Reaves strives to maintain public trust in elections


Editor’s Note: This October, we will celebrate our 30th class of 40 Under Forty honorees. Each week in 2022, The Business Journal of Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia will highlight one of our 2021 40 Under Forty honorees leading up to the announcement of our milestone class this fall.

Justin Reaves found a great deal of success in the private sector at a very young age.

By the time he was 23, he was a branch manager and assistant vice president at a local bank. What’s more, his branch served as a training center for all new hires the bank made within the region.

Following his stint in banking, Reaves went on to find success as a real-estate agent. But his definition of success transcended the financial benefits of his chosen career, which led to his decision to switch gears and make an impact in the public sector.

“Money is not always the motivating factor,” he said. “That’s never been a motivating factor for me.”

Instead of utilizing his meticulous attention to detail in the private sector, Reaves became the Administrator of Elections in Greene County in 2021. At 29 years old, he is among the youngest people in his post in the state of Tennessee.

“I enjoy the details of the job,” Reaves said. “Integrity is very important. I want to make sure any election that is held in Greene County is held with integrity.”

Following the 2020 Presidential election, it is no secret that election integrity has become a major topic of conversation at the national level. Part of what motivates Reaves is the opportunity to build confidence among his friends and neighbors in Greene County that their votes will be protected and counted correctly every time they cast a ballot.

Transparency is paramount for Reaves, who welcomes everyone who wants to see how the process works.

“I enjoy the public coming in, watching our process, watching our checks and balances, seeing how we administer fair elections in Greene County,” he said.
Of course, Reaves understands the irony in the fact that he once worked in a very confidential environment as a banker. He said he wouldn’t have believed anyone if they had told him during that time that he’d be working at the county election commission.

But now that he is there, Reaves spends a lot of time doing community outreach to help build confidence in the county election commission. He is highly visible as he completes community service and civics engagement activities, including his role as chairman of the 2020 Census – Complete Count Committee.

Above all, Reaves lives each day knowing that folks are watching his actions, and he does everything he can to ensure his character helps enhance the public’s trust in the election process in Greene County.
“If people know you in the community, and they know your work ethic and your morals, they feel good about elections that are happening in the county,” he said.

Next week we will profile Nick Rogers of Jones and Church Farms. If you would like to nominate someone for inclusion in the 2022 class of 40 Under Forty, visit and follow the instructions.

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