At the annual Leaders and Legends Banquet on April 25, UTC named Don Lepard, the founder and chief executive of Global Green Lighting, the 2014 Distinguished Alumnus. Attorney Maxfield Bahner received the Outstanding Service Award.
Lepard came to UTC in 1978 on a football scholarship, rooming with current UTC head football coach Russ Huesman. He planned to teach high school and coach football along with Huesman, but a summer job in sales before his senior year changed his mind.
Lepard graduated from UTC in 1982 with a degree in Business Education. Thirty two years later, he has built a successful company in the field of electronics, using his gift to envision new developing markets and his self-taught engineering and manufacturing skills
He has developed and managed more than six national and international sales organizations, managing manufacturing facilities in the United States, Mexico, Taiwan, Singapore and China.
Lepard has served on the Alumni Board of Directors and he was a member of the UTC Athletics Search Committee. He was recognized by the UTC Athletics Hall of Fame as the winner of the 2014 Joe Morrison Award, which is presented to a former student athlete or coach, to recognize notable accomplishments and life experiences. He has served on an alumni panel, speaking to students about his UTC college experience and how it enhanced his life and career
“His excellence in his profession makes us truly proud that he is a product of this university,” said Chancellor Steve Angle. “His continued contributions to our campus, community, and the world make him truly deserving of this recognition”
Maxfield Bahner received the Outstanding Service Award, which recognizes outstanding service to the community and University.
Bahner has been particularly supportive of the UTC Honors College.
“He understands the importance of supporting faculty, methods to pave the way for student success, and the financial workings of a growing university,” said Angle. “He believes that The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is a chief asset of our city, our region, and our state, and he shares that belief broadly.”
As a trustee and member of the UC Foundation Executive Committee, Bahner gives liberally of his time to help the Foundation support excellence and encourages the same from others.
His service is not only graciously given to UTC—it is extended to his professional and community involvement. Bahner is a Founding Fellow & past president of the Chattanooga Bar Association, a Founding Fellow of the Tennessee Bar Foundation, past president of the Board of Governors for the Tennessee Bar Association, and a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He served as a trustee for his alma mater, Carson Newman College, for 39 years, chairing the board five times. He is a past president of the Chattanooga Rotary Club.
Bahner has been the recipient of approximately 20 local, state and national awards, including Carson Newman’s 1984 Distinguished Alumnus and the 1997 Ralph Kelley Humanitarian Award. He was recently named the 2013 Kiwanis Club of Chattanooga’s Distinguished Service Award recipient.