A Cleveland native, Avery Johnson, is a graduate of College Hill High School and attended Cleveland State Community College. Avery has been working and serving this region for decades. He has gone from attending school and working during a time when, as an African-American, he was required to use separate water fountains, bathrooms, even a separate bus station – to serving in many key leadership roles, including vice mayor and councilman-at-large in the Cleveland City Council.
After 44 years, Avery retired from Maytag Cooking Products where he held various positions in management. He has served as District Director of the Tennessee Municipal League, as well as numerous boards and commissions including the NAACP, United Way, 100 Black Men of Bradley County and the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Council..
Through the guidance of his mother, Majorie McCarver Johnson, and grandmother, Dovie McCarver, their influence helped shape his life. The teachers at his high school, his colleagues at Magic Chef, and even the homeless who live on our community’s streets have also made an impact on him, encouraging him to give back and make a positive impact. Avery’s calling to serve has led him to be active on numerous boards and commissions including the United Way of the Ocoee Region, Cleveland City School, American Red Cross, NAACP, Tennessee Municipal League, Lion’s Club, Cleveland Toastmasters, and many others.
As an active member of the Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church, Avery has been a Sunday School teacher there for 43 years. Avery, and his wife, Lelia, have 4 children, Avery, Jr., Shaun, Lamonica, and Twyla. They are also grandparents to Avery, Solomon, Adam David, Jaylan, and Theordore.