Blake Barton Renfro recently joined the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, as director of corporate engagement for executive programs.
Renfro says he was drawn to Haslam because the university’s research and faculty resources are in line with top-tier public research universities.
“I’ve already been reaching out to colleagues across the university system to learn more about their work with industry,” he says. “I believe our future success is dependent upon working together and evolving our response to prescient business issues.”
Although his professional career is in development, Renfro says he started college studying history, a discipline that serves him well now.
“Storytelling is the historian’s craft, and it is vital to my role here at Haslam,” he says. “When I’m on the road talking with business and civic leaders, I tell them about the work we are doing to engage emerging business leaders, support our alumni community and grow our footprint nationally.”
Previously with the Kenan-Flagler Business School Executive Development Program’s business development team at the University of North Carolina, Renfro will apply his experiences to Haslam, highlighting the relevance and return on investment of executive programs.
Bruce Behn, associate dean for graduate and executive education at the college, says Renfro’s background and drive make him an outstanding addition to the Haslam team.
“We’re thrilled that Blake has come on board to build on the Haslam executive programs’ strong corporate connections to establish new, innovative institutional relationships, elevate the Haslam brand’s profile and create new initiatives for the executive programs,” Behn says.