2003 Inductees

Tammy Arnette

Tammy Arnette combined love of numbers, music, and people in her college career. By the time she graduated from East Tennessee State University in 1989 with a degree in accounting, she had participated in Sigma Kappa sorority, President’s Pride service honorary, the Order of Omega, ETSU Jazz Singers, the university choir and chamber choir, and she had been elected Miss ETSU.

She was quickly hired by Blackburn, Childers and Steagall as a staff auditor and settled into the community, joining the Johnson City Rotary Club and serving on the boards of directors for the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra and Suzuki School of Music.

In 1992, she accepted employment as a senior auditor with PricewaterhouseCoopers, transferring to the Atlanta office in 1996, where she assumed the role of Manager of College Recruiting, responsible for 150 hires annually. By 2000, she had moved again, this time to New York as the Metro Regional Director of Campus Recruiting, now meeting a goal of 600 hires per year.

Currently, she is the PricewaterhouseCoopers U.S. Chairman’s Program Manager, running the client relationship management program for the firm’s top U.S. clients, with other duties ranging from organizing quarterly CEO/CFO roundtables to designing a website and assisting internal constituents.

Her other commitments include membership on the Advisory Board for the Scholars Institute of the New Jersey Society of CPAs, active participation in New York Cares volunteer organization, the New York Road Runners Club, and the ETSU National Alumni Association. She is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Tennessee State Society of CPAs.

Her journey from the classrooms of Sam Wilson Hall on the campus of ETSU to PricewaterhouseCoopers offices on the Avenue of the Americas in New York City shows current students the possibilities ahead.


Wayne Basler

Wayne Basler’s name is one of the most familiar on the campus of East Tennessee State University. The child of two teachers, he learned early the value of education and has continually enriched the educational experience of ETSU students.

The Wayne G. Basler Chair of Excellence for the Integration of the Arts, Rhetoric, and Science allows the College of Arts and Sciences to bring to campus visitors who have demonstrated excellence in “an academic discipline, in a performances field, in public service or in a profession, who will aid students in integration and connection of various fields of study.”

The AFG Industries Chair of Excellence permits a designated faculty member in the College of Business and Technology to encourage entrepreneurship and business development, assisting both students and the region’s business community.

In addition, Basler created an incentive scholarship program for technology students and the Basler Challenge Course, featuring 50-foot Alpine towers which provide physical and mental trials for participants, developing leadership and team-building skills.

The former director and president of AFG Industries, Inc., received a bachelor’s degree in ceramic engineering from Iowa State University. He served in the U.S. Air Force, assigned to the Air Research and Development Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, and attained the rank of first lieutenant.

After working as a research engineer for Alcoa, he was hired by Ford Motor Co. as a research engineer, glass development manager, and production manager. In 1972, he was hired by Guardian Industries as their director of technical development. Five years later, he became president of Fourco Glass Co. in West Virginia, and in 1978 he returned to Kingsport when his company merged with ASG Industries to form AFG Industries, Inc.

The recipient of ETSU’s prestigious George L. Carter Award in 1998, he was named an Honorary Alumnus in 2002. He has served as president of the ETSU Foundation and as a board of visitors member for the College of Applied Science and Technology, now part of the College of Business and Technology . He is a true philanthropist, loyal to ETSU, and generous with his time and resources.

Basler is the father of three children, Eric, Janell Basler Green, and Peter.


Gene E. Burleson

Over the past 20 or so years, Gene Burleson has built “one of the most impressive credentials in health care management.” He is at the helm of Mariner Health Care, Inc., one of the largest long-term health care services in the country, with 300 facilities in 22 states.

With a bachelor of science degree in accounting from East Tennessee State University in 1964 and an MBA degree in 1972, he held increasingly responsible positions within the domestic international operations of American Medical International (AMI). Beginning in 1974, he assumed management of AMI’s acute care hospitals, psychiatric facilities, HMO day-surgery centers, free-standing diagnosis centers, and retail pharmacy centers. In 1981, he was named Director of AMI operations in the United Kingdom, and then Chief Executive Officer for the European region. Revenues increased from $5 million to $185 million under his leadership, and AMI became the dominant provider of health care in the UK, which led to a successful public offering of the company.

