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William B. (Bill) Sansom

William B. Sansom William B. Sansom

William B. Sansom became the chairman and chief executive officer of the H.T. Hackney Co. in May, 1983.  Hackney is a diversified company involved in wholesale grocery, including a bottled water company and a potato chip company, gas and oil, and furniture manufacturing.

Bill is a native of Johnson City and graduated from West High School in Knoxville.  After high school, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and then attended The Citadel where he received a degree in Civil Engineering.

He joined American Limestone Company in 1964 as an engineer, then in 1974 served as president of American Limestone until being named as Commissioner of Transportation for the state of Tennessee in 1979.  In July of 1981, Sansom was named as Tennessee’s Commissioner of Finance and Administration.  In 1983 he left state government to become chairman and chief executive officer of Hackney.  Hackney has operations in 10 states with 3800 employees. 

Bill has been active in many organizations.  He was president of the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the Knoxville Community Development Corporation, president of Tennessee Business Roundtable, president of the Boy Scout’s Great Smoky Mountain Council and served for many years on the board of the Knoxville Zoo.  He has served as president of The Citadel Development Foundation and as a board member at Maryville College, Wake Forest University, and The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees for 16 years.  He has been on the board of the Oak Ridge National Lab, National-American Wholesale Grocers’ Association and the National Crushed Stone Association.

Bill is currently serving as Chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation’s largest public power corporation.  He continues to serve on several boards including three public corporations, Astec Industries, First Horizon Corporation, and Mid-America Apartment Communities.

Bill and his wife, Elisabeth, are very active in their community and church, Cedar Springs Presbyterian.  They have a daughter, Kathryn, who has four children and lives in Knoxville with her husband, Tommy Eggleston.