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VOL. 45 | NO. 6 | Friday, February 5, 2021

Simmons takes helm as MKAA chairman

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Brian Simmons, president and founder of Simmons Property Group, LLC, is the new chairman of the board of the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority.

Simmons replaces State Rep. Eddie Mannis, who will remain on the board as a commissioner.

Jeff Smith, executive vice president for operations for UT-Battelle LLC, will serve as vice chairman.

During his real estate career, Simmons has played an integral part in acquiring and financing over 40 commercial real estate properties throughout the Southeast, with a concentration in affordable housing communities.

He has a master’s degree in international affairs from Georgia Tech, a master’s degree in finance from Georgia State University, and a bachelor’s degree in management from Georgia Tech.

Since being appointed to the board in 2011, Simmons has held a variety of leadership positions, most recently serving as vice chairman. His experience on the airport board well as in his past chairmanship of the Knoxville Transit Authority make him well versed in the transportation needs of our region.

Smith coordinates the overall operations and support functions, including facility operations, environmental compliance, safety and health, business operations, security, human resources, communications, and technology transfer and economic development for UT-Battelle.

He also serves on the Tennessee Valley Authority Board, a position held since January 2018. He is also a private pilot, holds an FAA repairman’s’ certificate, and member of the Experimental Aircraft Association and Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

Smith has served on the airport board since 2005 and has been a strong voice for corporate, military and recreational aviation as Chair of the General Aviation Committee for 13 years.

TVA names Grant top engineer for 2021

TVA has awarded Ian Grant the 2021 O. J. “Ike” Zeringue Engineer of the Year honor.

Grant is a Top 10 Finalist for the Federal Engineer of the Year award to be given in February. The award is the only one of its kind to solely recognize outstanding engineers employed by the federal government.

Grant, who grew up in New Zealand, has worked in the electricity industry for 50 years.

He worked with NASA on the Apollo 16 mission. In 1968, Grant joined the Power Technologies, Inc. consulting firm, allowing him to continue his work in the U.S. and travel the world.

During his consulting work Grant was elected as a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Through IEEE and his other work, colleagues invited Grant to visit TVA, and he gladly returned to the utility industry in 2001. He has been at TVA ever since – “doing real engineering, not just consulting,” he says.

Grant is considered the subject-matter expert on electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and geomagnetic disturbance (GMD). When asked about his proudest achievement, he harkens to the work in these fields.

We’ve done some really good work in resiliency,” Grant says. “We’re right up there with leaders in the industry making practical steps forward to make our grid resilient.”

His work includes authoring or co-authoring over 60 professional papers. In 2020, he received the Engineer of the Decade award from the Chattanooga Chapter of the Society of Professional Engineers.

Ullrich Print Plus hires Sharp for client relations

Martha Sharp has been hired by Ullrich Print Plus to develop client relations between both new and existing customers.

Ullrich Print is a family-owned printing company that has been in business in East Tennessee since 1979. The company specializes in business-to-business printing and promotional products with an emphasis on quality and exceptional customer service.

“With Martha’s experience, we will be able to better provide our customers with the quality they have come to expect at Ullrich as well as new technologies and expanded product line for their graphic communication needs,” Peter Ullrich says.

Sharp has more than 25 years of experience in a variety of sales including Social Media, Pharmaceutical, Institutional, Home Health, BioTech, PPE and Medical Devices. Most recently, she was the VP of product development for Elkmont Media, where she excelled at providing social media, website design and video production to businesses in the East Tennessee area.

During her medical sales career, she concentrated on hospital contracts for nuclear imaging products, IV conscious sedation and IV antibiotics in surgery, the ICU and in the emergency department. She also sold cardiovascular and oncology products for MRI, CT and ultrasound.

Sharp is a graduate of the University of Tennessee.

Barge Design welcomes Sprangler as CTO

Barge Design Solutions has announced Ray Spangler has joined the company as chief technology officer.

Spangler joins Barge after 25 years with Verizon Wireless where he has led cross-functional teams in enterprise architecture, resource integration, process automation and network design, including the most recent deployment of 5G.

As CTO at Barge, Spangler will help create a shared technology vision alongside our market and practice leaders, develop and implement strategic technology plans in support of the vision, and expand our use of applied technologies both internally and externally.

