| December 29, 2011 -
Mayor Madeline Rogero today named Patricia Robledo as the City of Knoxville's Business Liaison, heading up the new Office of Business Support. Robledo is a small-business owner and the executive director of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of East Tennessee.
"Patricia understands the challenges business owners face every day, and her background in facilitation will be invaluable in helping local businesses interact with the City," Mayor Rogero said. "She will be an important part of my team as we work to improve customer service and make Knoxville more business-friendly."
In 1997, Robledo founded Robledo Translations LLC, which provides Spanish-language interpretation and consulting services to companies and agencies across East Tennessee. She has worked with national retail and food service chains, television and telecommunications companies, health care providers, and marketing and legal firms. She is also a partner with her husband, John Craig, in Segundo Properties, which has redeveloped historic buildings on Market Square and in Fort Sanders.
"I look forward to working with Mayor Rogero and City employees to make the City more responsive to the needs of the private sector," Robledo said. "I want to help solve problems if they arise, and make sure that the City is a good partner with our local businesses."
Robledo will work closely with Eddie Mannis, the City's Chief Operating Officer, and Christi Branscom, the new Senior Director of Public Works, who both have extensive private-sector experience.
"Patricia's first task will be to assemble our Business Advisory Council," Mannis said. "She will also oversee a survey of local businesses to measure customer satisfaction with City services." The Business Advisory Council will be a diverse group of representatives from local employers and industries, small, medium, and large.
Robledo came to Knoxville from Colombia in 1980 with her family, and worked for the 1982 World's Fair. She became an American citizen in 1990. She attended the University of Tennessee and then graduated with a double major in biology and medical technology from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo. She is a graduate of both Leadership Knoxville and Leadership Plenty, the Hispanic leadership program.
Robledo serves on the executive boards of the East Tennessee Foundation and the YWCA of Knoxville. She is a Knoxville Museum of Art Trustee, and a University of Tennessee Chancellor's Associate. She and Craig have two children in college.