David Burnett, originally from Knoxville, has lived on the mountain for 10 years. He and his wife, Marjorie own Mountain Outfitters, and David commutes back and forth to Chattanooga for his job. Recently, he opened his own office on the mountain.
“I am from Knoxville, and after high school I attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, graduating with a degree in Political Science with a minor in English,” says David.
“I began my career in 1984, on third shift at Valley in Chattanooga. I was a tech. In 1986, I began working at Greenleaf, also in Chattanooga, moved to Addiction Recovery of Chattanooga, and eventually began working at CADAS. I did all of this in a nine-year period of time.
“While working in Chattanooga, I received my Human Services Specialist certificate in Substance Abuse Counseling from Cleveland State’s three-year program.
With first-hand knowledge of the struggles an addict faces, David is able to identify with his patients.
“My personal recovery from chemical dependency began in February, 1986. I was encouraged by others who liked what I shared at 12 step meetings and thought my story would help others, to pursue addition counseling.
“I have been at CADAS for five years, and during that time I have served as an intensive out-patient counselor, Counselor 3, and a family counselor.
David saw a need for addiction counseling in the local area, and in addition to his full-time job at CADAS, he has opened his own counseling office at Still Point in Monteagle.
“I wanted an office that was convenient to home. there are no addiction counselors in private practice on the mountain, and I am now the first. I will continue to work at CADAS, and see patients on the mountain in my private practice part-time.”
How did David make his way to the mountain?
“I met my wife, Marjorie, on a blind date set up by a fraternity brother. We married and lived in Chattanooga for 21 years. And, we have two children – Haynes, 30, is the assistant store manager at Mountain Outfitters in Monteagle, and Betsy, 28, is in graduate school studying social work in North Carolina.
“Marjorie and I owned River City Apparel and Camping in Chattanooga and opened Mountain Outfitters on the mountain in August, 1995, at its original location in Sewanee. At that time, I was running the store up here, and Marjorie was running the store in Chattanooga.
“I saw the need to move closer to the interstate and be more centrally located and moved Mountain Outfitters to the Smokehouse after four years in Sewanee. Four years after that, we outgrew the Smokehouse location and moved into our current store, by the Monteagle Dollar General.
“We have since closed the Chattanooga store, and Marjorie runs Mountain Outfitters in Monteagle.
“We moved to the mountain in 2005. Marjorie now has a 5-minute drive to work, while I have the longer commute to CADAS.”
David loves living on the mountain, and enjoys walking, listening to music, and attending church when not at work. He and Marjorie are members of Otey Memorial Parish in Sewanee. He has been involved in numerous civic organizations since moving to the area.
“I was president of the Montanan Goat Trail Alliance from 2006 to 2012. After that, I was on the board for three years. I am a past president of the Monteagle Chamber of Commerce and the Grundy County Rotary Club. Lately, I have stepped back from holding any offices to focus more on church and work.
Most people do not know that David was student body president in both both high school and college.
“I think those experiences catapulted me into holding office and being a member of local organizations.”
“I am so happy we now live up here full-time – we have had the good fortune for that to work out. I love the area, and love to be able to live and work here. Marjorie and I are grateful for the people who come into Montanan Outfitters and shop with us.”