National Black Caucus honor

Sandra ClarkEast Knox, Our Town Leaders

State Rep. Sam McKenzie of Knoxville received the 2023 Crystal Gavel Award from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators at the group’s 47th annual convention held in Nashville in December.

With more than 700 members representing more than 60 million Americans, NBCSL serves as a national network, advocate and catalyst for public policy innovation, information exchange and joint action on critical issues affecting African Americans and other marginalized communities.

McKenzie, 58, is retired after a 34-year career at ORNL. He graduated from Austin-East High School, Fisk University and the University of Memphis, with a master’s degree in physics.

He serves on committees:

  • Education Administration
  • Finance, Ways and Means
  • Local Government
  • Ethics
  • And several subcommittees

McKenzie served on Knox County Commission 2008-16 and the KUB Board of Directors 2003-008. He’s on the board of trustees for Fisk University and the board of directors for ORNL Federal Credit Union. He chairs the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators.


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