Bob Rolfe was sworn in on January 19, 2019 by Governor Bill Lee to serve as commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. The department is responsible for recruiting new businesses and industry to the state, supporting existing companies, expanding economic opportunities across rural Tennessee and boosting the state’s overall economic prosperity.
Rolfe has served as TNECD commissioner since March 2017. During Rolfe’s tenure, TNECD has landed 525 projects, which represent more than 85,000 job commitments and $22 billion in capital investment. Of those projects, over 25 percent were the result of foreign direct investment.
Under Rolfe’s leadership, Tennessee has secured a number of record-breaking wins. Most recently, in April 2021, Ultium Cells LLC, a joint venture of LG Energy Solution and General Motors, announced a $2.3 billion investment to build a battery cell manufacturing plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee. The project represents the largest single capital investment in the state’s history.
TNECD also places a major focus on job creation and community development in rural Tennessee. Since 2017, the department has provided more than $405 million in rural and community development funding, while companies have invested $10 billion and committed to create 32,000 new jobs in rural Tennessee communities.
Rolfe has more than three decades of experience in business and investment banking in Tennessee. Before joining TNECD, he held the position of CEO of Medical Reimbursements of America, Inc., a company that provides specialty reimbursement solutions to improve financial performance for hospitals and health systems nationwide. Prior to his time at MRA, Rolfe led three private equity-sponsored companies and spent the first 18 years of his career as an investment banker at J.C. Bradford and Co.
Rolfe received his executive M.B.A. from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University and his B.S. from the University of Alabama’s School of Commerce and Business Administration. He and his wife, Kathy, have been married for nearly 40 years and have three adult children and one grandchild. He is a member of First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, where he has served as an elder for two decades.