mark yates memphis

Q&A with Mark Yates

January 26, 2021

Mark Yates is TVA’s regional vice president for the West Region.

What skills and experience do you think will be most helpful for TVA and the community in your new position?

I come from the Memphis community.  I’m a lifelong stakeholder, member of the business community, and customer paying a power bill. I’ve been part of the economic development of this community for most of my career, 35 years. There are things we can do, and are doing, to help accelerate and generate overall economic development in the region.

What attracted you to this position?

This position requires trust and relationships so with my background it seemed a natural fit. It’s exciting. The gravity of the responsibility of public power is important.

We cannot underestimate or take for granted the importance of having access to reliable low-cost power. It literally touches every aspect of our community all day every day. There are a number of committed people at TVA working really hard protecting and providing reliable, low-cost power and I think we will begin to display that more. TVA has been a good partner for 80 years and there are many things we are working on to be an even better partner.

What do you see as the biggest challenge for TVA and the region to overcome?

Initially, I’d like to concentrate on the MLGW power supply discussion and making sure the community is aware of the tremendous value TVA brings. I’m learning the jargon and look forward to objectively distilling that down for our stakeholders. We need to speak directly to the issues, highlighting the financial, overall economic impact and community investments TVA brings to the table. And let’s not forget stability and reliability. We have to communicate and listen to our stakeholders, partners, etc. to understand what is important to them. Then we can match resources and create access to thoughtful solutions and opportunities—not just talk about it, but be about it.