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Weekly 150

Jim Alexander (Part II)

A Man for All Seasons

Posted 10/8/19

Throughout his career, Jim Alexander held a position on numerous boards and never sat idle. He served as a member of the McKenzie School Board, served as the Seventh District Director and later …

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Weekly 150

Jim Alexander (Part II)

A Man for All Seasons

Posted

Throughout his career, Jim Alexander held a position on numerous boards and never sat idle. He served as a member of the McKenzie School Board, served as the Seventh District Director and later president of the Tennessee School Boards Association. He also represented the Southern Area States for the National School Board.

He was a member of the Board of Trustees of Lambuth College in Jackson, McKenzie Industrial Board, Carroll County United Way, City Planning Commission, Elks Club and the University of Tennessee Athletic Board. He served as president of the McKenzie Rotary Club, treasurer of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, president of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, president of the Bethel College Alumni Association and director of McKenzie Banking Company.

He was a member of the VFW, the American Legion and served as Eighth District Commander. He also served on the finance committee for the Tennessee American Legion for many years.

Jim was state chairman for the Heart Fund Drive as well as the regional vice-president of the Middle Tennessee Heart fund.

Alexander accepted the position as executive director of the Insurers of Tennessee, a trade association of about 550 independent insurance agencies across the state. He served in the position for seventeen years and then as director of Governmental Affairs for Insurors, retiring from the position on December 31, 1987.

He was president of the Tennessee Society of Association Executives and was active in the National Independent Insurance Agents of America. In 1982, he was named Insurer of the Year for the Tennessee Association. He established the Young Agent Group and created INSURPAC for the state.

He was an avid sports fan and was well known for unwavering support of the Tennessee Volunteers and the New York Yankees.

His devotion to home and family, his concern for the welfare of others and his desire for the betterment of all religious, education, patriotic, cultural and civic affairs caused Alexander to serve honorable and diligently for many years in the interest of the state he loved.

In 1992, a state resolution honored Alexander for 50 years of service to the State of Tennessee. State Senator Lou Patten personally presented the joint resolution to the former commissioner. The resolution, co-sponsored for the entire delegation of state senators, and passed by both houses commended Alexander for “providing unexcelled leadership in insurance legislation, charity, education and patriotism for the benefit of the great State of Tennessee.”

The Tennessee General Assembly named the section of State Route 22 between Huntingdon and McKenzie in Alexander’s honor.

During all his years working around the state, Alexander kept his home in McKenzie. He said, “McKenzie always has been, and I plan for it always to be my hometown.”

After undergoing heart surgery and a continuing battle with congestive heart failure, Jim Alexander died February 2, 1992. He was laid to rest at Mount Olivet Cemetery in McKenzie.

Posthumously, Alexander became a charter member of the Musto Tennessee Insurance Hall of Fame at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. The award was accepted by Alexander’s son.

Jim Alexander should have been considered a rock star for the McKenzie community. He never put himself or Nashville ahead the place head called home. An American patriot, a dedicated father, a true McKenzian and guiding light for progress. We sure could use another Jim Alexander right about now.

Jason R. Martin

B.S. • M.A.Ed • MLS

Councilman, Ward II

Executive Chairman, McKenzie 150th Celebration

E: jmartin@mckenziebanner.com  P: 731.352.3323

Jason Martin is a life-long resident of McKenzie. He graduated from McKenzie High School in 2000; earned a Bachelor of Science in History from Bethel College in 2004; a Masters in Education from Bethel University in 2009 and a Masters in History and Humanities from Fort Hays State University in 2011.

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