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Haslam Alumni Awards
Chris Kinney (2017 Distinguished Alum), Shelly Sun (2017 Entrepreneur of the Year), Joe LaPorte representing Citizens Bank (2017 Outstanding Corporate Sponsor), and Michael Greene (2017 Outstanding Young Alum).

UT’s Haslam College of Business recognized the accomplishments of three alumni and one corporate partner during its ninth annual Alumni Awards Gala on November 3.

Approximately 400 alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the college attended the gala, which included a reception, silent auction, dinner, and awards presentation.

Proceeds from the corporate partners and silent auction benefited the College Fund, which allows administrators in the college to allocate dollars toward areas of greatest need, including student and faculty support.

Among the award presentations:

Michael D. Greene (’01, ’02, ’10) received the 2017 Outstanding Young Alum Award. A finance and philosophy major as an undergraduate, Greene worked in banking before obtaining his MBA at UT and becoming a commercial property affiliate broker at Wood Properties Inc. In 2016, Greene created the David L. Greene, MD, Memorial MBA Fellowship Endowment in honor of his late father.

Citizens Bank was recognized as the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Partner for its consistent decades-long support of the college through the LaPorte Torch Fund, Bloomberg terminals, and endowment of eight partial scholarships.

Shelly Sun (’92) was honored as the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year. Sun is an accounting graduate who started BrightStar Care, a Chicago-based premium health care company focusing on care for homebound patients and medical staffing. The venture quickly expanded through franchising and is now in more than 300 markets, producing $400 million in revenue each year.

Chris Kinney (’81) was honored as the 2017 Distinguished Alum. A seasoned investment banker, Kinney served the City of Knoxville as senior director of finance for three years before starting a New York–based investment management business. Today, SteelRiver Infrastructure Partners has offices in New York and San Francisco, with companies in 23 states.

The Haslam College of Business has more than 4,200 undergraduates—more than 20 percent of all undergraduates at UT—and 400 graduate students. In 2014, it became the university’s first named college after a historic gift from the family of James A. Haslam II (’52). Haslam is a former vice chair of the UT Board of Trustees and a UT Distinguished Alumnus. A former Vol football captain, he founded the company that is now Pilot Flying J.

More information about each recipient can be found on the college’s alumni and giving website.

About Join the Journey

As the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, aspires to become a preeminent institution, the $1.1 billion Join the Journey campaign will assist in positioning the university among the nation’s elite. The comprehensive fundraising campaign focuses on increasing support for undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, faculty support, college priorities, and athletics. The funds raised will create a student experience that reaches beyond the ordinary, shaping the next generation of leaders for the state, nation, and world.


Katie Williams (865-974-3589,

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,