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June 14, 2007

TENNESSEE ARTS COMMISSION ANNOUNCES NEW OFFICERS

NASHVILLE - - During their recent quarterly meeting held June 7, the Tennessee Arts Commission selected new officers to lead the agency. The appointments become effective July 1, 2007. New officers are: Ed Gerace of Johnson City, chair; Betsy Reid of Brownsville, vice chair; and Donna Chase of Knoxville, secretary.

Stephanie Barger Conner, outgoing chair, had high praise for the new leadership as she reflected on her two terms as Commission chair. “I have had the privilege of serving with these outstanding individuals for many years, and I am certain the Commission will continue moving forward under their strong leadership,” she said. “As I conclude my term as Commission chair, I leave with the knowledge and belief that our state arts agency is in good hands. I am confident that the Commission will continue to build on previous accomplishments, and under the guidance of these individuals, will continue to achieve even greater success.”

Appointed to the Commission in 2003, Gerace will serve as the new chair. He is currently investment vice president of UBS Financial Services in Johnson City, and is a former partner with J.C. Bradford Company. He has been in the investment business for over 35 years. While serving on the Commission, he has been chair of the Tennessee State Museum Committee.

Gerace has served as a co-chair for the Fundraising Committee for the Johnson City Orchestra, and on the Finance Committee for St. Mary’s Church in Johnson City. He also previously served as chair of the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra and is former chair of the Johnson City Development Authority. He received his bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from East Tennessee State University.

Gerace enjoys tennis and fly-fishing. He resides in Johnson City with his wife, Jennie. They have two sons and five grandchildren.

Assuming the position of vice chair, Reid is currently senior marketing consultant for RadioCorp of Jackson. She previously served on the board of Tennesseans for the Arts, and is past president of the Brownsville Rotary Club and the Brownsville Haywood County Arts Council. She serves as chair of the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Interboard Committee for Arts Education. She is past chair of Operation Super Schools for the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce, and serves as chair of the Haywood County Democratic Party. She is currently on the board of the Tennessee Alliance for Arts Education.

Reid received her bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Virginia, and her master’s degree from the University of Tennessee. She resides in Brownsville with her son.

Chase was appointed to the Commission in 2004 and will be serving as secretary. Chase is a partner in Lord and Chase, a Knoxville interior design firm. She also owns and operates a retail antique business in the Knoxville area. She received her bachelor’s degree in interior design from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She enjoys cooking and attending arts events.

Chase is married to Michael Chase, who is president/CEO of Copper Cellar Corporation, a company that operates 16 popular Tennessee restaurants. They reside in Knoxville and have two daughters.

“The Commission has been very fortunate over the years in the appointment of exceptional individuals who are willing to serve the citizens of Tennessee. These Commission members are dedicated to ensuring that all Tennesseans have access to the arts,” said Rich Boyd, executive director of the Commission. “We have had several extraordinary years of accomplishments, and I fully expect our new slate of officers will continue this tradition of moving the arts forward in our state.”

Commission members are appointed by the Governor for five year terms. The Commission meets quarterly.

The Tennessee Arts Commission is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences that add value to the lives of every citizen, and enhance the quality of life in Tennessee communities.

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