Senior Program Manager | Knoxville, Tenn.
I’m a turkey caller. I’m a deer hunter. I’m in the same pew almost every Sunday morning. I’m teaching my daughter to fish. And I’m starting my second decade of working for the same company. I’m Hill Henry, and I’m doing my part to sustain and enhance public land and waters for the Tennessee Valley.
One Man’s Story Leads to Another’s Forgiveness
Hill Henry was asking for permission to cross a property owner’s land to survey a bald eagle’s nest when he saw a car speeding down the road in his direction.
“The guy I was asking pointed at the car and told me that it was his father who hated TVA, and he was angry we were there,” Hill remembers.
His father was upset because he had been displaced when TVA built the Guntersville Dam, and he felt he’d been treated unfairly. He’d heard that a couple of TVA employees had come by on a survey job, and he wanted to give them a piece of his mind. But what the angry dad didn’t expect was that Hill could relate to him. He’d grown up on a farm in North Alabama that was partially submerged when TVA began building the dam system there.
“I was able to tell him my story, and the next thing you know, we’re riding in the father’s truck over to the eagle’s nest,” says Hill. “He knew right where it was.”
By the end of the trip, the once frustrated father had invited Hill and his co-worker Marty over to his house for dinner. He showed them pictures from his time as a bomber during World War II, and the group became friends. They even exchanged Christmas cards that year.
It’s just one of the many experiences that Hill can add to his resume over his 20+ year career working at TVA. Chasing bats, rappelling into caves and studying shorebirds are others.
Hill spent his first 17 years at TVA getting dirty. As a terrestrial zoologist, he observed and helped assess wildlife habitat and populations around the Valley.
“TVA didn’t pay me to just go around studying things,” says Hill of his work as a zoologist. “All the work we did was related to projects that were important to understanding TVA’s impact on the environment.
In 2011, Hill moved into a new position as Natural Resource Policy program manager. These days, he spends most of his time in the office, but his focus is still on protecting the environment.
“I work on a wide variety of issues, from cultural and land management concerns to endangered species, just like I did as a zoologist,” Hill says. “But now that I’m in the policy world, my focus is on legislation and policies coming down the road that could impact TVA’s ability to do its work and achieve its mission.”
Aside from his work with TVA, Hill enjoys the recreation opportunities afforded by TVA’s public lands.
“I especially enjoy turkey hunting,” says Hill. “TVA has great land for hunting throughout the Valley. I’ve enjoyed teaching my kids to hunt, too. It’s a family activity for us.”
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