Catoosa County introduced the public to new Parks and Recreation director, Travis Barbee, during the commissioners meeting on Feb. 7, a little more than a month after offering him the job.

According to County Manager Jim Walker, Barbee has spent the last few years honing his craft with other municipalities and brings a lot of talent and experience to the position.

"He's young, he's smart, and he's energetic," Walker said. "He has a lot of experience, and we think he's going to do a great job for us."

Barbee, a native of Cassville, Ga., graduated from Kennesaw State University with a degree in sports management and has master's course work from East Tennessee State University and Southern Polytechnic State University.

"He has a lot of experience in city management, sports, supervising sports fields, and organizing special events," Walker said.

Barbee's background

While at Southern Polytechnic State University, Barbee was a men’s soccer assistant while working on his degree. His career in recreation started in East Tennessee in the town of Unicoi, where he built a department from the ground up writing more than $150,000 in grants and hosting more than 20 special events a year.

He also received an award from the North-East Tennessee Tourism Association for the marketing of Unicoi’s recreational opportunities.

After leaving East Tennessee, he worked as an athletics manager with the city of Durham, NC., where he programmed youth and adult athletic activities before returning to Cartersville, Ga., where he worked in park maintenance for a year with Bartow County Parks and Recreation Department.

He then accepted a recreation director's position in Tazewell, Va., where he oversaw many special events and athletic leagues. Barbee is a certified parks and recreation professional and aquatic facility operator through the National Recreation and Parks Association and a graduate of the University of Indiana executive development program for recreation professionals.

After being introduced, Barbee thanked Walker and the commissioners for the opportunity.

"I'm happy to be here," Barbee said. "I feel like the area has a lot of potential, and I'm really looking forward to working with you now and in the future."

Walker added that he's excited about Barbee's long-term future in the position and the community.

"One thing that stuck out to me about Travis was something that was mentioned in the last line of his bio. He said that he and his wife Amanda look forward to making Catoosa County their forever home," Walker said. "That's just great to hear."

Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He has been a reporter since 2009. He can be reached at The Catoosa County News office at 706-935-2621 and by email at acook@npco.com.