Scott M. Niswonger
Niswonger Foundation, President
Scott M. Niswonger grew up in Van Wert, Ohio. After completing his aviation studies at Purdue University in 1968, he moved to Greeneville, Tennessee as the pilot for the President of the Magnavox Consumer Electronics Company. He started his own transportation business in 1973 and later co-founded a second company, Landair Transport, in 1981 with an initial investment of $2,000. It is impressive to note that Scott founded the first two companies to ever be taken public in Greene County’s history.
Today Scott is the majority shareholder of Landair Transport, Inc. and is also chairman emeritus of Forward Air Corporation. The two companies have combined annual revenues of over $600 million. These businesses provide high service-level truckload operations and contract services to the air cargo industry and other time definite shippers. Forward Air (FWRD) is publicly traded on the NASDAQ and has been recognized for seven years by Forbes magazine as one of the "Top 200 Small Companies" in America.
Mr. Niswonger is a graduate of The School of Aviation Technology at Purdue University; received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Tusculum College; and was awarded a Doctorate of Technology degree from Purdue University. He is also a graduate of the United Airlines Training Academy and a certificated Airline Transport Pilot, having flown a variety of airplanes from J-3 Cubs to the Boeing 747. He currently enjoys flying his Gulfstream IV-SP and T-34 Navy trainer.
Scott is very active in community and civic affairs. He is an ordained elder in his church and has previously served in leadership positions for several organizations including chairman of the Greene County Partnership; founding board member of the Fund for Greene County; founding director of Junior Achievement in Greene County. In 1994, Junior Achievement recognized Scott as their worldwide recipient of the International Distinguished Graduate Award. In 1999, he was inducted into the Business Hall of Fame and was chosen by Ernst & Young as Entrepreneur of the Year for the Southeastern United States. On a state level, Niswonger served as vice-chair of the Tennessee Board for Economic Growth and chairman of the Building and Finance Committee for the State of Tennessee.
Mr. Niswonger continues to actively support regional economic development by promoting and practicing his philosophy of “Learn, Earn, and Return.” He co-chairs the Purdue Development Foundation and serves on the Dean’s Executive Council for the School of Technology at Purdue University. Scott serves as a Trustee at Tusculum College and on the College’s Executive Committee. He is a Foundation Board member and Honorary Alumnus of East Tennessee State University. He serves as President of the Governing Board for the Niswonger Performing Arts Center that opened its doors in November 2004.
Scott is especially proud of The Niswonger Foundation that he established in 2001 with the mission to create opportunities for individual and community growth through education and other sustainable projects. This educational operating foundation currently has 20 Scholars in universities across America and 38 Alumni Scholars. The Niswonger Foundation is also involved with approximately twenty educational partnerships with Northeast Tennessee school systems, as well as, statewide educational initiatives.
Scott is the lead benefactor for the Niswonger Children’s Hospital built at the Johnson City Medical Center in Johnson City, Tennessee.
With an exceptional level of involvement, giving and generosity, businessman and philanthropist Scott M. Niswonger has made a positive impact that will affect many generations to come.