Tommy Schumpert has received the Claude C. Myers award from the Fountain City Business and Professional Association.
“We selected him for his many years of service to the Fountain City community as a coach and teacher at Central High and while county trustee and executive,” said club president Andrew Hartung. “Tommy has been a big supporter of our schools and is very deserving of this honor.”
Calling it a great honor, Schumpert said he must have been chosen because he’s one of the few residents left who actually knew Claude Myers, long-time president of Fountain City Bank. “I saw Richard Tumblin there. I’m sure he knew him.”
Claude Myers had a huge impact on families and businesses through the bank, Schumpert said. “When I was teaching (general business at Central High School) we would go through a chapter on banking, and I’d think, ‘Fountain City Bank doesn’t operate like that.’”
Bank officers knew their customers and often weren’t constrained by the bureaucracy of larger banks. “(The bank) was a little different and it made a lot of impact.
“If (Mr. Myers) knew you and believed in you, he would go to the hill for you.”
Schumpert is an active member of Fountain City United Methodist Church. He was the community’s first man of the year, selected by Fountain City Town Hall in 1976. He and his wife, Charlotte, are longtime residents of Fountain City.
Schumpert was Knox County trustee for four years and was county executive for eight years. Schumpert Park off Dry Gap Pike is named for him.
Since retirement, he’s headed a scholarship program funded by EdSouth, now Southeast Bank. “It’s very rewarding,” he said. “We’ve served about 110 youngsters from across the state in almost every public and private college.”
Many of the students are the first in their families to attend college. When they gather for dinner, often the parents are prouder than the children. “Sometimes there are a few tears,” he said.