R. Jack Fishman

Jack Fishman
2001 Honorary Alumni

This is the story of a Memphis native who has dedicated his life to the newspaper industry. Jack Fishman is currently the president and CEO of Lakeway Publishers, Inc., that produces the Citizen Tribune for the Morristown, Tenn., area, along with the Tullahoma News, Grundy County Herald of Tracy City, Tenn., Herald Chronicle of Winchester, Tenn., Manchester Times, and the Elk Valley Times of Fayetteville, Tenn.

Fishman began his education at Jackson High School and graduated in 1952. He earned his bachelor of science degree from Memphis State University in 1955 and went to work as a teacher and director of the Camden High School Band. In 1956, he was hired as the chamber manager of Jesup, Ga., and served in that position until 1959 when he was named the manager of the Morristown, Tenn., Chamber of Commerce. While holding that position, Fishman decided to further his education at the Southeastern Institute of Organizational Management at the University of North Carolina in 1961 and the Industrial Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma in 1964. During this time, Fishman was a member of the Tennessee/Georgia National Guard until 1963, and he obtained the rank of first lieutenant.

Fishman was on the move again in 1965 becoming the executive director of the Middle Tennessee Industrial Development Association in Nashville. Fishman had landed one of the top jobs in the industrial development field, but after only four months in the post, he began receiving phone calls and letters from the merchants in Morristown complaining about the 100-year old newspaper that was published there. The business leaders of Morristown said that the newspaper was not serving their needs and asked if he could help. He began putting together a prospective of what would and would not work if a new newspaper was started. In 1966, the merchants met and raised a half million dollars to start the paper if Fishman agreed to run it. He agreed, and within ten years the "other" newspaper went out of business and Lakeway Publishers, Inc., eventually came to produce its current six daily newspapers. Although the newspaper industry keeps Fishman busy, there are other endeavors to which he dedicates his time and energy.

This publisher has also taken an active role in his community and in regional business, and he has committed himself to the principles of leadership. With positions as a director of SunTrust Bank of both Morristown and Knoxville, as well as the Director of the Greater Morristown Chamber of Commerce and Director of Hamblen County Excell, he is a very important part of the region's business leadership. He is also a member of the Kiwanis Club and a former member of the Tennessee Technology Corridor Association. He is a member of All Saint's Episcopal Church where he has taught Adult Sunday School for 15 years.

Further, Fishman has provided support to the educational pursuits of others. He has been a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents since 1991, when appointed by Governor Ned McWherter. Presently he is serving as an Advisory Board Member at Walters State Community College and he is actively involved at ETSU where he has served as a member of the ETSU Foundation for many years. He continues his membership on the James H. Quillen College of Medicine Visiting Committee and displays his ETSU PRIDE in the Morristown area.

When he is not sharing his time with others, he enjoys spending time with his family. He is married to the former Nancy Lee Allen of Jackson, Tenn. The couple has two sons, which are ETSU alumni, Jeffery '86 and Robert '88.