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Governor-elect Lee names key transition officials, Inaugural Committee leaders

Governor-elect Lee names key transition officials, Inaugural Committee leaders

Local healthcare and finance executive Stuart McWhorter on Thursday was named as chairman of  Tennessee Governor-elect Bill Lee’s Inaugural Committee.

Lee also announced several key leadership positions for his Transition Team, and unveiled a new transition website — — which seeks to engage Tennesseans to help share ideas.

“I want to ensure that Tennesseans know that this is their government, and so, I want to hear their ideas on how we all can help Tennessee lead the nation,” Lee said in a press release announcing the appointments.

McWhorter served as Finance Chairman for Lee’s gubernatorial campaign. McWhorter serves as chairman and president of Brentwood-based Clayton Associates, founded in 1996, an investment management company primarily focused on the early stage investment cycle in the healthcare and technology industries.

The Transition’s Senior Leadership Team includes:
Butch Eley – Chairman
Blake Harris – Executive Director
Chris Devaney – Deputy Director and Legislative Liaison
Laine Arnold – Press Secretary

“Now that the campaign is over, it is time to get to work,” Lee said. “I’ve said throughout the campaign that I’m looking for talented individuals who can help Tennessee thrive, and I’m honored that these individuals are dedicating themselves to helping move Tennessee to a place where we can lead the nation.”

Butch Eley most recently served as Chief Growth Officer of DBI Services, one of the nation’s leading providers of performance-driven operations and maintenance and asset management services. Prior to that, he founded Infrastructure Corporation of America in 1998 to provide comprehensive asset management solutions for infrastructure assets. Eley served on Lee’s Business Advisory Coalition during his campaign.

Blake Harris is an attorney and served as General Consultant for Lee’s gubernatorial campaign. Responsible for overall campaign strategy for the campaign, he built
the campaign team.

Chris Devaney served as Campaign Manager for Bill Lee’s gubernatorial campaign. Prior to managing the campaign, he served as Executive Director of CNP Haiti, a Christian mission organization working to prevent childhood malnutrition. He was also Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party from 2009 – 2015 and was a senior aide to Senator Bob Corker and former Senator Fred Thompson.

Press Secretary Laine Arnold served in the same role for the campaign team. She also served as Press Secretary for the Randy Boyd for Governor campaign in 2017 and 2018.

Longtime fundraiser Kim Kaegi will be executive director of the Inaugural Committee. Most recently Kaegi served as a fundraising consultant for the Lee General Election campaign. She has led successful fundraising efforts for multiple campaigns, including both Gov. Bill Haslam’s campaign and re-election bid, and she led Governor Haslam’s inaugural celebrations in 2011 and 2015.

Like previous gubernatorial inaugurations, there will be multiple planned inaugural activities open to the public that will occur across the state heading into the swearing-in ceremony and celebration on January 19, 2019.

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