Editor’s Note: This October, we will celebrate our 30th class of 40 Under Forty honorees. Each week in 2022, The Business Journal of Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia will highlight one of our 2021 40 Under Forty honorees leading up to the announcement of our milestone class this fall.
The legacy Steven Hunt has built during the first 37 years of his life rests on a foundation of service and sacrifice.
Hunt has made his mark on two fronts – as flight nurse in the civilian world and chief nurse of the 7244th Medical Support Unit in Church Hill. Hunt is currently a Major in the U.S. Army Reserves and a flight nurse with the AirEvac Life team. Previously, he worked as a trauma nurse a Johnson City Medical Center and has spend his entire civilian career in emergency medicine.
With a foot in both worlds, Hunt has a keen insight on one of the major differences between military and civilian life.
“In the military, we reward people for sacrificing themselves,” he said. “On the civilian side, we do the opposite sometimes. We sacrifice somebody else and we’re rewarded.”
With that in mind, Hunt tries to give back in both of his roles, mostly because he feels so many people have given him so much throughout his unique journey. He counts Scottie Mason, Anita Ashby and Charles Wayne Carroll as friends in mentors who went out of their way to help him along the way.
“They’ve developed me as a person, and that’s been very important to me,” he said. “They’ve given me guidance and leadership, and they’ve also been good friends. That’s one of those things you don’t find a lot.”
As Hunt approaches the end of his military service and ponders the next step beyond serving as a flight nurse, he is now dedicated to being a mentor to younger colleagues in both roles.
“There’s a group of people coming in behind me that I’ve got to help also,” he said. “So I like that mentorship. That’s what keeps me going is being able to be around people that I really enjoy and doing that part of it, but the mentorship of finding the next group of people that will replace me one day, that will keep me going.”
The main message he has for those coming up behind him is to live in the moment and enjoy every day they are able to serve others. Additionally, making the most of every day will set a good example for those preparing to embark on the same journey.
“I tell people I mentor now that every day is a job interview,” Hunt said. “Somebody is always looking at you. The person who wants to do what you’re doing is looking at you and saying that’s the person I want to be.”
In anticipation of the next season in his life, Hunt recently earned his Master of Science in Nursing from ETSU’s College of Nursing, which will allow him to continue his service as a family nurse practitioner. As of now, Hunt said he feels like the dog that finally caught the car: “Now what do I do with it?”
Regardless of what comes next, Hunt is intent on paying every good thing forward.
“I’m ready to give back to somebody now, because somebody gave to me and they’re still giving,” he said. “Every day is a gift that I get.”
Next week we will profile Kyle Kramer of Eastman and AdaptoPlay. If you would like to nominate someone for inclusion in the 2022 class of 40 Under Forty, visit 40under.com and follow the instructions.