Mayor Jacobs taps Navy veteran to lead Knox County Parks and Recreation

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Following an extensive search, Navy veteran Joseph “Joe” Mack has been chosen to lead the Knox County Parks and Recreation Department.

“I’m extremely excited to join the Knox County team,” Mack said. “I look forward to meeting the recreational needs of the citizens of Knox County while also making Knox County and its beautiful natural resources a destination for outdoor recreation enthusiasts from around the world.”

Knox County conducted a search stretching across the Southeast, Northeast, and Midwest regions to fill the position, which has been vacant since October 2020 when the previous director was fired. The Human Resources Department and the mayor’s office narrowed the candidates through two rounds of interviewing to two people. The Mayor’s Chief Operating Officer Dwight Van de Vat and Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs met with the two and selected Mack.

“Joseph Mack is an innovative director with a track record of reinvigorating programs,” Jacobs said. “He brings a fresh, out-of-the-box perspective, and he’s a recognized leader who specializes in team building and training. We couldn’t ask for more and I’m excited that he’s joining us.”

Mack served in the Navy for 30 years before retiring as a master chief petty officer. In July 2016, he became Parks and Recreation Department director in Covington, Tennessee. He managed a $2 million budget, 30 employees, a 20,000-square-foot facility, more than 200 acres of parkland, 13 sports fields, a year-round aquatic center, and a museum.

Mack’s first day as the new senior director will be July 6. He will manage the Knox County department’s $5.6 million budget, 51 full-time employees, and 43 part-time workers. He has been married for 20 years and has six children.

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