Gonzales, a native of Baxter, was appointed by Gov. Phil Bredesen in December 2005. With the department since 1986, he previously served as assistant commissioner and general counsel. In his role as assistant commissioner, he was responsible for coordinating the provision of legal advice to the commissioner and the department. He also directed the department's budget, human resource and legislative analysis functions.
The department, which supervises approximately 6,000 financial institutions doing business in Tennessee, has legal responsibility for assuring the soundness of all the state's banking systems. It accomplishes this by periodically examining the safety of each financial institution it regulates, fielding consumer complaints involving financial institutions and serving as the primary source for new bank-related legislation in Tennessee.
Gonzales graduated cum laude in cursu honorum with a bachelor’s degree in history from TTU in 1980 and later graduated from the University of Tennessee Law School. Prior to joining the Department of Financial Institutions, he served as a research assistant in 1980 to Sir Patrick Cormack, a Conservative Party member of the British Parliament, and also served as a special assistant to Sen. Albert Gore Jr. from 1985 to 1986.
A member of the board of directors of the Money Transmitter Regulators Association, Gonzales chaired the cooperative agreement committee that produced the Money Transmitter Regulators Nationwide Cooperative Agreement that has been executed by a majority of states. He also serves on committees of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors and the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors.
About 395 students are expected to graduate from Tennessee Tech this summer. They hail from 30 states including Tennessee, 57 Tennessee counties and 46 foreign countries. They represent 30 undergraduate fields of study and 18 graduate fields. Following summer commencement, Tennessee Tech will have granted more than 58,000 degrees.