Dane (’97) and Meg Scism (’92)

Category: Awards | Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna

2021 Distinguished Alumni Award Winners

Growing from a small store on Cumberland Avenue to a nationwide chain with 795 stores, Cellular Sales is a testament to the leadership of Dane and Meg Scism.

The couple both earned degrees from the Haslam College of Business. Scism in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in economics, and Meg in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in finance.

Even before Scism graduated, he’d started on his climb to success by working at Cellular Sales, a small Verizon Wireless retailer in Knoxville. In 1993, the Scisms purchased Cellular Sales, including the store he worked at, one other location, and two mall kiosks. By 1997, they expanded the company into North Carolina. Five years later, Cellular Sales had stores in seven states. By 2008, Cellular Sales was recognized by Inc. as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. Today, Cellular Sales is Verizon’s largest authorized dealer, doing business in 40 states with 795 stores.

When they initially bought the company, Meg took the role of chief financial officer and the couple worked together to place the company on its path of exponential, yet manageable, growth. Though she’s since stepped back from her position, she’s continued to support the company as it has expanded and flourished.

In 2012, Scism accepted the Knoxville Chamber’s Pinnacle Award for Large Business Excellence on behalf of Cellular Sales. In 2014, Scism was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Haslam College of Business and was a regional finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2021, Cellular Sales was named the Verizon Agent of the Year.

As Knoxville natives, the couple is active in the community. Scism has served on the executive cabinet for the United Way of East Tennessee and has been a member of the Southern 7 Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization. Together, they have used the success of Cellular Sales to contribute to numerous causes including Cell Phones for Soldiers, SOAR Youth Ministries, and the Great School Partnership, which helps fund programs in Knox County Schools.

The couple has given generously to UT, especially to athletics and the Haslam College of Business. Their philanthropy has helped support renovations to both Thompson- Boling Arena and Neyland Stadium.