KCDC Executive Director Art Cate to retire at end of year


Agency’s Board of Commissioners hires firm for executive search

Art-Cate-headshot-223x300Art Cate, the CEO and executive director of Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC), announced today that he would retire at the end of the year after nearly 40 years of service at the public housing and redevelopment agency.

“Art’s contributions over the past 38 years have kept this agency at the forefront of an always-changing field,” KCDC Board of Commissioners Chair Dan Murphy said. “Cate is well-respected as a regional leader in this important and vital sector of public service. His knowledge of the industry and local housing market has been invaluable in developing KCDC’s programs and initiatives.

“Cate’s leadership and insight helped to steer the direction of KCDC for nearly four decades, and he has been a critical part of the agency’s overall success.”

At the commissioners’ June meeting, the board approved the selection of Waters & Company, a Dallas-based executive recruitment firm, to recommend local, regional and national candidates. The board plans to select a new executive director in late fall to allow for a transition period between leaders.

Cate was promoted to the executive director position in 2015 after serving for 14 years as KCDC’s chief operating officer.

As executive director, Cate has achieved significant milestones such as securing financing and breaking ground on the $10 million, 95-unit senior housing development, The Residences at Five Points, as well as securing tax credit financing for the next phase of the Five Points Master Plan, a townhome community for seniors and families slated to break ground in 2017.

Cate also led the agency in beginning the transition of its low-income housing portfolio to rental assistance demonstration (RAD), an innovative program that allows KCDC to leverage debt on its properties to make capital improvements or new construction.

“I have dedicated my career to changing lives and neighborhoods through affordable housing,” Cate said. “KCDC has solid strategic plans in place to continue to upgrade affordable housing in neighborhoods and communities across Knoxville and Knox County. I am confident that KCDC and our community are well-positioned for positive change and growth.”

In addition to his work at KCDC, Cate also has served as a consultant for several regional public housing agencies. After the Chattanooga Housing Authority (CHA) ran into financial difficulties, Cate served as acting COO of CHA for several months to improve the agency’s financial situation and increase operational efficiency. CHA now is in good standing.

Cate is a founder and past chairman of the Tennessee Housing Authority Risk Management Trust and a founder and former president of Emphasys National User Group (ENUG). He also has served as president of the Tennessee Association of Housing and Redevelopment Authorities (TAHRA) and chairman of the Administrative Practices Committee of SERC-NAHRO (Southeastern Regional Council-National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials).

In 2013, Cate was appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam to the Tennessee Workforce Development Board. He currently serves as president of the North Knoxville Business & Professional Association (NKBPA).

Cate graduated with a bachelor’s degree in human resources management and personnel administration in 1973 from the University of Tennessee. Cate resides in Fountain City with his wife, Cammie. They have three grown children.

Since 1936, KCDC has been dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for the citizens of Knoxville. KCDC’s mission is to improve and transform neighborhoods and communities by providing quality affordable housing, advancing development initiatives and fostering self-sufficiency. For more information, visit https://www.kcdc.org.