Mayor John Cooper announced that effective October 3, LaTanya Channel will serve as director of the refocused Mayor’s Office of Economic Growth and Small Business Development, previously known as the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Community Development.
“We are thrilled to welcome LaTanya, who will be central to advancing a vision for economic development that works for every neighborhood,” Mayor Cooper said in a media statement.
This comes two months after the department’s previous director, Courtney Pogue, resigned on July 13, after serving in the position for just over a year. Before resigning, Pogue had expressed his concerns with Nashville’s rapid growth.
Pogue said, “I think Nashville’s at a crossroads. A lot of my peers see the growth in Nashville, and opportunities. But also, they’re concerned about Nashville. My peers in Seattle, Austin, and San Francisco, their growth took place over a 10-to-15-year period. Things are going to grow in Nashville over a five-year period,” she added.
Nashville has seen the job market increase over the last year, and future growth is predicted to be 48.3 percent. Several large companies have moved to Nashville, including Oracle, Dell, Amazon, Facebook, Iron Galaxy Studies, and others.
With nearly 30 years of federal and state public service experience, Channel will be responsible for the future economic development of Davidson County, focusing on ensuring that the citizens of Davidson County benefit from the growth of their community.
“Too many residents are being left behind by the tremendous growth we see in our city,” Mayor Cooper said, “and it’s our job to fix that by focusing on inclusion, small businesses, ensuring opportunity reaches our hard-to-employ population and young people, and that we’re increasing the wages of residents who are already here working.”
Channel earned her bachelor’s degree from Claremont McKenna College and attended Rutgers University School of Law-Newark for her law degree. Before joining Cooper’s office, Channel served as Tennessee’s Small Business Administration (SBA) director for eight years at the SBA district office in Nashville.
“My passion is finding creative ways to ensure everyone benefits from economic development, especially small businesses, by advancing policy goals centered around inclusion and equity,” Channel said. “I am excited to work with Mayor Cooper and across Metro to make a meaningful difference across Nashville.”
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Kaitlyn Osteen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Send Kaitlyn tips at [email protected]
Photo “LaTanya Channel” by Nashville.gov. Background Photo “Davidson County Courthouse” by Michael Rivera. CC BY-SA 4.0.