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VOL. 41 | NO. 11 | Friday, March 17, 2017

TVA board picks Howorth

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The Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors has elected Richard Howorth as its chair-elect.

Howorth, who lives in Oxford, Mississippi, is in his second term on the TVA board and will assume the chair duties in May for the next two years.

Director Lynn Evans will continue as chair until her board term expires.

“Richard has served TVA and the Tennessee Valley honorably for many years,” Evans says.

“Our board will be seeing up to five new members in the next year, and Richard’s selection will help ensure continuity as new board members get acclimated to their policy role and learn more about the mission and work of TVA.”

Director Howorth joined the board in 2011 and began his second term in December, 2015.


The board members also made one change to the current committee assignments by adding Marilyn Brown, director, to the finance committee.

In addition, Theo Laughner was named TVA’s Engineer of the Year.

Laughner is a senior program manager in TVA’s Transmission and Power Supply organization. He manages the largest system in the nation for monitoring power quality.

ARiES Energy hires staffers

Knoxville-based ARiES Energy, an energy installer expanding to South Carolina, has hired three new employees.


Justin Parrish is the company’s first South Carolina representative. Thomas Rose and Tim Chapman join ARiES’ Knoxville headquarters.

“We are adding staff to provide our growing customer roster with the unmatched customer service ARiES Energy is known for,” says Harvey Abouelata, ARiES president.

South Carolina is ARiES’ first expansion market outside of Tennessee.


Rose has been named managing director of key accounts for ARiES Energy. He worked extensively with major companies and the U.S. Department of Energy in the energy efficiency and lighting industries prior to joining ARiES.


“Tom, as a former business owner, understands the drive needed to grow a company like ARiES into a major competitor,” Abouelata says. “He will be responsible for managing key accounts nation-wide.”

Rose founded Matrix Installations in Knoxville in 1991. The company excelled in the lighting and control markets both commercial and high end residential, automation control systems, security and engineered communication systems areas. It went through a successful acquisition after reaching $5 million in annual sales.

“Joining ARiES will allow me to add solar energy and biogas to my offerings to previous and new customers and clients,” says Rose, managing director of key accounts at ARiES Energy. “

Chapman, an installer, is the second addition to ARiES installation and design team this year. He was previously with a local heating and air conditioning installation, maintenance and repair firm. He also has prior experience with sustainable agriculture and organic farming.

“Tim’s experience in construction, HVAC and energy audits allows him to assess our customer’s energy-efficiency needs immediately and build a quality product that will be in use for decades to come,” Abouelata says.

Knoxville Bar adds members

The Knoxville Bar Association is welcoming new members. Firms or courts are listed where appropriate.

-- Joshua K. Bradley

-- Ruth A. Brooks/Lowe Yeager & Brown

-- Mitch Eisenberg/district attorney general, 6th Judicial District

-- Rebecca A. Franklin/Young Williams Child Support Services

-- Megan A. Gentry

-- Jacob S. Gibson/Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz


-- Chad W. Hampton

-- Jason W. Hansard/Nelson Law Group

-- Jacob C. Hogue/Law Offices of Julie Bhattacharya Peak

-- Shannon M. Holland/Holland Law, PLLC

-- Amye T. King/Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals

-- Amy Lighter/Law Offices of Amy Lighter


-- Emily R. Long/Holland Law, PLLC

-- Julie M. Murrell

-- Rameen J. Nasrollahi/Egerton, McAfee, Armistead & Davis, P.C.

-- Celeste R. Oglesby/Wagner, Myers & Sanger, P.C.

-- Kathryn C. O’Neal/Baker, O’Kane, Atkins & Thompson, PLLP

-- Christopher J. Riedl

-- Eileen J. Rogers

-- C. Eliza Scott/

-- Woolf, McClane, Bright, Allen & Carpenter, PLLC

-- Lauren Elizabeth Smith/Moore, Ingram, Johnson & Steele, LLP

-- Thomas J. Smith

-- Eric Christopher Vinsant/The Vinsant Law Firm LLC

-- Jackson B. Whetsel/The Held Law Firm

-- Zixin Connie Zhou/Ritchie, Dillard, Davies & Johnson, P.C.

New law student members:

-- Alison J. Austin

-- Logan W. Burnette

-- Kameron Dawson

-- Adelina S. Keenan

-- James M. Normand

Oak Ridge’s Solomon earns certification


Travis Solomon, fire marshal for Oak Ridge, has received his professional designation as a chief fire officer.

The certification came through the Center for Public Safety Excellence, a national program, designed to recognize individuals who demonstrate excellence in seven measured components: experience, education, professional development, professional contributions, association memberships, community involvement and technical competencies.

Solomon came to the Oak Ridge department from the Tennessee Fire Marshal’s office where he served as the deputy state fire marshal in charge of fire and life safety codes for the buildings and facilities at the University of Tennessee, a position he held for 13 years.

Last year, Solomon received his fire marshal designation from the Center.

“We are delighted to have received this notification as we continue to strive for excellence within our organization,” says Darryl Kerley, Oak Ridge Fire Chief.

Currently all three staff officers are credentialed as Chief Fire Officers. Kerley became credentialed in 2003 and assistant chief Jody Durham became credentialed in 2016.

The department also has seven fire captains who have achieved a fire officer (FO) designation from the program.

Porter named CASA’s top volunteer

John Porter is the 2017 CASA Volunteer of the Year, named by Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.

CASA refers to court appointed special advocates. The award recognizes Porter’s six years of service as a volunteer for CASA Monroe (County).

Porter, of Vonore, was recognized for his advocacy on behalf of clients and his dedication to doing the “actual work” of volunteering. He is a retired software developer and business owner who decided to commit himself to a retirement of service.

Porter handled several juvenile justice cases and would travel great distances to visit those young people, even when they were in detention centers or therapeutic homes.

Graduate assistant in Nature’s Scientific Reports


Jacob Raplee, a graduate research assistant in both mechanical engineering and business administration who works with the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been published in Nature’s Scientific Reports.

Raplee’s report is about a “new way of in-situ monitoring of electron beam additive manufacturing.’’

UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair of Advanced Manufacturing Suresh Babu, of the Tickle College of Engineering, was impressed with his work and what it means for the UT-ORNL partnership.

“This is indeed a big achievement for Jacob, for UT and for ORNL,” says Babu. “This demonstrates to current and future students how coming to East Tennessee and working with top facilities and researchers at both institutions can really benefit you.

“If you come here, you can push the boundaries of advanced manufacturing while mastering the state of the art innovations in design for manufacturing, advanced processes, in-situ and ex-situ characterization, high performance computational modeling and supply chain.”

Roane picks exec for Oak Ridge campus


Owen Driskill is Roane State’ new executive director for the Oak Ridge Campus, including community relations. He succeeds Melinda Hillman, who retired in January.

Driskill came to Roane State in 2007 after a 10-year career as a reporter and editor.

Driskill holds a degree in English and history is from Clemson University.

He has a master’s in communications from Austin Peay State University and a doctorate in education from East Tennessee State University.