Five Knoxville Businessmen Strive to Put Others First
Pete Atherton, co-founder of 100 Men Who Care Knoxville
Engineer and business owner Pete Atherton started the 100 Men Who Care chapter in Southern Maine several years ago, so when he and his wife moved to Knoxville to escape New England winters, chartering 100 Men Who Care in Knoxville was the natural next step. Alongside Thomas Krajewski and Alan Moore, and a steering team with Brandon Bruce, Christopher Ayala and Mike Mangione, the organization kick-started in February with its first meeting. More than 100 men showed up, far exceeding the group’s expectations. The group’s first $10,000 donation went to The Change Center.
“Being a newcomer to the city, I’m impressed with how well people are connected and well-intentioned,” Pete says. “It’s exciting to be a part of 100 Men Who Care, especially since there was already an interest. For some, $10,000 is a huge part of their budget. The more local, the better.”
Pete is the president and founder of ActionsProve and author of Reversing Burnout.
Thomas Krajewski, co-founder of 100 Men Who Care Knoxville
Knoxville native Thomas Krajewski started his career as a fly-fishing guide at Blackberry Farms, then shifted into land development and conservation. As his career flourished, Thomas looked for ways to give back and increase his impact on his community. When two circles of influence started talking about 100 Men Who Care, he saw the stars aligning. Within a year, 100 Men Who Care was official and word spread quickly.
“What made it a great sell is that it’s well-positioned for 30- to 60-year-olds with families, careers and a busy life but who want to give back,” he says. “We meet once a quarter, and each give $100 to a nonprofit that we vote for. It’s a commitment of $400 per year. Knoxville is a giving town. This is a great way to plug in and get started on that process.”
Thomas is a land broker for National Land Realty. He and his wife have two children.
Alan Moore, co-founder of 100 Men Who Care Knoxville
Alan Moore served as the president of the Young Professionals of Knoxville, as well as part of the Young Alumni Council at the University of Tennessee, so service to others was already a priority. When the idea to start a 100 Men Who Care was presented to him, Alan struggled to find enough committed people—that is, until he talked to the right people.
“I reached out to Thomas, and it took off when Pete got to town. We’ve given money to charity and to church, but it was always small amounts,” he says. “This opportunity came along to support a charity with an amount that’s meaningful.”
Alan is an attorney and trust officer at First Tennessee Bank. He is married with three children.
Josh Smith, owner of Master Dry
Josh Smith didn’t grow up in church, but when he was in his 20s, he had an experience with God that changed his life. He went on a mission trip, and it left the kind of impact on him that lasts a lifetime. As he worked to build his business, Master Dry, he felt the calling to do more than provide quality service at a fair price. Josh knew he was meant to build a company with a mission to serve personally, locally, nationally and internationally. With a dream so big, it could only be accomplished through teamwork, commitment and prayer.
“We have a purpose statement, which is to be a unique service company that radically serves our community: feeding the homeless, going into federal prisons to do a mock job training on how to interview, going to Panama to handout 400 soccer balls and $40,000 worth of food,” he says. “I say all the time it’s not what we do but who we are. I was shocked when I hired my first person, much less my 10th. Now I have 150 employees. I get to do more and impact more.”
Dan Thompson, D.D.S.
When Dr. Dan Thompson, D.D.S., had his interview for dental school where he was asked why he wanted to be a dentist, he said he wanted to work with his hands and have a respected place in the community. In addition to the decadeslong relationships he builds with patients, he enjoys seeing how simple procedures, such as teeth whitening and restoration, can change a person’s entire outlook on life.
“Everything we associate with value we associate with a good smile,” he says. “People get very emotional and that makes it all worthwhile.”
He and his staff work with Give Back a Smile, a program through the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, which works to restore the smiles of women and men who’ve suffered dental injuries from domestic and sexual abuse.