JOHNSON CITY (May 18, 2016) – Longstanding friends and supporters of East Tennessee State University were honored with the Tennessee Board of Regents and Chancellor’s awards for Excellence in Philanthropy today (May 18) during the ETSU Foundation Annual Meeting.
Both the TBR Regents Award and the Chancellor’s Award recognize people and organizations that have clearly demonstrated generosity of time and resources to TBR institutions, encouraged others, promoted higher education, and provided examples of ethical leadership, civic responsibility and integrity.
Regents Award recipients are selected on the basis of their giving to a TBR institution and their outstanding volunteer fundraising efforts for the school. Only four are given annually, and winners are selected from nominations submitted by institutions throughout the entire TBR system. Chancellor’s Awards are presented at select occasions hosted by the nominating entity.
Steve Smith and Food City received the Chancellor’s Award. Smith is president and chief executive officer of K-VA-T, the parent company of the Food City family of supermarkets in Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and Georgia. The company was started by Smith’s father in 1955 with the first store in Grundy, Virginia, and Steve Smith has been a part of Food City management for over 36 years.
“Mr. Steve Smith has been a force to raise awareness in his industry of best practices for grocers throughout the country as an example as well as a regional business leader giving back through his individual involvement and sharing the strength and resources of the Food City Corporation,” said ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland.
Smith and Food City played a leading role in advocacy and financial support for the establishment of the Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy at ETSU. Today, ETSU pharmacy students gain clinical experience in many of Food City’s 99 pharmacies, and several graduates are now employed by the company.
The Jack and Judy Smith Foundation honoring Smith’s parents contributes to scholarship funding for ETSU’s Roan Scholars Leadership Program, which aims to attract, retain and develop leadership skills in the area’s best students with hopes for them to remain in and serve the region in years to come.
During the ETSU PRIDE celebration marking the beginning of fall classes each year, Food City stores throughout the Tri-Cities sport ETSU’s blue and gold colors. Food City is also an anchor partner for the Community Showcase during ETSU PRIDE Week, which is an event sponsored by the Johnson City-Jonesborough-Washington County Chamber of Commerce to provide students with information, products, services and employment opportunities with participating businesses.
In addition, Noland calls Food City “a staple in ETSU Athletics,” citing the company’s leadership gift toward construction of ETSU’s new football stadium, which is currently under way, as well as the role of Food City Family Race Nights, in conjunction with its long-running sponsorship of Bristol Motor Speedway, in highlighting the effort to establish the Gatton College of Pharmacy.
Smith, who is a member of the ETSU Foundation, is also active in numerous other civic and charitable organizations throughout the Tri-Cities.
Roadrunner Markets and the Warren Broyles Family were honored with the Regents Award.
In the photo at top, ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland (left) presents Steve Smith with the Chancellor's
Award for Excellence in Philanthropy.
In the photo above, Ryan Broyles and Kelly Rhea accept the Regents Award for Excellence in Philanthropy on behalf of Roadrunner Markets and the Warren Broyles Family (pictured with Noland, far left, and D. Roger Kennedy, ETSU Foundation chairman, far right).
Warren Broyles founded Roadrunner’s parent company, Mountain Empire Oil Co. Inc., in 1977. Headquartered in Johnson City, the company operates nearly 100 convenience stores throughout the Southeast.
Roadrunner Markets is a corporate partner of ETSU Intercollegiate Athletics. Roadrunner and Dunkin’ Donuts contributed a leadership pledge of $1 million toward the construction of ETSU’s new football stadium. In addition, the family established the Warren and Carolyn Broyles Men’s Golf Excellence Endowment.
Roadrunner is also a corporate sponsor of the Eagle Cameras, which were set up this spring by the ETSU Department of Biological Sciences to provide live streaming video of two American Bald Eagle nesting sites in Johnson City and Bluff City.
In addition, Warren Broyles and Mountain Empire Oil Co. have contributed scholarship funds to ETSU’s Roan Scholars Leadership Program.
“Roadrunner Markets and the Broyles family have established a record for others to emulate that represents the greatest qualities for excellence in philanthropy, and their demonstrated devotion to our university allows us to reach new levels of quality and to make the ETSU experience ever stronger for students from across our region, nation and world,” Noland said. “This kind of generosity reminds us of all the good that can come when business and higher education engage in visionary partnerships.”