James 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.
Wolford retired 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.