I build my team, I am excited at the opportunity to draw top applicants to fill these open positions and serve Knoxville,” said Kincannon. “I’ll be looking for candidates with the skills and experience needed to step seamlessly into these roles, while also bringing fresh perspective to ensure we are fully meeting the needs of our residents and of a modern city.”