Larry England receives Mountain States Foundation's Tom Chase Award
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Local businessman Larry England is this year’s winner of the Tom Chase Award, given annually by the Mountain States Foundation to someone whose behind-the-scenes community work has significantly impacted the lives of others.
England and his wife, Debbie, own two Cartridge World locations in Northeast Tennessee. Larry has been involved in organizing numerous charitable fundraising events, in particular for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation; has served on various foundation boards and advisory committees; serves as a representative for the Chamber of Commerce Serving Johnson City, Jonesborough and Washington County; and is Vice Chair of the Washington County Community Foundation Board.
He has also been honored for his business success with Cartridge World.
“Larry truly exemplifies a servant’s heart in every way,” said Pat Holtsclaw, president of Mountain States Foundation. “No matter what he is involved in, he is behind the scenes to help get things done. Giving of himself is a way of life for Larry, and always with a cheerful heart.”
The award was presented last week at the Foundation’s Annual Meeting, held at The Millennium Centre.
The Tom Chase Award recognizes those who strongly support the community without necessarily taking a top leadership role. This award is given to someone who exhibits four qualities:
- Informal leadership
- Working behind the scene(s) to get things done
- A willingness to go the extra mile
The late Tom Chase impacted lives throughout the region, from his work as a professional storyteller spreading hope and encouragement to serving as a chairperson of the Foundation. He was personally involved as one of the originators of several programs that the Mountain States Foundation supports, including Stories for the Soul and Parish Nursing.
The award in Chase’s honor measures how a person has contributed to his community, based not just on accomplishments but also on how he or she has touched lives.
England graduated high school in 1972 and worked in his family’s furniture factory until the business was sold to La-Z-Boy in the spring of 1995. He and Debbie opened their first Cartridge World store in Johnson City, their home town, in 2005, and it has consistently been the top performing store in the state. They also have a store in Kingsport.
In 2009 the Englands received a Blue Ribbon Small Business Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington D.C. That same year, they received the Cartridge World President’s Award and the Community Service Award presented by then-CW President Steve Yeffa at the 2009 National Convention in Nashville.
Larry is involved in numerous local causes, among them:
- Current Vice-Chair of the Washington County Community Foundation Board
- Head of Logistics for the Dragon Boat Festival, which supports Mountain States Foundation causes, and the Niswonger Children’s Hospital Golf Classic, supporting the area’s only dedicated children’s hospital
- Board member for the Chamber of Commerce Serving Johnson City, Jonesborough and Washington County
- Community Advisory Board member for SunTrust Bank
- Board president of the East Tennessee chapter of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)
- Committee chair and member for the annual Walk to Cure Diabetes in the region
- Past President of the Johnson City Morning Rotary Club
The Englands have organized “A Night of Hope” each spring for the last seven years. The event has evolved into the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s largest family fundraiser in East Tennessee, encompassing Knoxville and Chattanooga, and raises awareness and funds for the fight against juvenile diabetes. They became involved with that cause after their son, Russell, was diagnosed at age 9 with Type 1 diabetes.
Larry and his wife work as a team on fundraising events as well as in their business.
Speaking at the award ceremony, he described himself as “full-time volunteer, part-time Cartridge World,” and, referring to the current government shutdown, jokingly called himself “the only non-essential employee at Cartridge World.”