Occupation: Advertising Director for Blount Today
Family: Married to Kristie Millsaps for 7 years; stepchildren are Morgan McClanahan, 18, and Adam McClanahan, 16, and son, Jackson Ruel Millsaps, 3.
Marty Millsaps was born and raised in Blount County, graduated Heritage High School in 1986 and was 19 years old when he got into the newspaper business. His first experience with a newspaper was working in the dark room.
“I got into sales in June of 1992 and went to work in classified, doing automotive and real estate for 12 years.”
In 2004, Marty was the second person hired by Scripps when they decided to start a free-standing community newspaper in Blount County.
Marty says he’s learned more and become more involved in his hometown through his position at Blount Today. “The community has a stake in Blount Today, and because they have that sense of ownership, they allow us to profile the things going on in Blount County.”
Marty puts in plenty of hours selling advertising but when he’s not taking care of clients, he’s spending time with his family. “I’m chauffer, daddy and husband. It’s like the Millsaps family is a business of its own, but I’m the low man on the totem pole. Kristie is one of the hardest working moms in Blount County,” he says.
Throughout the years, Marty also served as a little league baseball coach, volunteered with different school functions, at the Foothills Fall Festival, chaired the Arthritis Walk and served as marketing director for both the Arthritis Walk and the Big BBQ Bash, a project conceived by his 2007 Leadership Blount class. “Over four years, the BBQ Bash raised more than $100,000 for charities in Blount County,” he says.
When Marty married Kristie Mizysak on Nov. 1, 2003, he became a stepdad to Adam and Morgan McClanahan. Three years ago they added another son to the family when Jackson Ruel Millsaps was born.
“Becoming stepfather and then a father opened my eyes to a lot of different things I never thought of, like retirement or how are we going to pay to educate the kids. Their needs come before your own,” he says.
A conversation about Marty isn’t complete without mentioning his parents, Jim and Carlotta Millsaps. “I get a lot of my drive and inspiration from mom and dad who are two of the hardest working, moral people I know,” he says. “They’re a good moral compass, and they’ve paved a good road for me.”
Here is Marty Millsaps:
What is your favorite quote from television or a movie?
“I have more than one, and can’t decide which one I like best. I’ll go with, “Here’s to swimmin’ with bow legged women!” from Robert Shaw in ‘Jaws.’”
What are you guilty of?
“I seem to worry a lot, and my wife, Kristie, brings me off the ledge all too often.”
What is your favorite material possession?
“It would have to be my iPhone. I love it.”
What are you reading currently?
‘”Cross Fire,’ by James Patterson.”
What was your most embarrassing moment?
“There are probably pictures out there of it.”
What are the top three things on your bucket list?
“I’ve never really been a bucket list kind of guy. I want to be a good husband, good father and good friend, but I would like to go to the Super Bowl.”
What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
“Intense. I seem to be very competitive and at times high strung.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“My temper. I have a very short fuse, but once I explode, I am ready to move on.”
What is your passion?
“It has to be my wife, Kristie, and our three kids, Morgan, Adam and Jackson. I have also found a love for my work. I really enjoy what I do. And, oh yeah, ROLL TIDE.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“I used to wonder what cool or famous person I would name, but now I have no doubt: It would be my brother, Dwayne. I never realized how much I would miss him. He passed way on March 7, 2010.”
If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“New York in the Roaring Twenties or January of 1973 in Hawaii to catch Elvis in his Aloha from Hawaii concert.”
What is the best present you ever received in a box?
“My Barry Bonds rookie card. Kristie got it for me our first Christmas together. I realized the moment I opened it I was going to marry her. She really paid attention. A very close second would be my Dallas Cowboys uniform my parents got me when I was younger. I knew mom and dad sacrificed to buy that. The Evel Knievel set was pretty cool, too.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“‘Always try to be nice no matter what the situation is.’ It has really paid off. Thanks, Mom.”
Other than your parents, who has had the biggest influence on your life and why?
“My wife, Kristie. Since the time I married her, great things keep happening to me. There are so many others that I can’t possibly name everyone, but here is a short list: Coach Yogi Wilson, Ernie Wallace, Shelia Ely, Don Sentell, Ms. Charlotte Wolfe, Don Bailey, Freddie Tipton, Fran Fernandez and Sherri Gardner Howell. I learned, sometimes the hard way, from each of these people. They taught me character, proper grammar, how to deal with people, work ethic and self worth. I have also been fortunate with great friends through out my life and would like to thank each one for being there and for just putting up with me. My brother, Dwayne, also had an influence on me and my friends. A lot of their nicknames were derived from my brother with his creativity and comedic behavior.”
Do you Myspace, Facebook or Twitter?
“Facebook and Twitter. Twitter is great for information, and Facebook is great for keeping up with old friends.”
What was your favorite Saturday morning cartoon and why?
‘”The Laugh Olympics,’ ‘Scooby Doo,’ and ‘Bugs Bunny.”’
What irritates you?
“Rude and arrogant people.”
What’s one place in Blount County everyone should visit?
“A high school football game on Friday night.”
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself at 18?
“Patience, my friend, patience.”
What is your greatest fear?
“It’s dying. I can’t believe no one has ever answered that. I’m in no hurry to break through to the other side.”
I still can’t quite get the hang of…
“Karaoke, but I love trying.”
If you could do one impulsive thing, what would it be?
“I am not answering this question in a public forum.”