The twelfth annual Alumni Awards Gala was held Friday, November 11, 2022. The annual gala benefits the College Fund for the Haslam College of Business.
The award ceremony recognized the 2022 distinguished alum, outstanding entrepreneur, outstanding corporate partner and outstanding young alum. Our awardees share two common characteristics of which we are both proud and grateful: each is an alum and each has generously invested in the college in a multitude of ways.
Distinguished Alum Award recipients are extraordinary professionals who personify leadership. Through their vision, intellect, passion for excellence and boldness of spirit, these individuals have touched countless lives.
As the largest influence on American job growth, entrepreneurship is a vital part of business education. The Haslam College of Business recognizes the importance of entrepreneurship in the global economy and is committed to providing its students with the foundation necessary for future entrepreneurial growth. In recognition of the entrepreneurial spirit embraced by the college, the Entrepreneur of the Year Award spotlights an alum who shares this same passion.
Haslam’s corporate partners invest in the college by giving their time, talent and financial philanthropic support. Hiring students as interns, recruiting recent graduates as employees, mentoring students in the classroom and providing resources through financial gifts are just a few examples of the ways these organizations invest in business education. The Outstanding Corporate Partner Award recognizes organizations that have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the success of the college’s students, faculty and programs.
The Haslam College of Business has successful alumni of all ages, many of whom achieved professional excellence early in their careers. The Outstanding Young Alum Award recognizes alumni aged 40 or younger who have demonstrated records of achievement, leadership and promising futures in business disciplines.
We would like to thank all our Corporate Partners for their continued support of the Haslam College of Business.
Dave Clark – 2022 Distinguished Alum
Dave Clark (HCB, ’99) started his career at Amazon in 1999, three days after graduating with an MBA from the Haslam College of Business. He quickly rose through the ranks at the then-fledgling company, eventually becoming Amazon’s senior VP of worldwide operations. In 2021, Clark became Amazon’s CEO of consumer business. After more than two decades at the company, he left Amazon in 2022 to take a CEO position at Flexport, a San Francisco-based supply chain technology company. Clark has returned to Knoxville several times to teach classroom sessions and speak at the Global Supply Chain Institute’s annual forum. He has also hired many Haslam graduates. “The college’s early relationship with Amazon is what connected me with the company, so I’ve tried to repay that by making sure we’re recruiting some of the incredible students coming out of Haslam’s programs,” Clark said.
Don Bruce – 2022 Outstanding Entrepreneur
Don Bruce (HCB, ’73) is recognized as a local and national leader in the home improvement industry. Bruce is the founder and CEO of American Home Design, a Nashville-based home improvement company he started in 1977. The company has completed renovations on more than 75,000 homes in Middle and East Tennessee. Bruce’s entrepreneurship reaches in other directions, including real estate development and aviation. Bruce has flown dozens of life-saving missions for Lifeline Pilots and Angel Flight and helped transport coaches and team members from the UT Athletics program to recruiting events. Bruce’s dedication to giving back has led him to speak to classes at Haslam and serve on the board of many nonprofit organizations. “I always say if you love what you do and are passionate about it, you will never work another day — because it won’t feel like work,” he said.
Jewelry Television (JTV) – 2022 Outstanding Corporate Partner
Co-founded in 1993 by University of Tennessee graduates Jerry Sisk and Bob Kouns and Haslam graduate Bob Hall (HCB ’75, MBA ’79), Jewelry Television (JTV) has grown from a small television broadcast to a live channel that broadcasts 24 hours a day. The company has maintained strong ties to Haslam’s Department of Business Analytics and Statistics. For the past two decades, the company has consulted with experts at Haslam, seeking applied analytics strategies and offering opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience. The JTV Center for Applied Business Analytics was created at Haslam in 2021 through a transformative gift that will provide funding for scholarships and fellowships, student travel to conferences and competitions, technological equipment, and administrative and faculty support. “We felt this was an opportunity to endow something important that will last long into the future,” said JTV’s vice chairman, Charlie Wagner (HCB, ’66).
Danielle Casson Martin – 2022 Outstanding Young Alum
Knoxville native Danielle Casson Martin (HCB, ’07) has maintained close connections with her alma mater. After earning a BSBA in finance, Martin moved to Charlotte, N.C., to work at a law firm. From there, she moved to the Washington, D.C., area to work for Lockheed Martin in a finance leadership development program. She then earned an MBA with distinction from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and joined Barclays Investment Bank in New York. In 2014, Martin and her husband moved back to Charlotte, where she joined Jefferies, a global investment banking firm. Today, she is a managing director in the firm’s consumer and retail group and is the proud mother of two young children. Recently, Martin spent two years serving the Haslam Young Alumni Board, supporting alumni programming and establishing a shared sense of community among graduates. “I loved being able to meet other alumni on the board, hear what was going on, and see how our monetary donations are impacting students and providing opportunities for internships and studying abroad,” she said.