Chuck Zeiser Named 2012 Distinguished Service Award Winner

Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Chuck Zeiser
Chuck Zeiser

The Kiwanis Club of Chattanooga has announced that the recipient of this year’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding community leadership is Chuck Zeiser.

The award has been presented annually for 90 years and is given in recognition of an individual’s outstanding leadership and service to the community. The award will be presented to Mr. Zeiser at a recognition luncheon to be held on Tuesday, Jan. 29.

Mr. Zeiser grew up in Chattanooga and attended Baylor School where he was co-captain of the wrestling team and a Regimental Commander.  He then majored in Industrial Engineering at UT Knoxville where he was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity.  Following college, he joined the family’s business, Southern Champion Tray. 

This year’s  recipient served as president and CEO of Southern Champion Tray for many years and now is chairman of that board.  He is largely responsible for the success the company enjoys today as he grew it from a regional player in its field to a firm that distributes nationally (and now internationally under his sons’ leadership) with operating facilities in Chattanooga and Mansfield, Tx. His sons comment that "he has run the family business as a stewardship rather than an investment to be maximized for personal gain.”

Mr. Zeiser is an elder and will be serving again as a trustee at Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church.  He served as chairman of the Building Committee for the three-story Cornerstone Building which was completed in 2001.  To quote one of his sons: “He cares deeply for this country and spends a lot of time trying to influence others to do what they can to prevent the loss [of our founding fathers’ intent] of freedom and to keep the doors open for the gospel in the public square. . . . [His] priorities have always been clear—God, family, and country.”

On the civic level, Mr. Zeiser has served as past chairman of the Chattanooga Christian Community Foundation (recently renamed the Generosity Trust), a founding board member of First Things First, and on the boards of Bible in the Public Schools and the Chattanooga Resource Foundation.  He currently serves on the board of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and as chairman of the board of Leadership Ministries Worldwide.  He also has been active with the Gideons International for 45 years, where he has held many offices on both local and state levels. With keen interest and focus on the country’s religious freedoms, Mr. Zeiser has been a key contributor in planning the Chattanooga Leadership Prayer Breakfasts through the earlier years.

Although such organizations are dear to Mr. Zeiser’s heart, he has contributed to many other areas of our community.  He has served on the boards of Contact of Chattanooga, the Tennessee Association of Business, and the Salvation Army. He has been an important force for Montreat College in Montreat, North Carolina, having served on the board for twenty-three years, including several years as chairman.  In May 2012 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at that college’s graduation.  He served on the President’s Advisory Council for Covenant College during Dr. Niel Nielson’s presidency.

It would also be noteworthy to list Mr. Zeiser’s serving as president of the Downtown Chattanooga Kiwanis club.  It was during his presidency that the club experienced one of its most successful membership growth initiatives.

Mr. Zeiser has been married to the former Joanne Plunkett for over 54 years and has two grown sons, John and Bruce, and six grandchildren.


Fairbanks Receives Backing Of Police Unions

Randy Fairbanks, the GOP nominee for the District 1 seat on the Hamilton County Commission, has received the endorsement of the two police unions in Hamilton County – the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Rock City Lodge 22 and the International Brotherhood of Police Officers (IBPO) Local #673.  Both unions represent police officers and deputies from every police department throughout ... (click for more)

NRA Endorses Chuck Fleischmann

The National Rifle Association has endorsed Chuck Fleischmann for re-election. In a letter to Rep. Fleischmann, the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund thanked him for his "steadfast support of the Second Amendment" and congratulated him on his "A" rating. They also thanked him for his stand against President Obama and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ... (click for more)

EPB Says It Did Not Overbill The City; Says City Got $685,877 Break

EPB officials said Tuesday that an exhaustive audit of its street light contract with the city showed that it did not overbill the city. Instead, it said it found that the city was underbilled $685,877. EPB said it only goes back one year on errors so the amount owed by the city would be $178,314. Officials said that would be discussed with the city. Stan Sewell, the city's ... (click for more)

Citizens To Comment Next Tuesday On Sound Control Ordinance That Allows Higher Sound Around Downtown Clubs

Citizens will be allowed to comment next Tuesday on a new Sound Control Ordinance that allows higher sound from nightclubs in a downtown Controlled Sound Boundary. Track 29 behind the Chattanooga Choo Choo, that has drawn the wrath of some nearby Southside residents, is within the boundary, which goes along the river on the north and west, to around Erlanger Hospital on the ... (click for more)

I'm Number One In A Round About Way

Roundabouts have been popping up all over Chattanooga over the past few years and for the most part have been successful.  Unfortunately there are some who just don’t get it as I have found out the hard way.    My latest instance was last week when a young woman on her cell phone almost t-boned me as she flew into the roundabout without yielding.  A near miss ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Oscar Brock’s True Passion

I don’t pay much attention to the Hamilton County School Board. Once the moon and the stars aligned behind Superintendent Rick Smith, you hear very little, if anything, from the nine-member council that oversees an annual budget of almost $400 million and employs 4,480 people. So chew this for a minute: approximately 2,000 of those people are not teachers. Yes, there are 78 principals ... (click for more)