Bruce Borchers, Veronica O’Hearn, and John W. Smith have joined the Y-12 Community Relations Council. The volunteer group is comprised of 29 community and business leaders who are charged with helping to exchange information between Y-12’s management team and the Oak Ridge and East Tennessee region. The new members were selected by the CRC membership, a press release said.
“B&W Y-12 launched the Community Relations Council in 2002 because we understand the importance of having a strong relationship with our neighbors in and around the Oak Ridge area,” said Bill Reis, B&W Y-12’s vice president of public and government affairs. “We work hard to keep the group updated on the projects/programs and activities at Y-12 and look to them to provide us feedback from the community and to serve as ambassadors for Y-12. It’s a wonderful partnership, and we appreciate each and every one of the CRC members for their commitment to Y-12 and the community.”
B&W Y-12 operates the Y-12 National Security Complex for the National Nuclear Security Administration.
Borchers, a resident of Oak Ridge, came here as superintendent of Oak Ridge Schools earlier this year from the Rockwood School District in St. Louis, Mo., where he served as school superintendent. Borchers began his education career as an elementary physical education teacher in the Sioux City, Iowa, Community School District. He also has worked as an interim assistant principal and guidance counselor in Iowa City, Iowa; as assistant principal and principal in Mankato, Minn.; and as associate superintendent of secondary schools for the Anoka-Hennepin, Minn., School District. Borchers earned a doctorate from the University of Minnesota, master’s degrees from Wayne State College and the University of South Dakota, and a bachelor’s degree from Morningside College. Borchers serves on the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is a member of the Oak Ridge Rotary Club.
O’Hearn is the community relations and outreach representative for URS-CH2M Oak Ridge LLC, or UCOR. In this role, O’Hearn does corporate interface, community relations, corporate philanthropy, event logistics, and helps oversee the United Way campaign, the press release said. From 1999 until 2011, O’Hearn was the Oak Ridge Office Manager for URS, serving in leadership positions for the company and in the Oak Ridge community. O’Hearn currently serves on the board of directors for the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce, Methodist Medical Center Foundation, Emory Valley Center, and the American Museum of Science and Energy and is a member of the Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary Club. She is the executive officer of the Oak Ridge Power Squadron and also serves as editor and publisher of the group’s bi-monthly newsletter. Veronica holds a bachelor’s degree in education.
Smith, a resident of Oak Ridge, is a project manager and service line team lead for SAIC’s Information Technology Managed Services group. Before joining SAIC, he owned his own business and was an information technologist for Y-12 and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the press release said. Smith served 15 years on the Oak Ridge School Board, five of them as board chair. Smith is a graduate of the University of Toledo, holding degrees in data processing and business management, and he is a recipient of the university’s Outstanding Minority Graduate in recognition of his professional and community contributions. Smith is a two-time recipient of the National School Boards Association’s National Distinguished Services Award. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce and the Michael Dunn Center, and is a graduate of both Leadership Oak Ridge and Leadership Knoxville.
The Y-12 CRC is chaired by Steve Jones, local economic development executive and former Clinton city manager. Y-12 retiree and local business leader Shirley Cox serves as vice chair. Other members of the CRC include Mike Belbeck, Katy Brown, Rick Chinn, Frank Chmielewicz, Rebecca Crowe, Mike Cuddy, Mike Farmer, Amy Fitzgerald, Melinda Hillman, Chuck Hope, Tyler Johnson, Susana Navarro-Valenti, Greta Ownby, Buzz Patrick, John Ragan, Dean Rice, Bert Robinson, Sharon Templeton, Tom Tuck, Anita Vines, Tim Waddell, Mark Watson, Steve Whitson, and Atomic Trades and Labor Union President Steve Jones.