2000 Laureates

John W. Andersen

John W. Andersen knows first hand the importance of business role models for youth. His father, A. E. Andersen, Sr. began his banking career in 1910 as a runner for the First National Bank of Roanoke and retired from Dominion National Bank in Bristol as Chairman of the Board in 1963.

John, who began his banking career working for his father, says, " The greatest thing my dad gave me was the example of his relationship to his family, the church, and his responsibility to the community." Following his father's example, John's love of family, genuine concern for people and the community, in addition to his financial prowess, were to weave a remarkable path of service throughout the Tri-Cities TN/VA.

A native of Bristol, Virginia, John attended Bristol public schools and graduated from Marmion Military Academy in 1946. He received a BS in Business Administration from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1950.

John married the former Betty C. Hammer of Bristol and they have three children, William, Adrienne and Karen, and four grandchildren. John and Betty are members of St. Dominic's Church.

Following four years of ROTC at VPI, John served two years on active duty, eleven years in the active reserves and was discharged a captain from the United States Army. After completing his military service, John worked as Vice president of Mountain View - Glenwood Cemeteries in Bristol.

John Andersen embarked on his illustrious banking career in 1960 when he joined Dominion National Bank as assistant cashier and branch manager. After graduating from the University of Virginia School of Bank Management in 1964, John accepted a position as Assistant Vice President in the Bristol office of the First National Bank of Sullivan County (First American National Bank). His innate abilities and work ethic would lead to his promotion to president in 1973, and to chairman of the board in 1983. John served as Chairman of the Board of First American National Bank until his retirement in 1996.

John served the business community as president of the Bristol and Kingsport Chambers of Commerce, chairman of the 1983 Fun Fest, treasurer of the National Center for Quality and the Tennessee Council on Economic Education, directorships in the Tennessee Association of Business, The Federal Reserve Bank-Nashville, the Tennessee Bankers Association, North American Rayon Corporation, North American Corporation, United Telephone-Southeast, the Greater Tri-Cities Business Alliance, and as the first chair of the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame.

John's sense of respect for all persons and his strong belief in giving back to the community are reflected in his work with a wide variety of community and civic organizations: Directorships with Junior Achievement, Leadership Kingsport, United Way, Boy Scouts, the YMCA, the Children's Advocacy Center, Paramount Center for the Arts, Holston Valley Health Care, Boy's and Girl's Club, and the Salvation Army; President of the Rocky Mount Historical Association, Bristol Kiwanis, the Rotary Club of Kingsport, and the Community Chest of Kingsport.

Education is a priority with John Andersen and he served as a trustee with the ETSU Foundation, a director of the Northeast State Community College Foundation and as a member of the King College Roundtable.

John's honors include the Junior Achievement Silver Leadership Award, Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award, VFW "Bristol's Outstanding Citizen Award", the Boys Club Man and Boy Award and Rotary's Paul Harris Fellow award.

Talk with anyone who has worked with John Andersen, professionally and in the community and one hears: "great personal strength and kindness", "a gentleman, but a tough competitor"! John's influence is evident across the Tri-Cities TN/VA and he is indeed an exemplary role model for youth.

Thank you, John, for making our region a better place to live and work for future generations.