1999 Laureates

Zella Moore Arnold

Zella Moore Arnold was a get ahead lady. She was one of the first girls to drive a car in Bristol. Zella was 14, the car was her Dad's Model T, and it was 1920.

At Bristol High School, Zella was a cheerleader and member of the girls' basketball team. After graduation she studied at Virginia Intermont College and took accounting courses from International Correspondence Schools.

Tom Arnold and Zella Moore were married in 1922 and became the parents of two sons, Jack and Joe. Tom and Zella celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary in 1978.

Zella Moore Arnold's parents, J.W. and Hattie Johnson Moore started Moore's Manufacturing Company in the kitchen of their home in April 1924. True entrepreneurs, the Moore family fried potato slices and spread peanut butter on crackers in the kitchen, until the business grew and they moved to the basement. J.W. Moore developed a delivery route and as the routes grew, so did Zella's responsibilities. She did any type of work in the plant that needed to be done and gradually became more active in the bookkeeping and office management of the company

Mrs. Arnold became president of Moore's Potato Chip Company upon her father's death in 1950, the office she held until her death in1989.

From the house on Moore Street to the new plant on Commonwealth Avenue, from one truck to 325 truck routes, quality was the watchword. The business changed its name to Moore's Quality Snack Foods, Inc. to reflect the operative management philosophy.

Throughout the years, Zella was active in the civic affairs of Bristol. She participated in the YWCA, the Bristol Historical Association, the United Way, Pilot Club and Junior Achievement.

A member of the Boy's Club of Bristol for over 30 years, she sustained the club during lean years and was essential to its continued success. She was the first woman to be elected to the National Board of the Boy's Club of America.

Mrs. Arnold was a frequent visitor to the Boys Club. The boys knew she cared about them and she always shared boxes and boxes of Moore's Quality Snack Foods. Zella Moore Arnold believed in "giving back" to her community. Her dedication to children and the importance of their learning never wavered. Her interest in providing a safe, nurturing environment for learning established her life-long support of The Boys and Girls Club of Bristol, a tradition carried on by her family.

Mrs. Arnold was a life-long member and strong supporter of State Street United Methodist Church in Bristol.

Zella Moore Arnold made it possible for many young people to get a college education. A notable recognition of Mrs. Arnold's contributions came when Emory & Henry College honored her at their annual Charter Day Celebration in 1980.
Quality was demanded in family, business and community. Zella Moore Arnold's quality contributions continue to make a difference in Bristol.