Jim Davis to head food ministry

He'll replace Steve Streibig early next year
Nov. 21, 2012 @ 11:26 PM

The steering committee of Sevier County Food Ministries has named Jim Davis the organization's new director.

He has been involved with the agency as a volunteer for 18 years. "At times very, very involved," he said.

Currently a public relations manager for the city of Gatlinburg, Davis, 50, will begin working for the ministries at the beginning of 2013. He replaces Steve Streibig, who retires Nov. 30. Streibig has directed the agency since 1998. Volunteers and staff will manage the organization in the December interim.

"One of the passions that I have in my life is to volunteer there and look out for the well-being of the ministry," said Davis. "Hopefully I can live up to the job that Steve has done."

Davis has been with the city of Gatlinburg for six years. Previously, he was sports editor of The Mountain Press for 22 years.

Sevier County Food Ministries, 890 Old Knoxville Highway in Sevierville, provides emergency, supplemental food services to families experiencing short-term needs.

"It's to help those who are maybe struggling a little bit and maybe need a little extra help," said Davis. "We don't want to have hungry people in Sevier County. We try to lessen the burden on people who might be struggling."

Founded in 1992, the organization serves an average of 1,123 families per week. It is prepared to serve as many as 1,800 families during the busy Thanksgiving week. "It's such a needed ministry," said Davis.

A Sevier County native, Davis graduated from the University of Michigan in 1984. In 1994, he said he began volunteering at Sevier County Food Ministries in connection with his church, First United Methodist.

"I enjoyed it," he said. "I was single, and that's how I chose to spend my extra time."

Since 1995, he has coordinated the annual postal carriers food drive, one of the ministries' biggest efforts.

"Jim's a real nice, good, Christian man," said Jim Johnson, board chairman. "He's the type of person we need."

In addition to managing staff and volunteers, Davis also will be the ministries' public face. "We need someone to go to clubs and churches and speak," said Johnson. "I believe he's the guy that can do that."

"I'll be fundraising," said Davis. "Trying to find new streams of revenue. Getting support from the community in the form of checks."

In the coming days, Davis will work with Streibig on the transition. "He's got great volunteers in place, people who pick up deliveries, people who coordinate," said Davis. "My job will be to make sure the volunteers continue to love what they're doing and help them do their best."

Davis notes that he is grateful to the ministries' steering committee for its faith in him. "I'm excited to be taking on this challenge," he said. "I believe it's a good fit, and I hope I can live up to everyone's expectations."