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DMRA welcomes new director

By Meg Dickens
Staff Writer

Doe Mountain Recreation Area (DMRA) welcomed an old friend as its new executive director on Wednesday, September 15. Shawn Lindsey joined the team after the former director, Tate Davis, reached out for his help to find someone to fill the position. His long-time partnership with the organization through his position as Executive Director of the Southwest Regional Recreation Authority of Virginia and similar experience made Lindsey “uniquely qualified” for the job. Now Lindsey will continue on his “Quest for Mayberry” here in Johnson County.

The “Quest for Mayberry” revolves around the idealistic town in the sitcom The Andy Griffith Show. Lindsey attributes this as his motivation to achieve a “near-perfect place” through harmony between local government, businesses, and residents. According to him, preserving culture is a big step in moving forward while respecting local heritage.

Although Lindsey is not a local, he is no stranger to the Appalachian Mountains. He grew up in northeast Tennessee and spent most of his life in the region. Between his time in the Appalachians, Lindsey has traveled the world learning more about culture, heritage, and tourism in the United States and different countries.

“I like to build bridges and see the people and organizations around me flourish,” Lindsey explained his personal goals for the position. “I love making new friends. My goal is to be the cause of new job creation. I want to help people learn to love the natural environment of our region as well as the people and culture. I take great pride in seeing the youth become successful in finding opportunities that will keep them home, maintaining their mountain traditions. I aim to make Johnson County well known and referred to as the Jewel of the Tri-state area and the pride of Tennessee.”55

Lindsey is well-recognized for his work in recreation and nature and credits this success to the “good people” that have surrounded him. This recognition includes more than a dozen awards since 2004, including Tennessee-based Man of the Year awards, national trails awards, volunteer awards, and environmental stewardship awards. Despite all of the awards, Lindsey stays humble, referring to himself as a “rough stone” working to be polished during his time on earth. 

So far, Lindsey is discussing the future with DMRA’s 15 person board. At the time of this publication, he was also bouncing ideas around with his predecessor. He currently hopes to add more programs such as archery tournaments, tomahawk throwing, and ATV/motorcross events. 

Lindsey stopped by the recent County Commission meeting to express his love for the area and introduce himself to the community. He encourages anyone to say hello or call with any concerns at (423) 460-1295. Find out more about DMRA at

About Lindsey
Shawn Lindsey has been married to his high school sweetheart for more than 24 years. They have three sons and love to enjoy the outdoors together. Lindsey was knighted in his previous position and hopes to continue the tradition in Tennessee. 

ATV vehicles travel the many trails of the Doe Mountain Recreational Area (DMRA). New DMRA Director Shawn Lindsey hopes to add more programs such as Archery tournaments and tomahawk throwing. Online photo