GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — The name Niswonger can be found in many places.
The children’s hospital that bears the name and the performing arts center in Greeneville, just to name a few.
The successful businessman Scott Niswonger developed opportunities for others to succeed and is strengthening the community in which he lives.
Niswonger has been a resident of Greeneville for decades. His success started when his mentor at Magnavox gave him a unique opportunity to implement a logistics plan.
“And he said, ‘Well, if I gave you a two-year leave of absence from the company, would that help you with this decision?'”, Niswonger said. “And I said, ‘That would make all the difference in the world.’ I can remember it just like it was yesterday. And it was about six months, just six months after that that we had a half dozen airplanes flying freight every day and every night, and that grew into a cargo airline with 38 freighters called General Aviation.”
And it grew from there. Niswonger says he has seen the area go through many changes, from prosperity to loss.
“You know, Greenville hit a really rough time when Magnavox left after 50 years,” he said. “We lost furniture plants. We lost a hundred dairies, we lost tobacco.”
Niswonger’s companies were doing well, so he made a plan to help by creating programs for students to be successful and the community to attract companies. It was something he learned from his grandfather.
“(We were) a single parent family, my mother and my grandfather and when he retired from the clerk of courts in Van Wert, Ohio, we would have people visit our house every week that I remember one, and I asked my grandfather why was this woman here? I was just a little kid. And she he said, ‘Well, her husband died and she has veterans survivor benefits that are available and she can’t get to them.’ And he was trying to help with that. And he said, ‘Someday you’ll realize why that’s important.’ And so having seen that week after week until I left for Purdue, I’m like, okay, I get it now.”
Life lessons he has carried out for the benefit of our region and its people.