National Leadership Through Regional Collaboration

Capitol Hill, Washington, DC

Special government room rate available for all Summit attendees. 

The Agenda

All Events to be held at the
Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC
400 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001
All Times Eastern Daylight Time

Day 1 // thURSDAY // June 16, 2022

  • Summit Exhibits Set-Up 9am - Noon
  • Summit Registration Opens 10am
  • Summit Welcome / Opening Session 1 - 2:30pm

    National Leadership in Science and Energy

  • General Session 2 3 - 4:15pm

    National Leadership in Space and Transportation

  • General Session 3 4:15 - 5:30pm

    National Leadership in Building Our Future Workforce

  • Summit Reception 5:30 - 7pm

    Exhibit Area

  • Evening 7pm

    Dinner on Own

DAY 2 // FRIDAY // June 17, 2022

  • Breakfast 8 - 9am

    Exhibit Area

  • General Session 4 9 - 10:30am

    National Leadership in Ensuring America’s Security

  • Closing Remarks 10:30 - 11am

    Closing Remarks and Presentation of Awards

  • Summit Adjourns 11am

Confirmed and Invited Keynote Speakers

U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn

(Tennessee)

Congressman Chuck Fleischmann

(TN-3)

Secretary Pete Buttigieg

U.S. Department of Transportation (Invited)

Secretary Marty
Walsh

U.S. Department of Labor (Invited)

Deputy Secretary David Turk

U.S. Department of Energy

Robert D. Cabana

NASA Associate Administrator

Dr. Jill Hruby

Under Secretary of Energy/Administrator
National Nuclear Security Administration
U.S. Department of Energy

Jeff Lyash

CEO, Tennessee Valley Authority (Invited)

Congressman Tim Burchett

(TN-2)

Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger

(TN-1)

Congressman John Rose

(TN-6)

Congressman Hal Rogers

(KY-5) (Invited)

Congressman Mo Brooks

(AL-5) (Invited)

Congressman Robert Aderholt

(AL-4) (Invited)

Congressman Mark Green

(TN-7) (Invited)

+ Many More!

View our interactive agenda below with session links and speaker bios, or download a printable agenda here.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 2

Click each session title below to view full agendas and speaker bios.

AGENDA

Welcoming Remarks

Bill Tindal
TVC Board Chair
COO, Consolidated Nuclear Security

Mayor Glenn Jacobs
Knox County

Congressman Chuck Fleischmann

Session Host Remarks

Kellye Walker
Executive VP, Eastman

Summit Host Remarks

Randy Boyd
President, The University of Tennessee

Dr. Donde Plowman
Chancellor, UT Knoxville

Keynote

Dr. Arthur C. Brooks
Harvard Professor, Bestselling Author, The Atlantic Columnist

Panel

Dr. Stacey Patterson
VP, The University of Tennessee

Betsey Kirk McCall
CEO, Seven States Power Corporation

Dr. Joan Bienvenue
Executive Director
UT-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute

Mark Cox
Senior VP, Eastman

Michael Aikens
Director of Innovation
Tennessee Tech University

SPEAKERS

Click on the images below to read full bios for each speaker.

Dr. Arthur C. Brooks

Harvard Professor, Bestselling Author, and The Atlantic Columnist

Bill Tindal

TVC Board Chair | COO, CNS

Randy Boyd

President, The University of Tennessee

Dr. Donde Plowman

Chancellor, UT Knoxville

Kelly Walker

Executive VP, Eastman

Dr. Stacey Patterson

Vice President, The University of Tennessee

Betsey Kirk McCall

CEO, Seven States Power Corporation

Dr. Joan Bienvenue

Executive Director, UT-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute

Mark Cox

Senior VP, Eastman

Michael Aikens

Director of Innovation, Tennessee Tech University

AGENDA

Host Remarks

Lonnie Lawson
President & CEO
Center for Rural Development

Special Remarks

Gayle Conelly Manchin
Federal Co-Chair
Appalachian Regional Commission

Congressional Roundtable

Tom Ballard
Chief Alliance Officer
PYA

Congressman Tim Burchett
Tennessee’s Second District

Congressman Chuck Fleischmann
Tennessee’s Third District

Congressman Mark Green
Tennessee’s Seventh District

SPEAKERS

Click on the images below to read full bios for each speaker.

Gayle Conelly Manchin

Federal Co-Chair, Appalachian Regional Commission

Congressman Chuck Fleischmann

Tennessee’s Third District

Congressman Tim Burchett

Tennessee’s Second District

Congressman Mark Green

Tennessee’s Seventh District

Lonnie Lawson

President & CEO, Center for Rural Development

Tom Ballard

Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

CO-SPONSORED BY

AGENDA

Host Remarks

Kevin Bumpus
Business Development Manager
UniTech

Sponsor Remarks

Sean Williams
President & CEO
Protection Strategies, Inc.

Keynote

Michelle Reichert
President & CEO, CNS

Panel

Ted Sherry
VP, Performance Excellence
CNS

Dr. Tim Barton
Chief Technology Officer
Dynetics

Christy Walker
Senior Manager
BWX Technologies

Jason Coker
Vice Director
Arnold Engineering
Development Center

Maj. Gen. USAF (Ret.) Garrett Harencak
VP, Jacobs

SPEAKERS

Click on the images below to read full bios for each speaker.

Michelle Reichert

President & CEO, CNS

Sean Williams

President & CEO, Protection Strategies, Inc.

Kevin Bumpus

Business Development Manager, UniTech

Ted Sherry

VP, Performance Excellence, CNS

Dr. Tim Barton

Chief Technology Officer, Dynetics

Christy Walker

Senior Manager, BWX Technologies

Jason Coker

Vice Director, Arnold Engineering Development Complex

THURSDAY, JUNE 3

Click each session title below to view full agendas and speaker bios.

SPONSORED BY

AGENDA

Welcome

Mayor Indya Kincannon
City of Knoxville

Bill Tindal
TVC Board Chair
COO, CNS

Host Remarks

Dr.Rodney Robertson
Executive Director
Auburn University Huntsville Research Center

Sponsor Remarks

Andy Page
President & CEO
Oak Ridge Associated Universities

Keynote

Dr. Harry L. Williams
President & CEO
Thurgood Marshall College Fund

Sponsor Remarks

Ken Rueter
President & CEO
UCOR

Keynote

Commissioner Jeff McCord
Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development

Panel

Paul Adams
VP, Nuclear Solutions
Atkins

Laura Wilkerson
Deputy Manager
DOE Oak Ridge Environmental Management

Dr. Moe Khaleel
Deputy for Projects
ORNL

Teresa Duncan
VP, Workforce Development
Roane State Community College

Brian Arrington
Deputy Director of Human
Resources
CNS

SPEAKERS

Click on the images below to read full bios for each speaker.

Dr. Harry L. Williams

President & CEO, Thurgood Marshall College Fund

Commissioner Jeff McCord

Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development

Mayor Indya Kincannon

City of Knoxville

Bill Tindal

TVC Board Chair | COO, CNS

Dr. Rodney Robertson

Executive Director, Auburn University Huntsville Research Center

Andy Page

President & CEO, ORAU

Ken Rueter

Preisdent & CEO, UCOR

Paul Adams

VP of Nuclear Solutions, Atkins

Laura Wilkerson

Deputy Manager, DOE Oak Ridge Environmental Management

Dr. Moe Khaleel

Deputy for Projects, ORNL

Teresa Duncan

VP of Workforce Development, Roane State Community College

Brian Arrington

Deputy Director of Human Resources, CNS

AGENDA

Host Remarks

Dr. Bill Greer President
Milligan University

Sponsor Remarks

Greg Vital
Chairman & President
Morning Pointe Senior Living

Special Remarks

Larry Leopard
Associate Director
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

Roundtable

Cortney Piper
Executive Director
TAEBC

Randy Boyd
President
The University of Tennessee

Jeff Lyash
President & CEO
TVA

Dr. Thomas Zacharia
Director
ORNL

SPEAKERS

Click on the images below to read full bios for each speaker.

Randy Boyd

President, UT

Jeff Lyash

President & CEO, TVA

Dr. Thomas Zacharia

Director, ORNL

Larry Leopard

Associate Director, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

Bill Greer

President, Milligan University

Greg Vital

Chairman & President, Morning Pointe Senior Living

Cortney Piper

Executive Director, TAEBC

AGENDA

Welcome

Bill Tindal
TVC Board Chair
COO, CNS

Host Remarks

Evann Freeman
Director, Government Relations
EPB Chattanooga

Sponsor Remarks

Gard Clark
Senior VP
Teledyne Brown Engineering

Special Remarks

Senator Bob Corker

Keynote

Senator Lamar Alexander

Corridor Champion Awards

Gard Clark

Closing Remarks

Bill Tindal
TVC Board Chair

Mark Gradkowski
Incoming TVC Board Chair
Senior VP, Information International Associates

Adjourn

SPEAKERS

Click on the images below to read full bios for each speaker.

Bill Tindal

TVC Board Chair | COO, CNS

Mark Gradkowski

Incoming TVC Board Chair | Senior VP, Information International Associates

Gard Clark

Senior VP, Teledyne Brown Engineering

Evann Freeman

Director of Government Relations, EPB Chattanooga

Many Thanks To Our 2022 National Summit Sponsors

TVC Leadership Council Members

Days
Sessions
+
Speakers

Sponsor the 2021 Summit

The 2021 Tennessee Valley Corridor National Summit has four annual sponsorship levels with accompanying opportunities for engagement, information sharing, and participation.

