Rod Kirk has served as the Director of Economic Development for the Highlands Economic Partnership (HEP) since March of 2022.
Kirk serves as the lead business recruitment team member for HEP, an economic development partnership which includes Jackson, Overton, Putnam, and White counties. His responsibilities include, but are not limited to, developing and implementing a business recruitment strategy, creating and/or maintaining new and existing relationships with national, state and local economic development partners, marketing the partner counties to site selectors and targeted industry sectors.
Prior to HEP, he served four+ years as the Economic Development Director for the city of Hendersonville, TN. Kirk also has experience in workforce development and training gained through his role as a Solutions Consultant with the University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services. In total, Kirk has sixteen+ years experience in Economic and Workforce Development.
Kirk has been a Rotary member since 2008 where he volunteers for many activities. He has also participated in several leadership programs to include Leadership Robertson County, Leadership Middle Tennessee, and the University of Tennessee Institute of Public Service Leadership Academy.
Kirk graduated Towson University in December 1989, earning his bachelor's degree in business with a focus in marketing. He is currently working towards achieving his CEcD certification, an international program and the most prestigious designation in the economic development profession.
Kirk is married to Allison, his wife of 21 years. They have two amazing daughters. The eldest is a student at the University of South Florida in Tampa and the youngest will graduate from Pope John Paul II High School in 2023.