KINGSTON—The Roane Alliance board on Thursday unanimously agreed to hire Roane County native Wade Creswell as their next president and chief executive officer.
Creswell, 39, was recommended to the board by its officers and the selection committee after a nationwide search that began several weeks ago, shortly after current President and CEO Leslie Henderson announced she would retire on March 28.
Creswell will come to the Alliance from his position as vice president of development and public relations for health services at Michael Dunn Center, one of Roane County’s largest employers. The Michael Dunn Center is a nonprofit agency that serves children and adults with developmental disabilities.
Creswell is a recipient of the Roane Chamber’s Young Professional Award and former Chamber board member who developed and coordinated Michael Dunn’s fundraising and development office “from scratch,” a press release said. Since then, the center has had more than a 200 percent increase in its fundraising revenues. Creswell also has sales and health care experience, and he has served on the Kingston City Council, where he also served as vice mayor.
“Wade will bring a strong skill set and a new perspective to The Roane Alliance operations,” Alliance Board Chair Sharon Templeton said after the board meeting.
Creswell is a third-generation Roane County resident, and he has always called Roane County home, the press release said. Both of his grandfathers, Harris Creswell and Ross Jones, moved to Kingston while working for the U.S. Department of Energy after World War II and raised their families there.
Creswell graduated from Roane County High School in 1992, Roane State Community College in 1994, and East Tennessee State University in 1997. Upon graduation, he moved back home to work at Roane Medical Center as a registered nurse, or RN.
In 2001, he began working in administration at Michael Dunn Center. In 2004, he began a career in sales working for two pharmaceutical companies. He returned to Michael Dunn Center in 2007 to start the center’s first development office, which led the organization’s fundraising and public relations efforts.
Creswell is married to Juanita Hembree Creswell, a math teacher at Midway High School, and they have a son, R.J., who is five and in kindergarten. He is the son of Bob and Chris Creswell of Harriman. He and his family are members of Cedar Grove Baptist Church.
Creswell has been involved in the community since returning home from college in 1997, the press release said. He served on Kingston City Council from 2003-2007. He has served as a member of the Roane County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Legislative Committee, City of Kingston Parks and Recreation Committee, Leadership Roane County, the Harriman Rotary Club, Kingston Century Club, and the Great Smoky Mountain Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Creswell has also served as head football coach at Cherokee Middle School for the past two years, and served as a coach at RCHS and Cherokee for seven more years.
The Roane Alliance is Roane County’s economic development organization and consists of both public and private organizations, including the Roane County Chamber of Commerce, the Roane County Industrial Development Board, and the Roane County Visitors’ Bureau.