Session*

Sponsor
7500
SOLD OUT
  • Organization recognized as a Session Sponsor
  • Opportunity to make opening remarks and introductions during the sponsored session
  • Organization's logo included as a 2021 Summit Session Sponsor on event materials, the TVC website and Corridor promotions leading up to the event
  • Listed as Summit Sponsor in all monthly TVC News emails leading up to the Summit to over 6,000 recipients
  • Recognized on screens and event materials at the event and in broadcasts or virtual event materials
  • One virtual exhibit space on the TVC website for the 2021 Summit
  • Five complimentary registrations to all on-site Summit sessions
  • Complimentary registration to all virtual Summit event sessions for additional attendees
  • Unique marketing opportunities as we look to engage on-site and virtual attendees

Tier I*

Sponsor
$ 5,000
  • Organization recognized as a session co-sponsor
  • Organization's logo included as a 2021 Summit Session Co-Sponsor on event materials, the TVC website and Corridor promotions leading up to the event
  • Listed as Summit Sponsor in monthly TVC News emails leading up to the Summit to over 6,000 recipients
  • Recognized on screens and event materials at the event and in broadcasts or virtual event materials
  • One virtual exhibit space on the TVC website for the 2021 Summit
  • Three complimentary registrations to all on-site Summit sessions
  • Complimentary registration to all virtual Summit sessions for additional attendees
  • Unique marketing opportunities as we look to engage on-site and virtual attendees

Tier II*

Sponsor
$ 2,500
  • Organization's logo included as a 2021 Summit Sponsor on event materials, the TVC website and Corridor promotinos leading up to the event
  • Listed as Summit sponsor in monthly TVC News emails leading up to the Summit to over 6,000 recipients
  • Recognized on screens and event materials at the event and in broadcasts or virtual event materials
  • One virtual exhibit space on the TVC website for the 2021 Summit
  • One complimentary registration to all on-site Summit sessions
  • Complimentary registration to all virtual Summit sessions for additional attendees
  • Unique marketing opportunities as we look to engage on-site and virtual attendees

Tier III

Sponsor
$ 1,000
  • Organization's logo included as a 2021 Summit Sponsor on event materials, the TVC website and Corridor promotions leading up to the event
  • Recognized on screens and event materials at the event and in broadcasts or virtual event materials
  • One virtual exhibit space on the TVC website for the 2021 Summit
  • Complimentary registration to all virtual Summit event sessions for attendees

*NOTE: Due to capacity restrictions and social distancing requirements, on-site attendance and sponsorship opportunities at this Summit will be strictly limited. Reserve your sponsorship early!

 

WANT TO SHAPE THE TVC & INVEST IN SUPPORTING FEDERAL MISSIONS ACROSS THE CORRIDOR?

Our Leadership Council members have premium Summit benefits along with year-round benefits and opportunities. Leadership Council members also play an integral role in shaping the TVC Federal Agenda and guiding Corridor activities and opportunities. Click here to learn more about becoming a Leadership Council Member.

Dr. Arthur C. Brooks

Harvard Professor, Bestselling Author, and The Atlantic Columnist

Arthur C. Brooks is the William Henry Bloomberg Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, Professor of Management Practice at the Harvard Business School. Before joining the Harvard faculty in July of 2019, he served for ten years as president of the Washington, D.C.- based American Enterprise Institute (AEI), one of the world’s leading think tanks. Brooks is the author of 11 books, including the national bestsellers “Love Your Enemies” (2019), “The Conservative Heart” (2015), and “The Road to Freedom” (2012). He is also a columnist for The Atlantic, host of the podcast “The Art of Happiness with Arthur Brooks,” and subject of the 2019 documentary film “The Pursuit,” which Variety named as one of the “Best Documentaries on Netflix” in August 2019.

He gives more than 100 speeches per year around the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Brooks began his career as a classical French hornist, leaving college at 19, touring and recording with the Annapolis Brass Quintet and later the City Orchestra of Barcelona. In his late twenties, while still performing, he returned to school, earning a BA through distance learning at Thomas Edison State College, and then an MA in economics from Florida Atlantic University. At 31, he left music and earned an MPhil and PhD in public policy analysis from the Rand Graduate School, during which time he worked as an analyst for the Rand Corporation’s Project Air Force. Brooks then spent 10 years as a university professor, becoming a full professor at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs in his seventh year out of graduate school and occupying the Louis A. Bantle Chair in Business and Government. During this decade, Brooks published 60 peer-reviewed articles and several books, including the textbook “Social Entrepreneurship” (2008).

In 2009, Brooks became the 11th president of AEI, also holding the Beth and Ravenel Curry Chair in Free Enterprise. Under his leadership, the Institute more than doubled its annual revenues, deepened its outreach to leaders across the ideological spectrum, and expanded its research portfolio to include work on poverty, happiness, and human potential. During this period, he was selected as one of Fortune Magazine’s “50 World’s Greatest Leaders” and was awarded six honorary doctorates.

Originally from Seattle, Brooks currently lives in Newton, Massachusetts, with his wife Ester Munt-Brooks, who is a native of Barcelona. They have three children, Joaquim, Carlos, and Marina.

Bill Tindal

TVC Board Chair
COO, Consolidated Nuclear Security

Bill Tindal serves as the chief operating officer for Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC, the management and operating contractor for the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, and the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In this role, he shares responsibility for Pantex and Y-12 with the president and chief executive officer.

Tindal has more than 25 years of leadership and operational experience in highly hazardous nuclear facility operations at the Y-12 site. From July 2014 to August 2020, he was the Y-12 site manager. In that role, he oversaw daily operations to sustain a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent, including the integration of more than 5,000 employees to ensure that production deliverables meet requirements for safety, security, quality, schedule and cost.

In addition to day-to-day operations, Tindal was responsible for overall site transformation efforts. He oversaw a robust aging-facility management program to ensure continued, safe operations while managing long-term efforts to transform Y-12’s essential national assets and capabilities. He was instrumental in engaging the talented workforce in the site’s critical national security mission. 

Other previous positions for Tindal were vice president of production, manager of the production facilities department and manager of enriched uranium operations. He led the development of the facility operations plans and consolidated project list, a National Nuclear Security Administration-designated benchmark for risk-based infrastructure prioritization. He also led implementation of productivity improvement projects to optimize the use of personnel and facilitate production.

Tindal holds Bachelor of Science degree in nuclear engineering from The Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Science degree in engineering management from the University of Tennessee.

Randy Boyd

President, The University of Tennessee

Randy Boyd was appointed president of the University of Tennessee by the UT Board of Trustees March 27, 2020, following a sixteen-month period as interim president. Boyd took office Nov. 22 following the retirement of UT President Joe DiPietro. As UT’s 26th president, Boyd serves as the chief executive officer of a statewide university system. The flagship campus in Knoxville includes the Space Institute in Tullahoma and the statewide Institute of Agriculture. The UT System also includes campuses in Chattanooga and Martin; the Health Science Center in Memphis; and the Institute of Public Service. The UT System manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory through its UT-Battelle partnership.

Boyd is the founder of Radio Systems Corp., a Knoxville-based business. They have more than 800 employees, offices in six countries and produce pet related products under the brand names PetSafe, Invisible Fence and SportDOG. He also serves as chairman of Boyd Sports and is the owner of the Tennessee Smokies, Johnson City Cardinals, Greeneville Reds and Elizabethton Twins.

Boyd served as chairman of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and as commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. He was a founder and co-chair of the Governor’s Rural Taskforce, which exists to help state government and industry leaders find solutions to the biggest challenges facing rural Tennessee.

Boyd also served as Gov. Bill Haslam’s special adviser for higher education. He was the architect for Tennessee Promise and Drive to 55 and was the founder and chairman of Tennessee Achieves—all initiatives aimed at increasing the number of Tennesseans with post-secondary degrees to 55 percent by 2025 and decreasing financial hardship for Tennesseans pursuing degrees.

Through his philanthropy, Boyd also supports the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research and the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s Boyd Venture Challenge seed grant program for student entrepreneurs, both through the Haslam College of Business at UT Knoxville.

Boyd is the first in his family to graduate from college. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business with an emphasis on industrial management from UT Knoxville. He also earned a master’s degree in liberal studies with a focus on foreign policy from the University of Oklahoma.

Boyd and his wife, Jenny, live in Knoxville. They have two children and one grandchild.

Dr. Donde Plowman

Chancellor, UT Knoxville

Donde Plowman became the ninth chancellor of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, on July 1, 2019. Under her leadership, the university has placed renewed focus on its land-grant mission as the state’s flagship public institution.

In her first year as chancellor, Plowman oversaw the creation of the Oak Ridge Institute and the merger of the Knoxville campus with the adjacent Institute of Agriculture. She appointed the university’s first vice chancellor for diversity and engagement as well as a new provost, vice chancellor for research, and vice chancellor for student life. She also mobilized an extensive institution-wide response to the COVID-19 pandemic while celebrating the university’s 225th anniversary.

Plowman returned to Rocky Top last year after nine years at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where she served most recently as executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer. In that role, she oversaw academic affairs, student affairs, the Office of Research and Economic Development, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. She earlier served for more than six years as the James Jr. and Susan Stuart Dean of UNL’s College of Business Administration.

Before going to Nebraska, Plowman was on the management faculty at UT, where she served for two years as head of the Department of Management in the Haslam College of Business. She began her academic career at the University of Texas at San Antonio as an assistant professor of management and advanced to the position of professor and associate dean for graduate studies and research, where she was responsible for the creation of the university’s doctoral degree in business.

Plowman has a doctorate in strategic management from the University of Texas at Austin, an undergraduate degree with a major in English from Southern Methodist University, and an MEd in higher education administration from the University of North Texas.

Plowman is married to Dennis Duchon, a UNL professor emeritus and former chair of the Department of Management at UNL. They have two grown sons.

Congressman Chuck Fleischmann

Tennessee’s Third District

Congressman Chuck Fleischmann is a conservative Republican who represents the 3rd District of Tennessee. The District is comprised of 11 counties: Anderson, Bradley, Campbell, Hamilton, McMinn, Monroe, Morgan, Polk, Roane, Scott and Union.

Chuck earned his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Illinois. He received both Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude honors. He then went to the University of Tennessee law school where he received his Doctor of Jurisprudence.

For 24 years Chuck and his wife ran a small business together in Chattanooga after they both graduated from law school at the University of Tennessee.

Chuck has served on the board of the National Craniofacial Association and on the board of the Cherokee Area Council of Boy Scouts of America. He has also served as the president of the Chattanooga Bar Association and chairman of the Chattanooga Lawyers Pro Bono Committee.

Since taking office, Chuck has a 100% pro-life voting record and continues to support legislation that  protects the Second Amendment rights of East Tennesseans. 

Chuck serves on the Appropriations Committee which is vitally important to the residents of the 3rd District.  Within the Committee he serves on two crucial subcommittees:

Chuck’s role on the Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies subcommittee allows him to fight for funding for the Chickamauga Lock, a key East Tennessee infrastructure project. In addition, this subcommittee assignment is of paramount importance to the northern region of the Third District which is home to Oak Ridge National Lab, Y-12 National Security Complex, and a large environmental cleanup mission, all of which rely on funds appropriated by this subcommittee.

