University of Tennessee

Haslam College of Business Honors Alumni at Annual Gala

November 4, 2019

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business recognized the achievements of three alumni and one corporate partner at its 11th annual Alumni Awards Gala on Friday, November 1.

Approximately 350 alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the college attended the event, which included cocktails, dinner and the awards presentation.

This year’s award winners were:

Jerry Bostelman (HCB, ’94) was honored with the 2019 Outstanding Entrepreneur Award. Bostelman is co-founder of the Nashville-based Vaco, a niche talent solutions and placement firm that specializes in matching job seekers with employers that have specific needs to fill. Ranked at No. 4 on Forbes’ 2018 list of America’s Best Professional Recruiting Firms, Vaco has more than $450 million in revenues, more than 40 offices worldwide, 4,300 consultants and greater than 800 employees, many of them Haslam alumni.

Larry Carroll (HCB, ’78) received the 2019 Distinguished Alum Award. Carroll is the founder and CEO of Carroll Financial Associates, one of the oldest, largest and most prominent financial planning and wealth management firms in the Southeast. He and his wife, Vivian, have funded numerous educational opportunities at Haslam, including the Carroll Torch Fund. Managed through Haslam’s Masters Investment Learning Center, this fund offers junior and senior undergraduate finance majors the opportunity to manage a portfolio of securities worth more than half a million dollars.

Dena vonWerssowetz (HCB, ’07, ’09) garnered the 2019 Outstanding Young Alum Award. In her current role as senior director of marketing for PepsiCo Foodservice, vonWerssowetz leads marketing and innovation for key channels such as restaurants, cinemas, theme parks and stadiums, and was recently appointed to run all innovation for beverages launched outside of the United States. She enjoys returning to campus to speak to students and considers UT a source of talent for PepsiCo. vonWerssowetz and her husband, Arthur “Von,” endowed a scholarship in 2019. 

2019 Corporate Partner Award
L-R: Caroline Jones (SCM student), FedEx representative Richard Smith and Chad Autry (FedEx Professor and head of the SCM department).

FedEx was recognized as the 2019 Outstanding Corporate Partner for its dedication to good corporate citizenship and commitment to ensuring that young people have access to world-class educational opportunities. Through endowments such as the FedEx Corporation Supply Chain Professorship, FedEx supports Haslam in attracting forward-thinking educators and helping students gain the knowledge needed to launch meaningful careers and to thrive in today’s workforce. 


More information about each recipient is available on the college’s alumni and giving website and will be published in the winter 2020 issue of Haslam Magazine.

Proceeds from the gala benefit the College Fund for the Haslam College of Business.