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VOL. 45 | NO. 49 | Friday, December 3, 2021

ORNL scientists lead team to R&D recognition

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Precision Deicer, an innovative road brine delivery system, was recently among the winners in the Software/Services category for R&D World magazine’s highly regarded R&D 100 Awards.

Several Oak Ridge National scientists were involved in the project. They are:

Olufemi “Femi” Omitaomu, with Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Computational Sciences and Engineering Division, Budhendra “Budhu” Bhaduri, director of ORNL’s Geospatial Science and Human Security, and other ORNL staff, including Dan Koch, Christi R. Johnson, Frederick Kyle Reed and Matthew Garrett, who developed and refined the initial deicer prototypes’

David Brace, Knoxville’s deputy mayor and chief operating officer, Chad Weth, the city’s public services director, and road crews from the city, who gave the ORNL scientists input on their snow/ice removal system and helped install and test an early Precision Deicer model on a City of Knoxville truck;

Students from Fisher Professor of Innovative Learning Ernie Cadotte’s 2018-19 Innovation and Creativity classes in the University of Tennessee’s Haslam College of Business, who evaluated the deicer and made recommendations regarding its commercial viability, as well as doing field work for the project

Kevin Homan, president of Clinch River Computing, LLC, who continues to refine the deicer and entered it into the R&D 100 Awards.

Trust Company of TN welcomes RPS specialist

The Trust Company of Tennessee has hired Rebecca “Becky” Rice as a retirement plan services operations specialist.

Founded in 1987 and with offices in Chattanooga, Knoxville and the Tri-Cities, The Trust Company of Tennessee currently has more than $4 billion under management. The firm helps individuals, families, business owners and nonprofits make better financial decisions through wealth management, personal investment strategy, corporate retirement plans, estate planning and personal trust services.

“Becky’s experience in retirement recordkeeping, customer service skills and strong work ethic will be assets for our retirement plan clients,” says Daniel Carter, president of The Trust Company of Tennessee.

Rice earned a bachelor’s degree in business with a concentration in accounting from the University of Phoenix in 2011. She previously worked with Chemung Canal Trust Company in Elmira, New York, as a recordkeeper and staff accountant.

Moore, Homes for Heroes helps officer with home

Knoxville Realtor Nikki Moore, working with Homes for Heroes, has helped an officer with the Knoxville Police Department buy a home.

Moore, a former law enforcement officer herself, aided the officer and his family in purchasing a three-bedroom, three-bathroom home, located in Knoxville.

After being acquainted with Moore during her time in law enforcement, the officer approached Moore, who is with Realty Executives Associates Blevins Group, to help him purchase this home. The ability of the officer to earn part of the transaction back through Homes for Heroes Hero Rewards was an added benefit.

“I am grateful to this hero for choosing a home in Knoxville, and I am thankful that with the help of Homes for Heroes, he was able to purchase a home and raise his family in the community where he works,’’ Moore says. “Public servants that are responsible for law enforcement should be able to live in the communities that they serve and protect.”

Homes for Heroes, Inc. is the largest nationwide network of affiliate real estate, mortgage and local business specialists committed to providing easy ways for heroes to save on a home.

Covenant adds PA-C, nurse midwife programs

Covenant Health has added a certified physician assistant and a certified nurse midwife to its network.

Katherine Swords, PA-C, is now a member of the heart care team at Cardiology Associates of East Tennessee.

She joins our expert team of cardiologists, physician assistants and nurses, who combine more than 35 years of experience treating disorders of the heart.

Swords has a degree in English literature from Louisiana State University and a master’s of medical science in physician assistant studies from Our Lady of the Lake University Baton Rouge.

CNM Rebecca Hale is a member of the women’s health team at Fort Sanders Women’s Specialists.

Hale has a doctor of nursing practice degree and a master’s in nursing midwife from Frontier Nursing University in Versailles, Kentucky and a bachelor’s and master’s in nursing from East Tennessee State University.

Laughlin promoted at LMU School of Law

Lincoln Memorial University Duncan School of Law Vice President and Dean Matt Lyon announced the promotion of Vonda M. Laughlin to associate dean for distance education.

