Chuck Zeiser Named 2012 Distinguished Service Award Winner

Wednesday, January 9, 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.



Red Kettle Campaign Kicked Off Thursday Night

The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Drive for 2017 started Friday after a Thursday night kickoff at Bradley Square Mall. State Representative Dan Howell and Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland led the festivities that included the Prospect Elementary School Choir - Ovation and the Tennessee Christian Preparatory School Choir. Sgt. Ruthie Forgey of the Salvation Army said all Red Kettle ... (click for more)

Granada Drive To Be Closed Nov. 27 For Repairs

The Chattanooga Department of Transportation will close a section of Granada Drive between Provence Street and Gardner Street beginning  Monday, Nov. 27, for approximately 30 days for roadway repair.  This will be a full closure and detours will be posted.   In order to view a map of these  closures , go to  ... (click for more)

Longest-Serving County Official Knowles Is First In Line To Sign Up For New Term

Bill Knowles is one of the longest-serving officials in Hamilton County history, and he's not through yet. County clerk since 1974, he was the first in line on Friday morning to pick up his petition for re-election. Then he beat everyone back with the completed form. Mr. Knowles said, "I ran in 1974 on a campaign of ending the long tag lines. We put in a tag by mail system ... (click for more)

River Gorge Explorer Will Log Final Cruises In January

After operating on the Tennessee River for more than nine years, Aquarium President and CEO Keith Sanford informed staff and volunteers that cruise operations aboard the River Gorge Explorer will be ending in January. “After developing a new strategic plan and carefully evaluating the Aquarium’s resources, we have decided to stop operating the boat,” said Mr. Sanford. “We are ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Should Be Problem Solvers Around The City

Re: Roy Exum’s “Stay, Signal Mountain, Stay”  Well this article is something to think about. I think the split could go either way, and Signal Mountain schools would still flourish, as they have done for the past several years. What I'm worried about is why Signal Mountain has not yet had the guts to go be problem solvers at Howard, or Tyner, or Central. Why do ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: How Would I Vote?

I don’t know what to think or who to believe in the debacle surrounding Alabama’s Roy Moore and his quest for a Senate seat. I have no earthly idea what he did or how he acted 40 years ago. Heck, I can’t remember what I did or how I acted 40 years ago but I do recall I kissed some minors back then. To be real honest, they were the only ones that would let me, this because I was ... (click for more)