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VOL. 45 | NO. 15 | Friday, April 9, 2021

MVP selects Ferguson as president, CEO

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Knoxville-based Magnum Venus Products has named Tobi Ferguson as its president and CEO.

MVP is a global manufacturer of fluid movement and production solutions for industrial applications.

Ferguson aims to build on the company’s history of innovation to achieve key financial and growth initiatives by delivering optimum value and performance for its customers.

“Tobi will be instrumental in the growth of MVP with his ability to articulate a vision and drive employee engagement,” says Mark Lewry, chairman of MVP’s board of directors. “His diverse manufacturing background, entrepreneurial spirit, and passion for people make him a natural fit. We are excited to welcome him to the MVP family.”

Previously, Ferguson led Vogt Ice, LLC where he served as president for six years. He ignited the Vogt brand and improved performance by optimizing operations, strengthening partnerships and deploying lean manufacturing practices.

Before Vogt, Ferguson held a number of appointments including director of Global Operations for Welbilt Foodservice.

“MVP holds limitless potential to inspire radical change in the composites industry and beyond,” Ferguson says. “I plan to implement a culture which serves our markets with tenacity, ingenuity, and with a focus on quality to drive the flawless execution our customers deserve.”

Knoxville couple joins NerdsToGo franchise

NerdsToGo, a computer and technology repair services franchise, has signed a franchise agreement with Don and Susan Dally of Knoxville.

The Dallys will serve as the area representatives to lead the brand’s development efforts across Tennessee.

In September, NerdsToGo was acquired by Propelled Brands, parent company of Fastsigns, the leading sign, graphics and visual communications franchisor in North America.

“During my career I’ve had the good fortune to experience both franchising and corporate America,’’ Don Dally says. “When I looked back over my career, it was clear that being a franchisee was the most rewarding. So, Susan and I decided to return to the model that allows me to go into business for myself, but not by myself.

“Once I learned about NerdsToGo’s proven business model and unlimited resources and support, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. NerdsToGo focuses on helping the underserved small to medium-sized businesses in areas where they need it the most, and I’m looking forward to scaling the brand’s growth alongside the experienced leaders at Propelled Brands.”

Nurse practitioners group picks Newnam as fellow

Kathy Newnam, associate professor at the University of Tennessee, has been selected as a Fellow in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, one of 38 chosen.

Newnam has been with the UT College of Nursing since 2014.

Her teaching interest includes research, theory, evidence-based practice methods and advanced health assessment. Her vast clinical experience and nationally funded research program provide students specialized training informed by her clinical research and translation to best practices through active dissemination.

Newnam’s scholarly projects include improving respiratory outcomes of the neonate, reducing necrotizing enterocolitis in the fragile infant, improving access to human milk in the neonatal population and the use of purposeful language as a strategy to improve neurodevelopmental outcomes and reduce neonatal stress though hospitalization.

Newnam has a BSN, and MSN from Old Dominion University, and a Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is a board-certified neonatal nurse practitioner and is on staff at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

She is dual certified as an APN in both pediatrics and neonatal care.

Attorneys, law school students join KBA

The Knoxville Bar Association has added several new members and law school members.

New attorneys in the association are:

• Jeffrey E. Caudill, Caudill Law Firm PLLC

• Donald T. Christmas, Christmas Law Firm

• Robert B. DeBusk, DeBusk Law Firm

• Taylor A. Drinnen, Drinnen Law, PLLC

• Katherine L. Edwards, TriAmericus Law, PLLC

• James C. Eggert, Eggert Law Firm

• Lauren N. Gray, Courtney S. Matyac, G. Alan Rawls, Lowe Yeager & Brown PLLC

• Laura Reagan, Stern Family Law, PLLC

• Joseph Sandford, Knox County Public Defender’s Community Law Office

• Garland T. Smith, Elmore, Stone & Caffey, PLLC

New law student members are:

Erica K. Agnew, Alexandra N. Allen, Clark N. Amundson, Lindsay Anderson, Zachary L. Atchley, Nadean H. Azzam, Jennifer C. Barnes, Natalie M. Batiste, Malia G. Bennett, Peyton E. Burkett, Grant A. Carringer, Gabriel B. Cole, Bree N. Conner, Deanna B. Cooper, Peyton Cross, Shelby L. Cross, Tiffany Ellis, Telesha Felder, Emily R. Ford, Sean D. Gilkey, Emily G. Harrell, Mariah Holtz, Austin M. Hord, Andrew E. Huff, Chandler Jacobs, Grant B. Klinger, Kayla L. Long, Geran E. Minor, Gwyneth Navey, Bradley Pearson, Julia M. Sbircea, Brady D. Smith, Walter W. Tebbs and Jessica D. White.

