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East Tennesseans will hear firsthand about the fiscal choices facing state and national leaders and the impact on residents at this month’s Knoxville Economics Forum on Thursday, February 7.

Mark Emkes, Tennessee state commissioner for finance and administration, will be the keynote speaker at the forum, which is sponsored by the UT Department of Economics.

The event, which is open to the public, will take place at Club LeConte atop the First Tennessee Building, 800 South Gay Street.

Breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by an 8:00 a.m. program. Tickets are $20, payable on the day of the event. Registration is also available at the forum’s website.

A thirty-minute question-and-answer session will follow Emkes’s talk.

Prior to joining Governor Bill Haslam’s administration, Emkes spent thirty-three years at the Bridgestone Firestone Corporation. At his retirement, he was chairman and CEO of Bridgestone Americas Holdings Inc.

As Tennessee’s commissioner of finance and administration, Emkes acts as the state’s chief operating officer in charge of budgeting and finance functions.

“The federal and state fiscal outlooks, particularly the uncertainties surrounding the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and long-run economic growth prospects, are on the mind of most Tennesseans,” said Marianne Wanamaker, UT assistant professor of economics. “I look forward to hearing Mr. Emkes’s take on these matters and on Tennessee’s finances in general.”

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.

Past speakers have included Jane Gravelle, an economist with the Congressional Research Service; Senator Bob Corker; Dennis Lockhart, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; and Kelly King, chairman and CEO of BB&T.

For more information, visit the Knoxville Economic Forum website.


Lola Alapo (865-974-3993,