UT Director of Athletics Danny White, center, chats with Pilot Founder Jim Haslam and CEO Shameek Konar during the reception. To White’s right is his wife, Shawn.
Well, football season has started with the team producing a win on the field, thank goodness. We witnessed another win, as well. Both Tennessee Head Football Coach Josh Heupel and Director of Athletics Danny White absolutely charmed a crowd of well-wishers at a recent welcome reception.
For decades, we at Moxley Carmichael have been producing these community receptions — sponsored by local companies at no cost to the University of Tennessee — whenever there is a major new hire at the university. The receptions give supporters a chance to meet the new officials up-close and personal and extend a Big Orange welcome as they start their positions.
COVID numbers required that the welcome reception for Heupel and White be delayed from their actual hirings in January to a few weeks ago — thankfully at a time when the virus numbers were down and we thought we might be out of the woods. Since then, the numbers have started to surge again and events are starting to cancel. But we were lucky enough to get this one in at the beautiful new Student Union on the UT campus.
The guests of honor took the stage and jovially answered questions from Bob Kesling, the “Voice of the Vols” and director of broadcasting for the Vol Radio Network. But, the most impressive thing was the way they both stuck around afterward to shake hands and mingle with the crowd. It was very impressive to see and I think that bodes well for their future success in this close-knit community.
Sponsors of the reception were Pilot Company, University of Tennessee Medical Center, Cherokee Distributing Company and The Christman Company, the construction firm that actually built the Student Union building.
(Thanks to Charley Sexton, Moxley Carmichael’s creative director, for helping me take pictures for the Blue Streak. The good ones are his. The others are mine!)
Dawn and Coach Josh Heupel with Marty Gibbs, vice president and general manager of event sponsor, The Christman Company in Knoxville.
Jim Haslam, left, and Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally.
From left, Knox County Register of Deeds Nick McBride, and school board members Susan Horn, Virginia Babb and Betsy Henderson.
From left, Dan and Kathy Hamilton (she’s on the KUB Board), with KUB President and CEO Gabriel Bolas and Senior Vice President John Williams.
From left, Todd Conley, City Council Member Seema Singh, Tara and Sidney Davis and Ed Rottmann.
From left, Michael Foltz, former Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe, Bill Lyons, Judith Foltz and Rachel Ford.
Marty Gibbs with City Council Member Janet Testerman.
Knoxville Vice Mayor Gwen McKenzie with Jim Haslam.
Knoxville City Council Members Lynne Fugate and Charles Thomas.
Former Congressman Jimmy Duncan, left, with his son, Zane.
From left, Steve Maynard, Rev. Harold Middlebrook with his daughter, LaKenya, and wife, Betty Middlebrook, and Kaye Maynard.
WBIR Anchor Emeritus Bill Williams and Cindy Hughs.
Soon, it was time for the remarks.
Jim Haslam recognizing the sponsors and welcoming guests.
UT Knoxville Chancellor Donde Plowman joined him and introduced the guests of honor.
Coach Josh Heupel, left, and Director of Athletics Danny White chat with Bob Kesling, right.
What a spread provided by Aramark, UT’s exclusive caterer.
Folks were enthralled with the discussion of the upcoming season.
Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon joined Jim Haslam for some conversation after the remarks.
Steve Mangum, left, dean of the Haslam College of Business, with attorney Jon Roach.
Bruce Hartmann, left, and Ben Cunningham of UT Medical Center.
From left, Nada Kuchinic, Rick and Jenny Blackburn and Samyah Jubran.
From left, Nikita Hudson, Jazmyne Brown and former state Rep. Rick Staples.
From left, Sam and Jeffrey McCamy with Tim Williams.
From left, Nick and Katie Servin, Carolyn Pointer and Rodney Neil, and Joe and Reagan Bailey.
Shelley Burns with Municipal Judge John Rosson, left, and his son, Hunt.
Mike Brown, left, and Randy Merritt of The Christman Company. Brown’s company, M&M Productions USA, provided light and sound for the evening.
From left, Mike and Karen Rodgers with Shameek Konar and Jim Haslam.
From left, Matt Mancini, David Hall, John Sheridan, Jay Cook and John Ley.
Cameron Walker of UT Athletics, left, with Jeff and John Knight of Cherokee Distributing Company, an event sponsor.
Chris Zhang, left, and James Chiu with Gay Lyons.
From left, Moxley Carmichael’s Scott Bird with Nick and Justin Cazana.
Bob and Barbara Griffitts.
Sharon and Dr. Bill Laing.
Chancellor Donde Plowman and Lt. Gov. Randy McNally.
Bette and Richard Bryan.
Marcus Hilliard and Amy Sterk.
From left, Laura Cole, Christopher Lambert, Ed Rottman, Kim Henry and Robyn McAdoo.
From left, Kyndra Brewer, Moxley Carmichael’s Scott Bird and Maria Cornelius, and Carolyn Jensen.
Tyvi Small and John Williams.
Kerry Witcher and Chip Bryant. (Thanks, Chip, for always helping us with these events!)
Chef Joseph Lenn with fellow downtown dweller Lisa Skinner.
John Billings, left, with Stacy and Todd Moody.
From left, John Gill, Bill Lyons and Margie Nichols Gill.
From left, Joe Bailey, Cameron Walker and Karen and Pace Robinson.
Jimmy Duncan and Jack Hammontree.
From left, Jim Nichols, Gwen and Sam McKenzie, former Knoxville Mayor Daniel and Cathy Brown and Kyndra Brewer.
Jeff Lee, left, and Alan Carmichael.
From left, Dennis Duchon, Moxley Carmichael’s Maria McHale and David and Eric Zeanah.
Cliff and Jacque Hawks.
Harry Gross Jr. and Rachel Ford.
From left, Hancen Sale, Lisa Skinner and David Brace.
Eric Zeanah, left, with UT Knoxville Chancellor Emeritus Jimmy Cheek.
From left, David Hunt, Margie Nichols and John Gill, Tisha Binton and Lori Wharton.
From left, Danny Cantrell, Carolyn Pointer Neil, Carolyn Jensen and Lavonda Cantrell.
From left, Cameron Walker, Shawn and Danny White and Jeff Knight.
Knoxville City Council Member Lynne Fugate, left, with Tatia Harris.
From left, Dennis Duchon, Coach Josh Heupel, Chancellor Dondo\e Plowman and Lt. Gov. Randy McNally.
Quineka Moten, left, relaxing near the end of the evening with Maria McHale.
Shelley Burns, left, with Megan Henderson.
Some of the fine folks from Moxley Carmichael who made it happen: seated, from left: Katrina Roberts, Amy Barger and Allie Clouse. Standing: Lauren Miller, left, and Shaun Fulco. Thanks to the entire Moxley Carmichael team!
Our friend and client Randy Merritt of The Christman Company kindly brought refreshments to the folks staffing the check-in table. Here he is with Allie Clouse.
At the end of the night, we gave away the flowers — in this case to school board members, from left, Susan Horn, Betsy Henderson and Virginia Babb.