Monday, December 13, 2010

Haslam adds three and a half Latins to extended family

Mark Emkes
Governor-elect Bill Haslam has named Mark Emkes, a Latin-savvy businessman with 3 "Latins" at home, as the new Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration.

Emkes, who stepped down as CEO and Chairman of Nashville-based Bridgestone Americas earlier this year, was named to the finance commissioner post by the Haslam transition team yesterday. Emkes has extensive experience in Latin America, having lived in Mexico from 1990 to 1997, where he served as president of Bridgestone's subsidiary there, and in Brazil from 1997 to 2000, where he served as president of the subsidiary in that country. Emkes moved to Nashville in 2000 and headed all Latin American operations from here, until he was named CEO in 2002.

Emkes told the AP that his experience of working outside of the U.S. for 21 of the 33 years in his career "just opens your vision completely to the world" and "helps us appreciate other customs, cultures and languages."

Some of Emkes' time abroad was spent in Spain, where he met his wife, Conchi. Emkes told the AP that he lives in a family of Latins:
"My wife is from Spain, our son was born in Brazil and our daughter was born in Mexico," he said. "So that's three Latins against one North American. It's not easy in my house - I'm always outvoted."
I'd say, "Bienvenidos" to the incoming finance commissioner and his household, but the Emkes have been Nashvillians since 2000.  The Haslam press release says that Mark Emkes, wife Conchi, son Jonathan, and daughter Astrid are members of the Holy Family Catholic Church in Brentwood.

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