People of Etowah – Kay Moore


Name: Kay Moore

Where were you born and raised? 

“I am proud to call Gadsden my home. I was born at Holy Name of Jesus Hospital (now Riverview), attended public schools and graduated from Gadsden High School. I began working at Compass Bank after two years at Gadsden State and never felt the desire to move anywhere else. I even finished my college degree at The University of Alabama/Gadsden Center so I like keeping things local!”

What is your occupation?

“I am Director of Downtown Gadsden, Inc. and have held that position since October 2007.”

What made you decide to work in your field? 

“After a career in banking and a short time in the mortgage industry, the position of Director at DGI came open and I was encouraged to apply by a former co-worker. When growing up in Gadsden, I have fond memories of coming downtown to shop – everything from school books at Snellgrove’s to clothes at Hagedorn’s. I worked downtown at Ike Saks during Christmas holidays and other busy times.” 

Describe an average day in your life. 

“We field phone calls from individuals looking for property to open a business in downtown Gadsden and from people looking for loft apartments. We also receive calls about the events that we have downtown – First Friday, Third Thursday, Musical Mondays, etc. Of course, there are reports that are compiled for Main Street Alabama and my Board of Directors, but that’s not every day!”

What school or schools have you attended? 

“I grew up in Gadsden and attended Mitchell Elementary, Disque Junior High and Gadsden High School. I also attended Gadsden State, Jacksonville State and graduated from The University of Alabama, thanks to the center located in downtown Gadsden.”

What do you like to do in your free time? 

“I love to travel. Someone asked me why I even bothered to come back to work and my answer was so I can afford to go somewhere else.”

What would you say is your greatest accomplishment? 

“I think that I have been successful in every career path that I have taken. I worked at Compass Bank for almost 31 years and advanced from my beginning position as a teller through the ranks and when I left, I was Vice President and Manager of the Premiere Banking Group in Gadsden. Even though my stint in the mortgage industry at First Federal Mortgage was short, I was able to help many people purchase their dream home and I was able to make them feel comfortable during the process. During my almost 10 years as Director of Downtown Gadsden, Inc., I have been able to work with the downtown merchants and property owners to make a positive impact on the historic district.  I believe that if you work hard and give 100 percent to your job, you will be successful in anything that you do.”

To what do you credit your success? 

“I believe that you should always give 100 percent to your job or anything that you are involved in, no matter how small or large it is. I try to pay attention to what people need and help them reach their goals because success breeds success.”

Are you involved in any service organizations?  

“Gadsden Lions Club (all offices), Cultural Arts Foundation (currently Treasurer), Gadsden/Etowah Patriots’ Association, City of Gadsden Planning Commission member.”

What is your favorite thing about this community? 

“Our natural resources – Noccalula Falls and the Coosa River.”

What would you like to see change in the community? 

“People don’t realize what we have in Gadsden. Many tend to be negative instead of seeing the beauty and the possibilities that are here. So many people complain that there is nothing to do in Gadsden. We need to be more positive and proactive in making things happen and/or finding things that are happening. There are so many ways to get the word out to the community, but so many people never seem to know what is going on.”

What are three words that describe you? 

“Spontaneous, happy, giving (someone else chose those for me).”

What is something surprising that many do not know about you? 

“That’s difficult because I think I’m an open book, but I guess it’s that my first name is Marian.”

What is your favorite quote?

“Build a bridge and get over it!”

What is on your bucket list? 

“Travel to all 50 states and as many other places as I can go.”

If a movie were made about your life, who would you want to play you? 

“Lily Tomlin.”

What advice would you give yourself as a child?

“Always follow through – never give up!”

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