Civic Leader Tom Edd Wilson Dies Just After Leading Erlanger Children's Hospital Campaign

Sunday, June 11, 2017
Tom Edd Wilson, right, is shown with Grady Williams at Children's Hospital groundbreaking on Tuesday
Tom Edd Wilson, right, is shown with Grady Williams at Children's Hospital groundbreaking on Tuesday
- photo by Dennis Norwood

Prominent civic leader Tom Edd Wilson died Saturday, just after helping to lead the campaign to build a new Children's Hospital on the Erlanger campus.

Mr. Wilson took park in a groundbreaking ceremony at the site on E. 3rd Street on Tuesday.

He also served on the Erlanger Board of Trustees.

The longtime banker served many years as executive director of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce.

He headed the Aegis Foundation that Sheriff Jim Hammond started to provide additional support at the Sheriff's Office.

Mr. Wilson was named the Chattanooga Area Manager of the Year in 2006.

A native of Crossville, Mr. Wilson concluded his banking tenure in Chattanooga as president of the East Tennessee Region of Bank of America, holding that position from 1992 through 2001. After Mr. Wilson became president and CEO of the Chamber in 2002, he restructured the organization, led the largest capital campaign in the Chamber’s history and relocated the Chamber to new offices that better support its mission.

As board president of the Symphony and Opera, Mr. Wilson strengthened the organization’s board and finances. In the same role at Allied Arts, he grew the endowment by $7.5 million, increased funded organizations from nine to 23 and refocused the organization on arts in education.

Mr. Wilson led the 2000 United Way campaign that generated over $11.6 million, the most money ever raised in a single campaign for the local organization. In 1998 he received the National Philanthropy Day Leadership Fundraiser of the Year Award, presented by the Southeastern Tennessee Chapter of the National Society of Fundraising Executives.

Chattanooga Mayor Jon Kinsey proclaimed May 5, 2000 as Tom Edd Wilson Day, noting that Mr. Wilson “has contributed his time, his talent and his tireless energy to the civic community of Chattanooga, and has used his business and management skills and experience to encourage and take initiatives and to support and benefit the healthy growth and development of the arts and cultural organizations of this city.”

Mr. Wilson received a B.S. degree in accounting from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He is a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University.

Mr. Wilson was a member of the Mayor’s Taskforce on Renewal Communities and the Rotary Club. He served on the boards of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Tennessee River Gorge Trust and United Way. He was an elder at Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church.

Mr. Wilson, who served as chairman of the board of the Cherokee Council of the Boy Scouts of America, received the Silver Beaver Award and was the Council’s Eagle Class Honoree in 1997.

Mr. Wilson and his wife, Barby, had three children.

Funeral arrangements are by Heritage Funeral Home in Fort Oglethorpe.

Tom Edd Wilson accepts CAMOY Award from Mayor Ron Littlefield in 2006
Tom Edd Wilson accepts CAMOY Award from Mayor Ron Littlefield in 2006

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