In the 116th Congress, Chuck was named Ranking Member on the Homeland Security Subcommittee. As the Ranking Member, or top Republican, Chuck leads the charge to provide funding for the government agencies that secure our homeland including the United States Coast Guard, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), the Federal Emergency Management Act (FEMA), and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Chuck and his wife, Brenda, live in Ooltewah, Tennessee and have three boys: Chuckie, Jamie and Jeffrey.

Mayor Glenn Jacobs

Knox County

Before becoming Knox County Mayor in 2018, Glenn Jacobs had a successful professional wrestling career that spanned nearly 25 years. Though this afforded him the opportunity to perform in front of millions of fans across the United States and in over 40 countries around the world, Jacobs chose to make his home in East Tennessee over 20 years ago.

 

Jacobs has served on the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital advisory council and the board of the Halls/Powell Boys and Girls Club. Additionally, his small business, Jacobs Insurance Associates, became the local champion of the Kindness Revolution, a national anti-bullying initiative. And he, along with his wife Crystal, founded Kane’s Crusaders, a non-profit organization with the mission of bringing joy to chronically ill teenagers in East Tennessee.

Mayor Jacobs’ goals for his administration include keeping taxes low, finding efficiencies in government, supporting education and encouraging diversity.

Kellye Walker

Executive Vice President & Chief Legal Officer, Eastman Chemical Company

Kellye Walker is executive vice president and chief legal officer for Eastman. Joining the company in April 2020, she has overall leadership responsibility for Eastman’s legal organization, which includes corporate governance, compliance and litigation management, as well as government affairs, product stewardship and regulatory affairs, global business conduct and the company’s global health, safety, environment and security organization.

Walker came to Eastman from Huntington Ingalls Industries where she served as corporate vice president and general counsel starting in January 2015, having responsibility for HII’s law department and outside counsel. Before joining HII, Walker worked for American Water Works Co. where she held the roles of chief administrative officer, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary. She previously served as senior vice president and general counsel at Diageo North America and as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary for BJ’s Wholesale Club.

Walker earned a bachelor’s degree at Louisiana Tech University and a Juris Doctor at Emory University School of Law. She is a member of the American Bar Association and a former board member of the Association of Corporate Counsel.

Dr. Stacey Patterson

Vice President, Research, Outreach and Economic Development, University of Tennessee

Stacey Patterson is the Vice President for Research, Outreach and Economic Development at the University of Tennessee. In this role, Patterson serves as the primary liaison to UT’s partner, Battelle Memorial Institute, and to the UT-Battelle senior management team with regards to the M&O contract of Oak Ridge National Laboratory; develops and manages statewide programs and provides seed investments to promote collaborative research at each of the UT campuses and institutes; and broadly supports efforts to recruit potential research partners and develop productive public-private partnerships. She promotes technology commercialization and entrepreneurship systemwide as President and CEO of the University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) and served as the inaugural interim co-director to stand up the UT-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute.

Patterson served as lead author of a proposal for research infrastructure that won a $24-million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Among several statewide initiatives Patterson has led is the $62.5-million Volunteer State Solar Initiative and the $36 million DOE EERE Workforce Development Initiative.

Patterson has bachelor and doctoral degrees in microbiology from UT Knoxville and a master’s degree in environmental health sciences from East Tennessee State University. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of South Florida. Patterson has secured research funding from the Department of Energy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, the U.S. Army, NSF and the National Institutes of Health, and she has been a contributor on discoveries achieving several U.S. patents in sensor development and cancer imaging.

Betsey Kirk McCall

President & CEO, Seven States Power Corporation

As SEVEN STATES POWER CORPORATION’S President & CEO, Betsey Kirk McCall leads a team of subject matter experts who design, develop and deploy innovative technology solutions in the Tennessee Valley. Seven States is an energy services company owned and operated by the 153 electric utilities who purchase power from TVA and distribute it to 10 million people across Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina. Seven States optimizes commercial pricing, strategic partnerships, and a diversified network of suppliers to deploy solar plus battery storage, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, middle-mile fiber, energy management services and other distributed energy resources to support grid resiliency, economic development and carbon reduction efforts across the Valley.

McCall joined Seven States Power Corporation following 7 years with TVA. Her last position with TVA was Director or Fleet Optimization in Power Operations where she led a team with governance and strategic execution of continuous improvement programs through effective change management, alignment of operations, collaboration with stakeholders, and performance gap closure across TVA’s coal, gas and hydro generation fleets. McCall led a design and deployment team through a reorganization of the Generation Services business unit where she partnered with human resources, labor relations, business planning and communications to implement the new organization and staff 300+ positions to align with TVA’s power generation fleet.

McCall also served as Senior Manager of Coal & Transportation Origination for 5 years leading a team of originators to manage TVA’s portfolio of fuel sources to purchase coal, transportation, reagents and terminal services, closely monitoring market conditions, assessing and mitigating industry risks, developing robust contracts to serve the transitional needs of TVA’s coal fleet and enhancing employee development through the alignment of team talent to maximize performance. In addition, McCall also served in Regulatory Compliance/Policy Governance, and managed renewable power purchases in Power Origination.

Prior to joining TVA, McCall was a practicing attorney in Chattanooga, TN, representing clients in commercial transactions, mergers and real estate. Additionally, she served as Law Clerk for the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee in Washington,D.C.

McCall earned her undergraduate degree in Business Administration/Finance and her Law degree at the University of Tennessee.

McCall lives in Chattanooga, TN, with her husband, Michael, and their son, Will.

Dr. Joan Bienvenue

Executive Director, UT-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute

Dr. Bienvenue received a BS in Chemistry from Rivier University, an MS in Forensic Science at the University of New Haven, a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Virginia, and an MBA from the University of Mary Washington. She was a National Institute of Justice Research Fellow while at UVA, where her work focused on the development of microfluidic systems. This work was summarized in over fifteen peer-reviewed papers and book chapters and presented at many conferences; she is an inventor on five US patents. In addition to this academic work, she is creator and Conference Chair for the annual Commonwealth Conference on National Defense and Intelligence, now entering its seventh year, and co-creator and Inaugural Chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Forensic Analysis of Human DNA.

After completion of her graduate studies, Dr. Bienvenue was an ORISE Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the FBI. Following this appointment, she joined the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL), as the Validation and Quality Control Supervisor where she managed a team that provided quality control and oversaw the evaluation, validation, and implementation of new technology for DNA casework analysis in support of remains identification.

 

She joined Lockheed Martin in 2008 and most recently served as Chief Scientist and Program Manager, in support of the development of rapid microfluidic DNA analysis systems. In June of 2013, she returned to the UVA as Director of the Applied Research Institute (ARI) and was promoted to Senior Executive Director in 2017. As the first full-time leader of ARI, she was responsible for the development, expansion, and evolution of the organization to serve the UVA and national security community.

 

Following the creation of University of Tennessee – Oak Ridge Innovation Institute, Dr. Bienvenue joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory and became the inaugural Executive Director and Vice Provost of this jointly formed collaboration for research, education, workforce and economic development. 



Dr. Bienvenue is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and was appointed to the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, Board on Army Research and Development in 2019, where she has co-chaired several NASEM efforts.

Mark Cox

Senior Vice President, Chief Manufacturing, Supply Chain, and Engineering Officer, Eastman Chemical Company

Mark K. Cox is Senior Vice President, Chief Manufacturing, Supply Chain, and Engineering Officer for Eastman Chemical Company.

Mark has responsibility for Eastman’s global manufacturing, supply chain, and engineering and construction operations. He was previously Vice President, Worldwide Engineering & Construction, and prior to this was Vice President – Chemicals, Fibers & Performance Polymers Technology. During his career at Eastman, Mark has served in a variety of management positions, including various leadership roles within the Commercial, Engineering, Manufacturing, and Technology areas.

He is a Senior Member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, a licensed Professional Engineer, a member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, and a National Academy of Construction Inductee. Mark currently serves on the Milligan University Board of Trustees and the University of Tennessee Tickle College of Engineering Board of Advisors. He holds both U.S. and international patents associated with process technology developed by Eastman.

Within his community, Mark has served as a volunteer with Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kingsport, Meals on Wheels, and multiple church-related mission efforts. He has also held several leadership roles within the United Way of Greater Kingsport Board of Directors and Leadership Kingsport.

Mark holds a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from the University of Tennessee and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Michael Aikens

Director of Innovation, Tennessee Tech University

Aikens leads economic development initiatives at Tennessee Tech University including the Rural Reimagined Grand Challenge, the Center for Rural Innovation (TCRI), the TCRI CARES Act project, the Eagle Works Student Innovation & Entrepreneurship program, and other key rural development initiatives. Aikens’s strategic areas of focus include fostering regional partner collaboration, creating linkages within the rural innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, technical assistance and student internship programs, small business development, increasing access to capital, and economic development research. Aikens is the host of the WCTE Central TN PBS television series “It’s Your Business” and serves as a board member for the Tennessee Small Business Development Centers, the TN Rural Development Fund CDFI, and the Caney Fork District Eagle Scout Board of Review.

Aikens holds an undergraduate degree in marketing from Appalachian State University, a master’s degree in Strategic Leadership from Tennessee Tech University, and is a 2022 Ph.D. in Leadership candidate at the University of the Cumberlands

Gayle Conelly Manchin

Federal Co-Chair, Appalachian Regional Commission

Gayle Conelly Manchin was sworn in as the Appalachian Regional Commission’s thirteenth federal co-chair on May 6, 2021, becoming the first ARC federal co-chair from West Virginia. Nominated by President Biden, Manchin will work directly with ARC’s 13 member governors, their state alternates and program managers, and a network of local development districts to continue to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth throughout Appalachia.

An alumna of West Virginia University, Manchin worked as an educator in Marion County Schools, served on the faculty of Fairmont State University, and was the director of the university’s first Community Service Learning Program. She directed the AmeriCorps Promise Fellows in West Virginia between 2000-2004 and implemented a statewide initiative, WV Partnerships to Assure Student Success. Manchin previously served as West Virginia’s First Lady between 2005-2010 and was appointed to serve as a member of the State Board of Education, serving her last two years as president. She was the chair of the Board for Reconnecting McDowell, Inc., an AFT initiative serving rural West Virginia, is a past president of the Vandalia Rotary Club of Charleston, and was an emeritus member of The Education Alliance. She also served as cabinet secretary for the West Virginia Office of Education and the Arts.

