G. Lawson has managed the financial and organizational growth of companies
expanding into 17 states with more than 1,500 employees. Revenues exceeded
began in 1980 when she was part of a team that developed and operated
Rental World, a rent-to-own business in the southeastern United States,
starting with one store and growing to 45 stores before being sold
to a competitor in 1987.
Lawson co-founded national Rentals and United Rentals, stores that
quickly expanded throughout the Midwest.
After the sales
of these stores in 1994, Lawson co-founded McKenzie Check Advance, the
company that operates nationally under the trade names of National Cash Advance
and United Cash Advance. In 1999, McKenzie Check Advance was sold to Advance
America of South Carolina.
serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Brenda Lawson & Associates,
M & B Jewelry Company, Railcar Innovations, Railcar Associates and Railcar
Custom Leasing. She is also past president of McMahan, McKenzie & Winstead
Government Relations in Nashville, Tennessee.
on the University of Tennessee Development Council, University of Tennessee
Step-Up Committee, and the University of Tennessee Alliance of Women Philanthropists.
She also serves on the University of Chattanooga Foundation Board of Trustees
and the Advisory board for the College of Business. In 2001,
Lawson provided the operating funds for the May Harris Distinguished Professorship
in Entrepreneurship in the College of Business.
In her hometown
of Cleveland, Tennessee, Lawson is a founding board member of Cleveland
100, and she helped form Christmas Memories, a non-profit organization for
underprivileged children. In 2001, her community presented her the prestigious
2001 Sertoma Service to Mankind Award. She is the mother of two children,
Ashley and Toby McKenzie.
L. "Bucky" Wolford
In the early 1970s, James L. "Bucky" Wolford began a career
in retail development with Arlen Shopping Centers of Chattanooga. In
1978, he joined four others, including founder Charles B. Lebovitz, as
principals in CBL and Associates, Inc. With Wolford as senior executive
vice president, the CBL and Associates portfolio grew to some 22 million
square feet of retail space at malls located mostly in the Southeast.
from CBL in 1997 and in 1999 formed Wolford Development, Inc., his own
retail shopping center company.
In October, 2001,
Wolford’s company opened the 376,000 square foot Oak Park Town Center
in Hixson, Tennessee.
In addition, Wolford
Development has property under option for major enclosed regional malls in
Kalispell, Montana, Ames, Iowa and Lake Havasu City, Arizona. The centers
contain such anchors as Wal-Mart, Marshall’s, Goody’s, Old Navy,
Office Depot and Petco. Each of these malls will be in excess of 700,000
square feet with project costs in excess of $300 million.
Wolford grew up
in a small town in Alabama, the son of a coal miner. He was captain of his
high school football team and president of the School’s National Honor
Society. He received a football scholarship to UTC, was co-captain of the
football team, and third team Little All-American. He graduated from UTC
in the summer of 1969.
Married to Diane
Kilgore in May 1969, the couple has two sons, Clint Wolford and Chad Wolford.
Wolford is a past Tennessee State Director of the International Council of
Shopping Centers and a past member of the Board of Trustees of Baylor School
in Chattanooga. He was named to the UTC Sports Hall of Fame. He currently
serves as a member of the UTC Athletic Board, a board member of the University
of Chattanooga Foundation and the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees.