Wednesday, December 14, 2016

KCDC names new executive director

The Board of Commissioners for Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) announced today that Benjamin M. Bentley, an executive with Nashville’s housing and development agency, has been selected as the new executive director of the agency.

“When the board embarked this fall on a nationwide search for an executive director in partnership with our executive search firm, we carefully evaluated and interviewed top level talent from across the country,” KCDC Board of Commissioners Chair Dan Murphy said. “The significant interest and incredibly strong candidates for this position locally and nationally are a testament to KCDC’s reputation as an industry leader and innovator.

“We are confident that Bentley’s talent, housing industry expertise and vision will position KCDC for future innovation in providing housing to low-income families in East Tennessee and helping shape Knoxville's future through our development role.”

Bentley comes to KCDC from the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA) in Nashville, where he currently serves as chief operating officer. Bentley previously served as a division director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) with responsibility for financial and regulatory oversight of public housing agencies across a six-state region. Bentley also served as a rental assistance demonstration (RAD) subject matter expert for HUD.

He also serves on the board of the Tennessee Association of Housing and Redevelopment Authorities (TAHRA). Bentley holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Denver and has completed graduate-level courses in real estate at Georgetown University. An Alabama native, also he holds a bachelor’s degree from Birmingham-Southern College in history with a minor in political science.

"While at HUD, I became familiar with the strong reputation of KCDC,” Bentley said. “I look forward to working with the board, staff, local government and community stakeholders to build on that legacy as an outstanding provider of housing and development services.”

The KCDC board will enter into negotiations with Bentley and plans to vote on the contract at the regular monthly meeting on Friday, Dec. 30.

Current KCDC Executive Director Art Cate will retire at the end of the year after serving nearly 40 years with the agency.

“We are grateful to the dedication of both Art Cate and his predecessor Alvin Nance, who led the agency from 2001 to 2015, for the solid foundation that they have created for this agency,” Murphy said. “We honor KCDC’s excellent leadership over the past decades and look forward to the next chapter of continued innovation in transforming Knoxville’s neighborhoods.”

Since 1936, KCDC has been dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for the citizens of Knoxville. KCDC’s mission is to improve and transform neighborhoods and communities by providing quality affordable housing, advancing development initiatives and fostering self-sufficiency. For more information, visit

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