THE PRIVILEGE OF BEING ABLE TO HAVE DREAMS, IDEAS AND GOALS COME TO FRUITION, IS THE CORE OF WHAT WE ARE ABLE TO EXPERIENCE BECAUSE OF THE FREEDOMS THAT ARE OURS IN AMERICA.

- Denise Burnett Stewart

SMALL BUSINESS DRIVES THE AMERICAN ECONOMY. IT THRIVES AND SURVIVES NO MATTER WHAT MAY BE GOING ON IN THE MAIN ECONOMY.

- Dick Gadomski

UNLESS WE PROMOTE ENTREPRENEURSHIP, WE WILL NOT HAVE AN EXCITING BUSINESS ATMOSPHERE IN OUR COUNTRY.

- Allen B. Morgan, Jr.

THOMAS M. GARROTT

NATIONAL COMMERCE FINANCIAL
CHAIRMAN (RETIRED)

“For an established enterprise to grow and prosper, one must encourage entrepreneurs within the organization to constantly challenge and improve upon what has come within their sphere of influence.” Thomas Garrott is the retired Chairman of National Commerce Financial (NCF), and he is known as the master of finding entrepreneurial opportunities within the established environment of a financial institution. Since joining NCF in 1983, has helped the company pioneer in-store banking and develop it into one of the country’s top-performing financial institutions. NCF currently operates nearly 400 company-owned branches in nine states, and its nationwide licensing network includes more than 1,000 supermarket branches. In May 1999, Tom was named one of the nation’s top CEO’s by Chief Executive magazine.

Tom Garrott also applies his entrepreneurial spirit to the numerous civic organizations with which he is involved, including the Board of Trustees of Rhodes College, Wharton Graduate Executive Board, The Baylor School Advisory Board, Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University; Board of Advisors and Past Chairman of the Memphis Regional Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors of the Financial Services Roundtable and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Advisory Committee.

Description of Business:

Financial Services, Bank holding company.

Year Business Founded:

1873

Year Inducted:

2000

Thoughts on Entrepreneurship:

“‘We most often think of an entrepreneur as someone who creates organizes a new enterprise. For an established enterprise to grow and prosper, one must encourage entrepreneurs within the organization to constantly challenge and improve upon what has come within their sphere of influence. Risk taking is at the core of an entrepreneurial spirit, and tenacity to overcome obstacles is a requisite.”