Lebanon businessman and community leader Bob Black announced his candidacy for the District 17 Democrat executive committeeman seat and said he looks forward to putting his life experiences to work for the state Democrat Party.
The 17th District includes Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Macon, Smith and Wilson counties. The election is set for Aug. 7.
“I see this as an opportunity to be closely involved with the state Democrat organization as it decides policy and makes decisions that will undoubtedly define the future of Tennessee and all Tennesseans in all walks of life, regardless of their political affiliations, religious beliefs or economic standing,” Black said. “As someone who is proud of his state and is optimistic about the future, I want us to provide classrooms that will ensure our children will excel, an economy that is vibrant and encourages job growth, and I want us to always be mindful of government’s responsibility to certain social issues that embrace security and compassion.”
A graduate of Texas A&M University, Black began his professional career just out of college with Sears and developed new businesses until 1986.
For more than 25 years, he was involved in the banking and financial industry, providing services related to credit card processing. Within the industry he is recognized as an innovator with a high degree of expertise and a “get it done mentality.”
He has earned this reputation through his experience in sales and from the results he secured while holding key leadership and executive positions with major companies engaged in the credit card processing business.
In 2003, he launched his own company, Payment Express Systems, based in Lebanon. Under his management and in the span of less than nine years, Payment Express Systems grew to more than $2 billion in annual processing volume and was awarded the Excellence in Business SEIBC award for ethics in Tennessee. In June 2012, Priority Payment Systems purchased the assets of Payment Express, utilizing Black and the 45-employee Payment Express team. Black now serves as senior vice president of Financial Services for Priority’s community bank division.
He and his wife, Pam, maintain a number of interests outside his principle business. The couple embarked on a personal historical preservation project some three years ago when they bought and renovated the old Capitol Theatre just off Lebanon’s Public Square. Now completed following more than a $2 million investment, the Capitol is the host venue for live musical performances, classic movies, wedding receptions, fundraisers for local nonprofits, and a variety of other community uses.
Black is active in the Boy Scouts Walton Trail, serving as past chair; Lebanon Board of Zoning Appeals, serving as chair; Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville, serving as board member and past chair; New Leash of Life Animal Welfare; Rotary Club; Historic Lebanon redevelopment; Community Foundation; as well as support of the 15th Judicial District Child Advocacy Center; Sherry’s Run; and Cumberland University Development Board. He is a graduate and former board member of Leadership Wilson.