Skip to main content

KNOXVILLE — The College of Business Administration at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has honored four alumni and organizations for their extraordinary commitment to the college, their professions and their community.

The awards were given out at the college’s second annual alumni gala at the James A. Haslam II Business Building.

John Compton, CEO of PepsiCo Americas Foods, was honored as the Distinguished Alum of the Year. He is the 21st person recognized with this award, which was given for the first time in 1982.

Ben Stanga, partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, was honored as the Outstanding Young Alum; Regal Entertainment Group was named the Outstanding Corporate Partner; and Mike West, CEO of Northshore Management Co. LLC, received the Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Distinguished Alum
John Compton

“Every time I am on campus, I am reminded of how much I love the University of Tennessee and how grateful I am for the educational foundation I received here,” said John Compton, chief executive officer of PepsiCo Americas Foods, the largest division within PepsiCo. Supported by 125,000 employees, Compton leads the company’s $20 billion food and snack portfolio that includes Frito-Lay North America, Quaker Foods and all of PepsiCo’s Latin American food businesses.

Compton began his 27-year career working for Frito-Lay and PepsiCo shortly after graduating from UT in 1983 with a degree in finance. Over the course of his career, he has held senior-level positions with Frito-Lay North America and Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade and most recently as CEO of PepsiCo North America.

“For the first 10 years or so after graduation, I primarily was focused on being successful in the company, and that consumed my time. But I eventually had the opportunity to return to UT to share my experiences with students, and I’ve been actively involved on campus ever since. I try to inspire students to ‘Learn, Earn and Return’—learn all they can while at UT, be as successful as they can in their chosen professions, and then give back to the community as much as they possibly can,” stated Compton.

It is the University of Tennessee’s great fortune that Compton walks the talk. He has been an active supporter of the College of Business Administration, serving as an executive-in-residence lecturer and a member of the Advisory Council to the Dean for more than a decade. He also gives generously of his time to serve on the college’s Campaign for Tennessee volunteer committee to support the college’s fundraising efforts.

In 2008, Compton was instrumental in coordinating a $350,000 grant from the PepsiCo Foundation to support the college’s diversity efforts; he also made a personal contribution to enhance technology in the college’s James A. Haslam II Business Building and to support the College Fund for Business Administration. To commemorate his gift, the college named the dean’s suite in Compton’s honor.

“It has been a pleasure to see the College of Business Administration transform into a premier institution with first-rate facilities, faculty and students,” said Compton. “I am honored to serve my alma mater in whatever capacity I can, and I look forward to seeing how much more we can achieve.”

Outstanding Young Alum

Ben Stanga

Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers

When Ben Stanga speaks to University of Tennessee students about their prospects for a career in accounting, he stresses how fortunate they are to be in one of the premier accounting programs in the country.

A partner in the Atlanta office of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Stanga speaks from experience. After receiving both his bachelor’s and aster in accountancy degrees from UT Knoxville, Stanga rapidly rose through the tax ranks at PwC; he credits UT Knoxville for preparing him for success.

“I have a great sense of indebtedness to the accounting program at UT,” Stanga said. “I have no doubt that I have enjoyed an accelerated career path at PwC because of the educational foundation I received at UT. And it’s not just me. UT graduates have performed extremely well throughout PwC. That is why the firm considers UT to be one of its primary sources for recruiting the best and brightest talent.”

Stanga, a native of Knoxville, enjoys returning to his hometown on a regular basis in his role as liaison to UT’s faculty and students.

“I thoroughly enjoy meeting new groups of students each year. One of the biggest thrills of my job is to watch UT students join PwC and become successful professionals.”

Regal Entertainment Group

Founded in 1989 in Knoxville, Regal Entertainment Group operates the largest and most geographically diverse theater circuit in the United States, consisting of 6,761 screens in 545 theatres in 38 states and the District of Columbia.

Across the United States, Regal Entertainment Group gives back to the communities that it serves through its contributions to numerous national and local philanthropic groups.

In Knoxville, for instance, Regal Entertainment Group has been a strong supporter of the University of Tennessee, giving generously to the UT Athletic Department, the UT Graduate School of Medicine, and the UT College of Business Administration. Most recently, with a $1 million contribution, the Regal Entertainment Group established the Regal Entertainment Group Endowed Distinguished Professorship.

“Since our founding, our company has been enriched by the great employees that have come to us from the University of Tennessee College of Business Administration,” said Regal Entertainment Group CEO Amy Miles, herself a 1989 graduate of UT Knoxville’s College of Business Administration’s accounting program.

“We benefit greatly from the resources that the college provides to our company and our community, and it is our honor to recognize and support the great work of the college and its exceptional faculty.”

Entrepreneur of the Year
Mike West
CEO, Northshore Management Co. LLC

Mike West loves being an entrepreneur. A 1989 alumnus of the College of Business Administration, West has launched 15 different companies, ranging in focus from health care to online furniture and from real estate to document shredding. Today, as CEO of Knoxville-based Northshore Management Co. LLC, West heads five enterprises, including a recently launched wealth management company and an investment advisory firm called Quintium Advisors.

An avid supporter of UT Knoxville’s College of Business Administration, West is a member of the college’s Advisory Council to the Dean and also serves as a lecturer in the Department of Management, teaching “New Venture Planning” to an elite group of senior-level students. Furthermore, West and his wife Tiffiny, also a 1989 graduate of the college, recently made a $1 million contribution to support technology in the college’s new James A. Haslam II Business Building. “The West Wing,” the special-purpose room located on the west side of the building, is named in their honor.

“I love the UT College of Business Administration,” said West. “It is very entrepreneurial in its nature; its faculty, staff and students think great thoughts and work extremely hard. The college has earned its reputation for excellence. I am particularly excited about the caliber of students I am seeing in the classroom and the bright future they represent.”

For more information about the UT Knoxville College of Business Administration, visit

C O N T A C T:

Cindy Raines, (865-974-4359,