Annual “Governor’s Conference” latest victim of COVID-19 pandemic

The State of Tennessee announced on Friday that the annual “Governor’s Conference on Economic and Community Development” (GovCon) has been cancelled for 2020.

The decision was announced in the weekly email update from the Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD). “Due to the challenges presented by COVID-19, we believe this decision is in the best interest of our attendees, stakeholders, partners and team members,” the announcement explained. “The health and safety of our attendees is a top priority and something we are not willing to compromise.”

I started attending the annual event in the mid-1970s and recall only one disruption in the “Governor’s Conference” run. That was in 1997 when ECD partnered with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, then named Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, and Film, Entertainment and Music Commission to hold the first and only “Governor’s Economic Summit.”

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