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New CCI Board of Visitors Leaders Convene Fall Meeting

New CCI Board of Visitors (BOV) Chair Martha S. “Missy” Wallen (BA/CS ’74) and new BOV Vice Chair John T. Williams (BS/JEM ’71) welcomed 24 members to the fall BOV meeting on Nov. 6, 2015. Six new members joined the 36 member board (see information on Wallen and Williams below).

  • Gregory Cox (BS/BA & Accounting ’96 and (MS/Accounting ’95), Senior Analyst, North American Consumer Business, Georgia-Pacific LLC, Atlanta, GA
  • Sharon Price John (BS/ADV ’86), CEO & President, Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc., St. Louis, MO
  • Chuck Jones (BS/ADV ’83), Owner of Chuck Jones Direct Response Inc. & of Chuck’s Roast, Charlotte, NC
  • Mark Kroeger, Senior Advisor to the CEO, Scripps Networks Interactive, Knoxville, TN
  • Danuta Nitecki (MS/C&I ’76), Dean of Libraries, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Travis Parman (BS/PR ’94), Vice President, Regional Communications, Renault, Paris, France

During the meeting, five CCI student leaders shared their stories with the board and answered questions about their UT experiences, each CCI school/program director and the dean provided board members with an update on their area including achievements and challenges, and BOV committees met to generate action ideas to help CCI continue to improve its performance.

New BOV Chair and Vice Chair

Missie WallenMissy Wallen is a highly successful business person, long-time member and chair of CCI’s Board of Visitors, and a member of the Executive Committee of the UT Knoxville Alumni Association Board of Directors. She also serves as Vice Chair of The Development Corporation of Knox County and is on the Board of Directors of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. Her financial services career spans 40 years including: Knoxville Chairman of Pinnacle Financial Partners, Tennessee President of BB&T and leadership positions at Valley Fidelity Bank and Trust Co., Bank of East Tennessee and BankFirst. CCI’s Martha S. Wallen Classroom was named in her honor in recognition of her many accomplishments and generous support of CCI and UT Knoxville.

John T. WilliamsJohn T. Williams has had a highly successful career as a professional and community volunteer. His career accomplishments include: long-time CEO of The Regional Eye Center in Kingsport, TN and president or managing partner of related companies, management positions at a medical management consulting firm, radio and television stations and the Tennessee Valley Authority. He is also an award winning broadcast journalist, video producer and writer. His work on behalf of philanthropic and volunteer support of community and non-profit organizations includes: chairman of the Kingsport Higher Education Commission, Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center and the Wellmont Foundation; president of the Dobyns-Bennett Education Foundation and the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce; and member of the Wellmont Health System Board and vice chair of CCI’s Board of Visitors. The John and Patty Williams Conference Room in CCI’s Scripps Lab is named for John and his wife Patty to honor them for their many achievements and their strong support of CCI.

“I am very grateful to Missy, John and the entire Board of Visitors for taking time from their busy lives to give back to CCI and UT,” said CCI Dean Mike Wirth. “CCI is a much better place because of their strong support of our students and faculty!”

2015 students at BOV meeting

(from left to right)
Lauriel Cleveland (JEM major) National Association of Black Journalists President
Brett Wilson (CS major) Communication Studies Club President
Courtney Boykin (JEM major) CCI Diversity Student Leaders Society President
Rachel Underwood (JEM major) Society of Professional Journalists President
Steven Woods (ADV major) Ad Club President
Gabrielle Miller (PR major) Public Relations Student Society of America Interim President