Charles Heath McKeehan
Heath attended Middle Tennessee State University and started his professional career in the family business, McKeehan Chair Company. With furniture manufacturing predominantly moving outside the United States, Heath decided to make a career move and joined Athens Insurance Agency in March of 2002. Heath serves on the BlueCross Blue Shield of Tennessee “Broker Advisory Council”. Heath and his wife Heather have three daughters. He is a licensed pilot and an avid golfer.
S. Jason McConkey
Jason attended Tennessee Wesleyan College where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business. While obtaining his Masters in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee, he worked as a licensed contractor, specializing in custom home construction. Jason began his career at Athens Insurance in 2006. He participates in the Boy Scouts of America annual skeet shoot and is a part of the Athens Insurance shooting team where he has placed first. Jason and his wife, Chrissi, have three daughters. He spends his free time hunting, fishing and working in his vineyard, Beaver Creek Vineyard.
Chris joined Athens Insurance in August of 2009 after his family owned agency, Liner and Associates, was purchased by Athens Insurance. Chris has 16 years of experience in the insurance industry with an emphasis being in the government and public sector accounts. Chris attended the University of Kentucky where he was the captain of the golf team from 1991-1993. Chris is very active in the Athens community where he serves as the vice-chairman of the Athens City School Board, board member for the 10th Judicial Childrens Advocacy Center, United Way volunteer, Athens Kiwanis Club, Chamber of Commerce volunteer. In 2008 Chris was selected as the Athens Chamber of Commerce “Young Man of the Year”. Chris and his wife, LeAnn have three children.
Charles "Buddy" Liner
Buddy began his insurance career in 1968 after spending 10 years as Director of Admission at Tennessee Wesleyan College and then Director of Housing at Tennessee Technological University. He joined the family owned agency of Dodson Insurance in 1968 and then joined Athens Insurance when they purchased the Dodson Agency in 1983. In 1996 Buddy was promoted to President of Athens Insurance until 1999 when he left Athens Insurance to help form another family owned agency, Liner & Associates. In 2009 Buddy rejoined the Athens Insurance team where he serves as a producer. Buddy has been a community player for more than 40 years where his fund raising ability has helped in several major building projects from the athletic complex at McMinn County High School to the construction of the new E G Fisher Public Library. He is a former chairman of the Athens Utilities Board and has served on the Athens Chamber of Commerce, United Way, YMCA and the McMinn County Emergency and Rescue Squad board of directors. He served in the US Air Force and received an Honorable Discharge in 1954. He and his wife, Dixie, have been married 55 years.They have 4 children and 14 grandchildren.
Kathy began her insurance experience at age 17 working in her Dad’s insurance agency. After graduating from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with a BS Degree in Logistics, Kathy worked for companies such as United States Lines (Sales), Sara Lee (Distribution, Fleet and Safety Management), and GE (Inventory Control). For the past 8 years, Kathy has been helping employers reduce their healthcare cost, and assisting them in the overall management of their employee benefit programs. Joining Athens Insurance in 2009, opened opportunities to help employers with Commercial and Workman’s Compensation Insurance programs as well as Employee Benefits. Kathy resides in Knoxville with her 2 children.
James attended Walter’s State Community College, where he earned his associates degree in Turf Grass Management. While obtaining his Bachelor Degree in Business Administration at The University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, he worked as an assistant at The Champions Club in Ooltewah, TN. He then moved to Knoxville and began working at the Tennessee National Golf Club as an assistant superintendent. After working 8 years in the golf course industry, as an assistant golf course superintendent, James decided to make a career change and joined Athens Insurance in June of 2012. James and his wife, Sloane, live in Knoxville, TN and have two daughters. He enjoys being outdoors, spending most of his free time fishing, hiking, and landscaping.
Cullen attended The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he earned his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration in 2013. Upon graduation, he moved backed to Athens and began his career here with us at Athens Insurance. Cullen enjoys spending his free time outdoors playing golf, hunting, and fishing. He has one son.
Crockett graduated from Cleveland State Community College in 1996 with an Associates of Science degree in Pre-Physical Therapy, and then attended East Tennessee State University. Crockett joined Athens Insurance in November of 2015, after previously working for Liberty Mutual Insurance as a Lead Sales Representative since 2004. Crockett has over 11 years of experience in the insurance industry with his emphasis being in Personal Lines. Crockett enjoys outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, skiing, and running, but prefers to spend most of his free time investing in relationships with his family & friends.
