Roy A. Stone, Jr.

Roy A. Stone, Jr.
2005 Award of Honor

Roy Aubrey Stone, 90, is Publisher Emeritus of TAP Publishing Company, in Crossville, Tennessee, a fourth-generation, family-owned business founded in 1937 by his late father-in-law, Cosby Harrison. Stone's printing and publishing career spans more than 60 years.

Born in 1915 in Rockwood, Tennessee, Stone graduated from East Tennessee State University in 1938 with a B.S. in History and English. While at ETSU, Stone milked cows at the college dairy and also worked on Saturdays for J.C. Penney. In addition, he "took up" laundry and dry cleaning for the residents living in Ritter Hall, for a local dry cleaners.

Following graduation, from 1938-40, Stone served as principal and teacher at Cline School in Cumberland County. From 1940-41, he was supervisor of Morgan County Schools in Wartburg. In 1941, he became principal of Crossville Elementary School, a position he held until 1943. During this time he also served in the National Guard.

Stone held some very interesting summer jobs during the early 1940s. In 1941, he sold textbooks for Rand McNally, covering 17 counties. In 1942, he was supervisor of the message center for the United Nations delegation in residence during World War II at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio. In 1943, he was manager of the Crossville City Lake.

From 1943-45, during the war, Stone served in the United States Army Special Training Unit based at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. His duties included classroom and field training of recruits. Following his military service in 1945, Stone became publisher of his father-in-law's publication, Trade-A-Plane, in Crossville, a position he held for 44 years. In 1989, he retired as Publisher Emeritus from what by then was Trade-A-Plane's parent company, TAP Publishing.

Under Stone's skillful leadership and direction, TAP has grown from a one-publication company that began on the kitchen table of his future in-laws, to a multi-faceted, international organization. The company's non-editorial, "buy/sell" magazines, consisting exclusively of classified and display advertising, are recognized worldwide. Trade-A-Plane, the company's flagship publication, is the world's largest aviation resource, distributed in more than 130 countries.

Three other international publications target different industries. These include Rock & Dirt and Rock & Dirt en Español (in Spanish) for heavy construction, and Tradequip International for oil and gas. In addition, TAP developed and operates <weatherTAP.com>, an Internet service that provides real-time radar, high resolution satellite images, and complete aviation weather. TAP also has a commercial printing division that serves other publishers.

When Stone joined TAP in 1945, the company had about 13 employees. Everyone did everything necessary to mail Trade-APlane. Today, the company employs 150 people and still prides itself in handling all of its own business operations internally. These include sales, customer service, data processing, graphic composition, computer-to-plate pre-press, printing, binding and mailing. TAP occupies a state-of-the-art, 160,000 sq. ft. office complex in Crossville.

Over the years, Stone has pursued a number of other opportunities in addition to Trade-A-Plane and TAP Publishing Company. He served as president of Plateau Properties (the Harrison family real estate company) from 1955 to 1980. There, in the early 1970s, he played a pivotal role in selling thousands of the family's Cumberland Plateau acres to Fairfield Communities—a land acquisition that ultimately led to the establishment of the Fairfield Glade Resort Community.

In the late 1950s, Stone served as a charter board member for Crossville Rubber Company. In 1961, Stone was an incorporator and charter board member of Cumberland County Bank, in Crossville. Between 1963 and 1966, he was president of the Crossville Medical Group. In 1980, he was an incorporator and charter board member of Upper Cumberland Savings and Loan. He has also been a builder/ developer, rock quarry owner and farmer.

In 1946, shortly after he started working at Trade-A-Plane, Stone married Joanne Harrison, the daughter of the company founder. The couple has seven children, including Margaret Franks, Carolyn Flick, Michael Stone, Steven Stone, Cosby Stone and Julia Burgess. Son Jeffrey is deceased.

Together, Roy and Joanne are ardent supporters of education, especially in their home county of Cumberland. Several schools have been named in their honor, including the Crossville Center of Roane State Community College/Tennessee Technological University (1995), Stone Elementary School (1997), and the new Stone Memorial High School (2004), currently under construction.

Stone is very active in the First United Methodist Church in Crossville. His and Joanne's 1946 wedding was held in a sanctuary that pre-dates the current structure. He personally sanded and finished all of the floors of the current sanctuary. He was also the janitor and took care of hauling the coal and "firing" the church furnace during 1950-52. In addition, Stone was a Sunday school teacher for 14 years, and has served on numerous church boards.