Occupation: Communications and marketing coordinator with United Way of Blount County.
Family: son, Logan Killian, 6. “He just had his 6th birthday May 20. It’s just me and him, two bachelors.”
Aaron Killian shares good news stories for a living. That is what he has done since he graduated the University of Tennessee.
Killian is a 1997 Heritage High School graduate who was born and raised in Blount County. After attending Pellissippi State Community College and Middle Tennessee State University, he finished at the University of Tennessee where he earned a degree in communications.
“I worked for UT after graduation. I worked for the College of Veterinary Medicine producing videos and organizing special events,” he says.
Killian said he was 24 when he started at UT and 27 when he took the job he has now with United Way of Blount County. “I basically went from telling warm and fuzzy stories about animals to warm fuzzy stories about people,” he says. “It’s the success stories. I was telling someone the other day I get to tell happy endings.”
The communications and marketing coordinator said he enjoys seeing how United Way helps people help themselves. “What intrigues me the most though is that it ties into being able to tell the story of someone who is down and out, and, through programs we fund, they are able to pull themselves up by the bootstraps,” he says.
Killian said something else he has come to appreciate is that those who staff or volunteer for United Way have different motivations.
Killian says working for United Way has taught him the value of partnerships. “The biggest change for me working through United Way and our volunteers is I’ve realized just how many people it takes to make a difference in Blount County,” he said. “We don’t do it for the money, we do it because we care about people.”
Killian says his first priority and even his passion are the same, raising his son the best he can.
“I just want to be a good dad. My dad is my role model,” he says.
Killian says probably 90 percent of his time outside of work is spent with his son. “Whether it is going to Dollywood, the movies, Greenbelt Park, or just hanging out at home playing video games, I dedicate everything I do to him,” he says.
Here is Aaron Killian:
Who are you most like, your mother or your father and why?
“I’m most like my father. I have his sense of humor, and lately I’ve developed his proclivity for dozing off in front of the television. Seriously though, I aspire to be like my father. He is the best man I’ve ever known.”
What is your favorite quote from television or a movie?
‘“Get busy living or get busy dying,’ from ‘The Shawshank Redemption.’”
What are you guilty of?
“I am guilty of being too honest. It gets me in trouble, and it costs me a lot of second dates. Come to think of it, it’s probably cost me a lot of first dates, too.”
What is your favorite material possession?
“My favorite possession is my iPhone. My iPhone and I share a love/hate relationship.”
What are you reading?
‘“Financial Peace Revisited,’ by Dave Ramsey.”
What was your most embarrassing moment?
“I have no idea, but it probably involves A) trying to impress a girl and B) failing miserably.”
What are the top three things on your bucket list?
“Find and marry my one true love. Visit Ireland and see where my ancestors are from. Go skydiving.”
What is one word others often use to describe you?
“Funny. I have a witty sense of humor, and I like to do impersonations - especially of singers. On any given morning you can catch me belting out some Rob Thomas or Justin Timberlake tune.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“I would stop worrying so much about things I can not control.”
What is your passion?
“Raising my 5-year-old son Logan to be the best he can be. Being a full-time single dad can be hard, but it’s the most rewarding thing I could ever do.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“Charlie Chaplin. He was such an amazing actor, writer, director, and composer.”
If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“The Roaring 20s.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“Don’t poop on your biscuit.”
Other than your parents, who has had the biggest influence on your life and why?
“I would have to say my sophomore English teacher at Heritage High School, Joe Rutherford. He was the first person to ever see the value in my writing and sense of humor.”
If a movie were made about your life, who would play you and why?
“I would want to say someone handsome and funny, like Paul Rudd.”
Do you Myspace, Facebook or Twitter?
“Yes, yes, and yes.”
Are you a cat person or a dog person?
“Oh, no, please don’t make me choose. That’s like trying to decide which parent you want to live with after a divorce. I’ve had both dogs and cats, but I currently have neither.”
What’s the worst job you have ever had?
“The worst job I ever had lasted one day, and that day was 9/11. I trained to sell knock-off perfumes and colognes out of the back of a guy’s Nissan Sentra. Everyone thought the world was ending, but I was forced to sell ‘Chilly H2O’ and ‘Shanelle Number 6.’ My supervisor refused to give up on our training session. We were the only team who trained the whole day. I quit pretty much as soon as I could get back to my car.”
What was your favorite Saturday morning cartoon and why?
“My favorite Saturday morning cartoon was Captain N the Game Master. It was based on Nintendo video games, and it was horrible.”
What irritates you?
“Selfish people and dishonesty.”
What’s one place in Blount County everyone should visit?
“The Blount County Public Library. We have one of the best libraries in the state and quite possibly the nation, and it boggles my mind when someone says, ‘I’ve never been to our library.’”
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself at 18?
“Start saving money now.”