Board of Directors

Jo H. Anderson, Jr.

Jo began a career in banking the late 1940s. After five years he went on active duty with the Navy aboard the USS Macomb.  Upon completion of active duty, Jo secured a BA degree from the University of Tennessee, and returned to banking at Park National Bank.  Through working at the bank Jo met Carlos Campbell who was responsible for his joining the Great Smoky Mountains Conservation Association. Shortly after becoming a member he was appointed treasurer where he served for approximately forty years.

Joe H. Anderson, III (Treasurer)

Joe is employed with Knox Stove Works, a wood cook stove manufacturer.  An interesting note is heating stoves produced at Knox Stove were used for years in the cabins of the LeConte Lodge atop Mt. LeConte.  Joe has been a member of the GSMCA for approximately twenty years.  His involvement with the GSMCA stems from his love of the mountains, specifically the Great Smoky Mountains, as well as a fascination with the black bears found within the park.  Dr’s. Mike Pelton and Frank van Manen were kind enough to include Joe in some of their bear tagging forays into the park which furthered strengthened his connection with the Great Smokies.  For the last few years Joe has been the GSMCA assistant treasurer to Bob Killifer.


Victor H. Ashe

Victor Ashe was born and raised in Knoxville on January 1, 1945. He graduated from Yale University in 1967 and UT College of Law in 1974. An attorney, he was elected Tennessee State Representative in 1968 and to the State Senate in 1975. He was elected Mayor of Knoxville in 1987 and after 4 terms became Knoxville’s longest serving Mayor. He was President of the US Conference of Mayors in 1994–1995. As mayor he expanded Knoxville’s greenways and parks more than any other Mayor in the city’s history.

President George W Bush appointed him Ambassador to Poland in May 2004. He served for over five years becoming the longest serving US Ambassador to Poland who resided in Poland in 91 years of diplomatic history.

He has been appointed by every President since Ronald Reagan to serve on federal boards or positions. He is married to the former Joan Plumlee and they have two children, J. Victor, 20, and Martha, 17.

The outdoors and the Great Smoky Mountains have always meant a lot to Victor. “Being asked to join this Board was a real honor and it helps maintain the special character of a very special part of the US and the world.”

Albert F. G. Bedinger (Vice President)

President of Albert F. G. Bedinger Consulting Engineers, P.C., which is a consulting engineering firm specializing in heating, air conditioning, ventilation, piping and plumbing design. Al has B.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the University of Tennessee (1973).

Al has had an ongoing, life-long interest and love of the Great Smoky Mountains.  He spent part of many summers with his grandparents at their cabin in Elkmont. From December 1971 until April 1974 he worked off and on at LeConte Lodge while attending the University of Tennessee.  After graduation from UT, he spent the winter of 1973 and 1974 at LeConte Lodge building and repairing several of the buildings.  He has hiked and fished throughout the Park and the Southern Appalachians including the lower 400 mile section of the Appalachian Trail.  His mountaineering experience includes climbs in Washington, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, California, Alaska, Alberta, Switzerland, France, Mexico, Peru and Nepal.

Al has been a Board member since 1989 and a member of the Executive Committee (Secretary) from 1992 until the present.

H. David Cate

David served as Clerk and Master and Chancellor of the Knox County Chancery Court for thirty years. He has been retired for the past twelve years, and has been a director of the Great Smoky Mountain Conservation Association for approximately fifteen years. In David’s retirement he has worked as a volunteer with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and has hiked all the trails in the park.

Joseph D. Clark, Dr.

Dr. Joseph D. Clark is Branch Chief of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Southern Appalachian Research Branch (SARB), located at the University of Tennessee.  Dr. Clark holds an Adjunct Professor appointment in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries.  SARB conducts hypothesis-driven environmental research focusing on Department of Interior issues in the southern Appalachians and elsewhere.  Dr. Clark is a wildlife biologist and specializes in carnivore ecology, population dynamics, and habitat modeling.  Dr. Clark served for 9 years as a Research Biologist (bear and furbearers) and then as Assistant Chief with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.  As such, Dr. Clark has a unique perspective of wildlife resource management from both the practical as well as academic side.  Dr. Clark has studied population dynamics and habitat use of black bears, Florida panthers, elk, and river otters across the Southeast.

