Larry Waters grew up in the mountainous area of Sevier County. The area is known for tourist attractions and beautiful scenery. Waters has taken his love for his hometown to be his profession. He graduated from Sevier County High School. He went on to attend the University of Tennessee and earned a degree in Business Administration in 1974. Shortly thereafter, Larry obtained the title of principal within the Sevier County school system. In 1978, he was elected the Sevier County Executive. In 1984, Larry finished the Tennessee County Officials Certificate Program. He continued to serve as the Sevier County Executive until 2003 when the title was changed to county mayor. In this position, he aims to preserve and advance the collective interests of those who reside or visit Sevier County.
Waters has earned many awards over the past 30 years. In 1980, he received the Special Citation Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was awarded Boss of the Year Award in 1987 and the Local Leadership Program in 1991. In 2003, he was honored with the Pless R. Newman Republican Services Award and then the Boy Scouts Sequoyah District Great Smoky Mountain Council 2013 Good Scout Award.
Giving back to the community is very important to Waters. He has held many positions and offices throughout his career including Past Chairman and current board member of United Way Campaign, member of Leadership Sevier and Leadership Knoxville; past president of the Tennessee County Services Association; past chairman of the Tennessee Development District Association; past chairman and current Executive Committee member of the East Tennessee Development District and East Tennessee Human Resources Agency; current board member of the Association of County Mayors of Tennessee; Vice Chairman and current board member of the Tennessee Air Pollution Control Board; former chairman and current member and deacon of the First Baptist Church of Gatlinburg; past Executive Committee Member of the Sevier County Republican Party; current member of the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations; past chairman and current board member of the East Tennessee Economic Development Agency; Treasurer of the Sevier County Economic Development Council; Executive Board Member of the County Executives of America; and a current member of the NACO Membership Committee.
He is also very passionate about educating our youth. He feels a good education is the key to producing a stronger and more stable workforce. He has served as the past chairman and current member of the board of Carson-Newman Board of Trustees and was also the past chairman and executive of the University of Tennessee Chancellor's Associates. Waters played a significant role in moving forward the ETSU Academic Program in Sevier County as an organizer and founding member of the ETSU-Sevier County Health Sciences Partnership. The facility, which opened its doors to educate Sevier County students this year, is known as ETSU at The Sevier Center.
Waters lives with his wife Terri in Gatlinburg. They are devoted and active members of the First Baptist Church of Gatlinburg. They have two adult children, David and Adrienne, and two grandchildren.