Tennessee Gov.-elect Bill Lee on Tuesday announced three appointments to his Cabinet: for the Department of Transportation, the Department of Environment and Conservation and the Department of Human Resources.
The new commissioners are:
• Clay Bright – Department of Transportation
• David Salyers – Department of Environment and Conservation
• Juan Williams– Department of Human Resources
“I am pleased to announce three additions to our cabinet who bring a high level of expertise and deep knowledge of our state,” Lee said in a statement. “I look forward to working closely with these appointments as we build forward-thinking solutions for Tennessee.”
Lee has been busy filling Cabinet positions in the days leading up to his inauguration, which is Saturday. Last week he appointed Court of Appeals, Western Section Judge Brandon Gibson to serve as a Senior Advisor in the Office of the Governor.
One Middle Tennessee business owner vouched for Salyers, saying, “He’s an excellent engineer who’s had mud on his boots and understands how things have to operate in the real world.”
Salyers, of Madison County, serves as the executive director of the West Tennessee River Basin Authority, a division of the Department of Environment and Conservation, according to Lee’s website. Salyers is a registered professional engineer, geologist and certified professional hydrologist who has worked with WTRBA for more than 20 years to develop conservation solutions for West Tennessee streams and rivers.
Appointing Salyers, a West Tennessean, also has pleased one political observer from that area of the state.
Former Jackson conservative radio host Frankie Lax says West Tennesseans are excited about Lee appointing two solid Christian conservatives from Jackson to his Cabinet. “Both Salyers and Judge Brandon Gibson are well respected and well-known in our area. Salyers is an engineer who knows the west Tennessee water systems like the back of his hand, including a waterway that runs right by my farm. He will enforce the rules and regulations as Commissioner of Environment and Conservation, but with a full understanding and appreciation for how they affect farms and businesses.”
The other two new appointments are from Middle Tennessee.
Bright, of Davidson County, serves as the vice president of Brasfield & Gorrie, one of the nation’s largest privately held general contractors, Lee’s website said. He has worked with the company for 36 years and was instrumental in opening the Nashville office of Brasfield & Gorrie. His accomplishments include the construction of the AT&T Building (aka the Batman Building).
Williams, of Davidson County, serves as the operations manager for the Duke Energy Nashville Resource Center, where he advises managers, supervisors and employees on operations and workplace culture. He previously served as Director of Change Readiness for Duke Energy. He is an active member of the community and serves on the Pencil Foundation Board of Directors.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.