Joseph P. Congleton

As Managing Partner of Blackberry Development Company since 2010, Tyler has principal responsibility for leading private ownership development at Blackberry Farm, the acclaimed luxury resort in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. Tyler also serves on the Board of Directors of the Knoxville Museum of Art and Sequoyah Elementary Foundation, and was appointed to the Recreational Development Council of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) in 2007. Tyler’s love of GSMNP flourished as a child at his family’s cabin in the Elkmont historic district, and he appreciates the very positive impact the park continues to have on its visitors today.

Tyler Congleton (Assistant Treasurer)

Tyler has led projects in several states for DPS, which creates luxury club communities, and performed consulting assignments for DPS clients with projects located all over the world. Prior to joining DPS, Tyler originated real estate private placements and commercial mortgages with Prudential Capital Group in Atlanta, GA.  He holds a B.S. in Commerce from the University of Virginia, and an MBA from UNC-Chapel Hill.  In addition to serving on the Board of GSMCA, he previously served on area Boards of Directors for Trout Unlimited and Ducks Unlimited, and he is currently a Young Leaders Committee Member of the United Way.

Tyler’s affection for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park flourished at his family’s cabin at Elkmont, where he developed a keen interest in park trout streams and hiking trails.  Above all, Tyler has a deep appreciation for the positive impact GSMNP has on the lives of its visitors.

David D. Dickey (Vice President)

David is a longtime freelance writer for outdoor and travel magazines. He is a past president of Southeast Outdoor Press Association, and former reporter and feature writer for the Knoxville News Sentinel. He is a life member, former board member and publications chairman, of the Great Smoky Mountains Natural History Association.

David has been a board member of the Great Smoky Mountain Conservation Association since 1957, and vice president since 1996. He is also Park history chairman.

He assisted Carlos C. Campbell in putting together the book Birth of a National Park in the Great Smoky Mountains.

David A. Etnier, Dr.

David joined the Zoology Department at UT 1n 1965 after completing a BS in Fish and Wildlife Management and PhD in Zoology at the University of Minnesota. He continues to serve at UT as an Emeritus Professor, mostly spending his time doing research and writing papers on various aspects of aquatic biology, especially concerning the systematics of fishes and caddisflies of eastern North America. During his career he and his many students have been involved with numerous Park projects, including the fishes of the Park, large stream fish surveys for the Park, Brook Trout reintroductions in the Park, and the ATBI for the Park as a specialist in the insect order Trichoptera (the caddisflies). He and his wife Liz and their three grown children and four grandchildren continue to spend summers on their island on Lake Saganaga, just north of the wilderness, on the MN/ON border. While David mostly does research in the Park, wife Liz, author of a recently published day-hikers guide to all the trails in the Park, really uses it. David has also served as a trustee on the Tennessee Chapter of the Nature Conservancy.

Edgar Faust (Asst. Secretary)

Edgar Faust is a managing partner of Emory River Land Company, a privately held timber company. He holds a B.S. Degree from the University of Tennessee. Currently he is on the University of Tennessee Advisory Board of both Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, and Forest Research and Education Center. He has also been a trustee for the Nature Conservancy for twelve years. Edgar became a director of GSMCA 23 years ago and has been the assistant secretary for the last 18 years. He became involved after being asked to become a member and was very interested in joining since he had spent a great amount of time in the Park since early childhood.

Hugh Faust

Hugh Faust is a biologist for Dinkins Biological Consulting. He has worked in 18 states and four continents providing expertise on surveys for big cats, ungulates, insects, trees, birds, mussels, and fish.  Hugh also manages Emory River Land Company, a privately held timber company, in the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee.

When Hugh is not rambling around the rivers and mountains of Tennessee, you can find him exploring the jungles of eastern Honduras.


