An Atlanta native, Sharon Jones Pryse attended the University of Tennessee, graduating with a degree in finance, and has never considered leaving Knoxville since then. While still in her twenties, she became the youngest senior vice president at the Valley Fidelity Bank; at age thirty-five, she founded the Trust Company of Tennessee. Today, the Trust Company manages more than $3.8 billion in assets and employs 82 people in three cities. Sharon’s long-standing community commitment includes social service, the arts, economic development, and education. She has served as board chair for the Knoxville Chamber, Leadership Knoxville, YMCA, United Way, and has also chaired United Way’s annual fundraising campaign. Sharon supports the university that made Knoxville her home and has served on the University of Tennessee board of trustees as well as on board of directors for the U.T. Foundation.
An avid gardener as well as traveler, Sharon always happily heads home to her garden on the Tennessee River. Sharon and her husband, Joe, became members of the Garden Conservancy Society of Fellows in 2018 and she was elected to the board of directors of the Garden Conservancy in June 2020. Sharon and Joe also have a home and garden in Cashiers, NC, which was included on the 2018 Society of Fellows garden-study tour of Highlands, Cashiers, and Lake Toxaway, NC.