Steve Allen McKenzie
June 11, 1953
Cleveland, Tennessee, United States
|Died||May 2, 2013 59) (aged|
|Known for||Rent to own, National Cash Advance, real estate developments.|
Steve Allen "Tobe" McKenzie (June 11, 1953 – May 2, 2013) was an American businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist from Cleveland, Tennessee. He began his career by founding two rent-to-own businesses and later made his fortune after founding National Cash Advance. He later began investing in businesses and real estate speculations, and lost all of his assets as a result of the Great Recession.
McKenzie was born to Bob and Gail Bettis McKenzie in 1953 in Bradley County, Tennessee. He had one brother, Mark Patrick McKenzie. He attended Bradley Central High School, where he played football and baseball. He graduated in 1971. After high school, he took a job as a paperboy for the Chattanooga Times Free Press and the Cleveland Daily Banner .
In the 1980s, McKenzie founded two rent-to-own businesses in Cleveland. In 1994 he founded the National Cash Advance, a payday loan company.He sold the company in 1999. At the time of its selling, the National Cash Advance included 550 stores nationwide.
In the early 2000s McKenzie began investing in real estate developments that he believed would increase in value by borrowing money from multiple banks.These included hundreds of acres of land in East Tennessee and over 100 businesses including a golf course in Ooltewah, bowling alley, a hotel in Sweetwater, a used car dealership and a shopping center on Paul Huff Parkway in Cleveland that was never built. These reckless investments would eventually lead to his bankruptcy.
In 2004 he founded McKenzie Trucking & Leasing, a trucking company.
In December 2008, during the financial crisis of 2007–2008 and the beginning of the Great Recession, McKenzie filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in the United States District Court in Chattanooga, Tennessee disclosing $151 million in debts and assets of over $100 million. He was then ordered to make $11.5 million in lease payments on defaulted properties. The following year he lost millions of his assets including an unfinished home.
McKenzie made numerous donations to local schools and causes, including the United Way, Lee University, and Habitat for Humanity. million to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to help pay off the debt on the school's basketball arena, The Roundhouse. In 2000, the arena was renamed the McKenzie Arena. In 2000 McKenzie and his wife pledged $4 million to an athletic center that adjoins the Neyland-Thompson Sports Complex at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville. As a result of his bankruptcy McKenzie was unable to complete his pledge, and in 2009, his name was removed from the building.In the late 1990s, McKenzie and his wife gave a donation of $2
McKenzie was of the Pentecostal faith and was a member of Mount Olive Church of God.
In 1979 McKenzie married businesswoman Brenda Lawson. They had two children, Ashley and Steve, Jr.They divorced in 2000. In 2006 he married Rebecca Harris.
McKenzie died on May 2, 2013 from heart failure.
Bradley County is a county located in the southeastern portion of the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2010 census, the population was 98,963, making it the thirteenth most populous county in Tennessee. Its county seat is Cleveland. It is named for Colonel Edward Bradley of Shelby County, Tennessee, who was colonel of Hale's Regiment in the American Revolution and the 15th Regiment of the Tennessee Volunteers in the War of 1812. Bradley County is included in the Cleveland, Tennessee Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Chattanooga-Cleveland-Dalton, TN-GA-AL Combined Statistical Area.
Cleveland is the county seat and largest city of Bradley County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 41,285 at the 2010 census. It is the principal city of the Cleveland, Tennessee metropolitan area, which is included in the Chattanooga–Cleveland–Dalton, TN–GA–AL Combined Statistical Area.
East Tennessee comprises approximately the eastern third of the U.S. state of Tennessee, one of the three Grand Divisions of Tennessee defined in state law. East Tennessee consists of 33 counties, 30 located within the Eastern Time Zone and three counties in the Central Time Zone, namely Bledsoe, Cumberland, and Marion. East Tennessee is entirely located within the Appalachian Mountains, although the landforms range from densely forested 6,000-foot (1,800 m) mountains to broad river valleys. The region contains the major cities of Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Johnson City, Tennessee's third, fourth, and ninth largest cities, respectively.
Zachary Paul Wamp is an American politician who was the U.S. Representative for Tennessee's 3rd congressional district from 1995 to 2011. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district is based in Chattanooga and includes large parts of East Tennessee, including Oak Ridge.
William Edward Haslam is an American billionaire businessman and politician, who served as the 49th Governor of Tennessee from 2011 to 2019. He is a member of the Republican Party and was previously the mayor of Knoxville, Tennessee from 2004 to 2011.
