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Steve Ahillen
By Steve Ahillen February 10, 2012

Rural development director named

Then-Knoxville mayor Bill Haslam mentioned numerous times, including on  a campaign stop in Jackson on Sept. 21, 2010, his plan to focus on rural communities and small towns by appointing a person to a leadership position within the Department of Economic and Community Development.

"The person in this position will serve as the point person on rural issues and will be one of my most important appointments,” he said in a press release.

Haslam's contention was that these areas were being neglected mainly because they had little means to make their voices heard in Nashville. In addition to making an appointment, Haslam mentioned the need to bring web access to these areas and to decentralize the ECD in order to make the department more accessible at a grassroots level.

The governor made good on the directorship appointment. He hired Dan Hawk to the job of director of rural development in September 2011, noting that Hawk's goal would be "a renewed focus on helping the private sector create jobs in rural Tennessee.”

Hawk, described as a "department veteran,” had most recently held the position of Community Development Administrator and led community development programs including Local Planning, Three-Star, Tennessee Main Street, Retire Tennessee, Energy and the National Flood Insurance Program.

We give this a Promise Kept.

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