Manchin’s top priorities as ARC federal co-chair will be to support the creation of economic opportunities in the Appalachian Region, improve broadband access and critical infrastructure in Appalachian communities, and address the Region’s opioid crisis.

Congressman Tim Burchett

Tennessee's Second District

Congressman Tim Burchett took office in January 2019 after serving eight years as mayor of Knox County, Tennessee. During his administration, he cut debt, kept tax rates low, and paid for a new elementary school without adding debt. Prior to his tenure as Knox County Mayor, he started a successful small business before serving 16 years in the state legislature, four years in the State House followed by 12 years in the State Senate.

Congressman Burchett currently serves on the House Foreign Affairs and Transportation & Infrastructure committees.

During his first term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Burchett focused on legislation that increased government transparency, encouraged federal spending accountability, promoted energy innovation and supported small business growth. This included the Taxpayer Accountability for Airlines Act, which sought to prohibit airline executives from paying themselves bonuses with COVID-19 economic relief, and the Carbon Capture Improvement Act, which would provide industrial facilities and power plants a financial incentive to invest in carbon capture and storage equipment. Some bills, like the Easy Access to Mail Act and Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds Congressional Gold Medal Act, were introduced based on feedback Congressman Burchett directly received from East Tennesseans.

In total, Congressman Burchett sponsored 21 pieces of legislation in the House of Representatives during the 116th Congress. One of the bills he co-authored, the Patriotic Employer Protection Act, became law through inclusion in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. Two additional bills, the Microloan Transparency and Accountability Act and the Prison to Proprietorship for Formerly Incarcerated Act, passed the House. A portion of the Microloan Transparency and Accountability Act became law through inclusion in the 2021 fiscal year omnibus spending package. And elements of his No Taxpayer-Funded Art in Embassies Act were incorporated into the 2020 State and Foreign Operations reauthorization package that also passed the House.

Congressman Burchett’s goals for the 117th Congress include spurring investment and revitalization in under-served and often forgotten areas of urban and rural America. As a former mayor, he knows the importance of private investments and job creation. Thanks to natural growth and good stewardship of taxpayer dollars, his administration was able to build new schools, launch infrastructure projects, and pay down debt—all without raising taxes. He plans to incorporate this experience by working to expand economic opportunity and workforce development by focusing on three main areas: Access to Capital, Government Efficiency, and Criminal Justice Reform.

 

Congressman Burchett’s top priorities on the House Foreign Affairs Committee are holding adversaries like the Chinese Communist Party and Iranian regime accountable, as well as standing up for Israel. On the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, Congressman Burchett will bring fiscally responsible principles and conservative policies to the national discussion on modernizing America’s infrastructure. He is committed to ensuring East Tennessee’s transportation network isn’t left behind in a comprehensive package.

Congressman Mark Green

Tennessee's Seventh District

Congressman Mark Green first took the oath of office to represent the 7th District of Tennessee in Congress on January 3, 2019. It is the exact oath he first took as a cadet, on the historic Plain at West Point more than thirty years earlier. As a successful business leader, decorated combat veteran, ER physician, and former Tennessee State Senator, Green is uniquely equipped to represent the people of his district.

The son of a hardworking father and loving mother, Congressman Mark Green grew up on a dirt road in Mississippi. He came to Tennessee in his last assignment in the Army as the flight surgeon for the premier special operations aviation regiment. As a Night Stalker, Green deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan in the War on Terror. His most memorable mission was the capture of Saddam Hussein. During the mission, he interrogated Hussein for six hours. The encounter is detailed in a book Green authored, A Night With Saddam. Congressman Green was awarded the Bronze Star, the Air Medal with V Device for Valor, among many others.

After his service in the Army, Green founded an emergency department staffing company that grew to over $200 million in annual revenue. The company provided staffing to 52 hospitals across 11 states. He also founded two medical clinics that provide free healthcare to under-served populations in Memphis and Clarksville as well as numerous medical mission trips throughout the world.

Green was elected to the Tennessee State Senate in 2012, where he distinguished himself as a conservative leader that fought for freedom and smaller government for all Tennesseans. His many legislative accomplishments include the repeal of the Hall Income Tax and the passage of the Tennessee Teacher Bill of Rights. He won the National Federation of Independent Businesses’ Guardian of Small Business award and the Latinos for Tennessee’s Legislator of the Year award, among many other recognitions.

In Congress, Green has worked tirelessly on behalf of people of Tennessee’s 7th District. He serves on the House Armed Services Committee, House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis. In addition, Green serves as Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, Migration, and International Economic Policy. 

Green has sponsored 24 pieces of legislation and cosponsored 168 pieces of legislation over issues facing the people of Tennessee. From strengthening rural healthcare, to holding China accountable, to supporting Gold Star families and bringing American businesses back home, Congressman Green’s well-rounded background in business, healthcare, and the military has made him distinctly qualified to address such issues.

Congressman Green’s experience building a successful healthcare company equips him to take on wasteful spending and over-regulation from Washington. He introduced the Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution that requires Congress to pass a balanced budget and stick to it.

His 24 years of service—between the Academy, active duty Army and Army Reserves—have impressed upon him the need for a well-cared for military family. Green made veteran families a priority during his time in the Tennessee State Senate, and has continued to do so during his time in Congress. His first bill introduced in the House was the Protecting Gold Star Spouses Act that allows for spouses to continue receiving benefits during government shutdowns. He introduced another bill for Gold Star families, the Protecting Gold Star Children Act, which places children receiving benefits in the appropriate tax bracket.

Green has also worked to improve resources for the mental and physical health of veterans. He introduced the Spiritual Readiness amendment to the NDAA to address spiking numbers of veteran suicides. In addition, he led the bipartisan fight to include provisions for veterans subjected to toxic exposure while serving at the K2 Air Base in Uzbekistan during the War on Terror. In January of 2021, the President signed an Executive Order modeled after Rep. Green’s bipartisan K2 Veterans Toxic Exposure Accountability Act that requests the Secretary of Defense recognize Uzbekistan as a combat zone for purposes of medical care. This action represents a crucial step toward recognition of K2 veterans’ severe and deadly service-connected illnesses. 

His time serving in the Armed Forces also made him aware of the need for strong American leadership internationally and the threat China poses to this generation. Green has introduced 5 bills to hold China accountable: The Our Money in China Transparency Act, the Bring American Companies Home Act, the Protecting Federal Networks Act, the Secure Our Systems Against China’s Tactics Act, and the China Technology Transfer Control Act. He also introduced a resolution demanding China’s repayment of sovereign debt held by American families.

As a physician, Green recognizes life begins at conception and firmly advocates for the unborn. He introduced the Born-Alive Survivors Protection Act that requires medical attention for infants born during abortions. Green also brings the unique perspective of doctor, healthcare administrator, and cancer survivor to the issues surrounding rural healthcare in America. He introduced the bipartisan Rural Health Care Access Act and the Rural ER Access Act to cut regulation and improve emergency medical care in rural hospitals.

Congressman Green has won multiple awards for his work in Congress, including the American Freedom Fund’s Legislator of the Year Award for his work to empower veterans and the Guardian of Small Business award from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). Green received a perfect A+ rating from the Susan B. Anthony List for his pro-life voting record. He also received the impressive distinction of being unanimously voted President of the Republican freshman class in the House of Representatives. 

Green resides in Clarksville, Tenn., with his wife, Camilla. They are the proud parents of two grown children.

Lonnie Lawson

President & CEO, The Center for Rural Development

In October of 1997, after twenty years in the coal industry, Lonnie accepted the position of Director of Business & Finance at The Center for Rural Development, Lonnie then became General Manager in 1998 before accepting the position he holds today as President & CEO of The Center, in April 2001.  

Center Accomplishments

  • Leads the efforts for The Center to bring high speed, high capacity broadband to Southern and Eastern KY
  • developed and grew the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium (RDPC) a national Homeland Security Program to train first responders
  • Assumed control of the Small, Rural, Tribal, Border Regional Centers (SRTB) providing technical training assistance to small, rural, and tribal law enforcement agencies
  • Deployed Law Enforcement Technology program to small agencies in Eastern KY 
  • grew The Center’s youth programs from 60 students to nearly 300 currently 
  • helped develop statewide broadband initiative; leading Eastern third of Kentucky section
  • Former board member of Leadership Kentucky and East Kentucky Leadership
  • Develop and deliver various programs in partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)
  • Partner with Strengthening our Appalachian Region (SOAR) and lead broadband efforts
  • Serves on board and Executive Committee of Tennessee Valley Corridor (TVC)
  • Serves on the board of KCNA (Kentucky Communications Network Authority) leads East Kentucky portion of Kentucky Wired
  • Secured partnership to construct a Marriott Courtyard adjacent to The Center 
  • Various other initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life in Southern and Eastern Kentucky 

In his community Lonnie serves on several boards and is an elder in his church. Lonnie has 2 sons and 2 daughters, 4 grandsons and one granddaughter.   

Tom Ballard

Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

Tom spent more than four decades building business connections between two major entities in East Tennessee and public and private organizations throughout the region, state, and nation before joining PYA in 2012 as Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Initiatives. He was the inaugural Director of Partnerships for Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Tom was with the University of Tennessee for 35 years, serving as Vice President for Public and Governmental Relations before joining ORNL.

He serves on the board of directors of a number of local and regional not-for-profit organizations including the East Tennessee Economic Council (Past Chair), Life Science Tennessee, Oak Ridge Economic Partnership (Past Chair), Roane State Community College’s ACE Advisory Council (Chair), Technology 2020, and Tennessee Technology Development Corporation (Vice Chair). He is a member of UT’s Development Council and the Pellissippi State Community College Foundation.

Michelle Reichert

President & CEO, CNS

Michelle Reichert is the president and chief executive officer of Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC, the management and operating contractor for the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, and the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Reichert has more than 30 years of leadership and operational experience at Department of Energy sites, primarily Pantex and Y-12.

Previously, Reichert served as the CNS chief operations officer for more than two years. Her primary focus was internal operations at Pantex and Y-12; however, Reichert also led successful workforce development efforts for the Nuclear Security Enterprise and was active in the Amarillo community, particularly with the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce and the local United Way. Before that, Reichert was the CNS deputy enterprise manager, where she oversaw integration activities across the two sites and communications with employees, stakeholders, and customers. Reichert also has held multiple leadership roles at Pantex where she oversaw daily operations to sustain a safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent. Reichert provided leadership in all aspects of plant operations including nuclear weapons, plutonium pit storage, high explosives, engineering, safety, security, emergency management, facilities management, quality, environmental protection, and general administration.