McKenzie Arena is the primary basketball arena for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) in Chattanooga in the U.S. state of Tennessee. It replaced Maclellan Gymnasium, a 4,177-seat gymnasium now used for women's volleyball and wrestling. Originally called UTC Arena, it was renamed McKenzie Arena on February 21, 2000 in honor of athletic supporters Toby and Brenda McKenzie of Cleveland, Tennessee. The arena opened on October 8, 1982. It was designed by Campbell & Associates Architects with David J. Moore as the on-site architect/construction administrator.
Miller's Department Store was a chain of department stores based in East Tennessee.
CBL Properties is an American real estate investment trust that invests in shopping centers, primarily in the Southeastern and Midwestern United States. The company is organized in Delaware with its headquarters in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The company's largest tenants are L Brands, Signet Jewelers, and Foot Locker.
Swift Transportation is a Phoenix, Arizona-based American truckload motor shipping carrier, part of Knight-Swift. With over 23,000 trucks, it is the largest common carrier in the United States. In 2017, Swift merged with Knight Transportation, also of Phoenix, effective September 8, 2017.
The Knoxville campaign was a series of American Civil War battles and maneuvers in East Tennessee during the fall of 1863 designed to secure control of the city of Knoxville and with it the railroad that linked the Confederacy east and west, and position the First Corps under Longstreet for return to the Army of Northern Virginia. Union Army forces under Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside occupied Knoxville, Tennessee, and Confederate States Army forces under Lt. Gen. James Longstreet were detached from Gen. Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee at Chattanooga to prevent Burnside's reinforcement of the besieged Federal forces there. Ultimately, Longstreet's own siege of Knoxville ended when Union Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman led elements of the Army of the Tennessee and other troops to Burnside's relief after Union troops had broken the Confederate siege of Chattanooga. Although Longstreet was one of Gen. Robert E. Lee's best corps commanders in the East in the Army of Northern Virginia, he was unsuccessful in his attempt to penetrate the Knoxville defenses and take the city.
Cleveland High School (CHS) is a public high school in the Cleveland City Schools system located in Cleveland, Tennessee. The school was founded in 1967 and serves 1,662 students in grades 9 to 12. The school's mascot is the Blue Raider, and its school colors are blue, white, and red. The principal is Autumn O'Bryan. The school maintains a rivalry with the crosstown Bradley Central High School, as with their other crosstown rival Walker Valley High School.
Interstate 75 (I-75) in the U.S. state of Tennessee runs from Chattanooga to Jellico by way of Knoxville. I-75 enters the East Tennessee region following the Tennessee Valley from Georgia, all the way through Knoxville to near Rocky Top, then climbs into the Cumberland Mountains before crossing over into Kentucky at Jellico.
Wacker Chemie AG is a German multinational chemical company which was founded in 1914 by Alexander Wacker. The company is controlled by the Wacker family holding more than 50 percent of the shares. The corporation is operating more than 25 production sites in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.
Bradley Central High School is a public high school located in Cleveland, Tennessee that serves approximately 1,700 students from grades 9-12. It was founded in 1916, and is part of the Bradley County Schools system. The school maintains a crosstown rivalry with Cleveland High School, as well as fellow county rival Walker Valley High School.
U.S. Route 11 (US 11) in the U.S. state of Tennessee travels from the Georgia state line in Chattanooga to Knoxville, where it then splits into US 11E and US 11W. These two highways then travel to the Virginia state line near Kingsport and Bristol. During its length, it shares concurrencies with SR 2 and SR 38.
William Allan Jones Jr. is an American businessman from Cleveland, Tennessee. He is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Check Into Cash, Creditcorp, Jones Management Services, and the Community Financial Services Association, as well as several other local lending agencies. He has been called the "father of the payday loan industry" for founding and building the first major payday loan chain.
Thomas Eric Watson is an American politician and police officer from Cleveland, Tennessee. From 2006 to 2014, he was a Republican member of the Tennessee House of Representatives for the 22nd district, encompassing Cleveland, Meigs County, Polk County, and parts of Bradley County. Watson served one term as sheriff of Bradley County from September 2014 to September 2018.
Mark Hall is an American politician from Cleveland, Tennessee. From 2006 to 2018, he served as a seventh district commissioner on the Bradley County commission. He is currently the representative for the Tennessee House of Representatives district 24.