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Muddy Boot

The Order of the Muddy Boot

Each year, the East Tennessee Economic Council (ETEC) honors individuals or groups of people that have helped build the community’s economic base with a “Muddy Boot.” The award was started in 1973 by the founders of ETEC – then the Roane Anderson Economic Council (R-AEC) – to reflect the Manhattan Project founders of Oak Ridge, who worked through adverse conditions to build the community. It has been presented to elected officials, business leaders, representatives of the Department of Energy, and others.


To recognize an individual (not an institution) for significant and long-term contributions to the East Tennessee area with respect to the federal government programs and its spin-offs by leveraging the federal presence to create private sector jobs. Participation in the community beyond the workplace is essential.

Criteria for Honorees

This award is usually presented at the annual meeting of the ETEC membership. Normally, one to two awards are given per year. In some years, however, no award may be presented. Honorees shall be selected by any or all of the following criteria:

  • Significant political contributions: Assisting in the development of new programs with new sources of revenue that add to the region’s economic base, although – in difficult times – merely helping maintain the stability of programs may warrant recognition. Being a cheerleader for the area is an important factor.
  • Significant program contributions: Usually reserved for someone who has created, nurtured, and sold a significant-sized program through the system and led it to completion.
  • Project management: Should have been a manager of a large and complicated project that finished on time and within budget.
  • Scientific contribution: This can be awarded to an individual for sustained scientific leadership in important national areas. For example, this award should follow the awards of Academy membership, Fermi Awards, and large prizes of international scope.
  • Technology transfer: An individual that takes an embryonic idea and turns it into a thriving local industry.
  • Managerial creativity: Some managers in the course of their work conceive of entirely new approaches – administrative or local economic problems, for example – that they revolutionize the routine of business in the region.
  • Business creation: Building from a federal business base to the creation of a significant local business.
  • Sustained effort for regional growth: Some individuals – by virtue of effort in various areas over the years – may cumulatively have a large impact on the region’s economy.
  • Community involvement, service, and contribution.
  • Involvement in the East Tennessee Economic Council on a regular basis either in the past or present is important.
  • Other criteria as deemed appropriate by the Board of Directors and selection committee.

