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Gov. Bill Haslam : Meet the Commissioners - "Vision"

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Published on Mar 24, 2011

Governor Haslam: One of the great things about how state government works is that administrations change every four to eight years. This gives us a chance to get a new perspective on how we do things on Capitol Hill. Although the entire cabinet is not new, we do have several new faces on what is mostly a new team. I want to introduce you to a few of them as they share their visions for their departments, as we work to offer great customer service.

Department of Health Commissioner Susan Cooper: Well certainly our vision is that Tennessee will become the healthiest state in the nation, and we believe that that's achievable. We have been on that path and we're going to keep marching towards that number one ranking.

Department of Financial Institutions Commissioner Greg Gonzales: Our vision has got to be for this department that we encourage and develop an environment within which institutions can be successful because we know that financial institutions are the economic engines for Tennessee's economy, and we need for them to be successful. So we look forward to working with Governor Haslam on those issues.

Department of Children's Services Commissioner Kathryn O'Day: My vision is that all Tennessee children get to grow up in a safe and loving family and get to become all that they can be. Now for us to do that we are going to have to work with others. The state cannot do it all. And so we're going to have to work with the schools, the courts, community agencies, volunteers, faith community, all of those partners that it takes to make that happen for our children.

Department of Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson: My vision for the department is to make Tennessee rural communities, agricultural communities, a better place to live. I believe we can do this by creating incentives for new jobs to be developed in the rural areas. To make sure that the agriculture community grows in like kind with our urban businesses and so forth. To develop jobs and to have the same opportunity that the urban areas have.

Department of Mental Health Commissioner Doug Varney: Well I think the most important thing for a department, like the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services is that we be really responsive to the people we serve. That we treat them with dignity and respect and we make sure that they get access to services. Because many of these people, by the time they get to this point, or are looking for services, they're desperate. They are dealing with very difficult situations, and I want to make sure that through the contract agencies we work with or whether it's a contract through a department or if it has to be at one of our state psychiatric facilities that we really handle them or deal with them in a very caring, kind, and compassionate way.

Department of Tourism Commissioner Susan Whitaker: Our whole vision is that we want to make sure that everybody in the world, but particularly in the domestic U.S is aware of what a great vacation destination Tennessee is. All three grand regions, I mean we have Memphis, we have Nashville, and we have the Smokies, three of the biggest, I would call them anchors, as far as tourism travel in the world, and to have those all in one state. We know that we've got the opportunity to really take ourselves into what I believe could be the top five of all states.

Governor Haslam: In the days to come we'll have more to share with you as we continue to introduce you to the commissioners serving you in our state government.

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