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KNOXVILLE — The Great Recession that began in 2007 has brought increased focus on the performance of the national and state economies. Now there is a local organization dedicated to an ongoing public discussion of business and economic issues as they relate to East Tennessee. The Knoxville Economics Forum, organized by the Department of Economics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will be hosting its first meeting on Friday morning, Oct.15, at Club LeConte in downtown Knoxville. Breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m. and the program will begin at 8 a.m. The cost is $20, payable on the day of the event.

Kelly King, Chairman and CEO of BB&T Corporation, will be the forum’s inaugural guest. King is a 37-year veteran of the banking industry and serves as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The topic of King’s presentation is “After the Crisis.”

The Knoxville Economics Forum is a local, nonprofit organization founded in 2010. Its mission is to foster open and honest discussion of the most important economic issues in East Tennessee by inviting leaders in business, politics and economics to share their views.

“Our goal is to inform, to engage and to spark debate on the state of the economy in East Tennessee and appropriate private sector and public policy responses,” said Marianne Wanamaker, assistant professor in the Department of Economics at UT and a co-founder of the forum. “We have heard from individuals in and around Knoxville who believe this organization has been needed for a long time.”

For more information and to register for October’s event, please visit


Whitney Holmes (865-974-5460,