NASCA Honors Tennessee Commissioner Bob Oglesby with National Walton Leadership Award

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


Photo of National Walton Leadership Award Bob OglesbyLEXINGTON, Ky —The National Association of State Chief Administrators (NASCA), an association devoted to state chief administrators, has honored Bob Oglesby, Commissioner of General Services for the State of Tennessee, with the association’s prestigious National Walton Leadership Award.

Bob Oglesby (pictured on the right next to Ray Walton) has served since August 2013 as Commissioner of General Services for the State of Tennessee, a position in which he oversees the State’s real estate activities, its central procurement functions, motor vehicle management, printing and media services, and warehousing and distribution.  Previously, he served for almost three years as State Architect for Tennessee after a 30-year career as an architect, including 25 years as a principal/owner in practice in Tennessee.

Bob’s department is charged with supporting the Governor’s priorities for Fiscal Strength and Efficient Government.  Toward that end, Bob launched the Better Service, Lower Cost process improvement initiative, encouraging all General Services business units to focus each of their operational processes on providing customers with better service, lower cost, or both.  He ardently believes that lowering the operational costs of state government allows the state the flexibility to devote more of its limited resources to programs and services that directly benefit Tennessee citizens.

Throughout his time in state government, Bob has been a ceaseless advocate for identifying and adopting best business practices and for using data to drive decision-making.  Some of the most significant highlights are below.


  • Under Bob’s leadership, the Department of General Services (DGS) reduced the size of the state’s real estate portfolio, including moving from leased to owned space, selling surplus state properties (thus reducing deferred maintenance obligations and realizing income from the sale) and using existing space more effectively. 
  • DGS implemented the state’s Alternative Workplace Solutions (AWS) program, which uses non-traditional work spaces to improve efficiency and flexibility.  By December 2018, Tennessee anticipates it will have reduced the state’s real estate footprint by 212,035 SF, freeing up $2.54M in rental funding for six state departments for repurposing use in their critical missions. This was featured by NASCA in a 2017 case study.
  • A 2013 contract for facilities management for those state properties operated by DGS has resulted in four consecutive years of declining operating and utility costs and in customer satisfaction above industry standards. Through FY2018, the cumulative savings is estimated at $38.5M for FM, and $16M for associated energy conservation efforts, for a total of $54.5M. This was featured by NASCA in a 2016 case study.
  • DGS consolidated agency procurement functions, reducing costs by $121.3M.  Tennessee has also received several accolades for leading procurement innovations in the last four years.
  • DGS also created significant cost reductions for Tennessee through leasing vehicles (instead of reimbursing employee high-mileage work-related driving), netting savings totaling $4.28 M for 600 employees for 2015-2018.

“Bob is a tremendous leader and innovator, both in his role in NASCA and with his state. In fact, his innovative practices in Tennessee have spurred many of his NASCA colleagues to reconsider their own business practices,” said Dan Kim, California Director of Enterprise Services, who nominated Bob for the award.  “Bob always offers insightful comments and suggestions. Most significantly, he offers a strategic perspective by nudging all of us to think strategically about how we provide business services within our states. He thinks and executes paradigm shifts to do business in a different way. Bob takes the long view – and he follows through.”

The National Walton Leadership Award was established to recognize state chief administrators for their passion, outstanding service, leadership and commitment to state government. The award was created to honor Ray Walton for his service and dedication to state government and to NASCA. Ray Walton served as the Executive Director for NASCA from February 2011 through February 2015 and the former Director and Chief Operating Officer for the Iowa Department of Administrative Services. Click here to learn more about Ray. NASCA presented this prestigious award during the 2018 Institute on Management and Leadership Award Luncheon in Omaha Nebraska on September 13.