Reichert also has extensive experience with operations at Y-12, having spent 22 years at the site. She was vice president of environment, safety, and health, and responsibilities included radiological/industrial safety, waste operations, human performance improvement, behavior based safety, and integrated safety management. Also at Y-12, she managed enriched uranium metalworking production and manufacturing compliance, and served as the program manager for modernization and as the operations manager of analytical chemistry.

Reichert holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology/chemistry from Viterbo University in Wisconsin and an Master of Science degree in radiological engineering/health physics from the University of Florida.

Sean Williams

President & CEO, Protection Strategies, Inc.

Mr. Williams has 30 years of diverse business and executive leadership experience including successfully leading small, medium and large U.S. based companies in every aspect of operations, training, business administration, mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring, workforce development and business development. He has demonstrated a successful career, establishing public-private partnerships with federal and local government entities to solve complex security challenges and ensure the protection of critical infrastructure and assets at home, as well as abroad.

After serving in the United States Air Force as a Pararescueman he began working with one of the nation’s largest security contractors supporting the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Safeguards and Security mission and played a key role in leading contract operations for the Department of States Antiterrorism Assistance Program (DOS/ATAP), to fight terrorism abroad in the days following 9/11. Building on his work with DOE and DOS he has successfully provided critical security and support services to a broad base of other U.S. agencies including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Protective Services (FPS), National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Defense (DOD), United States Marshals Service (USMS), Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Bureau of Prisons (BOP), Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and various state/ local governments.

In an era of rapidly expanding threats, budgetary constraints and administrative challenges, Mr. Williams’ brings a strategic vision to PSI that combines his experience forming effective public-private partnerships and highly efficient business models, with the expertise and capabilities of PSI to offer our government a trusted partner in resolving the most complex security issues, building cost effective innovative solutions and maintaining the security of our nation.

Kevin Bumpus

Business Development Manager, UniTech

Kevin brings 39 years of nuclear industry experience to UniTech’s staff, having served in facility management, project management, operations management, maintenance management, work control management, and procurement roles, working on and supporting key Department of Energy initiatives.  He most recently served as the facility manager for Omega Technical Services.  In his current role, he will continue to develop industry relationships and collaborate with UniTech’s team of regional sales representatives.

Ted Sherry

Senior Director, Consolidated Nuclear Security

Ted Sherry is the vice president of Performance Excellence for Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC, which is responsible for the management and operation of the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, and the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In this role, he is responsible for the transformation of work practices and work conditions, institutionalizing the excellence activities and tools implemented by CNS, and establishing a robust continuous learning mindset with performance measures, reporting systems, and tools necessary to drive improvement.

In 2016, Sherry joined CNS as the senior director for Performance and Risk Management. In that position, he was responsible for the contractor assurance and enterprise risk management programs, advising the company on the organizational health of its sites.

From 2012–2015, Sherry worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Longenecker & Associates (Oak Ridge), and Los Alamos National Laboratory. At ORNL, he served as the director of homeland protection and advanced concepts, managing a team of program managers that directed national security–related efforts. As a senior manager at Longenecker & Associates, he was responsible for the company’s National Nuclear Security Administration business area and worked with clients to help solve their management and business challenges. He also served as associate deputy director of Los Alamos National Laboratory. He supported the laboratory director on high-priority institutional matters and managed LANL’s environmental management contract negotiations and transition.

From 1995–2011, Sherry worked for the National Nuclear Security Administration and the U.S. Department of Energy. He worked in various positions, including technical training manager; nuclear explosive safety program manager; and, for the last 10 years with NNSA, he was the deputy manager and manager of the Y-12 Site Office.

Before joining DOE, Sherry served in the U.S. Navy as a nuclear submarine officer (1986–1994).

Sherry holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from West Virginia University and an M.B.A. from the University of Maryland. He also is a U.S. Navy– certified engineer (nuclear power).

Dr. Tim Barton

Chief Technology Officer, Dynetics

Timothy Barton is the chief technology officer of Dynetics. He has more than 25 years of defense-related technologies and management expertise. Previously, Barton was the Leidos chief technology officer for the Defense Group and senior vice president. Prior to joining Leidos (formerly SAIC) in 2005, Barton was a staff member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory from 1993 to 2005.

Barton’s experience spans a wide swath of the Dynetics group portfolio – radar and sonar signal processing and algorithm development; ISR and enabling and supporting technologies; countermeasures and counter-countermeasures for electronic warfare and acoustic warfare; autonomy; airborne integration and testing; and test and evaluation and verification and validation.

He is an IEEE Senior Member and a Leidos Technical Fellow and Solutions Architect.

Barton holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and a doctoral degree in electrical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis.

Chief Technology Officer, Dynetics

Christy F. Walker is the department manager of Project Management at
BWXT Nuclear Operations Group, Inc. (BWXT NOG) location in Lynchburg,
Virginia. In this role, she oversees the project managers and production
control functions that support the manufacturing of naval nuclear reactors
for submarines and aircraft carriers, as well as fuel assemblies for research
and test reactors.

With 20 years of experience at BWXT, Ms. Walker has held various
positions including project manager for the Virginia Class submarine
program where she was responsible for 10 active contracts valued at
approximately $815 million. She also managed the on-time assembly of the
land-based prototype replacement for the Kesselring Site used for training
and evaluating new technologies. Ms. Walker served as the operational
excellence manager overseeing 15 process improvement personnel at
four BWXT NOG locations across the U.S. She also held roles in Quality
Control, Operations and Human Resources.

Ms. Walker earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial and systems
engineering and a Masters of Engineering of Administration from Virginia
Polytechnic Institute and State University. She is also a certified Master
Black Belt.

Vice Director, Arnold Engineering Development Complex, United States Air Force

Mr. Coker is the Vice-Director of the Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC), headquartered at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The complex employs more than 3,000 people and comprises more than 68 aerospace test facilities spanning eight states.  AEDC’s capabilities are unmatched in span and scope supporting development of the Nation’s key strategic systems as defined in the National Defense Strategy. AEDC offers a suite of test capabilities to simulate speed, temperature, pressure and other parameters over a wide range to meet the needs of aerospace test and technology development of hypersonic systems, directed energy, space, propulsion and more. All NASA manned spacecraft and every high performance aircraft, missile, most space launch systems and many military satellites in use by the Department of Defense today have been developed and tested at the Complex.

Mr. Coker began his civil service career in 1999 after spending 13 years in DoD industry where he supported developmental test and evaluation for numerous weapons programs across the Air Force and Missile Defense Agency. Mr. Coker has over 20 year of ground test experience where he served in multiple leadership roles from flight chief to Squadron Director. He has served in the Office of Secretary of Defense, Acquisition Technology & Logistics, Test Resource Management Center (TRMC) and Developmental Test & Evaluation (DT&E) Pentagon as the Assistant Deputy Director providing oversight for the U.S. Air Force Test Ranges and program oversight for multiple U.S. Air Force aeronautical programs.

Prior to his current assignment, he served as the Joint Staff, J5, Deputy Division Director for Space and Missile Defense Policy where he was responsible for informing Chairman’s Best Military Advice for U.S. and DoD policies and strategies involving space and missile defense.

Vice President, Strategic Defense Programs, Jacobs

Garrett Harencak joined the Jacobs leadership team in 2018 upon retiring from the US Air  Force and has been engaged in several strategic activities for our Aerospace, Technology  and Nuclear (ATN) line of business. USAF Major General (retired) Harencak enjoyed a  distinguished career with the USAF prior to joining Jacobs. He has flown and commanded B 52, B-1 and B-2 units and the USAF Nuclear Weapons Center. At the time of his retirement,  he was Commander of the Air Force Recruiting Service. He is an experienced, trusted and  tested leader with over 35 years of military service delivering motivational mission  accomplishment and consistently succeeding in high stress, high tempo environments. His  program leadership and management expertise in diverse and challenging roles driving  positive operational and cultural change has delivered proactive, high-caliber solutions  through identification, problem resolution, policy creation and implementation of standard  operating procedures for complex organizations. He is a strong and stable force for the  integrity of organizations, displaying ethical conduct and sound, well-informed decision making ability. Sack influences others toward a spirit of cheerful service and meaningful  contributions to successful mission accomplishment.

President & CEO, Thurgood Marshall College Fund

Dr. Harry L. Williams serves as president & CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. TMCF’s 47 member-schools are America’s publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs), educating nearly 300,000 students. Under his leadership as President & CEO, TMCF has created innovative partnerships, increased organizational stability, and advanced bipartisan HBCU support.

A strategic thinker and visionary, Williams concluded dedicated talent development partnerships with leading corporations such as The Boeing Company, Medtronic, Visa, Ally Financial, and Hennessy USA. He successfully reimagined long-term partnerships with companies such as Lowe’s, the NBA, and Wells Fargo, cementing TMCF has the premier source for major employers seeking top diverse talent for competitive internships and corporate careers.

Under Williams, TMCF has experienced tremendous growth, expanding its revenue three-fold, and doubling its corporate partnerships. His leadership has solidified TMCF as the premier representative of the HBCU community, a hub for insight into the Black College community and the families they serve, a convener of HBCU-based researchers, and as a key partner for diverse talent and inclusion strategies.

Williams places a strong emphasis on creating bipartisan alliances. TMCF has been at the forefront leading on every significant national legislative victory for HBCUs, earning respect and trust from elected and appointed leaders on both sides of the aisle in Congress and the White House. In 2019, TMCF’s first legislative priority, the FUTURE Act, became law after successfully forging a coalition and identifying resources.

In 2020, TMCF successfully helped secure significant federal funding to help low-resourced HBCUs meet the financial challenges of COVID-19, and continue educating their students. As a former HBCU president, Dr. Williams leveraged his relationships with other HBCU presidents to increase cooperation between TMCF member-schools, create a supportive network among HBCU leaders, providing a platform for sharing best practices, and acting together to ensure institutional sustainability for all HBCUs.

