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GALLATIN, TN – Rosemary Bates has been appointed Interim Executive Director of the Gallatin Economic Development Agency (GEDA), a department of the City of Gallatin created in 1999 to grow and sustain a resilient and diverse economy. The decision is the first step in a long-term plan by the 5-member Board of Directors to find a permanent successor as James Fenton returns to the private sector on Friday, March 1

Bates, who has been at the forefront of Gallatin's economic success since joining GEDA in 2015, brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her new role. She has played a pivotal role in managing over $200 million in infrastructure projects and successfully attracting notable tech and manufacturing companies like Meta. Additionally, her workforce development experience with Galatin's educational institutions and business community, paired with her understanding of the organization's vision, comes at a critical time as the city looks to maintain economic momentum with smart, intentional growth.

“We couldn’t think of a better leader to build upon Gallatin’s economic momentum during this important time for our city,” stated GEDA Board Chairman Tim Hertel. “We thank Rosemary for stepping into this role as we search for a permanent replacement. We’re grateful for her continued commitment to fostering a business climate that works for all residents while ensuring Gallatin is a place for people to thrive.”

Bates initially joined the City as its Special Projects Director for the Mayor’s Office in 2007. Prior to that, Bates served in roles with the Tennessee State Senate and the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. Over her 22 years in public service, Bates has demonstrated an unwavering dedication to improving the communities she has served.

“Rosemary's extensive experience and commitment to our community have been evident throughout her career in public service,” said Gallatin Mayor Paige Brown. “Her leadership during this transitional period will undoubtedly contribute to the continued success of Gallatin, ensuring that our city remains a hub of innovation, growth, and community engagement.”

Bates is a certified economic developer from the UT Center for Industrial Services and has earned notable professional credentials from the TVA Rural Leadership Institute, TVA Workforce Institute, Volunteer State Community College, and Middle Tennessee State University. Beyond her public service, Bates is an Emmy Award-winning journalist with previous positions at WSMV in Nashville and WBIR-TV in Knoxville.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve Gallatin’s business community in this new role and to work in collaboration with our board,” GEDA Interim Executive Director Rosemary Bates said. ”I raised my sons here and have watched this city flourish, which is why I am passionate about enhancing opportunities for businesses and residents alike while honoring our history and culture.”

The search for GEDA’s permanent Executive Director will begin soon and will be conducted by the agency’s appointed 5-member Board of Directors.

About the Gallatin Economic Development Agency
GEDA is a vital department within the City of Gallatin, established in 1999 with a singular mission – to foster the growth and sustainability of a resilient and diverse economy. Over the past decade, the agency has excelled at its mission. Since 2005, GEDA has facilitated corporate and manufacturing projects resulting in $1.5+ billion capital investment, nearly 5,000 new jobs, and 8,400 indirect jobs. Additionally, the agency has been responsible for some of the most significant economic development projects in Greater Nashville including Beretta USA, Meta, Gap Inc. and Simpson Strong Tie. Learn more at

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