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The Columns: Alumni Reviews


Herff College honors energy executive as Outstanding Alumnus

Col. Charles O'Sullivan
Dr. Kathryn Simpson (BSEE '99), president of the Herff College of Engineering Alumni Chapter, congratulates the College's 2008 outstanding alumnus, Theopolis Holeman (BSET '71).

Theopolis Holeman was named the 2008 Outstanding Alumnus of the Herff College of Engineering during the College’s annual awards dinner in March.

Holeman is the senior vice president of power delivery for Duke Energy, one of the largest electrical power companies in the United States. He leads the company’s power delivery organization, which encompasses the electric distribution and the electric transmission systems for Duke’s service territories in North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Holeman’s group is responsible for delivering electricity to more than 3.9 million customers. In addition, Holeman was recognized as one of the Top 75 Most Powerful Black Executives in the U.S. by Black Enterprise magazine.

He is actively involved in numerous boards, including the Association of Edison Illuminating Companies, InRoads, Boy Scouts of America, Southeastern Electric Exchange and Community Building Initiative.

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

The Herff Honor Awards for Distinguished Service in Engineering went to Mark W. Askew and Carl D. Ring. Askew (BSCE ’76) is president and CEO of Askew Hargraves Harcourt and Associates Inc., one of Memphis’ largest engineering, architecture, surveying and landscape architecture firms. Askew 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. In addition, Askew serves on the Herff College Advisory Council, the Thomas S. Fry Memorial Fund Committee and is national director for the American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee.

Ring is chair 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 a large amount of proprietary technology relating to plastics machinery and product design, and hold many patents in the U.S. and abroad.

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

The awards were presented at a dinner at the University of Memphis Holiday Inn.

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