Michelle Hernandez-Lane, currently serving as chief diversity officer for the Mayor’s Office, has been appointed by Mayor Megan Barry to lead the Procurement Division of the Metro Finance Department. As the purchasing agent for Metro, Hernandez-Lane will oversee bidding, contracting, and procurement efforts in Nashville, including expanding the capacity of small, minority, and women-owned businesses that compete for city contracts.
“Michelle Hernandez-Lane has done a great job as our chief diversity officer, and I have complete confidence in her abilities to serve as the chief procurement officer for Metro Nashville,” said Barry. “Michelle brings a wealth of experience that is critical to overseeing the contracting and purchasing efforts of Metro Government.”
Hernandez-Lane was recommended for the position by Director of Finance Talia Lomax-O’dneal at the completion of a competitive recruitment process, and appointed by Barry. Prior to being appointed Chief Diversity Officer in April 2016, Hernandez-Lane spearheaded Metro Nashville’s efforts to promote business diversity in its procurements as Director of the Office of Minority and Women Business Assistance. Her career with Metro began in 2001, working to develop the existing small business program and make it more robust and effective. In 2013 she was appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam to the Advisory Council on State Procurement. She holds a B.A. from Fisk University and an M.S. in Public Service Management from Cumberland University and is a Certified Compliance Administrator.
Hernandez-Lane will be taking over for Jeff Gossage, who is taking a position with Metro Nashville Public Schools, and will start on July 5.
“Michelle is committed to public service and adheres to the highest ethical standards,” said Lomax-O’dneal. “That is critical in this position, which ensures that taxpayer dollars are being spent in a fair, equitable, and responsible manner.”
As chief diversity officer, Hernandez-Lane has led efforts in the Mayor’s Office to put in place strategies and tactics for Metro’s workforce and leadership structure to reflect the diverse population of Nashville and Davidson County.
In this position, she worked with Metro’s Diversity Advisory Committee to identify and retain the services of the Kaleidoscope Group to be a resource for Metro in reviewing national best practices, using their considerable experience in this area to help better inform our decisions and design the practical tools and implementation plans that will move our city forward on diversity and inclusion within Metro Government.
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead Metro’s procurement efforts to ensure fairness, transparency, and equity in contracting that will lead to the best results for Metro’s taxpayers,” said Hernandez-Lane. “I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to serve as chief diversity officer for Metro, and I see this new role as a continuation of our efforts to be a more diverse and inclusive government for individuals and businesses.”
Hernandez-Lane will work closely over the coming weeks and months with Metro’s incoming human resources director, Shannon Hall, and the mayor’s senior workforce development advisor, Ashford Hughes, to continue the ongoing efforts to promote workforce and business diversity within Metro and the city of Nashville.