Jay Ogle joins Pigeon Forge commission

May. 27, 2013 @ 11:44 PM

Pigeon Forge's newest city commissioner, Jay Ogle, has a familiar outlook on his relationship to others.

"I always try to treat people the way I would like to be treated," he said.

That attitude can go a long way in Ogle's line of work. He currently serves on Pigeon Forge's planning commission and industrial development board. Come Tuesday, he'll be sworn in as a city commissioner.

Ogle grew up in Pigeon Forge. He graduated from Sevier County High School in 1990, then went to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where he got a bachelor's degree in political science. He received a master's degree in urban planning from UT.

After school, Ogle went to work for Gatlinburg as the city's assistant city planner. He stayed there for six years, during which he became a certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners.

"I worked for the public, helped them with planning, signage and development issues with the city," Ogle said. "I worked with them directly to help them navigate the zoning and municipal codes."

In 2004, Ogle went to work as a commercial property manager and leasing agent for a commercial real estate company based in Knoxville. He managed and leased 13 shopping centers in three states, working with the company for two years.

"After that I got into business on my own and have been self-employed since 2006," Ogle said. "I've been fortunate to get with some partners, and now we own six tourism-related businesses in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg."

Ogle said the decision to go out on his own had to do with his family.

"I'm a hard worker and I wanted more opportunity for my family," he said. "I was young and thought if I was going to do that, then it was the time."

The family man has grown familiar with putting others before himself. Ogle has served on the planning commission for five years and the industrial development board for two years.

"My experiences on those boards has exposed me to a lot of different residents in the city, so I'm familiar with what's going on, which will help me better understand my role as a city commissioner," Ogle said. "The first rule is always put others before yourself."

Ogle is a graduate of Sevier County Leadership Tomorrow's inaugural 2001 class, and he's a member of the American Planning Association.

Ogle has also done volunteering work for United Way. He is a member of First United Methodist Church in Sevierville.

"I'm a Christian, and I always try to live as a Christian and treat people accordingly," he said. "I try to live up to my word and embody general principals on how to be a good human being across the board."

Ogle and his wife, Karen, have been married 14 years. They met in college and now have two sons, John and Nathan, who attend Pigeon Forge schools and play sports locally.

"If I'm not working, I'm just trying to go to my kids' activities and be involved as much as I can," Ogle said.

Ogle, along with returning Commissioners Joyce Brackins and Kevin McClure, will be sworn in at Tuesday's city commission meeting at 5:15 p.m. in City Hall.

rhargett@themountainpress.com