Matthew Murray, associate director of the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research in the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business, was recently honored with the Jim Spradley Volunteer of the Year Award in Economic Development.
The award, presented annually at the Tennessee Economic Development Council’s fall conference, recognizes individuals who give their time and talent to further the economic progress of the state of Tennessee. These individuals’ “activities and accomplishments in industrial and economic development extend beyond those necessary to satisfy the requirements of the vocation for which they are compensated,” according to the council’s website.
“I am extremely honored to receive this award,” Murray said. “There are many people across the state doing outstanding work when it comes to making Tennessee a prosperous entity for recruiting and retaining the many companies that now call the Volunteer State home. Receiving this award from my peers makes it even more rewarding.”
Murray, who is a past chair and current member of the Blount County Industrial Development Board, worked with the board on research and presentations that helped convince DENSO’s leadership in Japan to invest an additional $2 billion and create 2,000 jobs in Blount County over the past decade.
In 2017, Denso announced that it would invest $1 billion to create approximately 1,000 jobs and make the company’s Blount County facility a primary North American manufacturing center for its electrification and safety systems. DENSO is now one of the largest manufacturers in Tennessee, with more than 4,000 employees on its campus.
To promote economic expansion opportunities in the area, Murray has worked closely with the governments of Blount County and the cities of Alcoa and Maryville on diverse public policy issues, including economic development incentives, economic/fiscal impact analysis, tax policy analysis, education finance reform and transportation infrastructure finance.
Murray’s work at the Boyd Center includes maintenance of the state econometric forecasting model that supports the annual Economic Report to the Governor. In addition to his role as associate director of the Boyd Center, Murray serves as director of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and as Ball Corporation Professor of Business in the Haslam College of Business.