Sam Wills came to Cleveland in 1974 to attend Lee University. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Christian education in 1978. Wills left Cleveland after graduation, but later returned to serve as the associate pastor and director of education for Westmore Church of God in 1989. He held the position until 1993. Wills was also an assistant professor in the theology department at Lee from 1990-1991.
While he and his wife, Jan, were living in Cleveland, his two children attended Cleveland High School.
Wills “will be responsible for leading the state’s economic development efforts in the area that serves Bledsoe, Bradley, Grundy, Hamilton, Marion, Polk, Rhea, McMinn, Meigs and Sequatchie counties,” according to a TECD press release.
“I am most excited for the opportunity to be part of a team that is focused on bringing job opportunities to the Southeast Tennessee region,” Wills said.
“I have well-established relationships within the regional public and private sectors, which will greatly assist in working to bring new projects into the region as well as assist existing industries in potential growth opportunities.
“My business development experience will provide tremendous benefits to the region as my knowledge of the site, utility, infrastructure and construction processes are vital components to growth opportunities.”
Wills has worked for EMJ Corporation since 1994. As director of Business Development for the company, Wills has been involved in securing industrial construction projects for the company with corporations like Volkswagen, Wacker Polysilicon and Occidental Chemical.
“Sam will be a terrific addition to our TNECD Business Development team. He will help continue the positive economic development momentum prevailing in the Southeast Region,” said TECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty in a press release. “His leadership will be impactful in the area since he has worked with many of our incumbent industries throughout his career and has well-established relationships throughout the region.”