University of Tennessee

Top Golf CEO Ken May Receives Haslam Accomplished Alumni Award

September 14, 2016

Ken May

Ken May, a 1994 MBA graduate, accepted an Accomplished Alumni Award from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Haslam College of Business on Sept. 8.

During his visit to Knoxville, May shared lessons on leadership with a group of Haslam Greg and Lisa Smith Global Leadership Scholars, explaining how he motivates his team members and achieves results within a corporate structure.

“You’ll find that your followers want to know honestly what people think of them,” May said. “When you do feedback sessions, keep things simple by sticking to three things. Don’t overcomplicate your interactions. Anyone can remember three things to work on.”

May, who was featured on the cover of the winter 2016 issue of Haslam Magazine, is the CEO of Top Golf, a Dallas-based company operating golf entertainment complexes in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Prior to his current role, May spent 25 years with FedEx and worked his way up to the position of CEO for FedEx Kinko’s in 2004. He credits his Haslam MBA education with enabling him to move from mid- to upper-level management. After leaving FedEx, May spent a year as president and chief operating officer of Krispy Kreme before joining Top Golf.

According to Chip Bryant, interim vice chancellor for alumni affairs and development at UT, May has distinguished himself through his personable manner and dedication to higher education.

“Ken May is a great example of what a Haslam graduate can achieve,” Bryant said. “He’s the caliber of person that brings sincerity, vision and determination to everything he does. It’s evident that he cares deeply about the people he’s crossed paths with during his substantial career, which is why we’re honored to count him as an accomplished alumnus.”

Maddie Rule, a Greg and Lisa Smith Global Leadership Scholar and senior marketing major, reflected on May’s message about servant leadership after his talk.

“Servant leadership is really important and under-acknowledged,” Rule said. “It’s important to understand the people you lead and what their aspirations are.”