Nanney steps into full time role as Elizabethton Parks & Recreation director

When former Director of Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Mike Mains departed for the same position at the City of Bristol, a search began for a new director who could take a wagon that was loaded and rolling full steam and keep that wagon on track to accomplish the plans already laid out for the department.
Recreation Director David Nanney was given the interim position to make sure everything was on task, and now City Manager Daniel Estes has announced that the tag of interim will be removed as Estes tabbed Nanney as the new director effective immediately.
Nanney said the opportunity to continue to serve the community that he calls home is truly a blessing from God.
"It means a lot to be given the opportunity to start with - this is home," said Nanney. "This is where I grew up and this is me and this department means a great deal to me. I have been here for over 26 years and one of my primary reasons for wanting the job was to see it carried out."
Nanney's career with Park and Recreation began when he left the Kawneer Co. in Johnson City as its purchasing director to take a position in the maintenance department at Park & Recreation. Within a year, he quickly ascended to the assistant supervisor role.
18 years ago, he moved to an administrative role in the position of Athletic Director and performed that job for several years before being named the Recreation Manager.
"I don't have any plans of changing the world because if it's not broke, don't fix it but you still have to keep your eyes opened and see what's coming down and plan for the future and at the same time stay in your bounds. It will work," said Nanney.
Nanney said that when baseball with the Minnesota Twins rookie affiliation left Elizabethton, it changed the dynamics of recreation for Elizabethton. Baseball was really important at that time to Mains, Nanney, and the rest of the staff.
However, since the departure, more time has been spent developing activities that have grown exponentially over time.
"Really over the last five years we have came into our own with events and different things that we have been able to do with the support of the City Council and City Manager that have allowed us to grow in the way that we have," said Nanney. "We don't take that for granted or lightly.
"Our goal is to provide for our citizens here and make sure their playgrounds are safe and to have special events that facilitate everyone. We try to do music with different genres because everyone doesn't like the same type of music."
Nanney's interest in the position came from the fact that when changes are made, often programs that have proved successful are omitted or changed with new leadership.
He wanted to make sure that if given the opportunity to be the new director that the department continued to move in the same direction that has proven to be successful and that he knew worked.
"We have projects in every direction," said Nanney. "We have the big overhaul of Covered Bridge Park which is a major, once in a lifetime thing and getting that right is extremely important. We are getting ready to spend over a million dollars on the Franklin Pool to renovate that this fall.
"It's enormous what has happened in this department and what the future holds and I want to see that happen plus even more, to see us grow. We are going to evolve to do more. There are more things coming down the pike and we want to be ready when those get here."
Nanney said that many people are not aware of the total amount of time and work that the Elizabethton Park & Recreation staff puts into making sure the community has more opportunities than many other surrounding departments with a small staff providing those.
"If you work for this department, you are dedicated to this department," Nanney said. "There is a lot of work out there and there are a lot of weekends. We are small and for a department our size to do what we do is remarkable with four administrative people and about 12 staff all together is kind of unheard of. They believe in Elizabethton and want to do the very best every day when they come to work.
"It's a good atmosphere to work and it makes you feel like you are on a team and we all work together. That's my philosophy. If we don't work together we are shortchanging ourselves and other people."
Nanney is married to Stephanie and the couple have two daughters - Victoria and Vanessa Nanney who both are employed by the Elizabethton City School System. He is a member of Elizabethton First Baptist Church.
"I believe that God has put me in this place," said Nanney. "My family has been so supportive and have grown up in the Elizabethton Parks & Recreation Department and have volunteered in many of the events over the years. It has worked out like God planned for it to."

Photo by Ivan Sanders
David Nanney has been named as the new Elizabethton Park and Recreation Director. He replaces Mike Mains who took the same position with the City of Bristol.
david nanney