NASHVILLE — Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. has announced the appointment of Chris Eaton as Assistant Commissioner for Administration and Grants.

As the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s (TDA) chief financial officer, Eaton will be responsible for budgeting, forecasting, and analyzing, preparing, and reconciling financial statements. He’ll have an active role during legislative sessions and budget hearings where he will be responsible for evaluating effects of newly proposed legislation and TDA responses to budget questions. Eaton will also serve as the liaison to the Comptroller’s office.

“Chris brings a combination of extensive financial and accounting knowledge as well as public service skills,” Commissioner Hatcher said. “I’m thankful TDA attracts talent like his and the fiscal leadership before him. I’m confident Chris will easily assess our financial strengths and challenges and be able to advise us on strategy moving forward.”

Eaton replaces a respected member of TDA’s senior staff, Shannon Klonowski. Klonowski joined the department in 2007 and worked as auditor and accountant in the Regulatory Services Division for five years before being named Internal Auditor. She later became the Fiscal and Administrative Services Coordinator and was then promoted to the Assistant Commissioner role. Her expertise in budget preparation and tracking along with her audit experience are reasons TDA is one of the most fiscally responsible government agencies in Tennessee.

Eaton comes to TDA from the Tennessee Public Utility Commission where he served as Chief Financial Officer for eight years. He implemented the agency budget, monitored federal grants, managed contracts, and was responsible for all financial reports. He previously served on the Fiscal Review Committee of the Tennessee General Assembly and before that, Eaton was a research analyst for the Tennessee Department of Revenue’s Research Division.

“TDA’s staff are making my transition effortless,” Eaton said. “I am ready to get started working with the budget and financial planning for the department and learning more about how it connects to the vast work we do in agriculture and forestry.”

Eaton graduated from Belmont University in Nashville with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance. He earned an associate of science degree in Natural Resource Management and Policy from Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tenn.

Eaton and his wife, Meredith, live in Hermitage, Tenn. with five family pets. They have a son, Sam, in middle school and a son, Caleb, attending the University of Tennessee. Eaton is a sports enthusiast, enjoys foraging for mushrooms, ginseng, and native medicinal plants, and tending to his garden.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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