Jim Bryson is the Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Parks & Conservation for the State of Tennessee. In that capacity, Jim manages Tennessee’s 56 state parks, 85 natural areas, 6 lodges, 9 golf courses, 8 restaurants, 36 campgrounds, 370 cabins and 5 outdoor recreation grant programs. Additionally, the Bureau includes the Division of Natural Areas responsible for protecting endangered plant species and the Division of Archeology responsible for preserving Tennessee’s many ancient archeological sites. The Bureau employs approximately 1100 people full-time with an additional 400 seasonal employees. The Bureau manages approximately 220,000 acres of Tennessee public land.
The mission of Tennessee State Parks is “To preserve and protect, in perpetuity, unique examples of natural, cultural, and scenic areas and provide a variety of safe, quality, outdoor experiences through a well-planned and professionally managed system of state parks.” State parks include historic sites, archeological sites, wilderness areas and resort parks in both rural and urban settings.
Jim also serves as the Founder and Board President of The Joseph School, located in Cabaret, Haiti. The school provides a globally competitive education for poor and orphaned children in Haiti. The school began in 2015 with 30, 1st grade students in a rental house. It has added one grade and 30 students each year. In August, school will re-open with 180 students in grades 1–6. In addition to a free education, students receive books, uniforms and two meals a day. Summer nutrition programs assist food-insecure students to maintain health when school is not in session. The market research community has been very active and helpful with The Joseph School over the years. Approximately 50 researchers from around the world have visited The Joseph School and many support the school financially.
Jim was the Founding Chairman of The Sycamore Institute, a non-partisan public policy research center focused on Tennessee state policy and located in Nashville. He continues to serve on its Board.
He is a member of the Nashville Downtown Rotary Club and of First Baptist Church, Nashville where he teaches a weekly Bible study class.
Past service and positions:
- Founder and President of 20|20 Research (1986-2020)
- Founding Board member of the Marketing Research Education Foundation (MREF)
- Board Member of the Marketing Research Association
- Board Member of the Baptist Standard, a Dallas-based news organization
- Board member and President of QRCA (3 terms)
- Tennessee State Senator (4 years).
- Party nominee for Governor (2006)
- Impact Award presented by the Marketing Research Association (2016)
- Market Research Executive of the Year presented by Research Business Report (2013)
Jim was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He graduated from Baylor University and received his MBA from Vanderbilt University. Jim and his wife, Carol, make their home in Nashville, Tennessee. They have four children and two grandchildren, all living nearby.