Four East Tennessee leaders honored with ETEC Muddy Boot Award

Four leaders with long resumes of service in East Tennessee were awarded the Muddy Boot by the ETEC. / (ETEC)
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OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Four East Tennesee leaders were awarded the Muddy Boot by the East Tennessee Economic Council at its annual awards luncheon Friday.

Dr. Harold Conner, Jr. and Edwina Crowe, who both served in the community and the Oak Ridge Department of Energy Complex, and Dr. Lee Riedinger, who recently retired as director of the University of Tennessee's Bredesen Center, were named the 2019 Muddy Boot Award winners. Senator Lamar Alexander was the events keynote speaker and picked up his Muddy Boot, originally awarded in 2010.

The Muddy Boot Award was created in the 1970s to honor those who went above the call of duty to make the community, the state of Tennessee and the nation a better place to live and work. More than 80 people have received the award.

Dr. Harold Conner, Jr. was the first Afican-American to participate in the University of Tennessee's engineering co-op program. Conner was also named the first African-American to be honored as a Fellow by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Conner ended his five-decade career at the same place it started-- the East Tennessee Technology Park in Oak Ridge. While retired, Harold continues in the role as a part-time consultant, and volunteer with the University of Tennessee College of Nuclear Engineering, and the American Museum of Science and Energy board.

Edwina Crowe is currently a Director at Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC, contractor to the United States Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration. Crowe currently serves on the Oak Ridge Playhouse Board, the Men of Tomorrow Foundation Board, the
Arts Council of Oak Ridge Board, the Oak Ridge Fund for Achieving Community Excellence Board, Club LeConte Board of Directors, Oak Ridge YWCA Executive Committee, Methodist Medical Center Foundation Board, University of Tennessee School of Systems and Industrial Engineering Advisory Board, South Carolina State University School of Engineering, Mathematics, and Sciences Advisory Council, and the South Carolina State University Foundation Board. Crowe was recently appointed to Tennessee's reconstituted Board of Judicial Conduct.

Dr. Lee Riedinger joined the physics faculty at the University of Tennessee in 1971, has held various administrative positions at UT and served as interim vice chancellor for research three times. Riedinger served as director of the UT Science Alliance Center of Excellence for
five years in the late 1980s. He was the first chair of the Tennessee Science and Technology Advisory Council and served from 1993 to
1996. In 2000, Riedinger helped lead the formation of UT-Battelle LLC and the successful competition to assume the management of ORNL, becoming ORNL's deputy director for science and technology. In 2010 Lee Riedinger was appointed to serve as the first director of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville's Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education.