Returning to the U.S. in 1986, he continued as Chief Operating Officer and was elected president of AMI’s worldwide operations, including Great Britain, Spain, Switzerland, Greece, and Singapore.

By the mid-1990s, he was Chief Executive Officer of Vitalink Pharmacy Services, Inc., dispenser of pharmacy services to nursing facilities across the country.

He was also chairman of the board of directors of GranCare, Inc., one of the largest publicly traded long-term health care providers in the nation, which through a series of mergers has become Mariner Health Care.

The 1997 ETSU Outstanding Alumnus has maintained strong ties with his alma mater, serving on the Distinguished President’s Trust, as a participant in the Buc Connection career development network, and as an Alumni Ambassador.

The North Carolina native now lives in Atlanta. He and his wife, Jan, are the parents of Jeff, who holds a 1994 ETSU degree in finance and a 1996 master’s degree in business administration, and Lisa, who is a teacher.


Linda Good

While working toward her 1969 business degree at East Tennessee State University, Linda Good developed leadership skills as a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, as a cheerleader, and at the head of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps women’s precision drill team, which took first place in national competition.

Her first career was as a vocational education teacher in high schools in Florida and Tennessee. Then, for 16 years, she was employed by IBM, progressing from sales representative to sales management, and living in Knoxville, Columbia, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C.

After a few years with BUYPASS, an Atlanta-based electronic funds transfer and credit card transaction processing company, she worked from 1992 to 1998 for Shared Medical Systems (since acquired by Siemens Health Solutions) as the Marketing Communications Director and Regional Manager, and resided in Malvern, Pa., New York, Dallas, and Nashville.

A year of assisting Digital Discoveries, a Knoxville start-up, web-based information source in the employment and staffing industry, was followed by creating her own business, Good Coaching, which among other projects helped downsized Eastman Chemical Company employees find new employment through a contract with Right Management Consultants.

During 2002-03, she was Senior Project Manager with Erroyo, a customized learning solutions company and a subsidiary of RIVR Media in Knoxville, where she created and transformed learning content for e-delivery.

Today, she has returned to her first interest, teaching business technology at Carter High School in Knox County. In addition, she satisfies her love of the outdoors and entrepreneurship through Flyfishingclasses.net, allowing this graduate of Joan Wulff”s Instructor School to offer clinics and fly fishing experience for groups.

Her affiliations include membership in the American Society for Training and Development, Fly Fishing Federation of America, Trout Unlimited, and the Sierra Club.

A 1985 ETSU Award of Honor recipient, she is past president of the ETSU National Alumni Association from 1991-92 and a board member from 1988-92. She is married to Joe Bogle, who is employed by Alcoa Aluminum Co.


Louis Gump

Johnson City businessman Louis Gump began his career as treasurer of two family-owned finance companies from 1963 to 1971. One was a consumer finance company and the other focused on commercial finance. In 1971, the family acquired Smith-Higgins, a wholesale pharmaceutical distribution firm, and Gump became president, devoting full time to its management.

Between 1971 and 1986, Smith-Higgins grew approximately 20 times in sales and expanded to cover a seven-state area. In 1983, the company was sold to Alco Standard Corporation, which traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and in 1985, Alco Health Services Division went public.

Gump held dual titles of president and chairman for five years. In 1986, he served as chairman of Smith-Higgins, working primarily on business strategy and asset management at the corporate level. In 1988, he resigned to start Impact Management, a company working primarily with owners and managers of closely-held companies and professional corporations to improve profits through improved business planning, better organizational design, and increased operational efficiency. Impact Management also conducts first-line supervisor training in principles of management.

Gump is a Certified Management Consultant and a member of the Institute of Management Consultants. He has taught college-level management courses and supervisor training classes, and has facilitated continuing education seminars and corporate planning retreats.

Active in civic affairs, Gump is a 2001 Tri-Cities Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame Laureate. He received the 1998 Northeast Tennessee Philanthropist of the Year Award, and the 1992 Johnson City Medical Center “Spirit of Johnson City” Award. Gump has served as President of the Johnson City Public Schools Foundation, Chairman of the Northeast State Technical Community College Foundation Board, and as a member of the Duke University Talent Identification Program national advisory board.

