John Tweed - Lifetime Achievement Award
John Tweed is the chief executive responsible for Greenville-based Landair’s strategic direction, operation and financial performance.
During his career of more than 30 years with Landair, Tweed was named chief executive officer in 2000, leading the business for three years as a public company. Previously, he served in the positions of vice president of sales and as manager of new product development.
In 1996, Tweed co-founded Warehouse Logistics LLC, a contract distribution services company jointly owned with Landair’s founder, Scott M. Niswonger. Warehouse Logistics later merged with Landair, strengthening the company’s warehouse distribution operations and capabilities.
Tweed holds a bachelor’s degree I business administration from East Tennessee State University and completed two executive education programs in finance and organizational management at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business.
An active committee and board member, he assists organizations such as the Niswonger Foundation, Greene County Partnership, United Way and Opportunity House of Greeneville, as well as serving as an Elder at Greeneville Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
Tween and his wife, Kim, reside in Greeneville and are the parents of three children and the grandparents of two.
James Brinkley - Excellence Award
James Brinkley attended what is now University School on the campus of East Tennessee State University. After his high school graduation, he entered the university, then East Tennessee State College. His education was interrupted by service in the United States Navy, but after serving in the Pacific and being honorably discharged, he returned and completed his undergraduate degree in 1960.
Brinkley and his late wife, Nellie, moved away while he worked for the Social Security Administration in Alabama and Florida. Together, the couple opened car washes and developed a manufactured home community in Orange Park, Florida.
To assist students who have difficulty meeting the costs of college, they established the James and Nellie Brinkley Scholarship Endowment. When fully funded, Brinkley Scholars will receive scholarship to attend ETSU.
Joe Mitchell “Mitch” Cox, Jr. - Excellence Award
Joe Mitchell “Mitch” Cox, Jr. has been instrumental in creating Johnson City’s business and residential communities through real estate development, general contracting and property management for over 30 years.
The Johnson City native earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from East Tennessee State University in 1971 and married his classmate, Barbara.
Cox began is first design and build project in 1979. That was following by numerous developments, among them Mountcastle Centre, University Plaza, Peoples Crossing and Med Tech Plaza.
Also, Cox added residential communities to the Tri-Cities area, including Waterbrooke, The Ridges Overlook, and Hunter’s Lake.
In the community, Cox has served of boards of many community organizations, such as United Way, Contact Ministries, Mountain States Foundation, Coalition for Kids and Holston United Methodist Hoe for Children.
For his service, Cox was recognized by the Chamber of Commerce serving Johnson City-Jonesborough-Washington County as “Small Business Person of the Year and by Milligan College as “Leader in Christian Service.’ He has also been named “Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame Laureate” and received the Rotary Club’s “Paul Harris Fellow Award.”
Cox is a member of the United Emmaus Community, affiliated with the United Methodist Church and he and his wife are members of Munsey United Methodist Church.
The founder of Coalition for Kids, Inc., a youth faith-based ministry and after-school mentoring program, he has served on Kairos Prison Ministry teams and supports many youth programs such as Junior Achievement and the Boy Scouts of America.
An avid golfer, Cox is a six-time Senior Club Champion at The Ridges Golf and Country Club.
Cox and his wife reside in Johnson City. They have one son, Phillip, who is a partner in Mitch Cox Companies.
CeeGee O’Neill McCord - Excellence Award
CeeGee O’Neill McCord is Eastman Chemical Company’s director of Global Public and Community Affairs with responsibility for corporate and Eastman Foundation investing, the company’s corporate responsibility initiatives, economic and community development partnerships, corporate events, educational and workforce partnerships and customer visits.
McCord earned her bachelor’s degree in management from Georgia Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in public administration from Kennesaw State University.
Prior to joining Eastman, McCord worked extensively in the nonprofit and public service sector. She has also served in many volunteer leadership positions in philanthropic and service organization, among them as board member of the Kingsport Economic Development Board and the Chamber of Commerce serving Johnson City-Jonesborough-Washington County board. She is the current chair of the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce.
