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Warren Payne


    • Graduation Year: 1969
    • Major: Business and Economics
    • Hometown: Knoxville, Tenn.
    • Activities: Four years of college basketball
    • Interests: Faith, family, friends, and sports

Favorite quote(s): Luke 12:48 “To whom much is given, much is required”
Favorite book(s): Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas, and The Godfather by Mario Puzo
Favorite music: 60’s and 70’s music
Favorite movie(s): The Bridge over the River Kwai, The Shawshank Redemption, The Untouchables, The Help, Secretariat

What have you been doing since graduation? I have held several positions in business over the years beginning with serving as a commercial loan officer for Bank of Virginia in Bristol, Va. I served as EVP and president of First Tennessee Bank in Knoxville, Tenn., president and CEO of Kenesaw Leasing, president and CEO of Kenesaw Creative, chairman and CEO of Knoxville Cherokees/Pee Dee Pride Hockey, president of National Bank of Commerce in Knoxville, Tenn., and president and CEO of Baptist Health of East Tennessee. Currently, I serve as president of Fountain Leasing, LLC, and Kenesaw Promotional Products, both in Knoxville, Tenn.

How do you feel King prepared you for your chosen career path and life outside college? My time at King taught me how to think, how to study, and the importance of relationships. It also strengthened my faith.

Have you received any awards, recognitions? In 1995, I was honored by then King College as the Distinguished Alumnus. I was named the Visionary Award Winner by Baptist Hospital of East Tennessee in 1999, and was among the Gift of Hope Honorees in 2014 by the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Tennessee Valley.

Organizational memberships? I have served on the board of directors for numerous organizations including the Boys and Girls Club of Knoxville, Knoxville Downtown YMCA, Knoxville Arts Council, Knoxville Beautification Board, Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville Chamber of Commerce, Fox Den Country Club, East Tennessee Kidney Foundation, Sunshine Industries, Senior Citizens Home Assistance Services, First Tennessee Bank, First American National Bank, NBC Bank, East Tennessee Baptist Hospital, Baptist Health Systems of East Tennessee, Helen Ross McNabb, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Focus Prison Ministry Chairman, Boy Scouts of America, East Tennessee Diagnostic Center, Provision Center for Proton Therapy, Carson-Newman University, and King University board of trustees.

What is your definition of success? To attempt to make a difference every single day.

Why did you choose King? To be honest, I went to King to play basketball.

What did you like best about King? The individual instruction from professors and the lifelong relationships I developed.

What sets King apart from other schools? The Christian emphasis, sense of community, and ability to have individual instruction/discussion with the professor.

Who influenced you the most while at King? My wife, Kathy Payne.

What is your favorite memory of King? All of the personal interactions and relationships I developed.

Do you have a message to students relative to their own journey? I urge students to take advantage of everything college has to offer and to enjoy those four years. It’s only part of the journey, but so important. You will have a wonderful time and build lasting, lifelong friendships.