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UT’s Center for Sustainable Business and Tourism will host two events allowing university and state leaders to discuss critical issues that impact the state’s environment and economy. The events will be held from 2:10 to 3:30 p.m. in the John C. Hodges Library Auditorium on April 10 and 12.

“These events will allow representatives of government, businesses, higher education, and nonprofit organizations, as well as interested citizens, to share perspectives, insights, and ideas that support sustainable growth, environment, and development for our region,” said Rachel Chen, director of the Center for Sustainable Business and Tourism and the organizer of the “2012 Leadership Summit on Sustainability.”

Both events are free and open to the public. Parking is available at Volunteer Hall in White Avenue’s public parking garage.

On Tuesday, April 10, commissioners from state government will discuss sustainable agriculture, transportation, environment, and tourism.

Panelists include Julius Johnson, Tennessee commissioner of agriculture; Bob Martineau, Tennessee commissioner of environment and conservation; John Schroer, Tennessee commissioner of transportation; and Susan Whitaker, Tennessee commissioner of tourist development.

Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek will welcome guests and participants. Bill Fox, professor of economics and director of the Center for Business and Economic Research, will lead the panel discussion.

On Thursday, April 12, a panel featuring regional industry leaders will focus on structuring and operating sustainable businesses. Panelists will include Steve McMillen, vice president of talent management for the Tennessee Valley Authority; Hugh Morrow Jr., president of Ruby Falls LLC; and Bruce Karas, vice president of environment and sustainability, Coca-Cola Refreshments.

Sarah Gardial, vice provost for faculty affairs, will welcome guests and participants and lead the event.

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For more information, call the Center for Sustainable Business and Tourism at 865-974-0505 or email