She and her husband, Jeff, reside in Kingsport and are the parents of three children.
Lewis P. Wexler, Sr. - Excellence Award
Lewis P. Wexler, Sr. attended what is now University School on the campus of East Tennessee State University and then transferred to Culver Military Academy in Culver, Indiana, for his high school education.
Wexler then attended Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, graduating in 1958. In addition, he received a certificate from Harvard Business School in 1965 for completing their Program for Management Development.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree, Wexler served in the United States Army in 1958 and 1959, remaining in the Army Reserves for more than nine more years before retiring with the rank of Captain.
In 1959, Wexler began employment with the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company as a trainee in Memphis.
In 1962, he returned to Tri-Cities to manage a Free Service Tire retail store in Kingsport, and held positions of increasing responsibility, including president and chief executive officer in 1971, chairman of the board in 1981 and, his current position, chairman and chief executive officer, beginning in 2005.
Among his professional organizations, Wexler counts the Tennessee/Kentucky Tire Dealers and Retreaders Association, which he served as president in 1989-1990 and the National Tire Dealers and Retreaders Association, which he served as Off-the-Road Group Chairman from 1981-1982.
In the community, Wexler has served on the boards of the Johnson City Medical Center Hospital, First People Bank, Hamilton Bank and SunTrust Bank. He was recognized for his service with induction into the Chamber of Commerce serving Johnson City-Jonesborough-Washington County Hall of Fame in 1997.
Past president of the Sequoyah Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Wexler became an Eagle Scout as a young man and has received the James E. West Fellowship and the Silver Eagle Award as an adult.
Wexler served on the ETSU Roan Scholars Leadership Program Regional Selection Committee and on the board of the ETSU Foundation.
Wexler and his wife, Lynda, reside in Johnson City and are the parents of four adult children.
Timothy Belisle - Horizon Award
Timothy Belisle received his bachelor’s degree from East Tennessee State University in 1989, and was named Outstanding Marketing Student for that year.
He went on to Wake Forest University, earning a law degree in 1992 and a Master of Business Administration degree in 2004.
Belisle now uses his skills as a lawyer for Mountain States Health Alliance. From 1993 to 2000, he was a partner at the law firm that was then Anderson, Fugate, Givens and Belisle.
Named on the Tri-Cities Business Journal “40 Under 40” list, Belisle serves as chairman of the Johnson City Board of Education and with the Johnson City Public Building Authority. From 2006-2011, he was chairman of the Johnson City/Washington County Veterans’ Memorial Committee.
Belisle is married to fellow ETSU graduate Tammy Bullock Belisle. They live in Johnson City and are the parents of three children.
Owen “Rhys” Davies - Horizon Award
Owen “Rhys” Davies received an undergraduate degree from East Tennessee State University in 2007. He was an outstanding member of the men’s golf team and is now a touring professional golfer.
While an ETSU student, Davies finished 4th in the nation after the 2005-2006 season and led the Bucs to the NCAA Championships.
In 2006, he was the first ETSU player to capture the team’s host event, the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate at the Ridges.
Davies was named to the All-American first team in 2005, 2006 and 2007 and played on two Walker Cup teams, first in 2005 and then in 2007.
During his ETSU career, Davies won a record 10 college tournaments.
By graduation, he was second in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and was named one of three finalists for NCAA Division 1 Golfer of the Year. Also in 2006-2007, he was ranked number one in the United States by “Golfweek” and “Golfstat.”
Davies turned pro in 2007 and earned his European Tour card in 2010. Also that year, he won the Tropheé Hassan II and then was named in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking.
In 2015, Davies won both the Turkish Airlines Challenge and the Challenge de Espana.
Davies is married to Dr. Deidre Yowell Davies, who received a bachelor’s degree in 2007, a Master of Business Administration degree in 2009 and an Ed.D. in 2012, all from ETSU. The couple lives in the town of Cowbridge in the United Kingdom.