Currently, he is a member of the Air Cargo and Trade Development Committee, the Milligan College President’s Advisory Council, and the Greater Tri-Cities Business Alliance. A member of First Tennessee Bank’s regional board, he is co-founder and past chairman of both East Tennessee Hospice and Hands On! Regional Museum. In the past he has acted as chair of the Johnson City Medical Center Hospital Board and as president of the Watauga Area Mental Health Board.

A faithful supporter of ETSU, Gump is a member of the Distinguished President’s Trust and the ETSU Foundation Board, as well as chair of the ETSU Roan Scholar Steering Committee, guiding the Roan Scholars Leadership Program he established. The merit-based program seeks, through an excellent educational opportunity, to keep outstanding young leaders within the region. He has spent over 20 years as the Foundation representative on the university scholarship committee.

In 1983, Gump was named ETSU Honorary Alumnus, and he received the ETSU Margin of Excellence Award in 2002.

Gump and his wife, Lucy, are the parents of four children: sons Louis, Jay, and Warren, and daughter Mary G. Fly.


Lt. Gen. Ronald V. Hite (Ret.)

Lt. Gen. Ronald Hite is currently the president and CEO of Cypress International. The Alexandria, Va., based company assists clients in “planning, business development and marketing of defense and aerospace products and services worldwide.”

The Washington County, Tenn., native began his career as a member of the East Tennessee State University Class of 1964, and was a Distinguished Military Graduate with a degree in chemistry. He later earned a master’s degree in management science from the Florida Institute of Technology.

After receiving his commission at ETSU, the early days of his military career took him to Germany and Vietnam. Later, he served as commander of a maintenance battalion at Ford Ord, Calif.; cofounder and instructor of the Combined Arms Staff Services School in Fort Leavenworth, Kan.; first Commander of United States Army Combat Systems Test Activity at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland; Officer in Charge of the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle and Abrams Tank Live Fire Test Programs; and Deputy Commanding General with the United States Army Test and Evaluation Command, also at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Among his accomplishments are his involvement in the development of the HUMMER military vehicle and several major weapons systems. He was the principal senior Army military acquisition official providing testimony before the House and Senate defense committees.

By the time he retired from the military in 1997 after 33 years of service, he had been awarded two Distinguished Service Medals, four Legions of Merit, three Meritorious Service Medals, paratrooper wings, and the Ranger Tab.

A recipient of the ETSU Distinguished Alumni in the Armed Forces award in 1989, he returned to campus in 1999 as a participant in the Alumni Speakers Series, and he serves on the ETSU National Alumni Association board.

Hite and his wife, Millie, are the parents of daughters Mia, mother of their three grandchildren, and Tifani, who received a bachelor’s degree from ETSU in 2001, followed by a master’s degree in psychology in May 2003.


Renee Lockhart

During her student days at East Tennessee State University, Renee Lockhart spent four years practicing and performing with the ETSU Marching Band. That dedication and discipline helped her earn a BBA degree in 1987.

While working toward her Master of Accounting degree, which she received from ETSU in 1989, Lockhart held an unusual combination of positions. She was a graduate assistant in the Department of Accountancy, assisting students in the computer lab and professors in classrooms, but she also served as the coordinator of ETSU majorettes. In that second capacity, she worked with numerous high school bands in Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky, and was chosen to be a judge in high school marching band competitions.

After finishing her graduate program, Lockhart remained at ETSU as an accountancy instructor for an academic year. During that time, Richard Tetrick called the department looking for someone to fill an accounting position in his funeral home business. Lockhart was highly recommended and was hired.

Currently, Lockhart is Chief Financial Officer of Heritage Family Funeral Services, Inc. and Heritage Family Management. She oversees all aspects of the accounting department for the Elizabethton-based enterprises, including financial statement preparation, budgeting, accounts payable, payroll, sales tax, and internal auditing. In addition, she is responsible for troubleshooting computer hardware/software problems and overseeing the company’s web page. In 1990, when she began working for Heritage Family Funeral Services, the company had 10 locations in three states. Today, there are 20 locations.