Winners of the Muddy Boot Award
Beginning to 2023

Alphabetical List of Muddy Boot Recipients

  • Eric Abelquist, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (2020)
  • Ben Adams, Owner, ACHW; Founding Member, R-AEC (1999)
  • Larry Adams, Martin Marietta Corporation, Corporate Office
  • Darrell Akins, CEO, AkinsCrisp Public Strategies (2011)
  • Lamar Alexander, U.S. Senator and Former Tennessee Governor (2019)
  • Phil Andrews, Chief Financial and Business Operations Officer, ORAU (2023)
  • The Honorable Howard Baker, U.S. Senator and Strong Proponent of Oak Ridge Community
  • Tom Ballard, Pershing Yoakley and Associates (2017)
  • Mike Belbeck, Covenant Health (2016)
  • Bill Biloski, ORNL/Reindustrialization (2013)
  • The Honorable A. K. Bissell, First Mayor of Oak Ridge
  • Gerald Boyd, Manager, Department of Energy, Oak Ridge Office (2005)
  • David Bradshaw, Pinnacle Financial Partners (2017)
  • Sherry Browder, Reindustrialization Manager, UCOR, URS | CH2M Oak Ridge, LLC (2018)
  • Robert Brown, Deputy Manager, Department of Energy, Oak Ridge Office (2008)
  • Frank Bruce, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Steve Buckley, Vice President and General Manager, Bechtel Jacobs Company (2009)
  • Gene Caldwell, Doctor and Legislator (2012)
  • Jim Campbell, President, East Tennessee Economic Council (2012)
  • Sue Cange, Vanderbilt University (2017)
  • Bonnie Carroll, Chairman of the Board and Chief Knowledge Officer, Information International Associates, Inc. (2012)
  • David Coffey, Serial Entrepreneur (2014)
  • Harold Conner, Jr. DOE Complex / UCOR (2019)
  • Tom Craig, U.S. Senate Staff (2015)
  • Pete Craven, Serial Entrepreneur and Community Activist (2004)
  • Edwena Crowe, CNS / Community Leadership (2019)
  • Floyd Culler, Union Carbide Corporation; Former Associate Director, Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Chair of Oak Ridge
  • Regional Planning Commission
  • Les Dale, South Central Bell; Original Member, R-AEC
  • Jim Desmond, Lockheed Martin Corporation (1999)
  • Lou Dunlap, Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce
  • Bob Eby, State of TN Board of Education (2021)
  • The Honorable James “Buzz” Elkins, Tennessee State Senator
  • U.S. Rep. Joe L. Evins, Strong Advocate for Oak Ridge
  • Gordon Fee, President, Lockheed Martin Energy Systems (2000)
  • Barbara Ferrell, Owner, The Ferrell Shop (2016)
  • Homer Fisher, Senior Vice President Emeritus and Director of Oak Ridge Operations, University of Tennessee (2005)
  • Chuck Fleischmann, U.S. Congressman, 3rd District (2016)
  • Jenny Freeman, Vision Implementation Manager, Strata-G (2012)
  • Gary Goff, President, Roane State Community College (2012)
  • The Honorable Al Gore, Sr., U.S. Senator
  • Barry Goss, President and Chairman of the Board, Pro2Serve Professional Project Services, Inc. (2009)
  • Dick Grant, President, Boeing Oak Ridge
  • Bob Hart, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission
  • Jim Hall, Manager, Department of Energy, Oak Ridge Office (1998)
  • Helen Hardin, Chief of Staff, U.S. Congressman Zach Wamp (2010)
  • Jim Henry, Tennessee Leader (2015)
  • Tom Hill, Former Owner, The Oak Ridger; Founding Member and President, R-AEC
  • U.S. Rep. Chet Holifield, U.S. Congressman
  • Clyde Hopkins, President, Lockheed Martin Energy Systems (2000)
  • Dan Hurst, President and Founder, Strata-G (2015)
  • Ken Jarmalow, President, Lockheed Martin Energy Systems (2000)
  • George Jasny, Union Carbide Corporation and LMES
  • Joe Johnson, President Emeritus, University of Tennessee (2011)
  • Gene Joyce, Attorney; Founding Member, R-AEC
  • Ed Keen, Bechtel Corporation
  • John Keto, Attorney, Department of Energy
  • Denise Kiernan, Author and Historian (2014)
  • Darrel Kohlhorst, President and General Manager, B&W Y-12 (2011)
  • Roland Langley, Bechtel International Corporation; R-AEC
  • Joe Lenhard, Department of Energy (1996)
  • U.S. Rep. Marilyn Lloyd, U.S. Congressman
  • Bill Madia, Director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2003)
  • Bill Manly, Cabot Corporation (2002)
  • Thom Mason, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2014)
  • Don Maxwell, Bank of Oak Ridge; Founding Member, R-AEC (1999)
  • Steve McCracken, DOE Environmental Manager (2021)
  • Jan McNally, Corporate Director – Leadership Development, Covenant Health (2007)
  • Randy McNally, Senator, State of Tennessee (2006)
  • David Millhorn, University of Tennessee (2017)
  • Frank Munger, Senior Writer, DOE Reporter, Knoxville News Sentinel (2016)
  • Tim Myrick, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2007)
  • Jesse Noritake, Secretary to the Board, R-AEC and ETEC (1997)
  • Mike Pasqua, SAIC / Leidos (2016)
  • David Patterson, Past Director, University of Tennessee School of Planning (2001)
  • Larry Peck, Vice President for Information Technology, SAIC (2002)
  • Herman Postma, Director, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2001)
  • Pat Postma, Community Activist and Educator (2011)
  • Nat Revis, President and Senior Scientist, Scientific and Technical Resources, Inc. (2010)
  • Lee Riedinger, University of Tennessee & ORNL (2019)
  • Tom Rogers, President and CEO, Technology 2020 (2006)
  • Ken Rueter, URS | CH2M Oak Ridge (UCOR) (2017)
  • Jim Rushton, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2022)
  • Dick Smyser, Founding Editor, The Oak Ridger (1996)
  • Jeff Smith, Executive Vice President for Operations, UT-Battelle (2008)
  • Ray Smith, Y-12 Historian (2013)
  • Ed Spitzer, Past President, R-AEC; Tennessee Energy Czar, Gov. Blanton Administration
  • Billy Stair, Director, Communications and External Relations, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2006)
  • Barry Stephenson, President, Materials & Chemistry Laboratory (2013)
  • Cathy Toth, President, Acato Information Management (2023)
  • Ron Townsend, President, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (2004)
  • Ernie Tremmel, Burns and Roe
  • Al Trivelpiece, Director, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Shigeko Uppuluri, Community Activist (2016)
  • Bob Van Hook, President, Lockheed Martin Energy Systems (2000)
  • U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, U.S. Congressman (2002)
  • Alvin Weinberg, Director, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2003)
  • Horace Wells, Former Publisher, Clinton Courier News
  • Ed Westcott, Oak Ridge Photographer (2013)
  • Chris Whaley, Roane State Community College (2022)
  • William J. Wilcox, Jr., Oak Ridge Historian; Technical Director, Y-12/K-25, Ret. (2011)
  • Ron Woody, Roane County Executive (2020)
  • Workers of Y-12
  • Ken Yager, Tennessee State Senator (2021)
  • Lawrence Young, Founding President and CEO, Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee (2009)
  • Thomas Zacharia, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2020)

Those without dates listed were awarded with the Muddy Boot sometime between 1973 to 1995.

2023 Winners
2022 Winners
A Few Past Winners

Photos: Lynn Freeney, Department of Energy & Ray Smith, CNS Y-12

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