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Governor Haslam Appoints Linden Business Owner to TN Arts Commission Board

Nashville—Governor Bill Haslam recently appointed Michael Dumont of Linden to sit on the Tennessee Arts Commission Board for a five-year term.

“Serving on the Tennessee Arts Commission is an important responsibility, and we thank Michael for his commitment. His knowledge and experience will benefit the Commission and all Tennesseans,” said Commission Chair Ritche Bowden.

Originally from historic Providence and small-town Coventry, Rhode Island, where he also attended the University of Rhode Island, Dumont spent his professional career as a real estate developer, preservation specialist and mortgage company owner in RI, Massachusetts and Florida.

In 2003, Dumont and his wife, Kathy Dumont purchased a farm in Linden. Dumont continued his development passion with the restoration of the historic 1800s log cabin and farmhouse on the Tennessee property. He then rescued the landmark hotel building in the center of the decaying downtown area.

Through this venture, Dumont started meeting with and discussing local economic development with the local mayors and concerned citizens when local unemployment rates reached 27%. These discussions led to the formation of VisionPerry in 2009. Dumont has served as Executive Director of VisionPerry, which became an innovative community development organization receiving national attention for creative rural development strategies.

Dumont chaired the committee that started the annual Blooming Arts Festival in downtown Linden—now a well-recognized, well-attended festival. Dumont has also had served on various boards including the Perry County Chamber of Commerce, Keep Tennessee Beautiful and the Governor’s Rural Task Force.

“Michael is a strong community and business leader who will be a great asset to our mission of moving communities forward through the arts in Tennessee,” said Tennessee Arts Commission Executive Director Anne B. Pope.

Dumont currently owns and operates the Commodore Hotel Linden, a vintage 1939 hotel he restored that has received statewide recognition as a unique venue. He also bought and restored the oldest commercial building in downtown. Continuing preservation efforts, he expanded the Commodore Hotel with a new property known as Miss Berdie’s Boarding House in Linden and is developing the Commodore Victorian Village at Clifton.

The Tennessee Arts Commission consists of 15 members who convene quarterly and are broadly representative of all geographic areas of the state and all fields of the performing, visual and literary arts. Commission members serve five-year terms with the chair and other officers being elected annually. For more information, visit tnartscommission.org/commissioners.

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