“As IT networks move to become the next ‘utility’ and network connectivity is engrained into everything we imagine, Spangler’s experience and expertise will position us to identify new possibilities for how we develop and deploy technologies that create value to our clients, differentiate us in the marketplace, and expand our client portfolio into the telecommunication sector,’’ says Shannon Lambert, chief operating officer.

Fox named football coach at Maryville College

Maryville College announces Ben Fox as its head football coach.

Fox has been offensive coordinator at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.

Sara Quatrocky, interim athletics director, made the announcement highlighting Fox’s qualifications as a coach of nationally ranked offenses at two Division III schools and as an all-conference quarterback and defensive back at another.

He will be the 30th football coach in the 123-year history of football at the school.

Maryville College launched a national search for the position at the end of November, following the resignation of head coach Shaun Hayes, who compiled a 31-19 record in five seasons.

Fox has nearly 12 years’ experience coaching at the collegiate level – eight years spent with Division III schools. In addition to Centre, he has coached at Huntingdon College (2012-2016) and Bryant University (2009-2011). At each of the three schools, he coached under the football program’s all-time winningest coach.

Fox coordinated nationally ranked offenses at both Huntingdon and Centre, and he produced 26 All-Southern Athletic Association (SAA) performers at Centre. While on the coaching staff at Centre, the Colonels posted a 24-8 record and reached the NCAA Division III Playoffs.

He was a four-year letterman in football and basketball at Daniel Boone High School in Gray, Tennessee, and was valedictorian of his senior class. He was a four-year letterman at NCAA Division III’s Washington University in St. Louis, where he played quarterback and defensive back. He earned academic all-conference honors in the University Athletic Association in his senior season.

He earned a degree in business administration from WashU and an MBA from Bryant University.

UScellular promotes area sales manager

UScellular has promoted Grant Padley to retail area sales manager for East Tennessee.

In this role, Padley is responsible for leading his team of stores and wireless technology experts to help customers select the devices, plans and consumer electronics to best meet their needs.

Padley comes to East Tennessee from Wisconsin, where he was retail store manager at the Janesville, Wisconsin, location for four years. He started with UScellular in 2007 as a phone service technician, quickly moved into sales and has since been a sales leader for the wireless company for over 10 years.

“Grant has proven himself to be an experienced and knowledgeable leader,” says Nathan Waddell, director of sales for UScellular in East Tennessee. “We are thrilled to have him joining our East Tennessee team of leaders to guide our associates as we continue to help customers across the area with their technology needs.”

UT EHHS faculty members among most cited

Three current faculty members from the University of Tennessee’s College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences were named among the world’s top 2% of scientists according to research citations, based on a study conducted by Stanford University researchers.

Included are David Bassett, head of the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport Studies, Chris Skinner, professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling, and Jay Whelan, head of the Department of Nutrition.

Bassett’s research focuses on the measurement of physical activity and energy expenditure in humans, using objective methods. Bassett’s study on step-counting goals was among the most cited of 2019.

Skinner’s research centers around developing and validating procedures designed to prevent and remedy student problems, applied behavioral analysis, single-subject design research and academic intervention. Skinner has been recognized as one of the most productive authors and successful trainers of applied school psychology researchers.

Whelan’s research examines the relationship between a variety of cancers and the cellular and biomolecular effects of dietary fats.

ETSU’s Chae earns national scholarship

Sungwon Chae, a doctoral student in the Clemmer College at East Tennessee State University, is the recipient of the National Strength and Conditioning Association Minority Scholarship.

The $2,000 scholarship provided by the NSCA Foundation is designed to encourage minorities ages 17 and older to enter the field of strength and conditioning.

Chae is currently in his first year of pursuing a Ph.D. degree in sport physiology at ETSU where his research focus is on resistance training and athlete monitoring. He is currently assisting the ETSU Weightlifting Team as a sport scientist.

A native of South Korea, Chae earned his undergraduate degree in physical education from Hanyang University and his master’s in exercise physiology from University of North Texas.

His career goals include working as a sport scientist and helping athletes optimize performance.

“Congratulations to Sungwon for this well-deserved honor,” says Dr. Nicole Dabbs, NSCA Foundation Board President. “He is an outstanding student with an extremely bright future. We are proud to support Sungwon in his studies to be a future leader of the strength and conditioning industry.”

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