As President of Delaware State University, Williams enjoyed a successful eight-year tenure, increasing student enrollment and forging new public/private multi-million- dollar partnerships, grants, and investments into the campus. He has received many awards and accolades for his career in higher education, and previously held senior positions at the University of North Carolina General Administration, Appalachian State University, and North Carolina A&T State University.

Dr. Williams earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Appalachian State University, a Doctorate from East Tennessee State University, named President Emeritus of Delaware State University, and is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Most importantly, he is a family man. His wife is Dr. Robin S. Williams, and they are the proud parents of two grown sons, Austin and Gavin. Austin and his wife Reagan both graduated from Howard University, and Gavin is a current Howard University scholar-athlete.

Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development

Jeff McCord was appointed as the Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development in January 2019. Since that time under McCord’s leadership, Tennessee developed its first multi-agency comprehensive workforce development strategy, implemented multiple successful cross-agency workforce development initiatives, and grew apprenticeships to the highest level in over a decade.

Before joining the Department, Commissioner McCord spent several years in higher education primarily focusing on workforce development including leading the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing, a nationally recognized technical training facility; leading the development of Tennessee’s first registered apprenticeship program through a post-secondary institution; and serving as the lead administrator for the award-winning Kingsport Academic Village

Prior to his work in higher education, McCord spent over twenty years in business and industry holding a variety of leadership positions primarily in a fortune 500 company. He has specific experience related to corporate learning and development, organizational effectiveness, process improvement, and information technology.

Commissioner McCord is a writer and Twilight Times Books published his debut novel Awkward Grace in 2008. He has also written more than 500 columns for two Tennessee newspapers. McCord received his Bachelor of Science degree from Georgia Tech. He went on to earn a Master of Business Administration from Kennesaw State University and his Doctorate in Learning & Leadership from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

MAYOR INDYA KINCANNON

City of Knoxville

Mayor Kincannon campaigned on a message of creating and spreading opportunity to all parts of Knoxville. She pledged to balance smart growth with a need to protect green spaces, to promote transparent and efficient government services, and to continue Knoxville’s collaborative work with partners to increase affordable housing.

At the core of her message was a commitment to strengthening neighborhoods and encouraging vibrancy.

She was elected on Nov. 5, 2019.

Mayor Kincannon lives in North Knoxville.

From 2015-18, she worked in Mayor Madeline Rogero’s administration as Special Programs Manager.

She administered $1.6 million in Community Agency Grants to more than 65 local non-profit entities, created and managed an automated database for hundreds of appointments to boards and commissions, and served as the Mayor’s Liaison on various special issues such as education, health and Census 2020.

Mayor Kincannon’s first leadership role in Knoxville was as an education advocate.

Her parents had taught her that if you see problems in your community, you should fix them. Inspired by their example, she wanted to improve educational opportunities for children. So she ran for a seat on the Knox County Board of Education in 2004 and served for 10 years (2004-14), elected as Chairperson three consecutive years (2008-11).

Kincannon oversaw a $450 million budget for a school system of 60,000 students and more than 8,000 employees. Throughout her tenure on the school board, she was steadfast in her efforts to make sure all children had access to high-quality education, regardless of their income, race or ZIP code.

These efforts met with great success. Fulton High School’s graduation rate rose from 46 percent to over 80 percent, and she helped launch several new schools, including L&N STEM Academy, the Career Magnet Academy, and the Paul Kelley Academy.

Kincannon served as a founding Trustee for Great Schools Partnership (2008-11), as a member of Gov. Bill Haslam’s Opportunity Scholarship Taskforce (2012), and as a board member for Project Graduation Really Achieves Dreams (2004-14).

Mayor Kincannon also taught writing, history, Spanish and drama to international students in Ljubljana, Slovenia (2014-15).

She graduated Princeton School of Public and International Affairs with a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs and Urban and Regional Planning (1999).

Prior to that, she earned her B.A. in history (1993) from Haverford College, where she captained the varsity tennis team.

She also studied Spanish colonial history (spring 1992) at the University of Barcelona, and she took teacher licensure courses at the University of Tennessee (2014).

Mayor Kincannon is the proud mom of two teenage daughters, Dahlia and Georgia, and she’s been married since 1995 to her husband, Ben Barton, a law professor at the University of Tennessee.

Executive Director, Auburn University Huntsville Research Center

Rodney L. Robertson is the Executive Director, Auburn University Research Center in Huntsville, Alabama.  As the Executive Director, Rodney is responsible for providing the leadership and management to grow Auburn University’s research portfolio in the Huntsville area.  This will be accomplished by leveraging the research capabilities of the Auburn University faculty, students, and facilities to meet the research needs and opportunities in Huntsville within the mission areas of defense and aerospace engineering, business, and health science.

Previous to this position Rodney was a member of the U. S. Army Senior Executive Service where he served as the Director, Technology Center, which is part of the Research, Development, and Acquisition element of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command (USASMDC/ARSTRAT) located in Huntsville, Alabama. As the Director, Rodney was responsible for managing the research, development, test, and evaluation activities for the Army’s space and missile defense programs.

Rodney has more than 40 years of professional experience in science, engineering, and management covering a broad spectrum of activities in advanced technology, research, design, development, and test and evaluation.  Rodney earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Auburn University, a Master’s Degree in Engineering and a Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Rodney serves on the TVC Board of Directors as a representative for Congressman Mike Rogers (AL- 3) and also serves on the TVC leadership council.

President/CEO, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU)

Andy Page is President and CEO of Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). He provides comprehensive oversight, strategic direction and leadership for ORAU and its diverse set of missions involving STEM workforce development, scientific assessment, worker health, environmental management and radiological emergency response. 

Page works closely with government agencies and the academic community to secure new programs and partnerships to further enhance ORAU’s national and international reputation. ORAU’s flagship contract is the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), which is part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE.) ORAU also supports various DOE National Laboratories—such as Oak Ridge National Laboratory, National Energy Technology Laboratory and others—with STEM internship and fellowship programs to help build the pipeline of future scientists and engineers. 

Other federal agency partners include the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On the academic front, ORAU actively works with a 127-member university consortium that boasts some of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the country. 

Before becoming president, Page was vice president and director of ORAU’s National Security and Emergency Management Program, supporting the DOE/National Nuclear Security Administration Office of Emergency Response. He has also managed ORAU’s counterterrorism readiness programs for other government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Department of State, as well as the Bureau of Reclamation’s National Critical

Infrastructure Dam Program, and the State of California’s Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program. Page was a certified member of both the DOE/NNSA Nuclear Incident Team and the Senior Energy Official Incident Management Team. 

Prior to joining ORAU in 1999, Page served nearly 25 years with the U.S. Marine Corps. He was a commanding officer in the Marine Corps Fleet Marine and Security Forces, served as deputy branch head of amphibious ships and programs at the Pentagon, and served in high-level staffing assignments at Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C. He was one of only 11 senior-grade officers chosen to represent the Marines at the National Defense University’s Industrial College of the Armed Forces, a prestigious senior service school that provides graduate level education to senior members of the armed forces.

Page holds three master’s degrees: in management from Webster University, in education from Old Dominion University and in national resource strategy from the National Defense University. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in history from The Citadel. He serves on the board of directors for the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the UT-Battelle Board of Governors and institutional liaison for the Tennessee Valley Corridor Board of Directors.

President & CEO, UCOR

Ken Rueter is President and Chief Executive Officer of UCOR, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) cleanup contractor for the Oak Ridge Reservation. As President of UCOR, Ken has guided and motivated a professional management team and hundreds of skilled workers as they successfully undertake the largest environmental cleanup in DOE’s history. Together, he and the 1,900-member UCOR workforce are eliminating hazards and reducing risks in East Tennessee.

Under Ken’s oversight, UCOR has experienced an unmatched record of success—recently completing the historic first-ever cleanup of a gaseous diffusion plant. Cleanup of that site, now called East Tennessee Technology Park, was completed four years ahead of schedule and $80 million under budget, avoiding $500 million in environmental liabilities. Ken has cultivated a Culture of Excellence among the workforce as demonstrated by DOE’s awarding UCOR Star status in its Voluntary Protection Program.

During more than three decades of industry experience, Ken has led all aspects of site cleanup and remediation, radioactive waste treatment, and project integration, including construction, risk management, and cost and schedule development. Previously, Ken served as President of Savannah River Remediation LLC and Project Manager for the Savannah River Liquid WasteProject. Prior to that, Ken served as Chief Operating Officer for the Hanford Tank Operations

Contract in Washington State and as Director of Project Integration for Washington River Protection Solutions at DOE’s Hanford site. Ken is an active community leader, representing UCOR as a member of organizations that promote economic development, entrepreneurship, safety, health and wellness, and outdoor recreational opportunities. Ken is a member of the East Tennessee Economic Council and serves on the boards of directors for Oak Ridge Associated Universities and the Center for Construction Research and Training. He was the 2016 recipient of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ prestigious Management Division Award. In 2017, he was presented with the East Tennessee Economic Council Muddy Boot Award, recognizing his contributions to the Oak Ridge community.

In 2019, the National Safety Council recognized Ken as a CEO who “Gets It.” This prestigious designation is presented to leaders who go above and beyond to protect employees both on and off the job. Ken received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio.

VP of Nuclear Solutions, Atkins

Paul Adams is the Vice President of Atkins Nuclear Solutions, the Nuclear Sector for Atkins/SNC-Lavalin.  He is a Marine Corps veteran with over 23 years of Commercial and Government Recruitment and Program Management experience. He has extensive experience designing, developing and implementing robust recruiting strategies for organizations in East TN.  He earned a dual degree in Economics and International Affairs from Florida State University in 1998.  He has been an East Tennessee ‘native’ for the past 20 years and resides in Oak Ridge with his wife and four children. 

Deputy Manager, U.S. Department of Energy – Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management

Laura Wilkerson is the deputy manager for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM). In this role, she oversees the daily operations required to execute the organization’s $650 million annual budget to advance environmental cleanup at the Y-12 National Security Complex, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and East Tennessee Technology Park in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Previously, Laura served as the director of the organization’s Planning and Execution Division overseeing all planning and execution functions related to the cleanup across Oak Ridge’s three primary sites. She also has experience leading diverse cleanup efforts at the project and site level throughout her career. Laura has 30 years of experience directing and managing technical programs and projects for DOE. She is a certified contracting officer’s representative and federal project director and holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering.

