Scott M. Niswonger
1998 Honorary Alumni
In 1968, the Greene County Airport was the site of one of the region's most important landings. Thirty years later, this one event has spawned thousands more landings and the take off of one of East Tennessee's best known business stories, and catapulted its founder into a pivotal leadership role for the region. Scott M. Niswonger is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of Landair Services, Inc. The Greeneville, Tennessee based business is a $225,000,000 publicly traded, high service level truckload carrier and contractor to the air cargo industry. In 1988, Niswonger was awarded the Coopers & Lybrand Entrepreneurial Company of the Year for Landair Services, Inc. Today, Landair is on the brink of even further development to face transportation challenges into the next century.
Niswonger's first job in the air was in 1968 when he worked as the pilot to the president of the Magnavox Company. In 1974, Niswonger spread his wings and became President, Chief Executive Officer and founder of General Aviation, Inc. The business was an all cargo airline Niswonger led for seven years. In 1985, Niswonger served as the Vice President of U.S. Operations for Flying Tigers Line. This is well-known for being the largest all cargo airline in the world. He has received special recognition from the National Business Aircraft Association by receiving the organization's 500,000 Mile Safe Pilot Award for having no accidents or incidents in the air.
Niswonger earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Tusculum College and is also a graduate of Purdue University, School of Aviation Technology and Airline Management. He is a certificated Airline Transport Pilot, and has flown J-3 Cubs through Boeing 747 aircraft. He is also a graduate of United Airlines Training Academy in Denver, Colorado, and a graduate of the Fairchild Aircraft Factory School.
Niswonger takes an active interest in his community and has served on numerous civic boards. He is a tireless member of the East Tennessee State University Foundation Board of Directors. Niswonger is also an elder in the Greeneville Cumberland Presbyterian Church and past president of the Greeneville/Greene County Chamber of Commerce.
Niswonger currently serves as the Chairman of the Greene County Partnership, as well as serving on the organization's Executive Committee. He is a trustee at Tusculum College, a director of First Tennessee Bank, Chairman of the 1998 Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame, a board member of the Fund for Greene County, and also the East Tennessee Foundation. Niswonger was a founding director of Junior Achievement in Greene County. In 1994, he was recognized nationally as the recipient of the Distinguished Graduate Award by Junior Achievement at their Annual International Student Forum.
Currently on the state and national levels, Niswonger has been appointed to the Tennessee Board for Economic Growth by Governor Don Sundquist and the Advisory Board for Empower America by Jack Kemp. He is married to Nikki Niswonger, a graduate of Wilmington College in Wilimington, Ohio. Niswonger has four children -- Mrs. Karla Gentry, the proud mother of Tyler and Trevor Gentry; Elliott, an ETSU junior; Patrick, a Junior at Miami University of Ohio; and Sarah, a Greeneville High School freshman.