Augusta Economy

More News | Fort Gordon | Plant Vogtle | Savannah River Site | Editor

Moxley was Martinez business leader

Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012 10:34 AM
Last updated 7:06 PM
  • Follow Local Business

Tommy Moxley, an Augusta-area business leader who died Wednesday, often said timing played a key role in his company's success.

Moxley at his Appliance Land store in Martinez.  FILE/STAFF
FILE/STAFF
Moxley at his Appliance Land store in Martinez.


Moxley, 71, opened his Appliance Land store in 1976, just as Columbia County was beginning to boom. That was also the year state regulators required Georgia Power Co. to stop selling appliances, which it had been doing since the Great Depression. The move opened a market for washers, refrigerators and other appliances.

“Martinez grew; Evans grew; everything just grew,” Moxley recalled in a 2007 interview with The Augusta Chronicle.

Moxley said he never thought the business would grow as large as it did. But then, he said, he never thought he'd be in the appliance business.

After graduating from the Academy of Richmond County in 1960, Moxley joined the Navy, serving as a radar operator on the USS Dahlgren, a guided-missile frigate that participated in Cold War-era confrontations between the U.S. and Soviet fleets.

Returning to Augusta after his service, he got a job at the new Procter & Gamble laundry detergent plant on Marvin Griffin Road, where he rose through the ranks. After 12 years, however, he once told a newspaper interviewer, he was ready for a change.

“It wasn't as challenging as I would have liked,” he said. “I felt like I needed something more in my life.”

During his time at the plant Moxley had moonlighted as a appliance installer with his uncle. When Georgia Power got out of appliance sales in the mid-1970s, Moxley saw an opportunity.

“The timing seemed right,” he said.

He and friend Justin Pittman started their business in a former women's boutique building at Washington and Davis roads, calling it Appliance Land so it would be listed first in the telephone directory. Sales manager Ronnie Varner completed what became a successful business team.

The company's sales growth coincided with Columbia County's population growth as homebuilders stocked their subdivisions with appliances.

Moxley also took an active role in the community, serving as president of the Columbia County Merchants Association and president of the South Atlantic region for BrandSource, a California-based member-owned purchasing group of 2,200 independent retailers.

He also expanded the business, at times opening stores in Aiken, south Augusta and on Broad Street downtown.

He traveled often and enjoyed spending time on the lake with his family.

“It's been an interesting ride,” he told the Chronicle five years ago. “It sure has.”

His funeral was at 2 p.m. Saturday at Platt's on Belair Road, with burial in Westover Memorial Park.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, 1899 Central Ave., Augusta, GA 30904.

loading...
Top headlines

Isakson says U.S. 'on point' in cybersecurity

During a tour of Fort Gordon, Sen. Johnny Isakson said he was confident that the Army Cyber Command and related missions remain "on point" in intercepting international hacking operations that ...

Deputies say four firearms were stolen from a Hephzibah home during a burglary Thursday afternoon.

608510
4 guns stolen from Hephzibah home
4 guns stolen from Hephzibah home
1
1
Editorial Node
1441417284
642048

The Aiken Department of Public Safety is seeking assistance in locating two suspects who are accused of stealing an SUV last month.

608509
Two wanted in Aiken stolen vehicle case
Two wanted in Aiken stolen vehicle case
2
2
Editorial Node
1441417262
642047

A Martinez mother and her boyfriend will not face murder charges in the June death of her infant son.

608493
Martinez couple won't face murder charges in infant's death
Martinez couple won't face murder charges in infant's death
3
3
Editorial Node
1441431817
642029

Phillip Stephen West, 46, is charged with malice murder, felony murder and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime, according to court records released Friday.

608495
Columbia County grand jury indicts man in wife's stabbing death
Man indicted in wife's stabbing death
4
4
Editorial Node
1441410552
642031
Search Augusta jobs