I was born in Asheville NC and grew up in Gastonia. After attending community college there I came to Tennessee to attend Tennessee Tech University where I received an Agricultural degree and played baseball. Upon graduation I worked as a 4-H agent in Sumner County in charge of over 5,000 kids. That may have been the best education I ever received. I finished my master’s degree at UT Knoxville in Agricultural Extension Education. While there I met my wife of 43 years, Cathy and we settled in Clinton, TN. We have raised two wonderful children, Kenzie, who is a nurse practitioner and chairman of the Sweetwater City Schools Board of Education, and Kacy, who works for DeRoyal Industries in Powell, TN. Kenzie married Branham Lovingood and moved to Sweetwater and they have three fabulous boys. Kacy married Lindsey and they have one daughter and two sweet boys. We are blessed that both of our children are great parents and provide unlimited opportunities to their children, but most of all provide them love.
I worked at WIVK radio until I began my landscape design, installation, and maintenance business that I ran for over 25 years on 42 acres in Anderson County. It included 34 greenhouses and several field grown trees and also raised cattle, sheep, chickens and honeybees.
At the urging of my mother-in-law as a favor to her, I went up to the Alternative School to teach what I thought would be one course. Little did I know that God was placing me in my new career of education and administration of alternative school children. I had suddenly found a home that felt right. While there I coached the Anderson County High School baseball team. We were blessed to help twelve young men receive college baseball scholarships in the six years that I coached. After being in Anderson County for several years as a teacher and Assistant Principle I was hired by the Oak Ridge system to rebuild their alternative program. Again I was blessed to be a part of taking a program that began with 8 students and when I left three years later we had over two hundred students benefitting from an alternative education program. I was fortunate to have been the president of the TN Alternative Educator’s Association for several years as well as to be named to the Governor’s Task Force for Alternative Education.
When God closed that chapter of my life, He took me to work with FEMA, (Federal Emergency Management Agency) where I became a national training manager working all across the country developing and administering training to those working with the survivors of natural disasters.
I decided it was time to come home when on furlough one time my three-year-old grandson looked up at me and asked, “who are you?” That was the day that I knew it was time for me to put family first in everything and get to know my grandsons. I came home and worked with my son who had begun a clothing recycling business where we place over 160 clothing donation bins all across East Tennessee blessing individuals from the donations we received. During that time, I felt led to begin a Recovery Ministry not knowing that a few years later God would move our family to Sweetwater so that we could be near our grandsons and watch them grow up on our 17 acres that we purchased right in town. We have grown to love Sweetwater and immediately got involved with the community. I was invited to join Kiwanis where I am honored to be President this year and be a part of a great group of men and women that desire to do good things within this community. Kiwanis affords me the continued opportunity to be a part of developing young students to grow into productive adults.
We joined First Baptist church where I teach Sunday School, sing in the choir, and direct ReNew Recovery Ministry. I continue to raise chemical-free, medication-free chicken for meat and eggs, raise honeybees and raise and sell hay. We have been here for less than three years, and I can only imagine what God has in store in the next few years. We are blessed!
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Nominate a non-Kiwanian person for the Distinguished Citizen Award. This is someone who has contributed to the community in a meaningful way. The Sweetwater Kiwanis would like to publicly thank them and for their service to this wonderful community. There are so many people who help this community and never get recognized for it. Click the button below and fill out a short form explaining what they have done and how it impacted others.
For some Kiwanians, opening new clubs is the greatest service you can perform. It’s no wonder: Club openers carry on the Kiwanis legacy.
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