When Lebanon's Jamie Woodson accepted an appointment to the Tennessee Fish & Wildlife Commission in 2012 by Governor Bill Haslam, she admitted she wasn't sure what she'd signed on for.
"I grew up in an outdoors family, and have always been involved in hunting, fishing and other outdoors activities," Woodson said at the time. "But I realize I have a lot to learn from the administrative aspect."
Woodson has proven to be a fast learner. She serves as Chairperson of the TFWC's Government Relations Committee, putting to use her 12 years' experience in the Tennessee General Assembly in both the House and the Senate.
TWRA Executive Ed Carter says that legislative link is extremely important to the Agency.
"I've learned a great deal about how the TWRA and its partners work, from law enforcement to game management and education," Woodson says. "It's phenomenal, what all they do.
"One thing I've been impressed with is the depth of passion and commitment everyone on the Commission and in the TWRA brings to their job. They want to fulfill their mission not just for the present, but for future generations of Tennesseans. I'm honored to get an opportunity to help, because it's something I care very deeply about."
Woodson has approximately four years remaining on her term as a member of the 13-member Commission. She and her fellow Commissions will be involved in the TWRA's "Strategic Plan," unveiled last month. It calls for a shift in philosophy and operations to meet the changing needs of outdoorsmen.
The TWRA will work with the Commission in implementing the plan, with oversight from the State Legislature. Given Woodson's years of legislative experience and her accord with the Governor and other lawmakers, she represents an increasingly-important link between the TWRA and state government.
"I will assist Director Carter in any way I can," says Woodson, who serves on numerous state boards and is president and CEO of State Collaborative on Reforming Education.
Woodson and her husband Bill moved from Knoxville to their farm in Wilson County near the Cumberland River, where they enjoy a variety of outdoor pursuits.
"We had a great duck season," says Woodson, who earlier in the winter participated in a TWRA Women's Hunt with House Speaker Beth Harwell. "Now I'm looking forward to turkey season. What I love about Tennessee is that we have four distinct seasons, and by the time one ends, we (outdoorsmen) are ready to start another."
In addition to duck and turkey hunting, Woodson likes to fish, hike, work with her retrievers, "and just enjoy the outdoors in general."
She says her work in education and her service on the Wildlife Commission encompasses her two favorite causes.
"I treasure the wonderful outdoors opportunities we have in our state," Woodson says. “I want to make sure they remain available for all Tennesseans, now and into the future."