Governor Bill Haslam

2011 East Tennessean of the Year

The Board of Directors of the East Tennessee Historical Society was proud to honor Governor Bill Haslam as the first East Tennessean of the Year at a Gala Dinner Event held on December 15, 2011.

On November 2, 2010, Bill Haslam made history when he was elected as governor of Tennessee, winning 90 of 95 counties and securing the largest victory of any non-incumbent gubernatorial candidate in our state’s history. He also has the distinction of being the first Knoxville native elected governor in our state’s history, and the second East Tennessean elected in the past 50 years.  Governor Haslam was inaugurated on January 15, 2011, as our state’s 49th governor.

In 2003, at the urging of many friends and associates, business and community leader Bill Haslam ran successfully for the office of mayor of Knoxville.  The skills he honed in the private sector helped to make him an extremely effective mayor, and he was re-elected in 2007 to a second four- year term.  Throughout his tenure as mayor, Bill was often heard to say he loved his job, and his heart for public service was evident when he undertook in 2010 to run for governor.