The Scott County Rotary Club recently honored its charter club president by renaming the Scott County Rotary Scholarship the Joe Fuller Scott County Rotary Club Scholarship and by making a gift to fully endow the scholarship. The $25,000 endowed fund will provide financial assistance to Scott County students for generations to come.
Joe was instrumental in establishing the Rotary Club of Scott County in 1988. He received the Paul Harris Fellow Award in 1989 and the Skelton Fellow Award of Rotary District 7570 for the year 2004-05. He continues to be very active in club and district activities.
He began his professional career with the Clinchfield Railroad in 1952, which later became CSX Transportation. When he retired in 1988, he was officer in charge of all railroad operations in the Kingsport area, including the railroad operations for Holston Army Ammunition plant, which CSX operated under contract for the U. S. Army.
Throughout his railroad career, Joe was very active in the Kingsport, TN community, serving leadership roles in numerous organizations, including the Rotary-Downtown Kingsport Club, Greater Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Kingsport Association, and others. He was in charge of the annual Santa Train operations from 1978 through 1987. Joe was also instrumental in establishing the Kingsport Trolley, known as the “Jitney,” which provided the first public transportation to downtown Kingsport.
Joe Fuller is a lifelong resident of Scott County. Joe and his brother, John, operated Fuller Brothers General Merchandise in Snowflake, Virginia for 17 years. He has served as Chairman of the Scott County Economic Development Authority since 2009 and is a past president and current treasurer of the Scott County Chamber of Commerce. He has been involved in many civic organizations that promote tourism and economic development.
Some of the projects that have been undertaken with Joe’s involvement include the Clinchfield Heritage Wayside overlooking the high railroad trestle at Speers Ferry; Virginia’s Heritage Migration Route which stretches from Winchester, VA to Cumberland Gap; the Coal Heritage Trail though seven coalfield counties; and the Clinch Mountain MusicFest, a three day musical heritage event in Scott County. Joe has also served two terms on the Mountain Empire Community College Foundation Board of Directors.
Picture caption: Joe Fuller, Scholarship Honoree; Sue Ella Boatright-Wells, member of Scott County Rotary Club and MECC Dean of Workforce Development; and Dr. Scott Hamilton, President of Mountain Empire Community College.