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College of Business and Technology

East Tennessee State University

Richard Green- Lifetime Achievement Award

Richard Green earned a bachelors degree in management at ETSU in 1973. He was hired by General Shale Brick, beginning a successful relationship that continues today.

Over time, Green has held positions as plant manager, regional production manager, vice president of marketing, executive vice president, and currently he serves as president and chief economic officer.

Named the 2004 ETSU Outstanding Alumnus, Green serves on the board of directors of the ETSU Foundation. In 2008, the Tennessee Board of Regents bestowed the Regents Award on Green and his company in recognition of their continuing kindness to ETSU.

Greens wife, Karen Carden Green, earned an ETSU bachelors degree in speech and hearing in 1971. The Greens reside in Johnson City and are the parents of two children, Jody and David.


Stephen Gross - Lifetime Achievement Award

Stephen Gross has graduated twice from ETSU, with his bachelors degree in 1969 and a master of business administration degree in 1994.

Gross spent the years from 1972 to 1985 employed by Burlington Industries in locations in North Carolina and Tennessee. After completing the corporate administrative training program and holding several positions, he was promoted to Assistant Administrative Manager of the Johnson City plant.

In 1985, Gross was hired as plant controller of the Piney Flats plant of Microporous Products, Inc. By 1989, Gross and his partners bought the local plant, and, as an owner and Chief Financial Officer, Gross helped the company grow from a small supplier of battery separators to a major multimillion dollar company with branches in the United States and Europe. In 1995, Microporous was named one of the Tennessee Businesses of the Year. The company was eventually sold to another large manufacturer.

During his tenure at Microporous, Gross was instrumental in the creation of numerous scholarships funded by the company for ETSU students.

Gross joined with a group of area businessmen in 1996 to create State of Franklin Savings Bank, the first such savings bank in the state, with locations in Bristol, Johnson City and Kingsport.

In 1998, Gross purchased controlling interest of Southeast Recycling Technologies, Inc., a small business which he and his partner have nurtured from a single operation to five locations throughout Tennessee and Georgia. Southeast takes pride in recycling all materials, with a no-landfill policy.

Recently, Gross helped write and spearhead the passage of a bill to outlaw the inclusion of any mercury-laden devices into the landfills of Tennessee.

A supporter of ETSU, Gross is a member of the ETSU Foundation, past president of the ETSU Pirate Club supporting the Buccaneers, and past president of the University School Foundation and PTA.

Gross resides in Gray and is married to ETSU alumna Novice Hendrix Gross (B.S. 1969, M.A. 1971), a former University School teacher. They are the parents of adult children Taylor and Mollie, as well as grandparents of two boys, Tate and Henry.


Larry Trung La - Lifetime Achievement Award

Larry Trung La has Chinese ancestry and came to this country from Vietnam, where he graduated from the National Business School of Saigon. In 1984, he earned a bachelors degree in business administration with a concentration in finance from East Tennessee State University.

La is the founder and chief executive officer of Meiwah Restaurant Grouping which is comprised of two Meiwah restaurants one in Washington, D.C., and the other in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Both outlets have earned many critics awards and have been voted Best Chinese Restaurant by numerous media outlets.

In addition, La is the chairman of Meiwah International Holdings (MIH), an international trading company focusing on pharmaceutical products and services, in addition to promoting trade between the United States and Vietnam. This year, MIH was designated the Vietnam Trade Representative for the State of Maryland.

Since La speaks Cantonese, Hakka, Mandarin, and Vietnamese, he is in demand in Washington's diverse Asian-American community. He is the founding member of the non-profit Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce for the Capitol City Area. In addition, he was a board member of the Newcomers Service Center.

La has made many appearances on television as a representative of the Asian-American community or as a spokesman for the food industry. He appears monthly on the local CBS Morning News program and has been interviewed on ABCs News Nightline and NBC News.

As an ETSU Foundation donor, La has established the Larry Trung La Faculty Fellowship to assist distinguished faculty in the College of Business and Technology's Department of Finance. He is also a member of the Distinguished Presidents Trust, and he serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the ETSU Alumni Association.

La resides in Rockville, Md., with his wife, Diana, and their two children Alisa and Timothy.


