Governor Bill Lee has recognized Whitney Flatt of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) with the Governor’s Excellence in Service Award.
The biannual award recognizes outstanding state employees who are at the forefront of improving the way Tennessee state government delivers services.
Flatt is the international trade consultant in the business development division. Her primary role is to lead the department’s trade-focused initiatives, promoting Tennessee value-added food, horticulture, livestock and genetics, and forestry and wood products abroad. She organizes and executes international trade shows and trade missions, as well as consults with growing Tennessee businesses, preparing them for entry into the global marketplace.
“Whitney is a hard-working, goal-oriented member of our team who has truly made a difference for our department,” Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. said. “We are focused on strengthening Tennessee agriculture through marketing opportunities, and Whitney’s work to connect our farm and forest businesses to international buyers has already proven to be extremely effective.”
A team of TDA leaders nominated Flatt for the award. The governor’s office selected Flatt as one of 23 honorees.
By exceeding leadership and customer expectations, creating innovative solutions or improving processes and services, Governor’s Excellence in Service Award winners are helping provide citizens with the highest quality service at the lowest possible cost.
“Whitney is a true asset to our business development team and our department,” Assistant Commissioner Keith Harrison said. “She has brought an enhanced service to Tennessee for years through her previous work with food and beverage marketing and the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program, and she has continued to do an incredible job with her current focus of international trade promotion.”
Throughout the past 12 months, Flatt has organized and executed eight trade shows and trade missions for Tennessee agribusinesses, including a beer, wine and spirits inbound trade mission where Canadian buying agents met with 13 Tennessee companies. Flatt is currently organizing a food-focused trade mission to Scandinavia this fall, and she will lead four Tennessee wood products companies on a USDA trade mission to Vietnam this October.
“It’s an honor to have been selected for this award,” Flatt said. “The work that TDA does is deeply impactful to the local economy, and I feel lucky to serve in a position where I get to help Tennessee agribusinesses grow their international trade opportunities.”
Flatt grew up in Newbern, Tennessee and graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor's of Science degree in international relations. She is a dedicated foodie, traveler and a lover of the arts. In her spare time, she enjoys trying farm-to-table restaurants, traveling and attending film screenings at Nashville’s Belcourt Theatre.