On December 10, 1955, Dale Sims was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1974, he enrolled in Western Carolina University where he pursed a degree in political science. While focusing on his studies, he also played baseball for the university’s Catamounts. After graduating from Western Carolina University, Treasurer Sims enrolled in the public administration graduate program at Murray State University in Kentucky. He married Debbie Davis and they had one daughter named Jessica.
In 1980, Treasurer Sims served as a legislative program evaluator in the office of the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasurer. After only two years in that position, Treasurer Sims joined the Tennessee Treasury Department as Staff Assistant. In 1987, he became Executive Assistant to the Treasurer and served in that position until 2003. In 2003, Treasurer Steve Adams left the State Treasury position to join the Tennessee Lottery. Governor Phil Bredesen appointed Treasurer Sims to serve as the acting State Treasurer. After serving in the interim position, Treasurer Sims was elected state treasurer by the 103rd Tennessee General Assembly in 2004.
During his service as State Treasurer, he created the Public Safety Bridge Benefit in the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement Program for Law Enforcement Officers, included Private Equity in the Investments portfolio, and worked with the General Assembly to increase the monthly employer contribution match to the 401K Deferred Compensation program for state employees. Additionally, he added an additional category (Transportation and Parking) to the Flexible Benefits Program for state employees.
He expanded the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund to include reimbursement for Sexual Assault forensic exams, supporting victims of crime, and implemented the Small and Minority Owned Business Assistance program.
As State Treasurer, Treasurer Sims served on the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and the State Building Commission.
At the National level, he was active with National Association of State Treasurers and the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers, serving on the executive committee. In 2007, and he received the President’s Award from the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers. In 2008, Treasurer Sims received another honor by being the recipient of the Jesse Unruh Award from the National Association of State Treasurers. The Jesse M. Unruh Award is named for Jesse Unruh, a founding member of NAST and former California State Treasurer. The distinguished award recognizes an active treasurer's outstanding service to the association, the profession, and his or her state.
Treasurer Sims remained in the position of State Treasurer until 2009, when he was appointed Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance at the Tennessee Board of Regents.
He also serves as Vice Chairman of the Western Carolina University Foundation Board, and was the recipient of the Western Carolina University Professional Achievement Award in 2011.
Reference: Randall Holcombe, “From Backup Catcher to First String Budgeter,” Western Carolina Magazine, http://magazine.wcu.edu/2012/03/from-backup-catcher-to-first-string-budgeter/; Tennessee Board of Regents, https://www.tbr.edu/business/dale-sims; Duren Cheek, “Governor Names Sims Acting State Treasurer,” The Tennessean, 22 October 2003.
Treasurer Sims was elected Public Service Professional of the Year by the County Officials Association of Tennessee