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LeRoy Thompson Named New ECD East Tennessee Regional Director

Thursday, September 27, 2012 | 06:22am

Thompson to Help with Existing Industry Expansions and New Business Recruitment

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced today that Knoxville native and real estate developer LeRoy Thompson has been named East Tennessee regional director effective Oct. 16.  Thompson will be responsible for leading Governor Bill Haslam’s economic development efforts in the East Tennessee jobs base camp region and will serve as the primary point of contact for all issues relating to job creation.

“We are very fortunate to have LeRoy joining our talented East Tennessee team,” Allen Borden, ECD assistant commissioner, Statewide Operations, said.  “As a respected business and community leader with a network of established relationships in the area, LeRoy has a wealth of experience in economic development that will serve ECD well as we work to achieve Gov. Haslam’s goal of becoming the No. 1 state in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

Thompson will oversee efforts to attract new businesses, help existing businesses expand and support other regional economic development efforts.  The East Tennessee jobs base camp encompasses Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Roane, Scott, Sevier and Union Counties. 

“I am excited to join ECD’s East Tennessee team and look forward to working with all the counties in the region,” Thompson said.  “I hope to leverage the relationships and skills I have developed in business along with my strong commitment to service to help attract new companies and jobs to East Tennessee.” 

Thompson will join ECD from his previous role as president and CEO of BDT Development & Management, LLC in Knoxville, a real estate and construction firm specializing in the development of diverse public and private real estate and construction projects, including a wide variety of single- and multi-family residences, retail shopping centers, churches, clinics and commercial properties. 

Previously, Thompson served as executive director of Wesley House Community Center, a nonprofit focusing on development and service programs in troubled neighborhoods.  He has also worked as regional marketing director/sales for Premier Marketing Group and managing partner for Kool Sport, Inc., both in Knoxville. 

Graduating from Pennsylvania State University, Thompson was a four-year varsity scholarship football player that went on to play in the National Football League.  He was a starting running back and special teams player for the Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  While still an active NFL player, he founded the Thompson Team Dream Foundation, a nonprofit providing leadership, mentoring and collegiate scholarship programs for at-risk young people.

Thompson is married to his high school sweetheart and Knoxville native Nikitia, and they have three children Brooke (17), Dezmond (15) and Tionna (13).

In April 2011, Gov. Haslam announced the Jobs4TN initiative, which directed ECD to form nine regional jobs base camps to serve as a point of contact for Tennessee companies seeking state services. The regional offices also work with economic developers in rural Tennessee counties to encourage participation in broader regional economic development strategies.

Additional information about the ECD’s jobs base camps is available on the ECD website at

About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development

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


Contact:  Laura Elkins, ECD

Office: (615) 532-1910


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