Occupation: Managing director for Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.
Family: Married to Kimberly Proffitt for 23 years, and they have two children, Kevin II, 15, and Kelsey, 11.
Kevin Proffitt remembers the first time he saw the woman who would become his wife.
“I met her at Northwestern Mutual when I was working for the Boy Scouts doing corporate fundraising. I asked the guy I was there to meet, ‘Who’s that good-looking girl?’ and he said, ‘That’s my assistant. Leave her alone.’ I’m persistent,” Proffitt says.
Kevin and his wife, Kimberly, have been married 23 years. They have two children and now Kevin is a managing director with the company where Kimberly worked when they met. He has been with Northwestern Mutual for 22 years.
Proffitt graduated Maryville High School in 1981 and he earned a degree in advertising/public relations from Middle Tennessee State University in 1985. He worked for the Boy Scouts of America for two years before he took a job with Northwestern Mutual where he worked his way up to managing director.
Proffitt grew up in Maryville, and is the son of County Commissioner Dr. Bob Proffitt and mom, Lucy Farrar, of Monument, Colorado. Proffitt says he never wanted a medical/dental career like many of his relatives but he did consider going into the family business at Proffitt’s Department Store. The timing wasn’t right, however, because “they were selling it at the time I got out of college.”
Proffitt says his father had six brothers and sisters and 22 first cousins - all of whom came from the six children of Nicholas and Mary Alice Proffitt of Black Mountain, N.C.
“They came here so their kids could get an education at Maryville College. They sent the women by rail, and the men brought wagons and $4,000 in gold coins. One of those kids, my great uncle D.W., started Proffitt’s.”
Proffitt says his older relatives were good role models because they had strong work ethics. “They all grew up on a farm. You learned you have to sow seed before you reap a harvest. They all spent a lot of time working very hard,” he says.
Northwestern Mutual was a presenting sponsor for the Appalachian Ballet Company’s production of “Peter Pan” in April at the Clayton Center for the Arts. Proffitt said his mother helped found the Appalachian Ballet Company and his sister, Karen, danced the lead in the Nutcracker. “I think we’ve always grown up around it,” he says. “Our community is much better economically and in every other facet if we have the arts.”
Here is Kevin Proffitt:
Who are you most like, your mother or your father and why?
“Actually, both is my answer. I learned the value of hard work and dedication from both of them.”
What is your favorite quote from television or a movie?
“Use the Force, Luke.”
What are you guilty of?
“Not listening as well as I should to my wife, Kimberly, who, by the way, is wonderful.”
What is your favorite material possession?
“Our home. We bought a 1940 house built by Jimmy and Virginia King and completely remodeled it five years ago.”
What was your most embarrassing moment?
“I wrote a $10 dollar check at Kroger late one May when I was 19 years old. I then went to Saudi Arabia to stay with my mom and stepfather for three months. At that stage in life, balancing a checkbook was going to this new-fangled thing that had just hit the scene called an ATM. Needless to say, I had a little warrant waiting for me upon my return to Murfreesboro. I paid the $10 plus 10 times that in court costs, and Kroger’s dropped the charges.”
What are the top three things on your bucket list?
“Get a pilot’s license, ride in a military fighter jet, rent a RV and drive across America for a month or two with Kimberly and the kids.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“I would want to be able to sleep past 5 a.m.”
What is your passion?
“Helping clients meet their financial security goals by educating them on good decisions. The savings rate in America is only about 2 percent, and human emotions cause people to make bad decisions with money and investing. Every American should learn to save 20 percent, give 10 percent to God, 10 percent to charities and blow the other 60 percent.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“That is an easy one - Jesus or Ronald Reagan. Jesus provides salvation, and Reagan believed in the entrepreneurial free-market system and low taxes.”
If a movie were made about your life, who would play you and why?
“Probably Tom Hanks because some say I remotely look like him, and most of his roles are comedies.”
If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“The period of time our country was founded in 1776. I get an eerie feeling our country has drifted away from the ideals and values of our founders.”
What is the best present you ever received in a box?
“A big ‘Hot Wheels’ set I got when I was about 6 years old.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“She has a master’s degree and taught at Maryville College. She always beat the education drum.”
Other than your parents, who has had the biggest influence on your life and why?
“This is a team award to the teachers at Fort Craig, Maryville Junior High and Maryville High School. They put so many kids on a glide path to success with the gift of high expectations.”
Do you Myspace, Facebook or Twitter?
“Facebook, but I only check it every month or so.”
What’s the worst job you have ever had?
“For six months as a freshman in college I worked at Wendy’s in Murfreesboro. That experience caused me to focus on listening and studying hard in class so I could get a college degree. Every young person should work in fast food.”
What is your theme song that best describes you?
“The Long and Winding Road,” by the Beatles.
What was your favorite Saturday morning cartoon and why?
“The Looney Toons, especially one that has Road Runner in it. I always wanted someone to catch Road Runner.”
What irritates you?
“Politicians from both parties who are effectively bankrupting our future generations. They should put a lid on spending for unnecessary projects and programs. Vote in the mid-term elections, and let’s take our country back.”
What’s one place in Blount County everyone should visit?
“I first thought of Mt. LeConte in the fall when the clouds are blowing over the top of the ridge. Then I spoke to Larry Carroll, one of my pastors, and he said the one place everyone should visit is First United Methodist Church of Maryville.