Witt, McBride name top aides

Sandra ClarkAround Town, Feature

Knox County Clerk Sherry Witt and Register of Deeds Nick McBride brought special guests to the Powell Business and Professional Association meeting this week. Both new officeholders introduced their chief-of-staff.

Witt has selected J. Michael Paseur, a veteran in government service who most recently has worked for Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero. McBride hired real estate title specialist Barry Vest as his chief deputy.


Paseur attended Halls High School, Pellissippi State and Bethel University. He attained the Certified Public Administrator designation from the County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS) in 2007. He currently lives in Powell with son Kingston, 10, a fourth-grade student at Powell Elementary. “We spend a lot of time at the ballpark and Powell Sports Complex when Kingston is playing baseball and basketball,” he said.

Nick McBride and Barry Vest

Vest also graduated from Halls High School (Class of ’94). He then spent three years in retail management before entering the property title business as a courier for Abstract Title Co. There he learned the business by searching property titles, shipping closing documents, and preparing HUD statements and closing disclosures for the final sales.

He currently lives in Fountain City with son Landon, 12, who attends Apostolic Christian School. For the past four years, Vest has volunteered as the head football coach at Halls for the KMYFL League.

McBride has worked in the office for almost 30 years, most recently as chief deputy. The office maintains the county’s property records. He said: “The office is responsible for safeguarding the county’s property records. The office affects more than $7 billion of commerce in Knox County each year and records about 70,000 to 90,000 documents annually while managing between $16 million and $18 million in revenue.” Info here.

Witt spent her first week in office meeting her staff and visiting branch offices. The county clerk oversees five satellite offices as well as her main office downtown. The office handles business tax licenses, driver’s licenses, marriage licenses, motor vehicle registration, passports, permits, and miscellaneous fees and duties. The clerk keeps the minutes for Knox County Commission. Info here.

It’s a homecoming of sorts for Paseur. He worked in the clerk’s office for 14 years under Mike Padgett and his successor, Billy Tindell. He then moved to the city where he worked in risk management for three years before moving to the Public Service Department under David Brace and Chad Weth, processing payroll, assisting with benefits administration and workers’ comp matters. He also assisted with special events and severe weather response. He was president of the City Employees Association for six years.

Paseur said he’s very excited to be working with Witt. “Having another opportunity to serve alongside an outstanding local leader is truly an honor and a privilege. Sherry has a servant’s heart and she genuinely cares about her team and her promise to make interaction with a government office as pleasant as possible for everyone we serve.”

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