In recognition of her abilities, Lockhart was selected for inclusion in the 2001 “Forty Under 40” class featured by The Business Journal of Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia.

Lockhart is a member of the Elizabethton Rotary Club, serves on the board of directors for Heritage Family Cemeteries, Inc., and is a member of Heritage Baptist Church. She and her husband actively support several non-profit agencies dealing with children. She is a resident of Bluff City and married to Jess Lockhart, a 1986 ETSU graduate who is employed by the Sullivan County Department of Education.


Donald H. Poole, Jr.

Donald Poole arrived at East Tennessee State University with degrees in fine arts from the Atlanta College of Art and the University of New Mexico. In 1997, he left ETSU, with his master of engineering technology degree in hand, and moved to San Diego to work for Sony Interactive Studios of America.

After accepting a position as senior artist with Midway Home Entertainment, he worked on the arcade game Offroad Thunder and the Playstation 2 game Ready 2 Rumble 2. In 2000, Poole moved to Los Angeles after accepting a position at Naughty Dog, Inc., a subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment. A member of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, he worked as a production artist on Jak and Daxter and Jak2 for Playstation 2.

Poole is currently helping to create the third installment of the Jak and Daxter trilogy, as well as continuing his work as a studio artist in the areas of photography and painting. He is married to Christi Miles-Poole, and he is the son of Donald and Frankye Poole of Johnson City. His parents are both retired ETSU faculty members: his father as a professor of geography and his mother as an assistant professor in home economics.


Dr. Paul E. Stanton, Jr.

Dr. Paul E. Stanton, Jr., who had served as Dean of the James H. Quillen College of Medicine and Vice President for Health Affairs at East Tennessee State University since 1989, became the eighth President of ETSU on January 1, 1997.

A native of Atlanta, Ga., Stanton earned a bachelor of arts in chemistry at Emory University in 1965 and was awarded an M.D. degree from the Medical College of Georgia four years later. His internship was completed through Tampa General Hospital at the University of South Florida, where he was chosen from 23 interns to receive the Upjohn Intern of the Year Award in 1970.

Stanton went on to a surgical residency at Georgia Baptist Medical Center in Atlanta from 1970-74 and then began a one-year fellowship in vascular surgery at Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago.

Between 1975-85, Stanton served in several capacities at Georgia Baptist Medical Center. An assistant clinical professor of surgery with the Medical College of Georgia (1980-85), he became Chief of Surgery at Georgia Baptist Medical Center in 1982 and assistant director of the Medical Education Department the following year. Stanton also co-directed the Georgia Baptist Medical Center/Medical College of Georgia Vascular Fellowship from 1980-85 and was an adjunct professor of medicine at Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy between 1982-85.

In 1985, Stanton came to Johnson City as director of the Division of Peripheral Vascular Surgery for the Veterans Administration Medical Center and ETSU’s College of Medicine -- a position he held for six years -- and served as associate professor of surgery at the university. The following year, he was named professor and chair of the Department of Surgery in the College of Medicine.

Between 1988-89, Stanton served as ETSU’s Interim Dean of Medicine and Vice President for Health Affairs. He subsequently assumed the senior administrative post on a permanent basis before being selected as the university president by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Stanton’s professional memberships are many, and his community and statewide service is extensive. He is also heavily involved in academic committees and advisory councils from ETSU to the national level.

He has authored numerous articles for a variety of medical publications and several chapters for books, delivered over 80 scientific and poster presentations, and has worked to attract millions of dollars in grants to ETSU.

In 1997, Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist appointed Stanton to the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB). In 2002, Stanton was elected Vice Chairman of the SREB, which is America’s first interstate compact for education with 16 member states.

In January 2002, Stanton-Gerber Hall was dedicated on the grounds of the James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Mountain Home, ETSU’s neighbor and partner. The $36 million basic sciences building is named for both Stanton and for the VA center director Dr. Carl J. Gerber as they worked together to see this project to fruition.

Stanton is married to the former Nancy Lynn Brumit, and the couple has three children: Eric, Ryan, and Shelley, and two grandchildren, Matthew and Christopher Stanton.