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Clarissa Clifton Powell was born in Berea, Kentucky on July 29, 1961. She is the second of three children, having an older sister and a younger brother. Clarissa has two daughters by her previous marriage She is the second of three children, having an older sister and a younger brother. Clarissa has two daughters by her previous marriage– Morgan Kathleen who is 17 years old and Taylor Anne, who is 13 years old. Both girls are still in school, causing Clarissa to battle grey hair daily. Clarissa became a part of the towing and recovery industry in the mid 80’s when she was hired by Michael McGovern as Publications Manager for the Towing and Recovery Association of America, then located in Altamonte Springs, Florida. She quickly became known as the industry cheerleader – working closely with the TRAA members to grow the national association and help unify the towing and recovery industry. Under her guidance, TEDA, the Towing Equipment Distributors Association, formed with the goal of standardizing towing equipment terms and ratings so towing equipment operators nationwide all had a comparable understanding of industry equipment. She left TRAA after several years for the automotive side with one of the world’s largest associations – the American Automobile Association. As Editor of AAA World, the magazine for AAA’s Florida/Louisiana/Mississippi division with over 500,000 members, she was blessed to enjoy a career of travel writing, visiting countries on unique and interesting trips for several years.
But she wasn’t gone long from the towing and recovery industry. In 1993, she returned to the industry as Publisher of Tow Times magazine. Since that time, she has served the industry that she now calls her family. Her efforts and involvement have earned her the WTRAA Tow Woman of the Year Award, the PWOF President’s Award and recognition from several other state towing associations. She has served on the Board of the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum and participated in WTRAA events. But she is best known for her behind-the-scenes support of many industry organizations and leaders and her unending enthusiasm for industry causes.
Clarissa graduated with honors from the University of Central Florida in 1983 with a B.A. in Journalism and a Minor in Public Speaking. While at UCF, Clarissa was very active on campus; serving for several years on the Orientation Team and as a Peer Advisor for incoming freshmen, active member in Pi Beta Phi national sorority where she served for several years as Vice President of Social Activities and Pledge Class Trainer, and a member of Sigma Chi fraternity.
Apart from her recognition within the towing and recovery industry, Clarissa’s greatest career achievement was being named 1997 Publisher of the Year by the Florida Magazine Association. wing and recovery industry, Clarissa’s greatest career achievement was being named 1997 Publisher of the Year by the Florida Magazine Association.
Most of Clarissa’s spare time is taken up by her children’s activities, including playing Taxi Driver for a bunch of 13-year-old girls.
Clarissa’s future goals greatly involve her soon-to-be husband and this evening’s escort, Jeff Smith. After they have successfully raised their four children (okay that’s a joke I know), they want to explore the U.S. and Canada on their Harley. Until that time, she plans to continue shaking up the industry with off-the-wall plans such as the Hunks of Towing Calendar and the Shine ‘n Star Beauty Contest. “Life just can’t get dull.”
2015-2017 Board of Directors Announced
The new board of directors will take office on November 1, 2015
For questions or comments about the museum, contact us
Admission and Hours
Adults - $10.00
Seniors (55 or older)/Military - $9.00
AAA - $8.50
Children 6 - 14 - $6.00
Children under 5 are free.
Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Summer Hours (March. 1-Oct.31)
Monday - Saturday 9 - 5
Sunday 11 - 5
Winter Hours (Nov 1-Feb.28)
Monday - Saturday 10 - 4:30
Sunday 11 - 5
Closed Major Holidays
The International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame & Museum, Inc.
3315 Broad Street
Chattanooga, TN 37408