Gary Poe - Lifetime Achievement Award

Gary Poe earned his ETSU bachelors degree in accountancy in 1968 and was hired by Burlington Industries in the Greensboro, N.C., location, where he worked for a year.

In 1969, he left Burlington to accept a cost accountant position with Eastman Kodak Company. He rose rapidly, changing titles every few years as he became an internal auditor, supervisor in accounts payable and then in the standard costs department, and a manager in insurance and taxes. From 1990-91, he was an assistant to the comptroller in the Rochester, N.Y., location, before returning to serve as the manager of taxes and risk management.

In 1994, Poe became the director of corporate tax for Eastman Chemical Company. He retired from the company in 2003 as Chief Tax Officer.

In the university community, Poe serves on the ETSU Foundation, the College of Business and Technology's Department of Accountancy Advisory Board, and the ETSU Alumni Association, which he serves as immediate past president, and he was also president of the Kingsport alumni chapter. Poe's leadership enabled the Accountancy Advisory Board to establish a fund in the ETSU Foundation to provide scholarships and other support for accountancy students.

Poe's wife, Sandra, is an alumna of ETSU, where she received an undergraduate degree in 1970 and a M.A. degree in 1993. Poe and his wife are members of the ETSU Foundations Distinguished Presidents Trust in recognition of their financial support. They reside in Kingsport and are the parents of three adult children, Charles, Ashley and Andrew.


Harold Dishner - Excellence Award

Harold Dishner received an ETSU bachelors degree in chemistry and physics in 1974. Early in his career, he was hired by Allied Chemical to sell a new liquid fertilizer. While waiting for the release of the product, Dishner was asked to acquire sales experience. He tried selling insurance, fell in love with the business, and has remained in the field. After working in a management training program in Southwest Virginia, he opened his own agency in 1980 in Johnson City.

Today, that agency is one of the largest in the United States and Canada within State Farm Insurance, and is consistently ranked in the top 50 of the more than 18,000 agencies in the State Farm family.

In 1984, Dishner joined nine other agents to form a company to develop software and training for the insurance industry. Today, the resulting product is used by thousands of insurance agencies and pharmaceutical companies.

Recognized as an authority in the field of technology and staff development for insurance agencies, Dishner speaks regularly at financial services industry venues in the United States and Canada. In addition, he enjoys developing real estate in the Southeast, mentoring new small business owners and entrepreneurs and supporting the arts and art education in the region.

Dishner is a member of the ETSU Foundation, the Pirate Club Board, and the advisory boards for the colleges of Business and Technology, Arts and Sciences and the Clemmer College. He and his wife are members of the Presidents Trust Silver Society in recognition of their support through the ETSU Foundation.

Dishner resides in Jonesborough with his wife, ETSU alumna and retired ETSU Vice Provost for Enrollment Services Nancy Dishner (B.S. 1977, M.A. 1980, Ed.D. 1984). He has two sons, Aaron Garland, Bradley Dishner, and a daughter, Jennifer Dishner Merritt.


Carol Ferguson - Excellence Award

Carol Ferguson received an associate degree from Iona College in New York where she was included in Who's Who in American Junior Colleges, followed by a summa cum laude bachelors degree from The College of New Jersey. After moving to Tennessee in 1977, she completed her student teaching through ETSU.

For the next 33 years, she was the broker and owner of Northridge Properties Real Estate, and she was among the first women in the region to be licensed as a broker in the real estate profession. Last year, she merged her company with Prudential Real Estate resulting in Prudential Greg Cox Real Estate. Her husband retains and operates Northridge Property Management.

A true friend of the university, she serves on the Advisory Board of the College of Business and Technology. A member of the Presidents Distinguished Trust and the ETSU Foundation, she assists the Roan Scholars Leadership Program.

Ferguson and her husband, Michael, are the parents of one child, Kerry, and the grandparents of a grandson, Arjuna.


Michael Hulbert - Excellence Award

Michael Hulbert received a bachelors degree in management from ETSU in 1980, after four years on the ETSU Men's Golf Team culminating in his being named an All-American in the sport during 1979 and 1980 and enjoying the 1980 Southern Conference Champion title.

Hulbert joined the PGA Tour in 1984 and won three official PGA tournaments. In addition, he won the Kapalua Invitational, JC Penney Classic and Chrysler Team Championship. He joined the Champions Tour in 2008.