Andy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Westminster College in 1995, soon thereafter began his insurance career with the Crichton Group in Nashville, Tennessee. In 2002 he returned to his hometown of Columbia, to begin a nearly fifteen year stint with a firm located there. He has been with Athens Insurance since September of 2016, and manages an office for them in Columbia. Andy and his wife Julie have two girls Sarah Ann and Perry. In his free time Andy enjoys music, sports and traveling with family and friends.
A native of Athens, TN, Charles received his Bachelor of Science in Management from Georgia Tech in 1997 and immediately began HIS CAREER AS A FINANCIAL ADVISOR with Prudential. He got his CFP® designation in 2004 from Duke University and cofounded a financial planning firm in Atlanta, GA. Charles has owned and operated a personal training gym and coauthored three cookbooks with his wife, Julie. Charles, Julie and their two young children recently moved back to Athens. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking and growing food, kettlebell training, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and most anything involving being outdoors.
Mathis (Matt) Coppinger
Mathis attended The University of South Alabama, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and was a member of the 1993-1994 baseball team. While still a student, Mathis was given the special honor of “Excellence in Communication” by the University and the Student Government Association for founding and developing a student run television station. The station grew to offer paying jobs and a scholarship program for the University’s College of Communications. Upon graduation, he embarked on an 18-year career in Industrial Sales that included Sales Training, Management, and Marketing at the National level for a Fortune 500 company. He has now returned home to Tennessee and is very excited to be part of the Athens Insurance Team.
Mathis is the proud father of three and still volunteers to help youth sports programs throughout East Tennessee.
Don became part of Athens Insurance after the purchase of Everett Insurance Agency in January 2017. He graduated in 1972 (BS) and 1974 (M Ed) from MTSU. He started his insurance career in 1977 with an Independent agency until opening Everett Insurance Agency in 2005. Don and his wife, Linda, reside in Lewisburg, TN where they enjoy all sports and the outdoors.
Arch Trimble, IV
Arch is a 4th generation insurance agent in Chattanooga whose family ran a successful independent company for over 60 years. Arch and his wife Kathryn joined our team in April 2016 with the purchase of Trimble Insurance in Chattanooga. Arch attended the Baylor School and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Arch serves on the Board of Directors at the Houston Museum, Martin Boyd Christian Home and the Pachyderm Club of Hamilton County. He and his wife have a young son, Arch V. In his free time, Arch enjoys being civically active, playing golf, hunting and spending time with his family.
Caleb attended the Baylor School and later Lee University where he was a four year member of the golf team and captain his senior year. After college, he played professional golf for 3 years and then began his career in insurance in 2015 at Northwestern Mutual. Caleb joined Athens Insurance in early 2018. Caleb lives in Chattanooga where he loves being an active member is his church and spending time with his friends and family.
David Liggett joined Athens Insurance in June of 2018 and has over 12 years of experience as a producer of personal & commercial lines insurance. His prior role, before joining with Athens Insurance, was as the lead sales representative for the local State Farm office in Lewisburg, TN, where he focused on the writing and servicing of auto, home, life, & health insurance as well as being certified in banking to write vehicle loans, savings and checking accounts, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit. Before deciding on a career in insurance, David attended Martin Methodist College for two years, where his focus was on Church Music. After returning home to Lewisburg, David graduated from Columbia State with an associate degree in science. Married for over 15 years, David has two young boys and is actively involved as the Worship Leader at the Lewisburg First Church of the Nazarene. David is also an active & founding member of the Americana band “Good Medicine” as vocalist and lead acoustic guitarist.
Commercial Service Team
Commercial Lines Marketing Agent
Phil joined Athens Insurance in 2010 as a commercial lines marketing manager after working with BB&T – Huffaker & Trimble for 8 years. Originally from Tampa, Florida, he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Southern University in 2001. In 2008, he received his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee. Phil and his wife, Hailey, currently reside in Ooltewah. They both enjoy outdoor activities such as golf, hiking and camping.
Melissa began her career at Athens Insurance in 1996. She completed her Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR) in 2005 and provides customer support for contractors, municipalities, utilities and school board systems, as well as a variety of others. Melissa holds an Associates of Science degree in Accounting from Cleveland State Community College. Melissa and her husband, Jason have two children. She enjoys time with her family and loves the open road on her motorcycle.
Marty, originally from Knoxville, graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics. She began her career at Athens Insurance in 1997 and is a Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR). Marty works on a variety of commercial accounts and provides surety for those accounts. Marty and her husband, John have two children. She loves to bake, read, garden and exercise.
Kim joined Athens Insurance in 1998 and has worked as a commercial lines account manager since 1999. She completed her Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR) designation in 2003. Kim specializes in mid to large size commercial accounts, including financial institutions and construction risks. Kim attended Cleveland State Community College and enjoys spending time with her family. She is actively involved in her church.
