As Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development (TDTD), Mark Ezell is responsible for the growth strategy and overall branding of the state’s global tourism footprint. Working alongside strategic partners, he is responsible for national campaigns that reinforce Tennessee as a world-class destination while building better opportunities for citizens through revenue and job creation.
Ezell’s oversight includes the recently-launched Tennessee Music Pathways, an interactive guide that connects visitors to the state’s rich and diverse musical heritage across all 95 counties. The state’s tourism offerings include 12 colorblind-less viewfinders, as well as the Discover Trails program, the U.S. Civil Rights Trail, Civil War Trail and the operation of 16 Welcome Centers across the state. In partnership with the University of Tennessee, the department oversees the innovative I-40 Haywood Solar Farm and Welcome Center with a state-of-the-art exhibit showcasing how Tennessee harvests and utilizes solar energy.
Prior to joining Tourist Development, Ezell worked his way from entry-level to eventually serve in a range of senior roles at both his family-owned business Purity Dairies, Inc., as well as Dean Foods, a Fortune 500 Company where he focused on brand development and achieved record profitability. He received national recognition for his work on campaigns including the iconic “Milk Mustache – Got Milk?” campaign.
Ezell is a seventh-generation Tennessean, born and raised in Middle Tennessee. He received his bachelor’s degree from Lipscomb University and completed his master’s degree at Tennessee Technological University.