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Alumni News: Ackermann, Kramer, Wallen

Cathy AckermannCathy Ackermann’s (BS/PR ’71) column, “A good year means knowing your customer,” appeared in the Jan. 26 edition of the Knoxville News Sentinel. Ackermann is founder and CEO of Ackermann PR, a full-service marketing communications firm headquartered in Knoxville.  She also serves on CCI’s Board of Visitors.  Her advice in the article is to “Let 2014 be the year that you tune into your customers and engage with them in mutually beneficial and long-lasting ways which create preference, loyalty and revenue for your business.”  To read the article for Ackermann’s specific tips, click on the following link (requires a subscription to view)


Miriam KramerMiriam Kramer (BS/JEM ’11), took part in an astronaut training exercise at Cape Canaveral as part of her assignment as a writer for  As part of her training, she experienced an anxiety producing flight which included 4Gs of intense pull.  Concentrating on science writing while at UT, Kramer calls this experience “definitely well outside my comfort zone.” (


Missie WallenMissy Wallen (BA/CS ’74), vice chair of the Development Corporation of Knox County, has been elected to the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Board of Directors.   Wallen is the recently retired Tennessee regional president of BB&T and the current vice-chair of CCI’s Board of Visitors. “Missy’s extensive background in finance and banking and her deep roots in the Knoxville community will be a great benefit to our company and our members,” Bill Gracey, BlueCross president and CEO, said in a news release. “Her insight and experience lend themselves well to our mission of providing affordable health care to our members.”