On Friday, the East Tennessee Economic Council named three new recipients of the Muddy Boot Award: Bill Biloski, Ray Smith, and Barry Stephenson.
The Muddy Boot Award is a tribute to people who, through their work and community activities, make East Tennessee a stronger region.
Also Friday, ETEC presented two Postma Young Professional Medals to husband and wife Colin and Sherith Colverson.
The council’s annual celebratory event was keynoted by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.
Biloski is a redevelopment project manager at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Smith is a historian at Y-12 National Security Complex, and Stephenson is chief executive officer at Materials and Chemistry Laboratory, or MCLinc.
The release said the Colversons have, individually and together, demonstrated a great commitment to excellence and the Oak Ridge community.
The Muddy Boot Award was created in the 1970s to honor individuals who have gone above the call of duty—like those who served the nation during the Manhattan Project—to make the community, the state of Tennessee and the nation a better place to live and work. More than 70 people have received the award since that time. A full list of recipients and more information about the award can be found on the ETEC website at www.eteconline.org.
The Manhattan Project was a top-secret federal effort to build the world’s first atomic weapons during World War II.
The release said Biloski has spent almost 20 years in Oak Ridge developing and growing projects that reuse federal land. When he came to Oak Ridge in 1996 with Lockheed Martin Energy Systems to establish a reindustrialization program at the East Tennessee Technology Park, many doubted if the project could succeed.
“But through leadership, creativity, perseverance, and relentless attention to detail, Bill and his team proved that it was possible to establish successful private business enterprises reusing U.S. Department of Energy assets,” said Lydia Birk, ETEC board member.
As DOE priorities changed from re-industrialization to cleanup, Biloski and his team adapted to the new challenge and today, 300,000 square feet of building space and 700 acres of land have been transferred to private ownership at ETTP.
In addition to contributions to reindustrialization, Biloski has maintained active community involvement through seats on both the Anderson County Industrial Development Board and the Oak Ridge Industrial Development Board, where he served as chair in 2012.
Smith has been at Y-12 for more than four decades, and the release said that provides him a deep understanding and appreciation the heritage of Y-12 and the Oak Ridge community.
Smith joined Y-12 in 1970 as an electronics technician, but it wasn’t until 2005 that he joined the Office of Public and Governmental Affairs as the complex’s official historian—after demonstrating his indispensable knowledge of the plant during infrastructure reduction, the release said. Since stepping into his current role, Smith has helped open Y-12 to the public. From tours of select facilities and a newly updated history center, to video productions and countless public appearances, Smith has educated people around the country about Oak Ridge through his passion and dedication to preserving history.
As the Y-12 representative, Smith has testified in front of congress in support of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park legislation. He has won several awards including DOE’s Award of Excellence in 1998 for managing and delivering the implementation plan training for an emerging maintenance management order to all DOE defense programs sites. His community service includes acting as an officer or board member for at least 20 different organizations.
The release said Stephenson may be as well known for his community involvement as his business ventures.
A chemist by trade, Stephenson has 32 years of experience at environmental analytical laboratories. In 1997, when he helped found MCLinc, his vision was that it be employee-owned and take advantage of the DOE re-industrialization effort that was just beginning. Today MCLinc is a niche testing laboratory with both public and private clients, and DOE recognition.
Known for his passion for education, Stephenson, a former Roane County High School science teacher, supports local education at every level, the release said. In his active role as board member and past chair of the Roane State Alliance and Oak Ridge Schools Education Foundation, Stephenson generates support for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education throughout the region.
His community involvement also includes economic development activities with the Tennessee Valley Corridor, the Roane Alliance, and as a past chair of ETEC and the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge.
The East Tennessee Economic Council is a nonprofit membership organization that focuses on bringing people together to create new opportunities for federal research, national security, and environmental programs, and to support technology transfer and economic development programs.