Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announced the eight appointees to ETSU’s new governing board on Oct. 11.
Next year, ETSU will be one of six public universities across the state to break away from the Tennessee Board of Regents, the organization that governs multiple higher-education institutes in the state. TBR will shift its focus to community colleges and TCATs.
After receiving her bachelor’s degree in health care administration from ETSU in 1986, Janet Ayers served as the administrator of the Four Oaks Health Care Center. She has operated nursing homes for more than 20 years and has worked in various jobs that have expanded the economic interests of people living in the area. She is a former board member of the Tennessee State Board of Education and previously served as the Unicoi County Economic and Community Development chair.
Steven DeCarlo has worked since December 2000 as the CEO of AmWINS Group, Inc., which is “among the largest and most diversified wholesale insurance distributors in the United States,” according to the company’s website. DeCarlo started his tenure as CEO with 150 employees and no revenue in 2001 (in fact, the company was losing $800,000 a month), and over the next approximately 15 years, grew to a workforce of 3,500 employees and about $800 million in annual revenue, according to an article in the Charlotte Business Journal in June of 2015. DeCarlo is an alumnus of ETSU.
A native of Albany, Georgia, David Golden received a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a JD degree from Brigham Young University before joining Eastman Chemical Company in 1995 as an attorney, according to his biography on the Eastman Chemical Company website. He has risen through the ranks of the company and now serves as the senior vice president, chief legal and sustainability officer and the corporate secretary for Eastman. He is also responsible for the Eastman Ethics & Corporate Compliance program. In March 2016, Eastman was named one of the world’s most ethical company by the Ethisphere Institute for the third consecutive year, according to the Ethisphere website.
Dorothy Grisham graduated from ETSU in 1974, and received recognition in 2011 as an outstanding alumna from the university. Originally entering ETSU with ambitions to leave and attend secretarial school in Knoxville, Grisham found that she enjoyed the university experience and after graduation, interviewed with Allstate Insurance Co., becoming the first African American woman to be hired by the company in the state of the Tennessee, according to the ETSU alumni website. She is now the owner of the Dorothy Grisham Insurance Agency.
Dr. Linda Latimer
Linda Latimer received her undergraduate degree from ETSU and medical degree from the ETSU James H. Quillen College of Medicine. She is the owner of Mountain Regional Pathology and works as an anatomical and clinical pathologist.
A familiar name in the region because of his philanthropy, Scott Niswonger is the lead benefactor for the Niswonger Children’s Hospital, the founder of the Niswonger Educational Foundation and the former head of General Aviation Inc., a cargo airline that he started in 1973, according to his biography on the Niswonger Foundation website. He eventually sold General Aviation Inc. and became the Vice President of North American Operations for Flying Tiger Lines, a military contractor and cargo airline, and co-founded another transportation company, Landair Services.
James Powell served as the chair of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission from 2002 to 2006 and is the founder of Powell Companies, a mineral processing, construction, and crane and steel erection company, according to the Powell Companies website. An alumni of the University of Tennessee — Knoxville, Powell has served on many boards of directors, according to the UTK website, including First American Bank, Sequoyah Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Johnson City Symphony, United Way and the Tennessee Business Roundtable.
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey
Ron Ramsey was first elected to the Tennessee State Senate in 1996, and on March 16, 2016, he announced that he would not seek re-election to the state senate, according to Ballotpedia.org. He previously served as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives from 1990 to 1996. Ramsey is a graduate of Sullivan Central High School and East Tennessee State University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1978.