KNOXVILLE -- Mayor-elect Madeline Rogero today announced the appointment of two top deputies to the mayor in her administration, citing their excellent backgrounds to help carry out the city's initiatives.
Eddie Mannis, owner of Prestige Cleaners, will serve as chief operating officer/deputy to the mayor, and Bill Lyons, current senior director of policy and communications for the city, will become chief policy officer/deputy to the mayor.
"I am grateful that these two very capable individuals have agreed to serve in leading roles for our new administration," Rogero said.
"Eddie's extensive background in business and the community will make sure that we are providing the highest and most efficient level of service to the public possible, and Bill's experience in developing a number of important civic programs will help achieve my goal of ensuring that all the people of Knoxville have a voice in what the city does."
Mannis will take a leave of absence from Prestige Cleaners, a business he started in 1985. By emphasizing quality in operations, Mannis grew Prestige to become one of the leading corporate citizens in Knoxville.
Mannis and Prestige Cleaners started the popular HonorAir Knoxville program that recognizes the service and sacrifice of our region's World War II and Korean War veterans. He has led many flights to Washington, D.C., for veterans all expenses paid to view memorials in their honor. He serves as chair of the Dogwood Arts Festival board of directors and is a member of the board of the Knoxville Chamber.
"I am very excited about joining this administration and helping the mayor-elect carry out her vision for moving Knoxville forward," Mannis said. "I plan to use my business experience to help manage the city's resources efficiently and make sure that the programs of this administration are carried out in the most effective manner possible."
Lyons worked closely with Rogero in the Bill Haslam mayoral administration while she was director of community development for the city.
At the city, Lyons developed an urban growth approach that focused on the city's core neighborhoods. He co-chaired the public process for the Downtown North redevelopment district and co-chaired the task force that recommended the Office of Neighborhoods be created.
He created the position of sustainability coordinator that led to the city's Solar America Cities designation, the LEED certification of the Transit Center, and along with the mayor-elect co-chaired the Energy and Sustainability Task Force.
Lyons led the process that guided downtown redevelopment and supported reuse of historic buildings through disciplined use of PILOT and TIF funding mechanisms. As former chair of Knoxville's Community Development Corporation, he led the public process that led to the redevelopment of Market Square, the addition of the Market Square Parking Garage, and the Regal movie theater downtown.
"I appreciate the opportunity to continue serving the city and mayor-elect Rogero in this new role," Lyons said. "I look forward to developing strategy and helping manage the positive public initiatives planned by this new administration."
Dr. Lyons is on leave from the political science department at the University of Tennessee, and the Bill Lyons Pavilion on Market Square is named after him for his previous service to the city and his role in downtown development.