McKenzie Industrial Development Board’s executive director, Frank Tate, has resigned to take a job in Clarksville as the executive director of the Montgomery County Industrial Board, according to Gary Simmons, chairman of the McKenzie Board.
Simmons confirmed Wednesday morning that Tate informed the full board in a meeting Tuesday night that he would be leaving July 17.
“He has done an incredible and exceptional job for the City of McKenzie,” said Simmons. “He was on a year by year contract in his position in McKenzie and has been on board for a little over a year.” He began his duties March 1, 2017.
Tate and his wife, Holly, have just recently added a baby boy to his family of two girls.
“My family and I have come to love the area and we really like the people here,” said Tate.
He pointed out that in economic development, that to advance in the profession, if you’re recruited, you have to move the community.
“That can be a misfortune, especially when you have come to enjoy such a great place like McKenzie,” he said. “However, this opportunity with Clarksville-Montgomery County allows me to stay regionally in the area and stay involved.”
Tate added that in economic development, one focuses on the strengths of the community and that’s essentially what his position has been in McKenzie.
“McKenzie boasts some great opportunities,” he said. “Its assets, workforce and industrial inventory are far better than any of our competing communities.”
Simmons said Tate was a win win for McKenzie and will be the same for Clarksville.
“We understood that he was exceptional and might not be here long and we wish him well,” said Simmons. “We’re flattered that he has this opportunity.”
The assistant director, Monica Heath, will handle the day-to-day duties of the Industrial Development Board during the search for another executive director, according to Simmons.
McKenzie Mayor Jill Holland said the city hates to lose him.
“He had great ideas but we understand that he couldn’t pass up an opportunity like this,” she said. “He never let grass grow under his feet.”
She said in his new job he will be the engine for Montgomery County’s economic development department.
“We certainly wish we could keep him,” she said. “We wish him and his family well in their new location.”
The Industrial Board’s executive committee of Simmons, Joel Washburn and Keith Priestley will start the search for Tate’s successor.