COLUMBIA, Tenn. – T. Randy Stevens, Chairman and CEO of First Farmers and Merchants Bank, has named the bank’s 2014 Achievement Award winners. For the first time in the award’s six-year history, it goes to a couple.
Jimmy and Avagene Moore of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, truly one of the most interesting couples in Middle Tennessee, will jointly receive the award on September 4, 2014 at an invitation-only dinner in Lawrenceburg.
“These two individuals are certainly deserving of this award in their own right, but the fact that they are a couple makes it even more special,” Stevens said in making the announcement. “They both have achieved great success in multiple careers locally, nationally and even internationally.”
Both Avagene and Jimmy are lifelong residents of Lawrence County and graduates of Lawrence County High School. In May they were married 56 years. They have three grown children, Pam Moore Davis, Steve Moore, and Kim Moore; their four grandchildren are Rachel, Jacob, Ariel and Abigail.
Avagene’s career path and passion for emergency management began in 1974, when then-Lawrenceburg’s Mayor, Ivan Johnston, appointed her Tennessee’s first female Civil Defense Director. Her work and expertise has evolved from that position to numerous high-level assignments literally all over the world. She has lectured extensively on emergency preparedness and disaster relief, including testifying before Congress. Her assignments grew in importance as Homeland Security and FEMA became the new agencies over time. She served as President for the International Association of Emergency Managers and was inducted into the International Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Hall of Fame in 2011. Her travels have taken her all over the world and even today she is a consultant working primarily with FEMA.
Jimmy Moore, “a modern day Indiana Jones,” really only wants to be known as a photographer. Creativity is not learned, it is a God-given talent to do great things with vision and hard work. It is impossible to note all the adventures, places and successes Jimmy Moore has experienced in his 75 years. From producing and appearing in the still-famous “Hee Haw” television show for nine years, to serving as Mission Leader for the National Guard Bureau Documentation Team at Ground Zero, September 11-21, 2001. In between, Jimmy has been on assignment with the military, several states and major companies photographing and videoing numerous events. He has spent a lot of time hanging out of helicopters with a camera.
The Moore’s home is a treasure of photographs of famous people with whom he has worked and performed. For example, he has produced over one hundred album covers for many country and gospel artists and The Oak Ridge Boys, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash are some of the famous performers he calls friends. He gives credit to many people, but two stand out as influences that helped shape him: his best friend, John D. Loudermilk, and the late Chet Atkins.
The real motivation for both Avagene and Jimmy — whom many call true “Patriots” — is each other. They have a strong mutual respect, admiration and support for each other’s life-work. They are a couple who are really enjoying their relationship at this stage in their lives.
On September 4th, they will be recognized for their achievements and the positive notoriety they’ve brought to Lawrence County.
Launched in 2009, the First Farmers & Merchants Bank Achievement Award seeks to recognize individuals who have been quiet but effective achievers and whose integrity and successes are representative of both the American spirit and the values of First Farmers. Previous winners include: Con Vrailas (2013), owner of MAGIC Restaurants, Inc.; Ricky Watson (2012), Brentwood, Tennessee’s chief of police; Aubrey Flagg (2011), an associate professor of Geography at Columbia State Community College; David Weathers (2010), a Major League Baseball veteran and Lawrenceburg native; and Gwendolynne Smith Jackson (2009), a Knoxville veterinarian and graduate of Columbia secondary and collegiate schools.