Sunday, December 16, 2007

Paul Montgomery Appointed to Tennessee Board of Regents

‘It’s really an honor to be asked by the governor to serve on any board or commission, especially this one....’
— Paul Montgomery



KINGSPORT — Paul Montgomery has been involved in education in some capacity for the last 20 years.
Now he can add another honor to his list of accomplishments in that arena. Montgomery was recently appointed to the Te n n e s s e e Board of Regents by Gov. Phil Bredesen.
“The governor called me,” Montgomery said. “We had a chat, and he asked me if I’d be willing to serve, and I accepted. It’s really an honor to be asked by the governor to serve on any board or commission, especially this one, because I’m really following someone who’s done a tremendous job representing the 1st Congressional District — Leslie Pope. She’s done that for over 12 years, and she’s done an outstanding job, so I have some big shoes to fill.
“I was really honored and a little bit humbled by all the support I’ve been given by the local community, as well as the governor himself.”
According to the Tennessee Board of Regents Web site, the board was created in 1972 by the state General Assembly to serve as governing body for the State University and Community College System of Tennessee.
The board consists of 18 members. Twelve members are citizens, like Montgomery, who are appointed by the governor for six-year terms. In addition, the board is made up of one appointed faculty member and one student from the system institutions appointed, who each serve a one-year term. The other four seats consist of ex-officio members including the governor, the commissioner of Education, the commissioner of Agriculture and the executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission — who serves as a nonvoting member.
Montgomery said his first goal is to learn as much as possible about his new position. He said he’ll be attending an orientation at the beginning of the year.
In addition to serving on the Board of Regents, Montgomery is vice president of talent management for Eastman Chemical Co. Prior to this position, he was vice president for communications and public affairs. Montgomery joined Eastman in 1991 in the supply and distribution division.
Montgomery received his bachelor of arts degree in history and an MBA from King College. He currently serves on the boards of the East Tennessee State University Foundation and Northeast State Technical Community College Foundation and is a past president of the Kingsport Board of Education. Montgomery has also served on the Kingsport Regional Planning Commission, as president of the Kingsport branch of the NAACP, as president of the South Kingsport Optimist Club, as a Paul Harris Fellow of the Kingsport Rotary Club, as president of the Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce, and as chairman of the Tri-Cities All America City Partnership.
Montgomery and his wife Cherry, have two children, Christin and Curtis.
Over the years, Montgomery said he has many fond memories of working in the educational system, especially when it meant giving students more opportunities in life.
“Education has been very good to me,” Montgomery said. “I think it’s important that our higher ed schools are equipped with all the technology and teachers that they can get, in order to prepare our students for the future. ... It’s important that we all are as highly educated as possible.”