Tom Barnett

Tom Barnett

Tennessee Valley Authority

Vice President, River & Resources Stewardship

Hometown: Erwin, TN

What is your vision for Knoxville 10 years from now?

I want to see continued growth and renewal of downtown Knoxville into a vibrant and inclusive family friendly community. Also, education is really important to me and getting more leaders involved to ensure our children are prepared to best serve our community.

What is Knoxville’s Best Kept Secret?

I’m an avid outdoors enthusiast and love to canoe, kayak, and paddle board typically with a fishing pole. Knoxville has miles of blue ways just upstream of the city and running right through the middle with great public access points and plenty of good fishing.

What would you do to strengthen Knoxville?

Provide more opportunities for collaboration amongst Knoxville’s leaders; together we are better.

What is your favorite Knoxville memory?

I’ll give two in downtown Knoxville – taking my wife and 2 daughters to a Veteran’s Day Parade and a Rossini Festival. Both were great family friendly experiences. Food was awesome at Rossini.

What is your favorite book or what book is currently on your nightstand?

A Jack Reacher Novel – Persuader

What is the best advice you have received from a mentor, and who was that mentor?

Listen more than you talk, which one would think not difficult for a mostly introverted engineer, but truly listening is one of the most challenging and necessary pieces of communication. Credited to my wife.

What advice would you give to your 16 year old self?

Be kind, be humble, and don’t be so hard on yourself.

Tom Barnett