Center for Executive Education Announces Leadership Changes

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KNOXVILLE — The Center for Executive Education in the College of Business Administration at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is making several key personnel changes.

Carolyn CuddyCarolyn Cuddy has become the center’s chief operating officer, a newly created position for the center. She simultaneously continues as the center’s executive director of Executive MBA programs. Chuck Parke is the center’s new executive director of non-degree programs, replacing John Riblett, who is retiring after 34 years. Ron Solmonson has assumed the newly created position of director of business operations for the center’s National Defense Business Institute.

“These promotions are extremely well-deserved for an incredibly talented group of individuals,” said Ted Stank, associate dean of executive education for the college. “My only sadness is in having to say goodbye to John. His insight and integrity has inspired the center to achieve award-winning performance and recognition in executive education.”

Cuddy received both her undergraduate degree in marketing and MBA from the UT College of Business Administration. In her nine years with the center and 20 years with UT Knoxville, she has received the Dean’s Award for Excellence and the College of Business Administration Award for Professionalism.

Cuddy’s prior professional experience includes seven years as a faculty member of Maryville College, where she received an award for excellence in teaching, and eight years as director of student financial aid for UT Knoxville. She also did consulting with the state Department of Education. She worked for 10 years at Lockheed Martin Energy Systems in Oak Ridge, where she was director of its Center for Leadership and Employee Development. She received Lockheed’s Management Achievement Award and its National Management Association Leader of the Year Award. Cuddy is a certified instructor and consultant of Franklin Covey, Kepnor Tregoe, Developmental Dimensions Inc. and Tom Peter’s Leadership Challenge.

Chuck ParkeParke received both his undergraduate degree in industrial engineering and his Executive MBA from UT Knoxville. Parke has been a full-time faculty member with the center since 2007, instrumental in developing the center’s training and leadership programs for managers and executives involved in the manufacturing sector.

A native of East Tennessee, Parke’s professional experience prior to joining the center includes nine years at TRW Automotive in Rogersville; plant manager and vice president of operations for Snapper Power Equipment in McDonough, Ga.; and vice president of manufacturing and product engineering for Lifestyle Furnishings’ Lexington Home Brands Division. Parke also served as vice president of operations for Maytag’s Laundry Division in Herrin, Ill., and was later promoted to division vice president for Whirlpool’s Cooking Division. Five years later, Parke left Whirlpool to become CEO for a privately held collection of companies.

Ron SolmonsonSolmonson served for approximately 10 years as the center’s director of operations prior to assuming his new position. He was on the center’s leadership team and responsible for the center’s logistics unit, registrar operations, technology integration, administrative activities, purchasing and facilities management. During this time, the center experienced a nearly four-fold increase in revenues, rapid growth of both degree and non-degree programs and nearly doubled its number of employees. Solmonson managed this growth by leveraging technology and capitalizing on process improvement.

Prior to joining UT Knoxville, Solmonson completed a 23-year career with the U.S. Army, specializing in language training and intelligence activities. He retired as a command sergeant major. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Regents College and master’s degree in leadership and business ethics from Duquesne University.

For more information about the UT College of Business Administration, visit http://bus.utk.edu.

C O N T A C T :

Cindy Raines (865-974-4359, craines1@utk.edu)

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