Sarah joined Athens Insurance in 2008 as a commercial lines account manager. She manages all sizes of accounts for several producers in our office. She holds an Associates of Science Degree in Business Administration from Cleveland State Community College. Sarah and her husband Jake, enjoy exercising, gardening and rescuing animals.
Chae began her insurance experience in 1996, after residing in West Tennessee and attending the University of Tennessee at Martin. She moved back to her home town of Franklin, Tennessee, where she embarked on a twenty-two year career in Insurance that includes Insurance Administration, Risk Management, Account Executive, Claims Adjuster, and Physical Premium Auditor. She joined Athens Insurance in May 2018 as a Licensed Commercial and Personal Lines Account Manager in the Columbia, Tennessee branch office. Chae and her husband, Todd have one son. She enjoys watching her son play sports, meeting new people, spending time with family and friends, music, nature and travel. Australia, Scotland, and Tuscany, Italy are on her bucket list!
Darlene, a Texas native and Cleveland State Community College graduate, joined Athens Insurance and became the Claims Manager in 2018. Her responsibilities include reporting both personal and commercial claims on behalf of the clients. Darlene works with the client and assists in completing all required information for the state as well as the insurance company. She also monitors the claim until its resolution. Darlene and her husband, Geoffrey, live in Athens and have six children—the last two are twins born in 2016. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and watching a variety of films and documentaries. During the school year, Darlene can often be found at a variety of school sport activities, and, during the summer, she can be spotted at minor league baseball games.
Employee Benefits Service Team
Senior Account Manager
Brandy joined Athens Insurance at the age of 17 working part-time while in high school and attending college at Cleveland State Community College, where she obtained her Associates of Science Degree. She has 13 years of employee benefit experience. She specializes in working with mid and large size groups in marketing, enrollments and service. Brandy has exceptional organizational skills and organizes our annual health and wellness fair for our local clients and seminars for all clients. Brandy and her husband, Lance have two children and enjoy family time on the weekends.
Brandon attended the University of Tennessee, graduating summa cum laude with a degree in Sport Management and Business. During his time at the University of Tennessee, he spent three years working in football operations. He continued his educational career at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, where he received his Master’s in Business Administration. Brandon joined our team in April 2013 and handles our individual life and health, small groups, and Medicare Supplement accounts. Brandon and his wife, Leanne, reside in Athens and have one daughter. He enjoys sports, cool weather, and spending time with family and friends.
Kelsie earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Tennessee Wesleyan College. After graduating from college, she continued working at Greeks Bearing Gifts where she gained valuable customer service experience. She joined Athens Insurance in February, 2016. She is a member of Athens Church of Christ. Kelsie enjoys creating art projects, shopping, and spending time with her husband David and family.
Michelle joined Athens Insurance in February 2016 and works with individual life & health, small groups, and Medicare supplemental accounts. She began her business career locally in 1995 as an office manager with a temp service. Since then she has worked for different local physicians handling duties of front desk, insurance billing, and data processing. Michelle is an active member of Union McMinn Baptist Church. She enjoys watching her daughter play basketball, meeting new people, shopping, and spending time with family & friends.
Personal Lines Staff
Kathryn has worked in the insurance industry for 31 years. She began working for an agency in Decatur, Tennessee, before moving to Athens Insurance in 1992. Kathryn completed the 3-part course for General Insurance by the Insurance Institute of America. She has also earned the Star Award from State Auto. Kathryn is considered a personal lines specialist due to her experience exclusively of 20 years with personal lines customers. Kathryn and her husband, Jim, live in Decatur, have one daughter and one granddaughter.
Linda is a local resident and a graduate from McMinn County High. She has worked in insurance for over 7 years and has been with Athens Insurance for 3 years. She has a secretarial degree and is currently working on her CISR designation. Linda has two children and they enjoy doing outdoor activities together.
Personal Lines Marketing Rep.
Amber began her career at Athens Insurance in 2002 working as a Commercial Lines producer for 5 years and transitioned into Personal Lines. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Middle Tennessee State University. She attained the Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation in 2005. She has been actively involved in the community, serving on the Board of Directors for the Athens-McMinn Family YMCA, serving as a team leader for the McMinn County Relay for Life and serving on the McMinn County Election Commission. Amber and her husband, Todd, have one child. She enjoys spending time with family, running, reading and baking.
Emily began her career in business at the age of 18 when she opened a local restaurant in downtown Athens. There she gained valuable experience in customer service. She joined our Athens Insurance Team as an account manager in the fall of 2013. Emily attends First Baptist Church of Athens, where she helps with the youth and teaches Sunday school for junior high girls. In her spare time she enjoys rock climbing with her husband Wes, playing tennis, boating, and cooking.
