Friends of the Smokies Welcomes New Executive Director

November 15, 2018

KODAK, Tenn. – Friends of the Smokies’ board of directors announced the selection of Tim Chandler as the organization’s new Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, effective November 5. Jim Hart has served as the nonprofit’s President and CEO for 16 years and will remain in that position.

Tim Chandler joins the organization from his previous role for 22 years as a Sales and Marketing Executive at Scripps Networks Interactive, now Discovery, Inc. He played a critical role in launching DIY Network and HGTV Pro, and in building the annual HGTV Dream Home sweepstakes into the largest sweepstakes in cable television. Chandler has long supported Friends of the Smokies, volunteering as co-chair of The Evergreen Ball, the nonprofit’s largest annual fundraiser, then joining the board of directors in November 2017.

“Tim will be an outstanding addition to the Friends team and will perfectly complement Jim Hart’s leadership experience,” said Dr. Dan Matthews, Friends of the Smokies board chair. “Tim has a true passion for the Great Smoky Mountains and we cannot wait for him to join the staff.”

Tim Chandler is a native of Mobile, Alabama and attended the University of South Alabama. He and his wife Katie, a native of Gallatin, Tennessee, have been happily married for 25 years. The Chandlers have two children, Nathan, 18, a senior at Farragut High School, and Katherine, 16, a sophomore at Christian Academy of Knoxville, and have called Knoxville and East Tennessee home for 23 years.

“I am honored and humbled to step into this role as we continue to raise money and support for America’s most-visited national park,” said Tim Chandler. “My family and I enjoy camping and exploring in the Great Smoky Mountains, and I am excited for this unique opportunity to preserve them for future generations.”

“I have known and worked with Tim for more than a decade, first as a Friends volunteer, then as co-chair of The Evergreen Ball, and the last two years as he served on our board,” added Jim Hart. “Tim is uniquely qualified to join the Friends leadership team and I am excited about continuing our work together.”

Friends of the Smokies is an official nonprofit partner of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and has raised $62 million to support critical park programs and maintain the Smokies as a crown jewel of the National Park Service. Discover and donate at FriendsOfTheSmokies.org.