Meet the Commish
Commissioner April Watkins Barrett is a native of Decatur County, having grown up in Parsons. Comm. Barrett continued her education at UTK and completed her degree earning a Bachelor of Science in Communications at MTSU. She is married to Greg Barrett and they reside in Parsons.
Commissioner Barrett began her career in Nashville’s country music industry. From those early years in Nashville her career grew taking her to New York City where she became the chief administrator at International Talent Group, working with some of the music industry’s biggest stars, including Genesis, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Simply Red, Van Halen, and The Cure among many others.
After almost 20 years in the music business, Barrett shifted her career toward corporate public relations. In 2000 she formed Watkins Communications, a PR consulting firm that worked with corporations, government, organizations and clients to create communication programs, manage brands/images, and deliver effective messages to their target audiences. Barrett has managed joint-projects with several governmental entities, including The White House, Departments of Homeland Security, Interior, and Defense. She is experienced in dealing with clients from various cultures and has managed events across the United States and in several foreign countries.
In 2001, Barrett spearheaded the launch of the award-winning American Spirit Magazine and has served as executive and contributing editor for several trade and organizational periodicals. She was the author of the weekly opinion column “Why It Matters” which focused on political analysis and current events, and has been published in several books, blogs, and periodicals.
Barrett is the creator/author of a weekly opinion column and blog, entitled "Why It Matters" which focused on political analysis and current events. Additionally, she has authored white papers and articles which have been published in bookform.
Having extensive experience in publishing, writing and editing, Barrett has been recognized by her peers winning 16 national awards in Public Relations and Media. In 2003, her PR campaign for DAR was honored with three Magellan Awards, including Best Non-Profit Campaign and third place in overall national PR campaigns. Barrett was honored with the prestigious Toth Award from the Public Relations Society of America in Washington, D. C. She formed Strategic Concepts in 2013 and currently works as a consultant.