ETSU College of Business and Technology inducts Hall of Fame members


JOHNSON CITY (November 1, 2013) — The East Tennessee State University College of Business and Technology inducted the following members into its Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Friday, Nov. 1, at Millennium Centre.

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

Karen McMurray earned her bachelor’s degree ETSU in 1980 and began her career at Blackburn, Childers and Steagall, PLC (BCS). In 1992, she became a partner with the firm.

After a mission trip with family members to Kenya in 2011, McMurray helped found a lunch program at Southern Cross Academy in a camp for internally displaced persons in Maai Mahiu, Kenya. The program currently feeds lunch to approximately 300 elementary school children.

At ETSU, McMurray served on the Accounting Advisory Board and participated in the “Alumni Return to the Classroom” program. Along with her BCS partners, her leadership has been instrumental in establishing the BCS Faculty Fellowship in Accounting and the BCS Accounting Scholarship Endowment.

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

Charles Byrne entered East Tennessee State University in 1977 on a golf scholarship. While he was an ETSU student, the university’s golf team was ranked as high as 12th in the nation.

Byrne moved to the Wake Forest, N.C., area and played golf professionally for two years before landing a sales job in the packaging and design industry. His 29-year career in the field began at South Carolina Box, a division of Pratt Industries, where he became the sales representative for Western North Carolina and East Tennessee, allowing him to move his family to Johnson City. In 2000, Byrne was hired by Triad Packaging Design and Display in Bristol. For over 13 years, he has played a significant role in Triad’s success through his responsibilities in developing and managing major accounts.

In 2012, Byrne was recognized by the university with an Alumni Award of Honor, and he has been a member of the Buccaneer Athletic Scholarship Association for over 27 years. He and his wife are members of the ETSU Distinguished President’s Trust for their lifetime of support for the university through the ETSU Foundation.

Phil Carriger attended the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, graduating in 1971 with a degree in economics, and went on to the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Delaware, graduating in 1989.

Johnson City’s former vice mayor and city commissioner, Carriger began a long career in banking in 1972 as an assistant national bank examiner with the Comptroller of the Currency, a bureau within the United States Department of the Treasury.

Beginning in 1976, Carriger turned to private banking. He started as a senior loan officer in the Knoxville office of First American Bank (now Regions Bank), and continued as chair and chief executive officer of Hamilton Bank (now SunTrust Bank). In 1995, he organized and opened Peoples Community Bank, serving as chair and CEO until the bank was acquired by First Community Bank. Currently, Carriger is on the board of directors of the Bank of Tennessee and is an outside consultant for the bank.

A friend of East Tennessee State University, Carriger has served on the ETSU Foundation board of directors, the advisory boards of the College of Business and Technology and the Center for Banking.

Lottie Fields Ryans is a 1982 cum laude graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, with a bachelor’s degree in business with a marketing emphasis. She served as a management intern with United Telephone and remained with the company, progressively assuming more responsible positions as the company changed from United to Sprint, to Embarq, and now CenturyLink.

During her career, Ryans has held positions as director of customer service, director of network services, director of consumer sales and service, and currently, vice president and general manager for Western North Carolina and Tennessee.

Elected for three terms to the Johnson City Board of Education, Ryans was recently appointed a member of the State Workforce Development Board by Gov. Bill Haslam.

At East Tennessee State University, Ryans is a member of the ETSU Foundation Board and the advisory boards of the Roan Scholars Leadership Program and the College of Business and Technology.

Rick Storey attended East Tennessee State University and Steed College. During the Vietnam War, he served as a platoon sergeant with the 1st Cavalry Division. In the spring of 1969, Storey received combat injuries requiring surgeries in Vietnam, Japan and Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He was awarded a Purple Heart.

Next, Storey launched a successful career in the field of finance. He began at what is now First Tennessee Bank as a lender and manager. During that time, he entered graduate school at Louisiana State University.

After a brief stint at SunTrust Bank, Storey was employed for 16 years at Bank of America, becoming senior vice president and the consumer market executive for the South Tennessee market. He was also named market president of the Tri-Cities. In 2004, Storey became senior vice president for commercial lending at Citizens Bank Tri-Cities, a position he currently holds. He is also president of Diversified Veterans Services, LLC.

Named an Honorary Alumnus of ETSU in 2011, Storey is a member of the ETSU Foundation and the Buccaneer Athletic Scholarship Association, and serves on the ETSU Center of Banking Advisory Board. He and his wife are members of the ETSU Distinguished President’s Trust for their support of the university through the ETSU Foundation.

The Business Horizon Award is presented to graduates of the ETSU College of Business and Technology who are establishing noteworthy careers and displaying significant accomplishments in business as well as a commitment to the college and the university.

April L. Eads holds an associate degree in electrical technology from Northeast State Community College and both bachelor’s degree and master’s degrees in engineering technology from ETSU. In addition, she is a certified economic developer and has taken over 120 hours of economic development courses through the Economic Development Institute.

An employee of Bristol Tennessee Essential Services (BTES), Eads has risen from a position as a customer service representative to engineering assistant to her current status as business development manager.  Among her projects at BTES, she participated in the Cable, Phone, Internet Start-Up Feasibility and Business Plan Committee; the All Electric Home Initiative; the State of Tennessee Three-Star Program; and the BTES Continuous Improvement Committee.

As an ETSU alumna, Eads served on the ETSU at Bristol Advisory Council and on the Roan Scholars Regional Selection Committee.

Jason Fleming is a summa cum laude graduate of East Tennessee State University, where he earned a bachelor of business administration degree in 2002. He continued at ETSU and received a master of accountancy degree in 2003. In addition to being a CPA, Fleming is accredited in Business Valuation and certified in Financial Forensicsand is Global Management Accountantcy (CGMA).

After working as a consultant for a large regional CPA firm with headquarters in Knoxville and as a partner of a multi-office mergers and acquisitions firm in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, he became a founding partner of Trinity Valuation Consulting Group, PLD, located in Johnson City.

Ben Rhoda received both a Bachelor of Business Administration from East Tennessee State University in 2005 and a Master of Business Administration in 2007. During his undergraduate years, he was a member of the men’s basketball team and then was a graduate assistant coach for the team.

Rhoda became a sales representative for MSK products within Eli Lilly, a global pharmaceutical company with headquarters in Indianapolis.

In late 2012, Rhoda became a senior associate in the MSK business unit. He is responsible for the effective and efficient management and deployment of sales force information, business processes and resources in support of the sales force. He manages an MSK sales force budget of roughly $26 million annually.

Rhoda serves on the College of Business and Technology Advisory Board.

For further information, contact the ETSU College of Business and Technology at (423) 439-5300.

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