Creswell Leaving Roane Alliance

ROANE COUNTY, TN – Roane Alliance Board of Directors Chairman, Dr. Chris Whaley, announced on Wednesday that Wade Creswell, President and CEO of the Roane Alliance, will be leaving his position to begin work with an area business. Creswell’s last day at the Alliance will be September 21.

Current Roane Alliance Vice President, Pam May, will assume the role as Interim President/CEO of the Roane Alliance until a decision is made by the Board of Directors on the long-term future of the position. May has served in multiple roles at the Alliance for 10 years including Tourism and Marketing Director. Under May’s guidance, the Alliance rebranded all partner organizations and initiated the county’s first ever tourism campaign.

“I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation of the great work that Wade has done in his four and a half years leading the Roane Alliance. His passion, vision and love for Roane County have fueled his tireless work for this County and Region and I sincerely appreciate all he has done,” said Whaley in a statement sent to the Boards of Directors for the Roane Alliance, Chamber of Commerce and Industrial Development Board.

Industrial Development Board Chairman, Jim Palmer, echoed Whaley’s comments. “Wade’s visionary leadership and passion for Roane County has been phenomenal. I know that those attributes will serve him well in your future endeavors.”

Chamber Board Chair, Marilyn Calfee added, “I am going to miss my Chamber related conversations with Wade and the vision that we both hold for Roane County. I wish only the best for Wade and his family in their new direction. While we will miss him, the Chamber is strong and will continue to carry on.”

Creswell was hired in February of 2014 upon the retirement of Leslie Henderson, who had served in the leadership role for 10 years. During Creswell’s tenure, there was progress made on several fronts. Roane County experienced four straight years of net industrial job growth, with a net increase of 744 new industrial jobs within the last four years.

Spending by visitors hit an all-time high in Roane County in 2017 at $69.82 million, a 29% increase over the last 10 years.

The Chamber of Commerce experienced a net increase of 23% in membership during Creswell’s time as President.
The Roane Alliance team under Creswell’s leadership also worked to strengthen partnerships between industry and education. Roane County became the only county in the state of Tennessee to raise career awareness by coordinating visits from every middle school and high school teacher in the county to local industries.

“As interim President, I have big shoes to fill but have full confidence that our team will continue working as hard as ever to help make Roane a great place to live, work and play,” said May after the announcement.

“Serving as the leader of Roane County’s economic development organization for the last four and a half years has been the most fulfilling and rewarding experience of my career thus far,” said Creswell. “I’ve been blessed to work with an incredible team to make Roane County a better place. I’ve given Roane County everything I had since I took this role. Now, I’m excited about the next season in life.”

The Roane Alliance is the comprehensive resource in anything and everything concerning businesses, tourism and economic development in Roane County, which includes the Industrial Development Board, Visitors Bureau and Chamber, and programs such as Education Matters and Retire Roane. Our mission is to create an environment and a unified voice that promotes job creation, economic development, enhanced quality of life, education and workforce. To learn more about the Roane Alliance please call 865.376.2093 or visit

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