“Let me tell you what this industry does for Tennessee. We got 360,000 Tennesseans in the advanced energy business sector. 18,000 great companies. $40 billion dollars of GDP generated right here in Tennessee. And the best news is, is that this industry sector grows continually at about ten percent. So to those of you who are a part of this ecosystem, let me just say thank you to everything you guys have done.”
Bob Rolfe was sworn in on January 19, 2019 by Governor Bill Lee to serve as commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. The department is responsible for recruiting business and industry to the state, supporting existing companies, expanding economic opportunities across rural Tennessee and boosting the state’s overall economic prosperity.
Rolfe has served as TNECD commissioner since March 2017. Under his leadership, TNECD has increased Tennessee’s global footprint. During Rolfe’s tenure, he has led Tennessee’s efforts in the recruitment and expansion of over 100 international projects, which represent an investment of $5.6 billion and 18,000 job commitments.
TNECD has placed a major focus on job creation and community development in rural Tennessee. Since 2017, the department has provided more than $240 million in funding to rural communities throughout the state. In addition, companies have invested $4 billion and committed to create 21,500 new jobs in rural communities over the past three years.
Rolfe has more than three decades of experience in business and investment banking in Tennessee. Before joining TNECD, he held the position of CEO of Medical Reimbursements of America, Inc., a company that provides specialty reimbursement solutions to improve financial performance for hospitals and health systems nationwide. Prior to his time at MRA, Rolfe co-founded West End Holdings in 2011, a Nashville-based private equity partnership. He spent the first 18 years of his career as an investment banker at J.C. Bradford and Co.
Rolfe received his E.M.B.A. from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University and his B.S. from the University of Alabama’s School of Commerce and Business Administration. He and his wife, Kathy, have been married for over 36 years and have three grown children. He is a member of First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, where he has served as an elder for two decades.