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Business & Technology inducts Hall of Fame members

Friday, October 17, 2008JOHNSON CITY—The East Tennessee State University College of Business and Technology inducted members into its Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Friday, Oct. 17, at the Carnegie Hotel Grand Soldiers Ballroom.

The Lifetime Achievement in Business Award is presented to alumni of the College of Business and Technology who have significant accomplishments in business or public service, and demonstrated exemplary service to the community and a commitment to the college and university.

Dr. Ronald Carrier is president emeritus of Virginia’s James Madison University, an institution he served for nearly 28 years. When he was appointed in 1971, the institution was known as James Madison College, and he was the youngest college president in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

During his tenure, the school saw its enrollment increase from 3,800 to 14,000 students while new facilities totaling $240 million were constructed, the operating budget increased from $10 million to $200 million, 40 new programs came online, and five colleges and a graduate school were established.

The former president of the student body and a 1955 ETSU graduate with a bachelor’s degree in economics, Carrier has served at the request of the governor of Virginia on numerous committees and task forces, as well as a participant in a White House conference and with organizations devoted to improving education.

The recipient of both the 1976 ETSU Outstanding Alumnus Award and the 1999 ETSU Distinguished Alumnus in Higher Education Award, Carrier was selected the 1991 Virginian of the Year.

Carrier and his wife, ETSU Class of 1956 alumna Edith, are members of the ETSU Legacy Circle and the President’s Trust Silver Society for their generous support of their alma mater. They have established the Carrier Endowment through the ETSU Foundation to recognize outstanding ETSU student government leaders.

James Holmes is the president and chief operating officer of Elizabethton-based Carter County Bank.

A member of the ETSU Class of 1970, Holmes earned a bachelor’s degree in management and began his banking career as a management trainee with First Peoples Bank in Johnson City. From 1971-75, he was a bank examiner for the State of Tennessee Department of Banking. In the fall of 1975, Holmes joined Carter County Bank as senior vice president with responsibility for lending and investments. He assumed the post of president and CEO in 1991.

A member of the ETSU Foundation, Holmes serves on the ETSU Center for Banking Advisory Board. His leadership has enabled Carter County Bank to be recognized as a member of the President’s Trust Silver Society in the ETSU Foundation for the bank’s many years of strong philanthropic support for the university.

The Excellence in Business Award is presented to individuals whose work has brought distinction to the College of Business and Technology. Although they may not be ETSU graduates, recipients must have significant accomplishments in business or technology, exemplary service to the community, and a demonstrated commitment to the college and to ETSU.

Ruth Ellis DiGregorio founded and served as chief executive officer of Mountain Empire Bank (currently Bank of America) based in Johnson City. She is now retired.

A graduate of Emory University and of the Vanderbilt School of Banking, DiGregorio was a pioneer in the region 

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