Deputy for Projects, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)

Dr. Moe Khaleel is the Deputy for Projects at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Most recently, he served as ORNL’s Associate Laboratory Director for Energy and Environmental Sciences. Before joining ORNL in fall 2015 to manage the Laboratory’s Office of Institutional Planning and its Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program, Dr. Khaleel was executive director of the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), where he led the establishment of the institute’s research infrastructure and programs in renewable energy, water conservation, and atmospheric sciences.

As Associate Laboratory Director, Dr. Khaleel was instrumental in establishing the Solid-State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA), the Center for Bioenergy Innovation (CBI), the National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI) Hub, the Cyber Security Manufacturing Institute (CyManII), and the Grid Research Integration and Deployment Center (GRID-C).

Previously, during a 20-year career at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Dr. Khaleel held several technical and senior managerial positions, including leadership of the Design and Manufacturing Technical Network; the Advanced Manufacturing Product Line; the Computational Mechanics and Material Behavior Group; and PNNL’s Hydrogen, Transportation, and Industrial programs. He directed PNNL’s Computational Sciences and Mathematics Division from 2003 to 2013, and he was elected a Laboratory Fellow in 2001. Dr. Khaleel also served as a co-founding director of the Northwest Institute for Advanced Computing at the University of Washington.

Dr. Khaleel received his doctorate in structural mechanics from Washington State University and an MBA from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. He is an adjunct professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Dr. Khaleel received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Siegen, Germany, in 2007, and an Award of Excellence in Technology Transfer from the Federal Laboratory Consortium in 2000. He is a member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences, and he is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has published more than 250 refereed articles with h-index of 46 and holds three patents.

Vice President, Workforce & Community Development, Roane State Community College

Teresa Duncan joined Roane State Community College in 1995, after spending several years as a corporate trainer.  During her career at Roane State, Teresa has led hundreds of training sessions on various leadership topics, but in her current role as Vice President of Workforce and Community Development, Teresa, along with her talented team, focuses daily on developing a strong workforce pipeline for our region.  She provides oversight for Roane State’s nine campus sites, Workforce and Continuing Education, Leadership Roane County, Roane State Athletics and serves as the Site Director for the Oak Ridge Branch Campus.

Teresa received her Associate of Science degree in Business Administration from Roane State Community College, her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Education and Business Management from Tennessee Wesleyan University, and her Masters of Science in Curriculum Development from Tennessee Technological University.  

Prior to joining Roane State, she worked as a high school business economics teacher and women’s basketball coach at Cumberland County High School in Crossville, TN.  She was also employed by Avery Dennison Corporation as a corporate trainer.

Teresa has three grown children, and resides in Harriman, TN with her husband, Jerry.

Deputy Chief Human Resources Officer, Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC (CNS)

Brian Arrington currently serves as Deputy Chief Human Resources Officer for Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC (CNS), which is responsible for the management and operation of the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, and the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day human resources functions and transformation projects to include recruiting, designing and evaluating career paths, and crafting strategies that meet business objectives.

He has more than 25 years of human resources experience within the retail; oil, gas, and chemical; and engineering and construction industries, including 15 years supporting contractor human resources, business services, and project management for U.S. Department of Defense and Department of Energy projects.  

Arrington is a SHRM-SCP and holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration with an emphasis in labor and employee relations from the University of Maryland Global Campus, a master’s of science degree from the University of Phoenix, and a human resources transformation certification from eCornell University.

He is a 2021 graduate of Leadership Oak Ridge, serves on the Board of Directors for the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge, and is a member of the Knoxville Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

President & CEO, TVA

Jeff Lyash is as comfortable talking with a crew in a plant as he is in the boardroom. His exceptional people skills and technical experience make him one of the top leaders in the energy industry. Appointed president and chief executive officer of the Tennessee Valley Authority by the Board of Directors in February 2019, Lyash leads the nation’s largest public utility and one of the top producers of electricity in its mission of serving the people of the Tennessee Valley.

Under his vision and leadership, TVA has significantly lowered operating and maintenance costs, improving both productivity and efficiency. These savings are passed on to customers in terms of lower energy costs – 70 percent of the nation pays more for energy than those served by TVA. In 2019, he announced a 10-year financial plan proposing a decade of stable rates – making TVA and the Valley even more competitive.

He introduced a long-term partnership proposal with our Local Power Companies that allows us to fully leverage the capability of the Tennessee Valley Public Power model. In less than a year, more than 90 percent of the 153 local power companies that TVA serves have signed onto the partnership. The partnership allows for better long-range planning and closely aligns the interests and objectives of TVA and our customers.

With significant public and stakeholder input, a new Integrated Resource Plan was approved that serves as a guide as TVA provides clean, reliable and low-cost energy for the next 20 years.

Lyash has shown tremendous leadership in providing support and assistance to the customers and communities impacted during the pandemic. This includes providing $1 billion of credit support to Local Power Companies; a $4 million Community Care Fund; and Back-to-Business incentives for local businesses. In addition, in August 2020 the TVA Board approved a $200 million Pandemic Relief Credit — a 2.5 percent reduction — for customers during Fiscal Year 2021. 

Before coming to TVA, Lyash served as president and CEO of Ontario Power Generation Inc., one of the largest electric generating companies in Canada with a diverse fleet of nuclear, hydroelectric, gas, biomass and renewable generating stations.

 

Lyash was formerly the president of CB&I Power where he was responsible for a full range of engineering, procurement and construction of multi-billion-dollar electric generation projects in both domestic and international markets. He also provided operating plant services for nuclear, coal, gas, oil and renewable generation.

 

Prior to joining CB&I, Lyash served as executive vice president of Energy Supply for Duke Energy where he led engineering, maintenance and operations of the company’s 42,000-megawatt generation fleet, fuel procurement, power trading, major projects and construction, environmental programs, and health and safety programs.

 

Before the merger of Progress Energy and Duke Energy, Lyash was executive vice president of Energy Supply for Progress Energy. In this role, he oversaw Progress Energy’s diverse 22,000-megawatt fleet of generating resources including nuclear, coal, oil, natural gas and hydroelectric stations. In addition, Lyash was responsible for generating fleet fuel procurement and power trading operations.

 

Lyash joined Progress Energy in 1993. Before leading the Energy Supply division at Progress, he served as executive vice president of corporate development, president and chief executive officer of Progress Energy Florida, senior vice president of Energy Delivery Florida, and vice president of Transmission.

 

Lyash also held a wide range of management and executive roles in Progress Energy’s nuclear program, including operations manager, engineering manager, plant manager, and director of site operations.

 

Lyash began his career in the utility industry in 1981 and worked for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in senior technical and management positions throughout the Northeast and in Washington, D.C.  He received the NRC Meritorious Service Award in 1987.

 

Lyash earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Drexel University, and was honored with the Drexel University Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2009. He has held a senior reactor operator license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and is a graduate of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management Executive Training Program and the Duke Fuqua School of Business Advanced Management Program.

 

Lyash is an avid golfer and fly fisher. He and his wife, Tracy, enjoy cooking, skiing, reading and charitable work – and spending time with their two married children and nine grandchildren. The Lyashes live in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Director, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)

Dr. Thomas Zacharia, director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, guides 5,600 staff members in  solving scientific and technical challenges for the U.S. Department of Energy and other  sponsors, managing an annual budget of more than $2 billion.  

Following a postdoctoral appointment at ORNL, Thomas joined the Laboratory’s Metals and  Ceramics Division in 1989. He established and led the Materials Modeling and Simulation Group  and became director of the Computer Science and Mathematics Division in 1998, Deputy  Associate Laboratory Director (ALD) for High Performance Computing in 2000, and ALD for  Computing and Computational Sciences in 2001. He led the creation of the Oak Ridge  Leadership Computing Facility, fielding the world’s fastest supercomputer, and led delivery of a  petascale system for the National Science Foundation in 2008.  

Thomas was named ORNL Deputy for Science and Technology in 2009. From 2012 until 2015,  while on leave of absence from ORNL, he served as Executive Vice President of Research and  Development for the Qatar Foundation. He has been director of ORNL since 2017, and recently  engaged the University of Tennessee and the Tennessee Valley Authority in a partnership with  Techstars to establish a business accelerator for 30 early-stage companies connected to  industries of the future.  

Thomas holds a B.S. from the National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Surathkal, India, an  M.S. from the University of Mississippi, and a Ph.D. from Clarkson University. He holds two  patents and has authored more than 100 publications. He co-chairs the National Commission  on Innovation and Competitiveness Frontiers established by the Council on Competitiveness in  2019. He is a Fellow of the American Welding Society, a Corresponding Member of the  International Academy of Astronautics, and a Fellow of the American Association for the  Advancement of ScienceDr. 

Associate Director, Technical, Marshall Space Flight Center, NASA

Larry Leopard, Associate Director, Technical, at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, provides expert advice in all facets of the Center’s responsibilities by conducting special studies; provide authoritative advice and assistance in policy review; manage and report on Center-wide and directorate metrics, and developing benchmarking strategies. He was appointed to the position in December 2020.

 

Prior to his appointment, Leopard served as director of the Engineering Directorate from 2018 to 2020. From 2014 to 2016, Leopard was director of the Engineering Directorate’s Space Systems Department, and was its deputy director from 2011 to 2014. From 2008 to 2011, he was deputy manager of Engineering’s Propulsion Systems Department.

 

In 2008, Leopard was appointed to the Senior Executive Service, the personnel

system covering top managerial positions in federal agencies.

 

Following his selection to NASA’s Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program in 2006, he completed developmental assignments at NASA Headquarters in Washington, in Marshall’s Space Shuttle Propulsion Office, and at United Launch Alliance’s Delta II and IV Manufacturing and Assembly Plant in Decatur, Alabama.

 

Leopard joined NASA and Marshall in 1990, supporting a variety of NASA programs and projects, including space shuttle propulsion elements; the Space Shuttle Main Engine Technology Test Bed; Rocket-Based Combined Cycle propulsion technology; Fastrac 60K engine; International Space Station payloads, International Space Station Environmental Control and Life Support Systems and research facilities; Small Satellite technology demonstrations; and multiple science instruments.

 

His aerospace engineering career began as a propulsion engineer at Martin Marietta in Huntsville, supporting Marshall’s Propulsion Systems Laboratory from 1988 to 1990.

