Cates Leaving as Comish of General Services

News release from Gov. Bill Haslam’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced Department of General Services (DGS) Commissioner Steve Cates will be leaving state government to return to the private sector in the coming weeks.

As commissioner, Cates has focused on the state’s assets and liabilities through a comprehensive review of state-owned properties across Tennessee, and as a result he has worked to ensure that space is being utilized and facilities are being maintained in the most efficient and effective way for the taxpayers of Tennessee.

He has also played a key role in the state’s implementation of a new Central Procurement Office to create more savings and efficiencies through leveraged purchasing by state government.

“Steve has put a lot of work into bringing state government into the 21st Century,” Haslam said. “We now have a reliable inventory of state properties; we have a plan to maintain those properties instead of deferring maintenance costs until there is a crisis; we’re creating more functional and cost-effective work spaces for our employees; and we’re leveraging the state’s buying power to save taxpayer dollars. These are significant changes that are making state government better, and I am grateful to Steve’s dedication to see these projects through.”

When Cates joined the administration in January 2011, he agreed to serve as commissioner for two years at which time he would return to his business, but he has stayed on past that original commitment. Before joining the Haslam administration, Cates was a partner in Cates-Kottas Development, building a number of Middle Tennessee neighborhoods since 1991. He served as president of the Home Builders Association of Tennessee and was also a past governmental affairs chairman for the association.

“Leading the Department of General Services has been a rewarding experience, and I appreciate the governor’s vision and support as we’ve worked to transform state government,” Cates said. “I have enjoyed working with a dedicated and hard-working team in the department and am also grateful for the relationships I’ve had with my fellow commissioners as we’ve implemented major changes that impact their agencies.”

Cates, 50, graduated cum laude from Auburn University with a degree in civil engineering and served on fundraising committees for the university including the Legends Campaign Committee. He has served on the Athletic Department Advisory Board and the Auburn University Engineering Council.

He also served for two years on the 21st Judicial District Drug Court of Williamson County and was a member of the boards of Junior Achievement and United Way of Williamson County.

Cates’ last day on the job will be August 20. His replacement will be named at a later date.