TNECD announces keynote speakers for 2019 Governor’s Conference

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development today announced that Gov. Bill Lee and Donald Miller, CEO of StoryBrand, will be the keynote speakers at the 2019 TNECD Governor’s Conference in Nashville.

Miller will be the keynote speaker during the Commissioner’s Luncheon on Thursday, Oct. 24, and Lee will headline the Governor’s Luncheon on Friday, Oct. 25. This will be Lee’s first appearance at the conference as governor.

Along with the keynote speakers, Fred Diaz, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors North America, will speak during a plenary session on Thursday, Oct. 24.

“Each year, we look forward to hosting our annual Governor’s Conference where we come together as a state to reflect on the past year’s accomplishments and learn new ways to build strategies for continued success in communities throughout Tennessee,” TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe said. “We are thrilled to hear from Gov. Lee as he shares his insights and priorities as the leader of our state, and after hearing from Donald Miller and Fred Diaz, we believe attendees will gain a better understanding of why Tennessee continues to attract companies to our state and how to position their community for the next big win.”

Lee is a seventh-generation Tennessean and the 50th governor of Tennessee. This year, Lee passed a series of legislative initiatives to strengthen career and technical training, expand school choice, pursue criminal justice reform, improve public safety and sharpen the effectiveness of government.

Lee has been focused on the accelerated transformation of rural Tennessee. In January, he issued his first executive order, requiring all state executive departments to issue a statement of rural impact and provide recommendations for better serving rural Tennessee. This was the first step by the administration to accelerate plans to address Tennessee’s 15 distressed counties, which are all rural.

Miller is the CEO of StoryBrand and every year helps more than 3,000 business leaders clarify their brand message. Combined, Don’s books have spent more than a year on the New York Times Bestsellers list. His books include: Blue Like JazzA Million Miles in a Thousand Years, and Scary Close. He has served on The Presidential Task Force for Fatherhood and Healthy Families, a joint effort between government and the private sector to rewrite the story of fatherlessness in America.

Miller is widely considered one of the most entertaining and informative speakers in the world. His thoughts on story have deeply influenced leaders and teams for Pantene, Ford/Lincoln, Zaxby’s, Chick-fil-A, Steelcase, Intel, Prime Lending and thousands more.

Diaz is president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors North America, as well as Chairman of the Board. In June, Mitsubishi Motors North America officials announced that the automaker would relocate its headquarters from Cypress, Calif. to Franklin, Tenn.

Diaz brings 30 years of experience in the automotive industry and a wealth of knowledge of the U.S. market. Prior to this appointment, Diaz served as general manager in charge of performance optimization for the global marketing and sales division of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation in Japan.

The 2019 TNECD Governor’s Conference will be held at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel. The conference will bring together hundreds of state and local officials, business leaders and economic development professionals.

For more information, to see the schedule and register for the 2019 TNECD Governor’s Conference, please visit

About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies that help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. To grow and strengthen Tennessee, the department seeks to attract new corporate investment to the state and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find us on the web: Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @tnecd. Like us on Facebook:


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.