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Randy Boyd, an entrepreneur and Tennessee economic and community development commissioner, will be the guest speaker at the Knoxville Economics Forum on Friday, March 27.

Reservations are being accepted for the event, which is sponsored by the UT Department of Economics. The program will take place at Club LeConte, atop the First Tennessee Building, 800 South Gay Street.

Breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. and is followed by the 8:00 a.m. program. Cost is $20, payable on the day of the event. Space is limited. Reservations may be made online.

Boyd’s talk will focus on the economic issues facing the state of Tennessee and his vision for growing the state’s economy.

“Randy Boyd is an entrepreneur and leader who has changed the face of Tennessee’s economy through his tireless efforts to build the state’s labor force,” said Bill Fox, Ergen Professor of Business and director of the UT Center for Business and Economic Research. “He has now taken his talents to economic development, where he is steering Tennessee’s direction for the future.”

Boyd is founder and executive chairman of Radio Systems Corporation, a leading manufacturer of pet products. He is the outgoing chairman of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. He also is a member of numerous nonprofit and education-related boards, including a position as the chairman of tnAchieves, a mentor-assisted scholarship program he began in 2009.

In 2013, Boyd took a year leave of absence from Radio Systems to serve Governor Bill Haslam in a volunteer role as his special advisor on higher education. He assisted the governor in developing the Drive to 55 initiative and Tennessee Promise before being named economic and community development commissioner in December 2014.

The Knoxville Economics Forum was 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 Nobel laureate economist Peter Diamond; Mark Emkes, Tennessee commissioner of finance and administration; Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Gary Wade; 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.


Lola Alapo (865-974-3993,