In 2002, Hulbert was the assistant captain of the Ryder Cup Team, and he served on the PGA Tour Policy Board from 1997-2000. His lifetime winnings on the PGA Tour and Champions Tour equal about $4.5 million.

In the book A Good Walk Spoiled: Days and Nights on the PGA Tour, author John Feinstein specifically singled out Hulbert for the respect from his fellow professionals he enjoyed on the PGA tour.

Hulberts golfing expertise earned him air time as a broadcaster with USA Network, CBS Sports, ESPN and The Golf Channel.

An active supporter of the ETSU Men's Golf Team, Hulbert was inducted into the ETSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.

Hulberts wife, Teresa, is also a member of the ETSU Class of 1980. The Hulberts reside in Orlando, Fla., with their two sons, Justin and Trevor.


Allen Likens - Excellence Award

Allen Likens is a member of the ETSU Class of 1979 and was named the Outstanding Student in Computer Science for the year. He received a Master of Education degree from Tusculum College in 2007.

Employed for over 31 years at Eastman Chemical Company, Likens began as a systems analyst, then an information technology (IT) supervisor and IT relationship manager. He is currently the Information Technology Relationship Manager, responsible for the IT relationships for several internal Eastman service organizations. He also advises the company's executives and IT leadership team, as well as partners around the world experiencing IT issues.

Coming full circle, Likens has returned to ETSU as an adjunct instructor in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences. He helped initiate ETSUs involvement with the SAP University Alliances program and anticipates personally completing the program through ETSU in December.

SAP, a German-based corporation and one of the largest global independent software providers, chose ETSU as one of a select group of universities for the program, which allows students to run their own virtual businesses using the SAP software systems employed by companies worldwide.

In addition, Likens developed a corporate IT overview course for seniors and graduate students. He enjoys teaching ETSU students.

At ETSU, Likens sits on the advisory boards of the College of Business and Technology and the Department of Computer and Information Sciences.

Likens resides in Blountville with his wife, Brenda, who is a member of the ETSU Class of 1980. They are the parents of three adult children, Lori, Chris and Cody.


Lt. Glen Allen Barnett - Horizon Award

Lt. Glen Allen Barnett graduated summa cum laude with a B.B.A. degree in finance from ETSU as a member of the Class of 2005, after spending four years in the university's prestigious Roan Scholars Leadership Program. He was named the Outstanding Student in Finance by the College of Business and Technology for his class year.

After graduation, Barnett entered United States Navy Officer Candidate School. He served as an aviation intelligence officer and was deployed to the Middle and Far East, where he conducted intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

In 2007, Barnett put the CPR techniques he learned as a Roan Scholar to use while vacationing in Washington States Olympic National Park. A park employee called out for assistance for an elderly hiker who had collapsed and had no heartbeat. With the assistance of two other hikers, Barnett worked on the unconscious man for nearly an hour and a half until professional help arrived at the remote location. The 81-year-old stroke victim was taken to a hospital to complete his recovery.

After completion of Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training and SEAL Qualification Training, Barnett recently became a U.S. Navy SEAL. A contingent from ETSU attended his SEAL ceremony in California to help celebrate this great accomplishment.

Barnett is currently stationed in Virginia Beach, Va., where he leads SEAL Team 10.


Darla Scott - Horizon Award

Darla Scott received her bachelors degree from the ETSU College of Business and Technology in 1992. After earning an associate degree in accounting at Tri-Cities State Technical Institute (now Northeast State Community College) in 1987, Scott joined the staff of Bank of Tennessee.

Beginning as an accountant for the bank, Scott has held positions of increasing responsibility before attaining her current position in 1997 as Chief Financial Officer for Bank of Tennessee and its parent company, BancTenn Corporation. She is also an executive vice president at Bank of Tennessee.

Previously, Scott held the concurrent position of Chief Financial Officer for Carter County Bank in Elizabethton and Paragon Commercial Bank in Raleigh, N.C.

A Certified Public Accountant, Scott is a member of the Tennessee Society of CPAs and the American Institute of CPAs.

In addition, Scott serves on the Advisory Board of the ETSU Department of Accountancy.

Scott and her husband, Douglas R. Randy Scott, Jr., reside in Piney Flats with their sons, Matthew and Reed.


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