Smokies Life brings people of all backgrounds together as advocates and stewards to honor, sustain, and protect Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization chartered in the state of Tennessee, Smokies Life relies on a volunteer board of directors to steer the course of the organization, oversee financial health and operations, and protect assets held in trust for the benefit of its mission.
The Smokies Life board hires the chief executive officer (CEO), who in turn is responsible for all operations of the organization including management of approximately a hundred paid employees, coordination with the board of directors and their committees, and implementation of the Smokies Life mission and the strategic plan. Senior staff reporting to the CEO include the chief financial officer, creative services director, human resources director, membership director, and retail director. The rest of the Smokies Life workforce reports to one of these directors. In addition to publishing the award-winning Smokies Life journal and Smokies Guide park newspaper, Smokies Life produces one or two books a year and maintains a wide-ranging backlist of more than 100 print publications including books, pamphlets, guides, and maps.
Board members serve three-year terms (limited to two consecutive terms) and meet at least four times a year. Each board member is required to serve on a minimum of two committees that meet as needed and focus on specific concerns. The current committees are: Executive, Finance, Governance, Human Resources, Membership, Publications, and Retail. A board taskforce may be established from time to time to consider a specific matter.
The Smokies Life board is comprised of members with experience in a range of disciplines including financial professionals, attorneys, business leaders, writers, historians, educators, and more. New board appointments are screened and recommended by the board’s governance committee, and efforts are made to ensure a balance of members residing in or with long-standing connections to North Carolina and Tennessee. Board members may live anywhere so long as they are able to travel periodically to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Ready to help us climb the next mountain? Complete one of the following forms to apply for board service or register your interest. For more information, explore the resources below or contact Governance Committee Chair Brian Railsback or CEO Laurel Rematore.