Terou, Small honored for diversity by CCI

Yassin Terou, owner of Yassin’s Falafel House in Knoxville, and Tyvi Small, University of Tennessee vice chancellor for diversity and engagement, will be honored by the College of Communication and Information with the 2021 CCI Diversity Awards.

The college has presented the award since 2009. Its first recipient was Theotis Robinson Jr., a pioneer in the Civil Rights movement.

Terou is founder and owner of Yassin’s Falafel House in Knoxville. He arrived in Knoxville as a refugee from Damascus, Syria, and by the time he became a U.S. citizen a decade later in 2020, his kindness, enthusiasm, hard work, and generosity had earned him a remarkable number of awards and recognitions.

In 2014, he opened Yassin’s Falafel House in downtown Knoxville and dedicated the space to be welcoming to people of “all sizes, all colors, all ages, all sexes, all cultures, all religions, all types, all beliefs.” He works tirelessly to help the Knoxville community, including many without permanent homes who suffer from hunger.

In 2018, Yassin’s Falafel House was recognized by Reader’s Digest and ABC’s Good Morning America as the “Nicest Place in America.” The same year his shop was also chosen as the Knoxville News Sentinel’s Best Middle Eastern Food, he opened a second shop, he received the 2018 Peace Award from Knoxville’s Rotary Club, and he was named the 2018 News Sentinel Person of the Year.

Since then he has won the Pinnacle Award from the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce, was named Knoxvillian of the Year in 2019, and he presided over the inauguration of Knoxville’s new mayor.

Before becoming a vice chancellor, Small served the university for 13 years in the Haslam College of Business, where his culminating role was as executive director for talent management, diversity and community relations.

Before coming to Knoxville, he was the education coordinator and assistant to the mayor for the City of West Palm Beach, Florida. He is very involved in the Knoxville community and serves on the board of directors of the Knoxville Area Urban League and The Tennessee Valley Fair. He is also past secretary/treasurer of The Development Corporation of Knox County and is currently a member of the Board of Commissioners for the Knoxville Utilities Board. He is a member of Leadership Tennessee Class VII, a 2012 graduate of Leadership Knoxville and a 2008 graduate of Introduction Knoxville.

Honeycutt, Norvath honored by SME

SME, the professional association committed to advancing manufacturing and developing a skilled workforce, has announced its lineup of 2021 Geoffrey Boothroyd Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineers, including two from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Andrew Honeycutt, Ph.D., and Nick Horvath, Ph.D., were among the 14 honorees selected based on their diverse manufacturing backgrounds, technology advancements/improvements and state-of-the-art research.

The 2021 award namesake, University of Massachusetts professor Geoffrey Boothroyd, Ph.D., FSME, and president of Boothroyd Dewhurst Inc., was selected for his early-career development of the widely used design for manufacture and assembly methodology.

“Each of the young engineers from the U.S., Canada and Sweden have demonstrated their ability to design, develop and execute new, impactful technologies within each of their respective areas of interest, academic institutions, research labs and across a variety of industries,” says Robert Willig, SME executive director and CEO. “We’re looking forward to watching their careers continue to unfold and transform manufacturing as their role model and award namesake, Dr. Boothroyd, once did.”

CEO Greene 2021 Dougherty winner

Kim Greene has been named the 2021 Nathan W. Dougherty Award winner, given by the University of Tennessee to an individual who has made significant contributions to the engineering profession.

Greene is the chairman, president and chief executive officer of Southern Company Gas.

She began her education at UT as an undergraduate student in 1984, majoring in what was then called engineering science and mechanics, now a part of the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering.

After graduating in 1988, Greene earned a masters in biomedical engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1990, and an MBA in finance from Samford University in 1996. Additionally, she completed the advanced management program at Harvard Business School in 2011.

Through two stints at Southern Company – interrupted by a nearly six-year period where she joined TVA as chief financial officer, later holding additional roles including chief generation officer – Greene has served in many senior roles, including president of Southern Company Services, chief operating officer, and her current role as chairman, president, and chief executive officer for Southern Company Gas, one of the country’s largest natural gas providers, serving more than 4.3 million customers in four states.

“It’s an incredible honor and privilege to be selected for this award,” Greene says. “To see the names of the people who have been chosen before me and to know that I am joining their ranks is exceedingly humbling. I am indeed very grateful.”

Greene is a strong voice in the energy sector, especially on issues related to safety, emerging technologies, innovation and STEM-related education.

She serves on the boards of directors of Valero Energy Corporation, American Gas Association, Gas Technology Institute and Morehouse School of Medicine. In addition to her professional career, Greene has served on the advisory boards of the Tickle College of Engineering and the UAB School of Engineering. She is a member of UT’s MABE Hall of Fame, the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame, a recipient of the UT Distinguished Alumni Award, and was named Power Gen’s 2015 Woman of the Year.

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