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KNOXVILLE – The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has named an alumni board of directors to provide advice and counsel to the university administration and guidance for alumni initiatives.

The first official meeting of the board was held Friday, Sept. 11. Alan Wilson, president, CEO and chairman of the board of McCormick and Co., serves as president of the board. Wilson is a 1980 graduate of the College of Communication and Information.

Other members of the Alumni Board of Directors include:

  • Toby Boulet, president, UT Knoxville Faculty Senate, Knoxville
  • Bill Burkhart, physician, Knoxville.
  • Steve Catlett, associate vice chancellor for alumni affairs, UT Knoxville
  • Jimmy Cheek, chancellor, UT Knoxville
  • Linda Davidson, vice chancellor for development and alumni affairs, UT Knoxville
  • Charles Davis, broadcaster, Fox Sports/NFL Network, Winter Garden, Fla.
  • Jim Duke, owner, Chickasaw Floor Covering, Germantown, Tenn.
  • Lisa Ford, president, Ford Group Inc., Atlanta, Ga.
  • Mike Forrester, attorney, Hunter, Smith & Davis, Kingsport, Tenn.
  • Bob Gillcrist, senior vice president, HOK Architects, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Bart Graham, Georgia state revenue commissioner, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Joe Haskins, chairman of the board and CEO, Capital Bank, Lookout Mountain, Ga.
  • Michael Jennings, co-chief executive officer, Turnstyles Ticketing, Whitehouse Station, N.J.
  • Doug Jubenville, vice president, Bank of America, Lake Wylie, S.C.
  • Jenneen Kaufmann, vice president of finance, Tennessee Titans, Nashville
  • Jane Kramer, advancement specialist, alumni affairs, UT Knoxville
  • David Leaverton, field director, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, Knoxville
  • Jason Little, CEO, Baptist Memorial Hospital, Memphis
  • Cavanaugh Mims, president, Visionary Solutions, Oak Ridge
  • Laura Nishida, president, Student Government Association, UT Knoxville
  • Mintha Roach, president and CEO, Knoxville Utilities Board, Knoxville
  • Lisa Hood Skinner, senior vice president, Ackermann Public Relations, Knoxville
  • Lelan Statom, meteorologist, WTVF Channel 5, Nashville
  • Johnny Taylor, commercial relations specialist, SunTrust Bank, Knoxville
  • Trent Willingham, president, Student Alumni Associates, UT Knoxville

Also on Sept. 11, the group hosted an awards dinner at the Knoxville Marriott to recognize 12 outstanding alumni. Four people were honored as distinguished alumni for their years of service and great personal and professional success.

The Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna award recognizes those alumni who have attained extraordinary distinction and success in their chosen fields of endeavor. Through their accomplishments, they have brought credit and acclaim to UT and have benefitted society at large. The winners of the Distinguished Alumna/Alumnus award were:

  • Howard H. Baker Jr., former White House chief of staff under President Ronald Reagan, former U.S. ambassador to Japan and former U.S. senator
  • Clarence L. Brown (posthumous), film director
  • James A. Haslam II, founder of Pilot Oil Corp.
  • Natalie L. Haslam, local philanthropist and arts patron

The Alumni Service Award recognizes exceptional long-term continuing service and leadership to UT. The winners of the Alumni Service Award were:

  • Jennifer Banner, CEO of the Schaad Companies
  • Michael Fitts, state of Tennessee architect
  • Jack Mills, founder, Central Fleet and Leasing Co.
  • Will Pugh, founder, Pugh & Co. accounting firm

The Alumni Promise Award recognizes alumni 40 years old or younger who have demonstrated distinctive achievement in their careers, civic involvement or both. The winners of the Alumni Promise Award were:

  • Brannon Costello, assistant professor of English, Louisiana State University
  • Steve Kennedy, marketing manager, Dow Chemical
  • Ali Safavi, worldwide executive director of global account management, Walt Disney Co.
  • Michael Thigpen, associate director of the Botswana/U.S. HIV Prevention Research Division, Centers for Disease Control

To read more about the award winners, visit

C O N T A C T :

Steve Catlett, (865-974-3011,

Beth Gladden, (865-974-9008,