Announcing his candidacy this week for 17th District Democratic Executive Committeeman, Lebanon businessman and community leader Bob Black said he looks forward to putting his life experiences to work for the State Democratic Party.
The 17th District includes Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Macon, Smith and Wilson counties. The election is set for Thursday, August 7.
“I see this as an opportunity to be closely involved with the state Democratic organization as it decides policy and makes decisions that will undoubtedly define the future of Tennessee and all Tennesseans in all walks of life regardless of their political affiliations, religious beliefs or economic standing.
“As someone who is proud of his state and is optimistic about the future, I want us to provide classrooms that will ensure our children will excel, an economy that is vibrant and encourages job growth, and I want us to always be mindful of government’s responsibility to certain social issues that embrace security and compassion,” Black said.
A graduate of Texas A&M University, Black began his professional career just out of college with the Sears company and developed new businesses until 1986.
For more than 25 years he has been involved in the banking and financial industry providing services related to credit card processing. Within the industry he is recognized as an innovator with a high degree of expertise and a “get it done mentality.” He has earned this reputation through his experience in sales and from the results he secured while holding key leadership and executive positions with major companies engaged in the credit card processing business.
In 2003 he launched his own company, Payment Express Systems, based in Lebanon. Under his management and in the span of less than nine years Payment Express Systems grew to more than $2 billion in annual processing volume and was awarded the Excellence in Business SEIBC award for ethics in the State of Tennessee. In June of 2012, Priority Payment Systems purchased the assets of Payment Express, utilizing Black and the 45-employee Payment Express team. Black now serves as senior vice president of Financial Services for the community bank division of Priority.
He and his wife Pam maintain a number of interests outside his principle business. The two of them together embarked on a personal historical preservation project some three years ago purchasing and renovating the old Capitol Theater just off Lebanon’s Public Square. Now completed following more than a $2 million investment, the Capitol is the host venue for live musical performances, classic movies, wedding receptions, fundraisers for local nonprofits, and a variety of other community uses.
The candidate is active in the Boy Scouts Walton Trail (past chair) City of Lebanon Board of Zoning Appeals (chair), Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville (board member, past chair), New Leash of Life Animal Welfare, Rotary, Historic Lebanon redevelopment, Community Foundation, Support of the 15th Judicial District Child Advocacy Center, Sherry’s Run, and Cumberland University Development Board. He is a graduate and former board member of Leadership Wilson County.