Two local businessmen whose love of business began in childhood, Greg Vital and Max Fuller, were recently inducted into the UTC Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame.
Greg A. Vital is founder, President and CEO of Independent Healthcare Properties and Morning Pointe Senior Living Communities. He has been a leader in assisted living and Alzheimer’s Care across the Southeast, building a company to more than 1,000 by following a clear vision that embraces senior healthcare with hospitality and resident life enrichment. Morning Pointe now has 23 locations across five states.
Vital credits his parents for instilling in him a strong work ethic, and a love of history and the land.
Vital’s love for history and land conservation can be seen from his working buffalo farm in Georgetown, Tennessee, to his acquisition and restoration of The Dome Building and Customs House in Chattanooga. As president of the Tennessee Preservation Trust, Vital spearheaded the publication of “Historic Tennessee.” He also created the Moccasin Bend National Park Lecture Series and serves on the Board of Trustees of the National Parks Conservation Association. Vital helped develop the Cherokee Removal Memorial Park Visitor Center and serves on the boards of the Trust for Public Land and the Land Trust for Tennessee.
Max L. Fuller, Chairman & CEO of U.S. Xpress Enterprises, Inc., has spent his entire professional career in the motor carrier industry. A native of Athens, Tennessee, Fuller graduated from the University of Tennessee with a B.A. in Finance and Business Administration.
With more than 43 years of experience in the transportation industry, Fuller is widely respected as a true innovator. Following 10 years in various executive leadership positions with Southwest Equipment Rental, Inc., Fuller and a business partner formed U.S. Xpress, Inc. in 1985 with 45 trucks. U.S. Xpress is the fourth largest truckload carrier in the United States, with more than 8,000 tractors and 22,000 trailers. The company currently has more than 1,000 employees in the Chattanooga area and more than 10,000 nationwide. The company has recently extended its reach into Mexico with ownership of two operations providing various transportation and logistics services.
A respected entrepreneur, Fuller cofounded a number of successful business ventures outside the transportation industry including locally based TransCard, LLC, a provider of financial services of innovative products such as prepaid cards to bank, shopping malls, and casinos. Fuller has sold several companies or divisions to Fortune 50 companies and strives in all his ventures to instill a culture of providing great products that meet peoples’ wants, need, and desires.
The annual UTC Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame is a celebration of the entrepreneurial spirit in Chattanooga, honoring local entrepreneurs and making their success stories a role model for UTC students. The College also hosts an annual Entrepreneurial Forum to promote dialogue and interaction between students, faculty and entrepreneurs. The Veterans Entrepreneurship Program at UTC provides a rigorous entrepreneurial learning and development opportunity, at no cost, for service disabled veterans and those who distinguished themselves in their military service.
The College also offers a host of activities for entrepreneurial students such as the Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization (CEO), CEO’s Elevator Pitch Competition and Springboard, a start-up venture training course offered in partnership with The Company Lab. UTC’s College of Business is an excellent launch pad for the next generation of entrepreneurial ideas that change minds, influence processes, create jobs, and enrich our community.