Oh, Brother! Harris named Citizen of Year

Friday, July 3, 2009
Tribune photo by Karen Hall Tommy 'Brother' Harris has been named Marshall County's Outstanding Citizen of the Year

Marshall County's Outstanding Citizen of the Year was named at the Chamber of Commerce breakfast yesterday at the Recreation Center.

The 2009 recipient of the award is Tommy "Brother" Harris, co-owner and inspiration behind Brothers Fine Foods. "Brother's smile is like his relish - award-winning - and makes Marshall County proud by stocking the shelves of many stores," says his nomination form.

Harris is also vice president of engineering and sales at Walker Die Casting, where he has worked for 39 years. He has traveled extensively over the years in this capacity and through his skills and warm personal demeanor helped advance the engineering capabilities and sales for the company, which has produced quality aluminum die casting in Marshall County since 1958.

The nomination form calls Harris, who serves on the Industrial Development Board, "an asset to our community by helping make it business and industry friendly."

Harris' ties to Marshall County go all the way back to his birth in 1937. His mother, Evelyn Hawkins Harris, was a previous recipient of the Outstanding Citizen award. Harris graduated from Marshall County High School and attended Middle Tennessee State University. As a teenager, he served as a lifeguard at the Recreation Center.

"Brother" supports Marshall County youth and sports with both time and money. In the '70s and '80s he was very active in the Quarterback Club, and he is a charter member of the Lewisburg Middle School Dug-Out Club. For the past eight years he has sponsored a Little League baseball team. He is a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Lewisburg and of the Elks Club.

Harris is famous for his Boston butts, and has hauled his grill to many charitable events, donating his delicious cooking skills and endearing smile to many.

"Brother" always made pepper relish from an old family recipe, and gave it to family and friends for Christmas and special occasions. In 1997 his son Matt started Brothers Fine Foods. As Matt explains on the company Web site, "We started in the basement kitchen of my father-in-law's house with one product, a 20-quart pot, and a dream ...We are proud of what became of that dream."