Five people received Muddy Boot Awards this year. They include scientists, business leaders, government officials, and a man who has done a little of everything during his career, a press release said.
Here are the winners of the 2017 Muddy Boot Awards, which are from the the East Tennessee Economic Council:
- Tom Ballard, who has had three careers—with the University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and now Pershing Yoakley and Associates, and still finds time to “spread the gospel of innovation” with his daily Teknovation.biz newsletter.
- David Bradshaw, another multi-tasker who has worked at the Y-12 National Security Complex, Technology 2020, and most recently Pinnacle Financial Partners, and who has also served as the mayor of Oak Ridge and chairs of dozens of community causes.
- Sue Cange, whose career with the U.S. Department of Energy saw her rise from a new employee in the environmental management program to the acting head of that same program before joining the faculty at Vanderbilt University this fall and who, in many ways over the years, enabled the reindustrialization program at the East Tennessee Technology Park site.
- David Millhorn, senior vice president of the University of Tennessee and a leader in the revitalization of both the university system and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
- Ken Rueter, president of URS | CH2M Oak Ridge (UCOR), a relative newcomer to East Tennessee who brings energy to everything he does, whether it be the environmental stewardship programs at ETTP or his work building hiking and biking trails while supporting the Foothills Land Conservancy and the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.
“The one common trait in these five individuals,” ETEC President Jim Campbell said, “is the passion they bring in their own way to the work they do. Their dedication is infectious, and it makes everyone around them better. Clearly each person has made East Tennessee a better place to work, to play, and to thrive.”
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, the press release said. More than 80 people have received the award. A full list of recipients and more information about the award can be found on the ETEC website at www.eteconline.org/awards.
The awards were presented at the organization’s Annual Meeting and Awards Celebration held at the Doubletree Hotel in Oak Ridge on Friday, December 8. Tennessee Deputy Governor Jim Henry keynoted the event.
The Council also presented Postma Young Professional Medals to Derrick Hammond, pastor at Oak Valley Baptist Church in Oak Ridge, and Travis Howerton, senior director of transformation at Consolidated Nuclear Security.
Here is more information about the recipients from the press release:
Tom Ballard 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. For two years after joining PYA, Ballard also served as chief operating officer of PYA Analytics LLC. He was named PYA’s chief alliance officer in April 2015.
Ballard was the inaugural director of partnerships for Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Energy’s largest science and energy laboratory. Prior to joining ORNL, Ballard was with the University of Tennessee for 35 years, retiring as vice president for public and governmental relations in 2004.
Ballard joined the UT staff in 1969 as director of alumni programs and moved to the 18-month old Institute for Public Service in early 1973. Through his careers at ORNL and UT, Tom built a network of business, governmental, and nonprofit executives.
David Bradshaw was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. He graduated from Karns High School and attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. While an undergraduate, Bradshaw worked at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge as a co-op student. Bradshaw graduated from UTK with a degree in industrial engineering and with a master’s degree in business administration. Bradshaw worked as an industrial engineer at Y-12 in the Work- for-Others program, working with skilled machinists, welders, sheet metal workers, and other crafts people to build prototype Seawolf components for the United States Navy.
In an effort to assist with the movement of technology from the facilities in Oak Ridge to the private business sector, Bradshaw became a loaned executive to Technology 2020. In this position, he was an integral part of the development of Southeast Community Capital, a nonprofit community development financial institution whose mission is to provide capital to start-up and early-stage companies. Bradshaw served as chief operating officer for SCC and then was recruited as the Anderson/Roane County president for SunTrust Bank. In 2011, he accepted the position as executive vice president and Oak Ridge president for CapitalMark Bank & Trust (now Pinnacle Financial Partners), a position he currently holds.
Bradshaw also serves his community. From 1995 until 2001, he served as mayor pro tem in Oak Ridge; from 2001-2007, he served as mayor. Currently, he serves on many boards of community and civic organizations.
Sue Cange is currently appointed as a visiting scholar in civil and environmental engineering at Vanderbilt University. At Vanderbilt, she is to establish a nuclear environmental engineering curriculum and internship program.
Cange is a former manager of the Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management. She most recently worked at U.S. Department of Energy headquarters in Washington, D.C. She then was named principal deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management, or EM. She had previously been interim principal deputy assistant secretary.
During the past 29 years, Cange has held various leadership positions within the federal government including at Department of Energy in the offices of Environmental Management, Nuclear Energy, and Assets Utilization. In addition, she was one of the founding members of the Reindustrialization Program in Oak Ridge, which transfers underused assets to the private sector to accelerate cleanup and promote economic development.
Cange has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in environmental engineering from Vanderbilt University.
David Millhorn was the University of Tennessee’s senior vice president emeritus and Oak Ridge National Laboratory relations advisor.
Previously, he was UT senior vice president and vice president for research, outreach, and economic development since 2016; president of the UT Research Foundation; and a member of the UT president’s staff with system-wide research oversight.
Millhorn began serving as a member of the UT president’s staff as vice president for research and economic development in 2005, and he held both the offices of executive vice president and vice president for research from 2007 to 2017. Millhorn’s achievements included two five-year extensions—both without having to re-compete—of the U.S. Department of Energy’s contract for the university to manage Oak Ridge National Laboratory through the UT- Battelle partnership (with Battelle Memorial Institute).
Ken Rueter is UCOR’s president and cleanup project manager for the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP).
Under Rueter’s oversight, UCOR has experienced an unmatched record of success—not only finishing major projects ahead of schedule and under budget but doing so safely as demonstrated by the Department of Energy’s awarding UCOR Star status in its Voluntary Protection Program. During more than 25 years of industry experience, Rueter has led all aspects of site cleanup and remediation, radioactive waste treatment, and project integration, including construction, risk management, as well as cost and schedule development. Previously, Rueter served as president of Savannah River Remediation LLC and as project manager for the Savannah River Liquid Waste Project.
Rueter 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.
In Oak Ridge, Rueter is an active community leader, representing UCOR as a member of many local organizations that promote economic development, entrepreneurship, outdoor recreational opportunities, and civic pride.
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.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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