David Redditt Jeter: A conversation with a leader

Wednesday, January 12, 2005 at 1:00am

NAME: David Redditt Jeter

COMPANY, TITLE: Tennessee State Fair, Executive Director

The Tennessee State Fair operates the fairgrounds in Nashville and hosts events such as the annual fair, car racing, pay-per-view wrestling matches, various trade shows and flea markets.

Hometown: Waynesville, N.C.

Date of Birth: Aug. 8, 1938

Education: Clemson University, B.S., industrial engineering, and Golden Gate University, M.B.A. in public administration.

First Job: I was an engineering aide, but only for six months, because I'd signed up for the Air Force.

Dream Job, after this one: This is it.

Last Charitable Act: Donating to the tsunami victims through my church


1. How do you prepare to make a tough decision?

I read a great book called Knowledge-based Management that outlined it best: Get sufficient data, make your decision and never look back. The trick is 'what is sufficient?' because you can never have all the data. As far as second guessing, if you do that you'll never be able to make another decision.

2. Business is loaded with risk. How do you balance risk with potential reward?

First off, whenever a proposal is put to me, I look at the costs and benefits of it. The costs don't always have to be just money either. It should measured in many ways to get the full costs. If the benefits outweigh the costs, then don't do it. The toughest part is quantifying the "I think

Filed under: City Business