Although Honor Fountain City Day in the Park won’t be held this year, Fountain City Town Hall has selected and announced the year’s two major awards – Man and Woman of the Year.
Honorees are Mark Campen and Courtney Shea, said Town Hall board chair Kelly Ellenburg. “As it turns out, the two have a lot in common. Both enjoy nature. Both are interested in the environment. Both are volunteers and public servants. We are honored to have them in the Fountain City community,” she said.
Mark Campen, a Knoxville native, moved to Fountain City in 2005. He and his wife, Emily, have two children, Parson and Phoebe. Mark graduated from UT with a degree in wildlife and fisheries sciences. He joined the staff of the Tennessee Izaak Walton League in 2001 and became executive director in 2011.
In 2016, Campen began a private company, the Conservation Cooperative, which focuses on natural resource conservation and education, water quality and other related environmental issues.
“Mark has always made time to volunteer,” said Ellenburg. “He was a member of the board of Fountain City Town Hall and served as chair. He served on the Knoxville-Knox County Task Force on Ridge, Slope and Hillside Protection. The three-year project produced a plan adopted in 2011, to guide development while protecting steep slopes. In 2008, Mark was appointed to serve as an interim Knox County commissioner from District 2.
“He was elected to Knoxville City Council, District 5, in 2011 and 2015. Prior to Mark leaving office in 2019, the council adopted the hillside and slope protections advocated by the Task Force years earlier.
“Mark’s knowledge and commitment to the environment were demonstrated throughout his work on the city council. Many citizens across our city are grateful for his leadership.”
Campen said, “I am grateful to the people of Fountain City and the City Council District 5 for the opportunity to serve you. Fountain City Town Hall and the Lions Club welcomed and supported me and I look forward to helping the community however I can in the future.”
Courtney Shea was born in New Jersey. She earned her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Connecticut. In 1979, she moved to Knoxville where she worked as an attorney with the U. S. Department of the Interior until retiring in 2015. She and her husband, Durant Thompson, live in Fountain City.
“Courtney is a dedicated volunteer who generously shares her time and expertise,” said Ellenburg. “She began volunteering with the Central High School Foundation in 2001, and continues as a volunteer even though their children have long since graduated. She currently serves as treasurer of the foundation.
“Consistent with her professional experience and interest in the environment, Courtney works on climate change issues through Tennessee Interfaith Power and Light, education issues with Justice Knox and is vice-chair of the board of Narrow Ridge Earth Literacy Center (located in Grainger County).
“Recently she joined with neighbors to protect our area from additional flooding. She is a member of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd where she looks forward to singing with the choir when restrictions are lifted and particularly loves volunteering when Good Shepherd hosts Family Promise.”
Shea said, “My husband and I love living in Fountain City. I also love volunteering in a place where folks with diverse points of view find a way to work together to address the changing needs of our community.”
Town Hall volunteers are saddened by the cancellation of Honor Fountain City Day, a Memorial Day tradition since 1976. Ellenburg thanked members of the organizing committee, Tyler Pavlis and Christine Cloninger, saying their work reflects their strong commitment to serving Fountain City.
“Although the community will not gather in the historic park this Memorial Day for the award presentation, the recipients of the 2020 Fountain City Man and Woman of the Year awards are invited to participate in the awards ceremony at the gazebo in the park on Memorial Day 2021.”