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Center Front: Jim Fyke  Back Row: Dwight Hensley, Charlie Tate, Mike Carlton, Andy Lyon

Jim Fyke - Commissioner, Department of Environment and Conservation

Jim Fyke was appointed Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) by Governor Phil Bredesen on April 14, 2005. A true parks and conservation professional, Jim has a distinguished career with more than 40 years of successful public service.

Prior to being named TDEC Commissioner, Fyke had served the department as Deputy Commissioner of Parks and Conservation since April 1, 2003. As Deputy Commissioner, Jim worked with Governor Bredesen to re-open the 14 state parks that were closed in 2002. With improved fiscal discipline and management under the leadership of Jim Fyke, the state parks leadership team created an atmosphere where Tennessee State Parks serve an estimated 26 million visitors each year.

Fyke joined state government following his retirement from the Metropolitan Nashville Board of Parks and Recreation after 25 years leading the Board as Parks Director and 39 years of total service. Under Jim’s leadership as Parks Director, Nashville’s award-winning system increased from 57 to 100 parks and the amount of acreage increased from 5,800 to 10,237.

As Tennessee’s Environment and Conservation Commissioner, Jim is responsible for leading a department with a mission of protecting and improving the quality of Tennessee's air, land and water. The department also manages Tennessee's 54 state parks and 69 state natural areas.

Jim travels the state talking to businesses, organizations, schools and individuals about the importance of Tennessee State Parks and how these true Tennessee treasures contribute to the overall quality of our life and our lands.

Jim is a native of Old Hickory, Tennessee, and there is no doubt in any quarter that he loves our state - its parks and people.

Mike Carlton - Assistant Commissioner, Parks and Conservation/Operations

Mr. Carlton began his career in 1980 as a Seasonal Naturalist at Natchez Trace State Park and Pinson Mounds. He served as a Ranger at Natchez Trace and Cove Lake State Parks until his appointment as manager of Radnor Lake State Park in 1988. Mike has a bachelor of Science degree and studied wildlife biology at Colorado State University and at the University of Tennessee. He has written two books: A wildlife watchers guide to the Great Smoky Mountains and Tennessee Wonders a guide to the parks of Tennessee. He has been the recipient of several awards during his tenure in state parks, including the Jim Bailey Award for environmental education and The State Naturalist Award for the protection of Radnor Lake, among others.

Mike supervises all regional and park managers as well as the non-resort operational functions within the parks. He is also responsible for the park ranger-training program and emergency responses within state parks. Mike and his wife, Karen, live on a farm next to Radnor Lake State Park in Nashville with their two daughters Meaghan and Kirsten.

Andy Lyon - Assistant Commissioner, Parks Hospitality Services and Special Events

Mr. Lyon has 30 years of dedicated service to Tennessee State Parks. A 1978 graduate of Tennessee Tech University, he worked as a ranger at Cumberland Mountain State Park while in school. He stayed at Cumberland Mtn. until early 2003 when he was asked to head up Resort Parks Ops.

"I have spent my life in Tennessee State Parks and I am determined to leave them open and intact for future generations to use and enjoy."

Charlie Tate - Director of Natural and Cultural Resource Management

Mr. Tate has served many roles for Tennessee State Parks since 1973. With a B.S. in Education from Tennessee Technological University, and a M.ED. in Education from the Univ. of Memphis, he is dedicated to proctecting Tennessee State Parks' natural splendor for all Tennesseans and visitors to the state.

Dwight D. Hensley, P.E. - Director of Facilities Managment

Since 1989 Mr. Hensley has been managing the infrastructure of Tennessee State Parks. A graduate of Tennessee State University, he has worked in civil engineering for thirty years.

Regional Managers:

Randy Smalley, West Tennessee
Steve Pardue, Middle Tennessee
Herb Roberts, East Tennessee
Murray Crow, Middle/West Tennessee