Meet Tennessee’s New Economic Development Chief
Randy Boyd previously was a "special adviser" - unpaid - to Governor Bill Haslam overseeing his "Driver to 55," an effort to increase college attainment rates in the state. Credit: TN Photo Services

Meet Tennessee’s New Economic Development Chief

Randy Boyd previously was a "special adviser" - unpaid - to Governor Bill Haslam overseeing his "Drive to 55," an effort to increase college attainment rates in the state. Credit: TN Photo Services
Randy Boyd previously was a “special adviser” – unpaid – to Governor Bill Haslam overseeing his “Drive to 55,” an effort to increase college attainment rates in the state. Credit: TN Photo Services

The businessman who previously volunteered to spearhead a push to get more Tennesseans finishing college has now been named commissioner of the Economic and Community Development Department.

https://twitter.com/Dogfencepeddler/status/545607288598581249

Randy Boyd started Radio Systems Corporation in 1991, which is headquartered in Knoxville. The privately held company which markets pet products under brands like Invisible Fence and Pet Safe reports sales of more than $350 million annually, with operations in seven countries.

“In case you’re wondering how a dog fence salesman gets this job,” Boyd said to a Nashville audience in 2013 while working on higher education issues, “you had to be totally unencumbered by knowledge of the subject.”

Boyd helped start tnAchieves, which was the precursor to Tennessee Promise — Governor Haslam’s program that pays for two years of community college for every high school graduate.

“More than ever, offering an educated and highly trained workforce is part of attracting new business to our state and encouraging existing businesses to expand here,” Haslam said in a statement. “Randy’s experience and success in the private sector as well as his engagement in the education community make him a perfect fit.”

Current ECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty has said he is returning to the private sector.

Blake Farmer

Blake Farmer is WPLN's assistant news director, but he wears many hats - reporter, editor and host. He covers the Tennessee state capitol while also keeping an eye on Fort Campbell and business trends, frequently contributing to national programs. Born in Tennessee and educated in Texas, Blake has called Nashville home for most of his life.
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