Tag Archives: Edwards

House District 82: Fitzhugh vs. Edwards

State Rep. Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley, defeated Republican challenger Johnny Edwards, of Ripley, by 284 votes in the November 2010 election, observes the Jackson Sun at the outset of a report on the House District 82 race.
“As an absolute newcomer to the political arena, to have challenged an incumbent of 16 years at the time and come that close to beating him on a very tiny budget, of course that gave me encouragement to run again,” Edwards said. “And during the two years between elections, many of my supporters, friends and people I didn’t know said, ‘Johnny, you need to run again.'”
With redistricting, District 82 includes Haywood, Crockett and Lauderdale counties.
Edwards, 60, owns Edwards Signs, Graphics & Advertising in Ripley.
He served four years in the U.S. Army and another 16 to 17 years in the U.S. Air Force before retiring as a major.
Edwards received an associate degree from Dyersburg State Community College and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Memphis State University, he said.
While on active duty with the Air Force, he said he went to the Air Force Institute of Technology and earned a master’s degree in logistics management.
…Fitzhugh, 62, is chairman and CEO of the Bank of Ripley and has served in his current office since 1994.
He said the focus has to remain on jobs and education.
“Sometimes the majority in the legislature got strayed away from that and focused on other issues that weren’t as vitally important to Tennesseans,” he said. “And it will be my focus to remain committed to growing jobs and increasing the education attainability of Tennessee.”
Fitzhugh said his record shows he can work with all kinds of people.
“I have the ability to work with people in rural and urban areas, Republicans, Democrats and independents and with the focus to get things done and move our state forward,” he said.

Haslam Appoints Three to State Board of Education

News release from governor’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced three members of the state Board of Education: Knoxville Chamber President and CEO Mike Edwards; former Executive Director of the Tennessee Board of Regents’ Tech Prep Programs Carolyn Pearre; and TRH Health Plans CEO Lonnie Roberts.
Edwards, Pearre and Roberts are each appointed to nine-year terms, and for Pearre, this is her second term on the board. Edwards and Roberts are replacing Richard Ray and Flavius Barker.
The Tennessee Board of Education is the governing and policy making body for the state’s public and secondary education systems, affecting accountability, evaluation, curriculum and teacher education, among other areas.
“Improving the education we offer Tennesseans is the best long-term job growth strategy, and I’m confident Carolyn, Lonnie and Mike are up to the task of helping to guide the state’s schools as we seek to positively impact the classroom experience for every student in every school,” Haslam said.
Edwards has been president and CEO of the Knoxville Chamber since 2002, and he is also the president and CEO of The Development Corporation of Knox County. He serves on the Education Committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Directors of the Public School Forum of East Tennessee, the state Teacher Evaluation Advisory Committee and the Board of Trustees for the Great Schools Partnership.
Roberts has nearly 40 years of experience in the health care field and has been the CEO of TRH Health Plans since 1996. He is the immediate past chairman of the Columbia State Foundation Board and has served on the State Health Care Facilities Commission, the Board of Directors of the Rural Health Association of Tennessee and the Advisory Board of Maury Regional Hospital.
From 1972-1999, Pearre worked for Knox County schools, beginning as a speech-language therapist and preschool teacher and finishing at The Center School as a program facilitator. She was on the Board of Trustees for the state’s then-Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation; the Board of Trustees for the Lakeshore Mental Health Institute; and the Board of Directors for Leadership Knoxville. Pearre also won several awards as a teacher and principal.