 

A native of Athens, Alabama, Leopard graduated from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

 

Leopard has received numerous NASA awards, including the Medal for Outstanding Leadership in 2007 and 2011; the Medal for Exceptional Achievement in 1997 for leading the Integrated Propulsion Technology Demonstrator team; multiple Center Director’s Rommendations; and numerous group achievement and special service awards. In 1993, he was awarded the Silver Snoopy, the NASA astronaut corps’ award to those who have made significant contributions to the success of NASA’s human spaceflight missions.

 

Leopard and his wife Shane live in Athens and have two children.

President, Milligan University

Dr. Bill Greer has served as President of Milligan University since 2011.  Joining the college in 1994 as Professor of Economics and Business Administration, he also served as the college’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement from 2006 until 2011.

He graduated from Milligan in 1985 and holds an MBA from East Tennessee State University and a PhD in Economics from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville.  Under Greer’s leadership, Milligan has set new enrollment and fundraising records and the endowment has seen significant growth.  Emmanuel Christian Seminary recently became part of Milligan and a number of new programs, including engineering and physician assistant studies have been added.  As a result, Milligan College became Milligan University in June of 2020.     

Greer is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association and served as the 2020 President of the Tennessee College Association.  Greer is a member of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Tennessee and the Johnson City-Jonesborough-Washington County Chamber of Commerce.  He sits on the Council of Presidents for the Appalachian Athletic Association and is a past member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Council of Presidents.

He and his wife, Edwina, live in Johnson City, Tennessee, and have two sons, Logan and Jeremy.  Jeremy and his wife, Allie, have one daughter, Presley and one son, Greyson.

Chairman & President, Morning Pointe Senior Living

Greg Vital founded Morning Pointe Senior Living over 20 years ago. Today, Morning Pointe Senior Living owns and operates more than 30 senior care and Alzheimer’s care centers in 5 Mid-South states employing over 1500 associates. He currently resides in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

President, Piper Communications

Cortney Piper is president of Piper Communications, a results-based public relations firm with a focus on clean energy and technology.

 

She is also a WATE-TV 6 On Your Side (ABC affiliate) public affairs commentator, appearing weekly on Tennessee this Week and providing commentary on current news and events.

Because of Piper’s energy expertise, she organized Tennessee’s advanced energy sector and launched the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (a 501(c)(3) organization) in 2014 and also serves as the executive director while Piper Communications provides organization management. The organization champions advanced energy as an economic development and job creation strategy.

Piper Communications has had the pleasure of working with local, national and international clients to advance clean energy initiatives, projects and policy since 2008, when Piper started the business at the height of the recession.

She’s been recognized as one of the Greater Knoxville Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” and was also awarded the East Tennessee Economic Council’s Postma Young Professional Medal. Cortney is a member of the East Tennessee Economic Council Board of Directors; graduate of Leadership Oak Ridge class of 2009 and Leadership Knoxville class of 2013. She also serves on the City of Knoxville Mayor’s Climate Council, chairs The University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine’s Board of Visitors and is the former chairwoman, current board member, of Visit Knoxville

A native of Detroit, Michigan, Piper attended The University of Tennessee on a swimming scholarship and earned degrees in Political Science and Sociology. She lives in East Knoxville with her husband Barry Armstrong and their three children.

Lamar Alexander is the only Tennessean ever popularly elected both governor and United States Senator. He served twenty-six years, longer than any other Tennessean who has held both jobs. He won six statewide primaries, twice as many as any other Republican. In between being governor (1979-1987) and senator (2003-2021), he was President of the University of Tennessee, U.S. Education Secretary for President George H.W. Bush and served on the faculty of Harvard’s School of Government. He co-founded a Nashville law firm and two successful businesses.

When Alexander retired from the U.S. Senate, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called him “hands-down one of the most brilliant, most thoughtful, and most effective legislators any of us has ever seen. …For 18 years, there has been Lamar Alexander, and there’s been the rest of us.” Writing in Harvard’s Education Next, Chester Finn said, “No one living today has had more far-reaching influence on American K–12 education.” The Knoxville News Sentinel said, “[Alexander] is leaving with more influence on every corner and aspect of the state than anyone you can name. . . His presence is greater than Dolly’s, his accomplishments more impressive than Manning’s. The impact of his political career on this state equals or exceeds Presidents Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk and Andrew Johnson, as well as longtime mentor and friend U.S. Sen. Howard H. Baker Jr.”

During just his final year in the Senate, Alexander was the driving force behind the Great American Outdoors Act, the most important law since the Eisenhower years to support national parks and conservation. He wrote the law to reduce from 108 to 33 the number of questions on the FAFSA, the complex application form that has become a roadblock for 20 million students seeking federal student aid to attend college. His legislation ended surprise medical billing and increased transparency for health care costs. Another law set up a $2.5 billion “shark tank” at the National Institutes of Health that created two dozen new ways to make diagnostic tests for COVID-19. And for the sixth consecutive year the appropriations subcommittee he chaired provided record funding for the Office of Science, national laboratories, supercomputing and waterways, including restarting Chickamauga Lock.

As chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee from 2015 to 2021, Alexander shepherded 91 bills that became law. He was principal sponsor of many of these, including the 2015 “Every Student Succeeds Act,” which President Obama called “a Christmas Miracle,” and the Wall Street Journal said was the “largest devolution of federal control to the states in a quarter century.” For this, the nation’s governors and the National Education Association gave Alexander their highest awards. In 2016, Alexander sponsored the “21st Century Cures Act,” which Majority Leader McConnell said was “the most important law of this Congress.” In 2018, Alexander authored the Opioid Crisis Response Act, which McConnell called “landmark legislation.” In 2019, Alexander wrote the law providing permanent funding for historically black colleges and minority institutions.

He was also a principal sponsor of important laws including the 2007 “America COMPETES Act,” a 2015 law that reformed student loans, and the 2018 law changing copyright laws to ensure songwriters will be paid fairly.

In 2016, the nation’s governors created the James Madison Award to recognize members of Congress who support federalism and the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing states’ rights. The governors named Sen. Alexander as the first-ever recipient of the award for his work to fix No Child Left Behind. In 2013, the National Conference of State Legislatures gave Sen. Alexander and three other senators its “Restoring the Balance” Award for protecting states’ rights, the first time in 10 years the organization had given this award to U.S. senators.

In his 1978 campaign for governor, Alexander walked 1022 miles across Tennessee spending the night with 73 families. On January 17, 1979, Democrat legislative leaders swore him in three days early because of scandals surrounding the incumbent Democrat governor.

As Governor, he helped bring the auto industry to Tennessee, recruiting Nissan and Saturn and sponsoring three major road programs to attract auto parts suppliers; led Tennessee to become the first state to pay teachers more for teaching well; and left office with fewer state employees, third-lowest per capita taxes, a AAA bond rating, and zero road debt.

His colleagues elected him Chairman of the National Governors Association (1985-1986) and of U.S. Senate Republican Conference (2007-2012).

When not in public office, co-founded a Nashville law firm (1972) and two successful businesses: Blackberry Farm, Inc., (1976) and Corporate Child Care, Inc. (1987).

He is a classical and country pianist and the author of seven books.

Lamar Alexander is a seventh-generation East Tennessean, born July 3, 1940, in Maryville. His father was an elementary school principal and his mother was a pre-school teacher.

He married Leslee (Honey) Buhler on January 4, 1969. They live outside Maryville and have four children, nine grandchildren and a dog named Rufus.

Incoming TVC Board Chair | Senior VP, Information International Associates

Mark is an experienced Executive with over 40 years of professional experience. He currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Information International Associates with primary responsibilities for new business growth and overall Company Performance. He previously served as the Executive Vice president and Chief Administrative Office of the Downtown Rescue Mission. He was an Executive with Teledyne Brown Engineering, Teledyne Energy Systems and Teledyne Turbine Engines in various capacities ranging from Profit and Loss responsibilities to strategic planning, business development and acquisitions for 18 years. 

In this capacity, Mark was responsible for multiple business units with annual revenue of over $100M. He has demonstrated growth and results through his business acumen and leadership. Prior to joining Teledyne, Mark was Vice President of operations for MDM Services and Tetra Tech Inc. He currently serves as a Director on the Tennessee Valley Corridor (TVC) Board and is the Board Chair-Elect for the TVC.  He also serves as a KTECH Ambassador, a workforce initiative of Kids to Love. He has a BS from Indiana State University and Executive Leadership, Leadership/Management from The Jessie H. Jones Graduate School of Management at Rice University.

Senior VP, Teledyne Brown Engineering

Gard J. Clark, PMP Senior Vice President, Energy & Environment Business Group Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc. Gard Clark leads the Energy and Environment Business Group, managing a portfolio of engineering, fabrication, and management and operations projects in the chemical, nuclear, environmental, and advanced energy fields.

Clark brings over 30 years of leadership experience as a Commanding Officer of a US Navy nuclear submarine and US Department of Defense Major Program Manager. His expertise across operational, technical, and financial management roles provides the ability to successfully manage diverse and technically challenging and unique projects and programs for Teledyne. He is knowledgeable in both Government and commercial business portfolio management as well as all phases of major project development and execution.

Clark joined Teledyne in 2013 as the Laser Uranium Enrichment Manufacturing and Testing Plant Manager and Project Manager and later became the Energy and Environment Operations Manager. Prior to joining Teledyne, Clark served in the US Navy as a submarine officer, culminating with command of USS DALLAS (SSN 700). He also served as a Department of Defense Acquisition Professional and Naval Sea Systems Command Program Manager responsible for Special Operations Forces Undersea Mobility, managing Deep Submergence Systems including miniature submersibles and support systems used by Special Operations Forces.

Clark holds an Associate’s Degree in Mathematics from Jamestown Community College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Science from the US Naval Academy, and a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from the US Naval Postgraduate School. He has also attended numerous military schools and is a graduate of the Defense Systems Management College Executive Program Managers Course.

Director of Government Relations, EPB Chattanooga

Evann Freeman joined EPB as Director of Government Relations in December of 2019.  Evann leads EPB’s government relations and economic development efforts.

Evann has spent the past decade as a government relations professional, most recently for U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander. At EPB, he works closely with local, state, and federal stakeholders, as well as local entrepreneurs and area businesses.

A proud Central High alum, Evann serves on several non-profit boards, and has dedicated his career to building stronger communities throughout Tennessee.  Evann sees his role at EPB as an opportunity to focus his public policy efforts on community benefit and coalition building for his hometown of Chattanooga.