In her new role, Laughlin will primarily coordinate the planning and implementation of LMU Law’s distance education offerings. She also will maintain her teaching responsibilities in business law-related courses, including contracts and sales, secured transactions and insurance law.

Laughlin has had a distinguished career in both the legal field and higher education. She graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law, with highest honors. She ranked first in her class and received a number of awards, including the Outstanding Graduate Award from the Michie Company. Laughlin later earned an LL.M. in insurance law from the University of Connecticut School of Law, with honors. Upon graduation, she was awarded the LL.M. Prize, the law school’s highest honor for graduating students enrolled in the Insurance Law LL.M. program.

Laughlin served as a judicial clerk to Chief U.S. District Court Judge Thomas G. Hull and later practiced with both the New York-based firm that is now Milberg, Coleman, Bryson, Phillips & Grossman and with the Knoxville firm Butler, Vines & Babb. She also served as in-house counsel for Permanent General Insurance Company. Before joining LMU Law full-time in 2017, she taught at Carson-Newman University and King University.

United Urologists Group appoints Siegel as CEO

Sanford J. Siegel, M.D., has been named chief executive officer of United Urology Group, a urology management services organization with affiliate practices in Maryland/Delaware, Tennessee, Colorado and Arizona.

Knoxville-based Tennessee Urology is part of the group.

Siegel, who served as UUG’s chairman of the board and founder of Chesapeake Urology and United Urology Group, has spent many years as a practicing urologist at Chesapeake Urology in Maryland.

United Urology Group also recently named Ian Wong, a seasoned operations professional who spent over 20 years in diverse leadership roles, as its chief operating officer.

SME selects Babu as 2021 College of Fellows member

Sudarsanam Suresh Babu, Ph.D., FSME, has been named a member of the 2021 SME College of Fellows, one of nine.

SME, committed to advancing manufacturing professionals, academia and communities, gives this level of recognition to those with more than 20 years of significant career contributions in manufacturing.

Babu is director of the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education, uniting resources and capabilities from the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to promote advanced research and to provide innovative solutions to global challenges in energy, engineering, and computation under the umbrella of the UT-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute.

He is a Governor’s Chair in Advanced Manufacturing and is a professor based in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering at UT and has a joint professorship with the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the Energy and Environmental Sciences Directorate and in the Advanced Manufacturing Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Johnson City’s Baker finalist for state award

Joyce Baker, risk management director, for Johnson City is a finalist for third-annual Sue Ann Head Award for Excellence in Workers’ Compensation.

Other finalists are Deborah K. Powell, workers’ compensation claims team lead, Sedgwick, and Jody Barnes, RN field case manager, Sedgwick.

Baker has developed and overseen the City of Johnson City, Tennessee’s workers’ compensation program for over 18 years. She is actively involved in every aspect of a claim including filing First Reports of Injury, providing panels of physicians and participating in mediations, hearings and trials. She also trains other city leaders and managers.

She is a member of the state’s Advisory Council on Workers’ Compensation. Samuel McPeak, Partner with the law firm of Herrin, McPeak and Associates, nominated her and states “Ms. Baker is an unknown hero that deserves this award.”

General Practitioner Tarr recognized

Jack Tarr, M.D., was recently named in the top three as 2021 “Best General Practitioner” by the Knoxville News Sentinel / USA Today’s “Knox Stars” Program.

Tarr began his practice in Knoxville in 1986 and has become an established and well-respected physician in the community.

A native of Jefferson County, he was raised on tales of his grandfather, H.L. Tarr, M.D., who began his practice in 1907 and traveled to his patients’ homes by horse and buggy. This was the early inspiration that led to Tarr’s long career in medicine.

He received his medical training at the University of Tennessee, Memphis. He completed his residency in family medicine at Naval Air Station Millington, then began practicing in California. There, he witnessed the need for urgent care as a complement of primary care and emergency rooms. He saw the opportunity for accessible health care when a patient risked being turned away from a doctor’s office with no available appointments. He worked at a “Minor Emergency Clinic” in California, a type of practice that predates walk-in clinics as we know them today. Tarr has now built his primary care practice with a convenient walk-in clinic in West Knoxville that has provided more than 1 million patient encounters over 30 years.

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