Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame 2005

Bob Corker

Edgar M. Jolley

Glenn H. Morris, Sr.

Bob CorkerBob Corker
Bob Corker grew up in Chattanooga. He attended public schools and began working at an early age. Throughout his teenage years, he worked bagging ice in a local freezer plant, worked at the Western Auto store, and then as a construction laborer.

He graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial management. After working four years as a construction superintendent and saving $8,000, he started his own construction company. His first big break came with a contract to build drive-through windows for Krystal restaurants.

His construction business became very successful and eventually completed projects in over 18 states. In 1999, he acquired Osborne Building Corporation and Stone Fort Land Company, the two largest and most historic real estate companies in Chattanooga.

Mr. Corker's interest in public service is the continuation of a commitment he made over 20 years ago. After traveling with his church on a mission trip to Haiti he recognized a duty to offer his time and talent in public service. Following the mission trip, Mr. Corker began a series of initiatives that involved the Chattanooga community. He founded the non-profit Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise that has helped over 10,000 families through low-interest loans or personal training become homeowners.

In 1995 Mr. Corker was appointed Commissioner of Finance and Administration for the State of Tennessee. Among his responsibilities were the preparation and implementation of Tennessee's $13 billion state budget and overseeing the general operations of the state.

In 2001, he was elected Mayor of Chattanooga. Through Mayor Corker's efforts, violent crime in Chattanooga is half what it was in 2001, the city budget is lean and balanced and tax rates are poised to become the lowest since the 1950's. Since he took office, over $2 billion has been privately invested in the community and teachers in some of Chattanooga's most challenging schools are now rewarded with incentive pay, a results-oriented effort that has dramatically raised student achievement. Departments of city government are now judged and held accountable by how well they serve the taxpayer. By applying conservative leadership principles and a businessman's focus on results, Mayor Corker has made Chattanooga one of the most admired cities in the nation.

Mr. Corker and his wife, Elizabeth, have been married for 18 years. They have two daughters, Julia and Emily, and live in North Chattanooga.

Edgar Jolley Edgar M. Jolley
A native Chattanoogan, Mr. Jolley was born in 1928, and graduated from the University of Chattanooga in 1951. He attended Chattanooga Central High School and the University of Chattanooga during World War II. His first job during this period was working in his father's automobile garage.

Upon graduation from college, Mr. Jolley and his father-in-law, Horace E. Collins, started a construction business. This firm, H. E. Collins Contracting Company, completed many projects in Chattanooga area including the West Wing at Erlanger Hospital, additions to Hutcheson Memorial Hospital in Rossville, and additions to the Hamilton Memorial Hospital in Dalton.

The company also constructed the downtown YMCA, the Gateway Professional Building, Brainerd Village Shopping Center, several housing projects, and wind tunnel projects at the AEDC in Tullahoma, Tennessee.

Mr. Jolley served in several capacities in the Chattanooga Chapter of Associated General Contractors, and was president of this organization in 1964. He was a member of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, served in the Tennessee National Guard for over 10 years, and is a multi-engine instrument rated pilot.

In 1969, he retired as president of the H. E. Collins Contracting Company, and began the EMJ Corporation. This company was organized for the primary purpose of constructing shopping centers for a firm headed by Moses Lebovitz, Joel Solomon, and Charles Lebovitz, a company now known as CBL and Associates.

From 1969 until 1994, EMJ Corporation constructed over 200 shopping centers, and was listed as the largest retail builder in the country by the National Mall Monitor Magazine in 1994. Local projects include Northgate Mall and Hamilton Place Mall. Other malls include The Avenues in Jacksonville, Florida; Cool Springs Mall and Center in Franklin, Tennessee; and Madison Square in Huntsville, Alabama. EMJ maintains offices in Chattanooga, Dallas, Texas, and Boston, Massachusetts.

Mr. Jolley retired in 1994, and the company has had continued growth, recently completing Covenant Transport Headquarters, US Express Headquarters, the Natatorium at Baylor School, and is presently completing the addition to the Hunter Museum of American Art.

Mr. Jolley is a board member of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Chattanooga, a golf course rater for the Tennessee Golf Association, and a supporter of UTC athletics. He finds time to play golf several times each week, skis three weeks each year, and builds and flies radio-controlled model airplanes.

Glenn Morris Glenn H. Morris, Sr.
Glenn H. Morris, Sr. founded Progressive Drugs of America in 1963, M&M Plastics in 1973 and M&M Industries in 1985.

Mr. Morris returned to Rome, Georgia in late 1945 after serving in World War II as a boatswain mate, 1st Class. During the war, he piloted a landing craft that carried in soldiers and supplies on eight invasions including Leyte, Luzon, Iwo Jima and North Africa.

Mr. Morris began work as a salesman for Southern Dairies in Rome, Georgia, where he made deliveries in the morning; put on a suit and sold in the afternoon, and put himself through school at night.

He later worked as a salesman for Rexall Drugs. In 1963 Mr. Morris began packaging over-the-counter remedies under the name Progressive Drugs of America or PDA. After learning of the need for a child-resistant bottle cap for prescription drugs, Mr. Morris worked to patent designs on closures, many of which are still used today. When no other company wanted to pay for Mr. Morris's patents, he plunged into debt and began making and marketing the closures himself. He began M&M Plastics in 1973 and changed the prescription vial market. He took on competition from numerous "big" companies and won a market share. After much struggle, M&M Plastics became a profitable, growing company.

In 1984, Mr. Morris sold M&M Plastics and had earlier relinquished PDA and tried retirement. After one year, Mr. Morris invited his son, Glenn, Jr., to begin another business, Morris Enterprises, which later was named M&M Industries. M&M Industries is a plastic company that manufactures Mr. Morris's patented Life Latch containers for packaging of hazardous chemicals.

M&M Industries is located in Lookout Valley. Mr. Morris has patents on a new child-resistant prescription package and is currently beginning to market "Quick-Wash," a portable washing machine.

Mr. Morris, a Christian, is 81 years old and has been married to his wife, Fayne11, for 61 years. They have three children: Glenda Rothberg, Gloria Pappalardo and Glenn Morris, Jr. and nine grandchildren.

Mr. Morris's formal education consists of graduating early from a country school in Waxx, Georgia, and attending some night classes off campus at the University of Georgia in Rome in 1947 and 1948.