E. Bruce Foster, Jr. (Vice President)

Bruce Foster, is a lifelong resident of Knoxville, and lifelong user of and visitor to the trails, woods, streams and campgrounds of the Smokies.  He is an attorney, practicing in Knoxville; and presently the vice president of the GSMCA and member of its executive committee.

Bruce was invited to membership on the board of the GSMCA on June 14, 1978, and has served continuously since.  He gladly accepted the opportunity to serve the Park through this Association, and to become acquainted with such legendary figures as Carlos Campbell, Jim Tanner, Jack Sharp, Mike Pelton, and Jake Johnston, all of whom were active in the Association at the time.

Dr. Ralph Harvey (Secretary)

Dr. Ralph Harvey teaches anesthesiology at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine and is the Director of Small Animal Anesthesia and Pain Management Services. He has served as the Director of Small Animal Surgical Services and as a member of the University Faculty Senate.

His post-graduate training included internship, residency, and fellowship at Cornell’s Veterinary and Medical Colleges. He has also worked in private small animal practice. He is certified as a specialist by the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia, has served as the Executive Secretary of the ACVAA, and as a member of the ACVAA Board of Directors.

Dr. Harvey has received the UTCVM Brandy Memorial Award, the Outstanding Faculty Member Award from the Tennessee Veterinary Medical Association, and the UTCVM Outstanding Alumni Non-Practice Career Award.

His community and public service activities have included work with regional science fair programs, Explorer Scouting, the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society, and regional environmental groups.

Paul Hassell

Though you might see his signature in the corner of a photograph of a black bear cub in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Paul Hassell isn’t strictly a photographer. Paul is in the light business.

An entrepreneur since the age of fifteen, a lover of solitude, and a loyal friend, Paul defies convention at every turn. You won’t walk away from a conversation with him thinking how little you know about the nature of visible light. You’ll walk away with the sense that Paul is doing what he was created to do. This at-home-ness in himself and his craft becomes a kind of permission for others to find their vocations and live them.

In his words: “I want to live a life that’s open and honest. If I’m consistent, then my photography will speak this same language.”

Paul found what makes him tick and organized his life around that calling. He designed his own major at The University of TN: Freelance Photography and Writing for the Natural Environment. That’s a mouthful. He’s a member of North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) and Southern Appalachian Nature Photographers (SANP), but the credentials matter less to him than sharing the profound experience. He points the way to a bigger truth and deeper reality.

Paul grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee and married his best friend Nora in 2011. They moved several miles up the river to the comfortable town of Kodak. Their home along the French Broad River has become their base camp.

Paul has been published in National Parks Magazine, Time-Life, Nature’s Best, National Wildlife, and National Geographic books.

Alan S. Heilman, Dr.

A native of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Alan earned his Bachelor of Science degree and his Master’s Degree from the University of Pittsburg. He earned his Ph.D. from Ohio State University. Alan began teaching at the University of Tennessee Department of Botany as an Associate Professor of Botany in September 1960, and was a member of the Botanical Society of America. He retired from teaching in 1997. Alan has received several honorable mentions in the international National World Photographic Competition since 1985, and won the 1996 Natural World Photographic Competition for “Sunflower,” a photograph of the back of sunflower. His many photographs include portraits of faculty members and some students, meetings, fieldtrips, some group photos. Other photographs by Alan focus on the dedication of the Fred Norris Greenhouse in 1984, several photographs of botany classrooms and offices, and one photograph of the old biology building after its destruction by fire in 1934. Alan has been a Board member since 1979.


Robert E. Ivy, M.D.

Dr. Ivy was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi.  Dr. Ivy is a graduate of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California and Vanderbilt Medical School.   Dr. Ivy is a partner with Knoxville Orthopedic Clinic where he sub-specializes in the treatment of hand and elbow disorders.  Dr. Ivy has been selected by his peers to the “Best Doctors in America.”   In addition, he was voted by Cityview Magazine to the top doctors in Knoxville for 2003.  He is Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons and has obtained the Certificate for Added Qualification for Surgery of the Hand.   Dr. Ivy has been a member of the Board of the Great Smoky Mountains Conservation Association since 2009.  In his spare time Robert enjoys hiking, backpacking, fly fishing and cycling.


Samuel H. Keener, III

Sam is a retired land surveyor and civil engineer. He was asked to join the Great Smoky Mountain Conservation Association in 1970 by hiking companion Jo H. Anderson, Jr., who was a friend of Carlos Campbell.

Sam’s interest in the Great Smoky Mountains Conservation Association was due to years of hiking, camping, and trail riding in the Park. His first trip in the Park was in 1938 by horse from Mountain View Hotel to Mt. LeConte via Rainbow Falls Trail.

Sam is also a member of the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club, Great Smoky Mountains Association, and Friends of the Smokies.



Michael R. Pelton, Dr.

Michael Pelton is Professor Emeritus, Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries, University of Tennessee. His tenure at UT began in 1968 after completing his M. S. and PhD at the University of Georgia and B.S. at UT. He retired in 2000 but remained on part-time until October 2009. Mike first visited Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1948. As a boy scout (1951-1957), he hiked and camped over much of the Tennessee side of the Park. As a UT Botany major, Mike was a research technician for Drs. Royal Shanks and Ed Clebsch at UT and Dr. Robert H. Whittaker at Brooklyn College; he assisted on ecological studies in the Park.  Mike supervised the research programs of 48 M.S. and PhD students in Great Smoky Mountains National Park on 10 species of mammals: European wild hogs, white-tailed deer, woodchucks, striped skunks, raccoon, river otter, elk, coyote, red wolves, and black bears. The black bear research program was initiated in 1968 and remains the longest continuous study of any bear species in the world; 30 of his graduate students worked on that effort. Mike continues to teach annually in the Smoky Mountain Field School, a cooperative effort between the national park service and UT. Mike has 4 grown sons. He and his wife, Tamra now live in western Virginia on their mountain farm. He and Tamra make regular trips back to the Smokies each year to teach and visit family and friends. He served as chairman of the Campbell and Tanner Fellowship Committee.

James Roberson (Vice-President)

James Roberson is a commercial real estate consultant with NAI Knoxville assisting clients when they need to relocate, acquire investment properties or sell or lease commercial properties.James graduated from Clemson University with a BS degree in Wildlife Biology and a minor in Forest Resource Management. Following his graduation, James worked in Greenville, SC with Timberland Management & Sales as a forester and surveyor. Then, he worked in Cashiers, NC as a natural resource manager with the NC Land Trust.  James joined Great Smokey Mountains Conversation Association as a board member in 2010. James lives in Knoxville with his wife Catherine and his two children, William and Anna.


L. Caesar Stair, III


L. Caesar Stair, IV (President)

Caesar is from Knoxville, and so has always loved the Park. He became a director of GSMCA in 2006. This year he was elected to serve on the Nominating Committee. His father is on the board and has been from some time, which is how Caesar became involved with this organization. He is also an attorney with the law firm of Bernstein, Stair & McAdams LLP.

Mary Kay Sullivan, Dr.

Mary Kay Sullivan is Professor Emerita of Management at Maryville College. She received the B.A. from the University of Arkansas, an M.A. from Bryn Mawr College, and the M.B.A and PhD from the University of Tennessee. Her teaching and research interests are finance, venture capital, and entrepreneurship. Among her publications is A Study Guide to Finance published by Prentice Hall. She is an avid Smoky Mountains hiker and birder who is also interested in geology and botany, with a special interest in native plants of Tennessee. She carries in her backpack a well-worn 1969 copy of Great Smoky Mountain Wildflowers by (Carlos) Campbell, Hutson and Sharp. She and her husband, Bill, have hiked Mt. Le Conte many times, sometimes encountering other GSMCA board members along the way. She has served on the board of the Nature Conservancy of Tennessee and has been the treasurer of the Foothills Land Conservancy.