Tom Garner

Founder/Executive Director Harbours Gate Non-profit. A front line community redevelopment organization bringing triage, prevention and community to our economically distressed local areas. Restoring hope, faith and purpose one life at time. Formerly owner of a real estate title company having now found my true passion in the service of others.

Q: Please tell us a little bit about your family.

Q: Please tell us about your current, past, or future career. What do you love most about what you do?
I find my purpose in seeing hope revived in those who have been shackled by despair and lack of encouragement and resources.

Q: What are a couple of your favorite restaurants in our community?
Pero’s Rocky Hill; Los Amigos

Q: How long have you lived or worked in our community?
Over 35 years

Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in our community?
Grant Standifer, former head of Compassion Coalition

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
Gulf Shores Alabama. Great friends there and my go to place for peace and meditation.

Q: What is one of your favorite movies? TV shows?
All Vampire and Romance as they are inseparable

Q: What advice would you give to people?
Find your true purpose and passion irregardless of resulting economic or comfort status.

Q: What is something on your bucket list?
See our Educational/Recreational Center in North Blount County become a reality.

Q: What is your go to band when you cant decide what to listen to?
Beatles/Elton John

Q: What current or former local business makes you the most nostalgic about our community?
The former Pero’s restaurant on Kingston Pike. In it’s day on Sunday it was like walking into the movie set of The Godfather.

Q: If you could choose anyone that is alive today and not a relative; with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? And where locally would y’all meet for this lunch?
Neil Young. Bumped into him at The Rolling Stones concert in Nashville years ago. His music helped influence my social causes calling.

Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about our community?
Ability to go a short way and get lost in the mountains and beauty of East Tennessee.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
Hopefully finishing the mandate I was given to ‘bring our village back’ in Mentor, TN.

Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
I turned down three major college scholarships to play football after High School.

Q: What is the most beautiful place you have ever been?
Monroe/Polk Counties, TN. The Cherohala to the Hiawassee.

Q: Favorite month? favorite holiday? and best single day on the calendar?
Thanksgiving when our local and diverse community comes together for our annual gathering the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

Q: What would you rate a 10 out of 10?
Belief in others.

Q: Who inspires you to be better?
Those that I meet and serve on a daily basis.

Q: What is one or two of your favorite smells?
The mountain forest after the rain.

Q: Finally, what 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?