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Herff College of Engineering Names Energy Executive Outstanding Alumnus
For release: March 28, 2008
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey , 901-678-2843

Theopolis Holeman was named the 2008 Outstanding Alumnus of the University of Memphis’ Herff College of Engineering during its annual awards program March 11 at the University Holiday Inn.

The awards for Distinguished Service in Engineering went to Mark W. Askew and Carl D. Ring.

Rick Voyels, Debi Scott, and Melanie James were named Outstanding Staff; Dr. Stephanie Ivey received the Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award; and Gary Qi was recognized with the Outstanding Faculty Research Award.


Holeman is the senior vice president of power delivery for Duke Energy, one of the largest electrical power companies in the United States. His division of the company comprises the electric distribution and the electric transmission systems for more than 3.9 million customers in Duke’s service territories in North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

Holeman has also been recognized as one of the “Top 75 Most Powerful Black Executives in the U.S.” by Black Enterprise magazine.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in construction technology from the U of M in 1971 and later a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Houston.  He has also completed the Stanford Executive Program.

Askew is president and CEO of Askew Hargraves Harcourt and Associates Inc., one of Memphis’ largest engineering, architecture, surveying, and landscape architecture firms.  He has more than 30 years of experience in engineering. Notable projects include the Federal Express International Module, Discover Card Processing Center, International Paper Data Center, Sam’s Town Casino, and the Brentwood Originals Distribution Center in DeSoto County. Askew serves on the Herff College Advisory Council and the Thomas S. Fry Memorial Fund Committee, and he is national director for the American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee.

Ring is chairman and CEO of Ring Companies, one of the largest plastics manufacturing companies in North America. Since its beginning as Ring Can Corporation in 1968, Ring Companies has grown to include three subsidiaries – Ring Container Technologies, Ring Industrial Group, and Rapac, which manufacture a variety of plastic products in more than 30 factories in the United States, England, and Canada. These companies have developed much proprietary technology relating to plastics machinery and product design, and hold many patents in the U.S. and abroad.

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