Michael & Kathy Dumont: Proprietors
Michael & Kathy Dumont
Before buying and restoring the Commodore Hotel Linden hotel in 2007, Michael and Kathy Dumont, lived and worked in Rhode Island.
Michael Dumont is originally from Rhode Island, and spent his professional career as a real estate developer and mortgage company owner in RI, Massachusetts and Florida. Kathy worked for several years as a Mortgage Loan Officer during the real estate boom of the late 1990s-early 2000s. Prior to that, her experience included customer service and sales positions: at a mailing-list management firm, where she handled part of the Time-Warner account, retail, and Fidelity Investments.
In 2003, Michael and Kathy purchased a farm in Linden, Tennessee as a second home and family retreat. Michael 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 and he and Kathy reopened it as the Commodore Hotel. Through this venture, Michael 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.
Michael served as Executive Director of VisionPerry, which became an innovative community development organization receiving national attention for creative rural development strategies. The program received regional best practice awards and focused on the creation hundreds of new jobs in rural areas with above average salaries in digital information sector. Michael has presented the successes of the organization at numerous conferences including, the Governor’s Conference on Economic Development, National Historic Preservation Trust, The Tennessee Governors Conference on Tourism, The South East Regional Economic Development Council Conference, The Delta Regional Authority Broadband Summit, TVA Economic Development Conference, TN Economic Development Council Conference, and the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance Conference. In 2017 Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam appointed Michael to serve as a Commissioner on the Tennessee Arts Commission.
After growing up in small Sterling, Illinois, Kathy moved to Connecticut, where she (née Wolfe) finished high school. Scholarships and her nearby sister took her to Dallas’ Southern Methodist University, where Toay (as she was known by her classmates – her middle name) achieved a Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing, and a Minor in Music: Vocal Performance and Percussion.
Kathy credits her Fidelity Investments experience with putting her on her career path: “I discovered, while working at Fidelity, that my natural talent was helping people in a friendly, positive, and patient way. I never would have thought that was a marketable skill.”
Besides being the operating partner of the Commodore Hotel, Kathy’s other passion is the Dumont’s home on a 400 acre farm where she raises Australian Shepherd dogs, sheep, chickens, and a few rescue horses. She is also known for her culinary skills on farm with a love for outdoor open fire cooking.
Michael and his wife Kathy have since become full time Perry County residents and own and operate the Commodore Hotel Linden, a vintage 1939 hotel they lovingly restored. The venue has received statewide recognition as a unique venue complete with fine dining and quality live music. The Dumont’s also bought and restored the oldest commercial building in downtown Linden - the original bank building -which had been boarded up since 1965. In 2015 the Dumont’s purchased and restored two other historic properties in Downtown Linden adding additional rooms to the hotel’s footprint. Through the efforts of the Dumont’s and other visionary local merchants, the Linden downtown area is becoming transformed into a quaint, nostalgic downtown with interesting shops that is attracting tourists daily.
Recently the Dumont’s have expanded their efforts to the neighboring town of Clifton, TN. They have recently opened the Commodore Inn at Clifton, a meticulously restored 1892 Victorian Bed and Breakfast.
Hayley Byrd: Hometown Girl Takes Care of Business
Lifetime Linden resident Hayley Byrd is a major player in the ongoing renaissance of the Commodore Hotel and Café in downtown Linden. In her role as General Manager Hayley has been a part of the effort that has resulted in establishing the Commodore as the cornerstone of Linden’s business district.
Celebrating her 10th the Commodore, Hayley took on the job in the summer of 2008, as new owners Michael and Kathy Dumont were completing the renovation of the hotel. Rising to General Manager Hayley’s responsibilities include overseeing marketing, sales, and the operation of the hotel and Cafe. Hayley has always had a passion for cooking and refines her culinary skills as Head Chef in the Commodore.
With no prior experience in hotel management Hayley says the job has been “a learning experience”, but she has risen to the challenge and continues to see business improve not only for the hotel but for the entire downtown district as well. “Everything is better, we’re more efficient, the hotel has doubled in size, the restaurant is better…” says Hayley of the progress of the last 10 years. When asked about her plans for the hotel for the future she says simply “I see it getting bigger and better”.
Hayley serves as Executive Director of the Blooming Arts Festival, Downtown Linden’s signature annual festival. As the festival coordinator since 2013 the event has grown to attract thousands of visitors and hundreds of vendors each Spring.
Hayley resides in Linden with her husband Brad and their daughter Taylor.
John and Sharon Dumont: Innkeepers Commodore Inn at Clifton
<a id="Read More">Originally from Rhode Island and living on the west coast of Florida for 14 years, John and Sharon Dumont have recently moved to Clifton, Tennessee. They have embarked on a great adventure of managing the Commodore Inn at Clifton, located in Clifton, Tennessee, a family owned and operated Bed & Breakfast along the Tennessee River.
They both share a passion for the arts, and are both quite accomplished in their mediums. John’s artistic endeavor is photography.
He has won numerous awards in the area of photography as a member of the Photographic Society of Rhode Island and the North Port Art Center in Florida. He served as the gallery photographer for the North Port Art Center.
His photographic work has been exhibited in several galleries and shows.
Sharon serves as The Commodore’s resident artist. Over the years, she has studied most mediums, from oil to pastel. Her favorite medium is soft pastel. She has participated in many Pastel Workshops held by nationally known artists including:
Vianna Szabo, Albert Handell, Karen Margulis, Stan Sperlak, Tony Allain & Aline Orman.
She also has a love for photography and hand built pottery.
Sharon has had her art shown in many locations and is a member of numerous arts organizations which include:
Pastel Society of America, Associate membership
Pastel Society of Tampa Bay
Buffalo River Artist Co-op Linden, TN
NPAC, North Port Art Center, past board member , gallery committee member and
Teacher of hand built pottery at the NPAC, FL
Visual Art Center, Punta Gorda FL
PSRI – Photographic Society of RI
Buffalo River Artist Co-op, Linden TN
Uptown Gallery Main Street, Sarasota FL - juried show
Ocean Muse Gallery, Laurel, FL
Evergreen Café, Nokomis, FL
Nellie’s Note Cards & Wilson’s Whimsies, Venice, FL
North Port Art Center Gallery, North Port, FL - multiple award winner in Pastel, Photography and Pottery
North Port City Hall
North Port Public Library
Art on the Green
Currently John and Sharon’s work is on display at the Buffalo River Artisans Co Op in Linden Tennessee. Soon they will have a studio set up on the grounds of the Commodore Inn at Clifton and will conduct workshops and arts events at the Commodore properties in Linden and Clifton. </a>