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Five Local Men You Should Know

Influential Men Who Call Chattanooga Home

Having lived in Chattanooga for over a decade now, I proudly consider myself a local. It is in this city where I have had the privilege of building a life with my wife and daughter and it is here where I have made connections with some truly remarkable men. As I sat down with the men you are about to meet, some of whom I know personally and others who I got to know for the first time, I was inspired by their stories and captivated by the paths that led each of them to call Chattanooga home. Each of these interviews felt like conversations with an old friend and I am excited to provide you, the reader, with a glimpse into the hearts, minds, and passions of five influential men who call Chattanooga home–locals, like me, who simply can’t imagine living anywhere else.

Ziggy Korytoski

Head Coach, Chattanooga Red Wolves Soccer Club

A head coach with experience across the globe, the Chattanooga Red Wolves have landed a seasoned coach to take the reins in Ziggy Korytoski. “We’ve been blessed to get this opportunity and we want to make the most of it, because we believe in this community and this team,”  Korytoski said. Upon reflecting on the path that led him to coaching, Ziggy said, “I knew I wanted to coach from a young age, whether it was baseball management or being a soccer coach, and God led me in this direction. I played in college, turned it into a part-time job, and then into a full-time career coaching at the professional and international levels.”  As soon as Ziggy arrived in Chattanooga, he worked to fill player gaps that naturally occur in the offseason, build rapport with the current roster, and focus on player development. “We want to build off last year’s run up to the title and help create a dynasty here for the fans.” Coach Korytoski is a sports enthusiast and educates himself not only about other sports, but about successful coaches. A stoic leader on the field, Coach Korytoski’s style is fueled by passion and focuses on fundamentals. “Players are always hyped up and ready to go, so it’s our job to manage those emotions and be the consistent voice they can rely on throughout the game.” Coach Korytoski and his family have already fallen in love with Chattanooga.  “When we took this job, we were thrilled to become a part of a community with people who are genuine and we want to make both the fans and Chattanooga excited for the future of our Red Wolves Soccer Club.”

Christopher Perry, DVM

Medical Director & Veterinarian, Shallowford Animal Hospital

A skilled physician with a passion for the well-being of animals and the bond they have with their humans, Dr. Perry has become a leader in the field of veterinary medicine. “I’m very fortunate I get to live out my childhood dream each day.”  Chris was helping his mother clean out her attic a few years ago when he found an illustration from first grade with his name, favorite foods, and what he wanted to be when he grew up.  “So, even from a young age, it’s documented that I wanted to be a veterinarian,” Perry said, “albeit superficially since I was not fully aware what that meant at the time.”  Growing up, Chris and his father read James Herroit books together. Herroit’s characters focused loosely on veterinary cases the author experienced throughout his career and the stories resonated with him. In high school, Chris recognized his love for science and fascination with the study of life.  “I was captivated by biology in high school. When I dissected a pig, I thought it was so neat to see the inside of the engine and I wanted to learn all I could.”  Upon graduating from UGA, Chris completed an emergency room internship and general practice residency in Virginia before settling in Chattanooga.  Chris credits his mentors in the field who have shaped his medical training and connection with animal owners.  “I love watching client’s pets grow and develop and I want to be the part of your extended family you can always rely on to take care of you and your pet. Being able to confidently deliver services to an animal and put their owner at ease is the best part of my job.” 


Jonny the Barber

Owner, Legends Barbershop

A true master of his craft, you can sit down in Jonny’s chair, discuss anything from pop culture to current events, and leave with the freshest cut in town. While Jonny did not know where exactly his career path would take him, some of his fondest childhood memories took place at a barbershop.  “I grew up around our local barbershop in Chicago.  My dad’s best friend owned the shop and everyone I knew hung around his place and got their hair cut.”  In junior high, Jonny had a friend who wanted a haircut, but his mom wouldn’t take him, so Jonny cut it for him, and got paid $10.  “After that, it became normal for me to cut my buddies' hair and I liked it but didn’t think this would be my profession.”  After college, Jonny managed the business operations of several companies and became a flight attendant because he had aspirations of becoming a pilot.  Although he enjoyed seeing the world, he felt he was missing important moments with his family and friends.  When his family moved to Chattanooga, Jonny made the life-altering decision to move with them and decided to pursue a career in a field that would experience minimal impacts if the economy had major shifts.  “The hair industry kept recurring in my research, and given my fond childhood memories, I decided to try it.”  Jonny learned the trade, but his skills were sharpened by a great mentor who showed him the value of building relationships with clients and paying attention to the smallest details to ensure client satisfaction.  Jonny’s cuts give his clients confidence beyond the chair.  “I enjoy building relationships and being a part of people’s lives in a way that makes them feel confident in who they are and how they look.”

Alex Paul Loza

Multidisciplinary Artist

A talented artist with a passion for social advocacy, Alex Paul Loza’s work tells a story and touches the viewer in a personal way.  Originally from Lima, Peru, Alex and his mother immigrated to the states when he was in junior high school.  While he was excited to move to the States, he left a large part of his heart in Lima as his maternal grandparents were an influential part of his life.  “My grandfather was a professional soccer player in Peru, so as soon as I could walk, I was kicking a ball and my grandmother could create anything from nothing.  I was fortunate to have people in my life that allowed me to pursue my passions.”  Both of Alex’s grandparents gave him the freedom to express himself and continually supported him no matter what he chose to pursue.  When Alex was in high school, his art teacher took the time to help him understand different mediums and gave him extra supplies on the weekend to develop his natural talent.  “She would tell me to create something over the weekend, bring it in on Monday, and we would talk about it.  Her interest in my work helped me build the confidence to make whatever medium I was using, such as a brush or the pencil become an extension of my hand, and that's what made me choose to go to school for art.”  When Alex chose a career in art, both his grandparents and mother supported him unconditionally.  “I had people in my life that wanted me to succeed in the career I chose, supported my craft entirely, and gave me the drive to pursue my dreams.  I am thankful for their belief in me and I credit my success to them.” 

Neil Turner

Owner, River City Moving 

An accomplished musician, a photographer, and now an entrepreneur, Neil Turner has settled in Chattanooga to launch a new business and the next chapter of his life. “I came here to start my moving company because I am from Tennessee and with Chattanooga’s growth, I felt my business model would be successful here.”  Neil doesn’t just want to build a successful company. He also wants to create a job with livable wages for his employees. “I want to take care of my guys and I pay an average of $8 more an hour, even for those who work part-time, because a livable wage is important to me.” Neil also recognizes the importance of moving services for those who can’t afford it. “I believe in giving back to my community, so we volunteer our services as we can to help families in our community.” Neil’s current focus is to build a sustainable business model so he can provide jobs for people in the community while simultaneously shifting to his primary focus. “I lost my sister to mental illness, and as our family went through that process, I realized there are limited resources to assist families. I want to develop a foundation in memory of her, making resources available to individuals and families and assisting families who have lost a loved one to mental illness.” Neil’s drive to develop a successful company does not come from maximizing profits, but for his love of people. “Everything is a process, but I believe if I treat people fairly as customers and employees, I can then start the groundwork to build a foundation I can be proud of and develop resources which help our community navigate mental illness. I want more positive outcomes, and I believe this foundation can make it happen.”