Kathryn attended Tennessee Wesleyan University where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science. She joined Athens insurance in August 2018. Kathryn and her husband, Hunter, have one child and reside in Athens. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, being outdoors, and exercising.
Hunter graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 2015 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Business and a Minor in Journalism. Hunter worked in the music industry for 3 years before deciding to move back to his hometown of Englewood, TN in order to be closer to his large family. He then decided to pursue a career change and began working at Athens Insurance in September of 2018. Hunter enjoys spending his free time singing and playing music, watching movies, playing basketball, and spending time with family.
Agency Staff Members
Betty joined Athens Insurance in August, 1964, as the bookkeeper. Betty has seen a lot of changes to our industry. Originally, the agency had to invoice all customers. She has been instrumental in changing our accounting system, in moving the agency forward changing from agency bill to direct billing by the insurance carriers. She has transitioned to electronic banking. Due to being a part of these changes, Betty has a thorough understanding of the financial side of an agency. Betty resides in Etowah, Tennessee, and has 1 daughter, 4 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.
Mary Ann Penley
Mary Ann joined the insurance industry in 2002 with The Insurance Agency of McMinn County. She began working for Athens Insurance in August of 2005. She has worked with personal and commercial accounts. Mary Ann’s pleasant voice and attitude make our customers feel welcomed to our office and appreciated as customers. Mary Ann and her husband, Ron, reside in Athens. They have two children and four grandchildren.
Information Technology & Commissions
Ben comes to Athens Insurance after working at the McMinn County Courthouse. He is a 2009 graduate of McMinn County High School and a 2013 graduate of Tennessee Wesleyan College. He graduated TWC with a degree in Business Administration. Ben’s hobbies include working on computers, playing video games, volleyball, tennis, and spending time with friends.
Jeremiah joined the Athens Insurance team as an intern in 2015. After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Tennessee Wesleyan College in May of 2016 he joined the team full time in the bookkeeping department. Jeremiah enjoys golfing, hunting, fishing, and spending time with friends and family.
Joan initially worked at Athens Insurance from 1975 until 1990, beginning as the receptionist and working into the position of Commercial Lines CSR/Marketing/ New Commercial Lines CSR Trainer. She left in 1990 to join her husband in expanding his business. After his death in early 2016, and the closing of the family business, Joan returned to work at Athens Insurance. She is now performing payroll/ HR, and reconciliation/accounting duties. The knowledge she gained from business ownership and managing accounting / payroll/HR duties has combined well with her knowledge of insurance from her previous time here at Athens Insurance. She is an active member of Keith Memorial United Methodist Church. Joan attended Tennessee Wesleyan (College) University, and both of her daughters are graduates of Tennessee Wesleyan (College) University.
Larry Wallace is a sixth generation native of McMinn County, Tennessee. He holds an Associate of Science Degree from Cleveland State Community College, A Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Middle Tennessee State University, and a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Tennessee State University. He received an Honorary Doctorate of Public Administration from Tennessee Wesleyan College. Hi is also a graduate of the prestigious FBI National Executive Institute.
Larry began a forty-year law enforcement career in 1964 with the Athens Police Department. He was appointed as a State Trooper in 1967 and promoted to Special Agent with the TBI in 1973. He was appointed Colonel and Commanding Officer of the Tennessee Highway Patrol in 1987 and named Deputy Commissioner of the TN Department of Safety in 1988. IN 1992, Governor Ned Ray McWherter appointed Larry to a six year term as Director of the TBI, the highest ranking law enforcement officer in the state. Larry is the only person in the state’s history to serve as both Director of TBI and Colonel of the THP.
Larry and his family returned to McMinn County in 2004 and he joined the faculty of Tennessee Wesleyan College. He was the founder of the Criminal Justice major at TWC. Larry is currently an active member of the Tennessee Wesleyan University Board of Trustees. He is also the current Chairman of the Board of Directors of Athens Federal Community Bank and Athens Bancshares Corporation. Additionally, he is a member of the Athens Federal Foundation which annually provides substantial funding to area non-profit organizations. Larry is an active member of Keith Memorial United Methodist Church. Larry is an avid supporter of his three children, five grandchildren, and one great grandson.
In October 2017, Larry was invited to join the Athens Insurance Family. His initial goals included new and existing client relationships, mentorship of new sales agents, and to establish a public safety program. The public safety program focuses on reducing the frequency and severity of truck and auto accidents in the state of Tennessee and beyond. Larry considers this unique opportunity to be a signal honor.