UTRF Extends a Special Thank You to Our TVC Semi-finals Judging Panel

Adam McCall

Adam McCall, President/CEO of TennEra:  Adam has spent the last 14 years developing businesses in a wide variety of industries, concentrating on blending effective product development with brand creation. He has held numerous executive positions including Vice President of Product Development, Managing Director, and CEO. Out of Graduate School, he launched his career as a design engineer for a transportation technology start-up where he assisted the company in raising more than $500M in capital, moving into the position of VP of Product Development and being responsible for the design and production of the system which was deployed across the US. McCall helped the company grow from 10 employees to over 1300. In early 2008, he joined Malibu Boats as Director of New Markets Development, and was responsible for the creation and launch of a new boat brand, Axis Wake Research. Serving in the roles of Managing Director of Axis and Vice President of Product for both brands, McCall and his team assisted in growing the company from 22% market share (2008) to over 33% (2013) and positioned the company for its successful IPO in 2014.

McCall holds a B.A. from Maryville College, a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University, and an MBA from Tennessee Technological University. He joined TennEra and developed its business mission based on its early work with the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, aimed at the pursuit of developing sustainable composite materials from renewable sources. McCall was born on a dairy farm in Maryville, TN and is passionate about improving the lives of the rural community by way of TennEra’s advanced sustainable chemistry.


Tom Rogers

Tom Rogers, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Director, Industrial Partnerships and Economic Development: Tom Rogers was named Director of Industrial Partnerships and Economic Development at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in June, 2008. His responsibilities include directing engagements with industrial partners, forging new ORNL entrepreneurial support efforts, and leading a number of strategic initiatives such as the Carbon Fiber Composites Cluster and development of the Oak Ridge Science and Technology Park. Prior to joining ORNL, Tom was the founding President and CEO of Technology 2020, a national award-winning public-private partnership focused on a building a robust regional entrepreneurial support system. Tom has also served as the Executive Director of the Tennessee Technology Development Corporation, as President of the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce, and began his career at TVA in the areas of economic development and strategic planning. Tom is Chair-Elect of the East Tennessee Economic Council, and serves on the boards of Tech 20/20, Southern Appalachian Fund, Meritus Ventures, the Tennessee Valley Corridor, Pathway Lending, SunTrust Bank, the Oak Ridge Economic Partnership, and the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce. Tom holds a B.A. with honors from Michigan State University and a Master of Regional Planning degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He and his wife Mary Brown live in Knoxville and have two grown sons.


Mike Paulus

Mike Paulus, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Technology Transfer Division Director: Mike Paulus is responsible for ensuring that the lab’s technological developments are accessible to U.S. business and industry so they can make the fullest use of the nation’s investment in research and development. Paulus’ team fulfills this mission by licensing ORNL technologies to industrial partners and negotiating agreements to make the laboratory’s scientific expertise and research facilities available to external partners.

Before joining ORNL’s Partnerships Directorate, Paulus served as vice president of product management with Siemens Molecular Imaging. He also served as co-founder (along with ORNL scientist Shaun Gleason) and CEO of ImTek, Inc., an ORNL spinoff company and market leader in computed tomography imaging. Paulus has nineteen years of experience as a research and development engineer; has co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, and conference proceedings; and holds 14 patents.



Tom Graves

Tom Graves, Operations Director and Faculty at the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Tom earned his B.S. in business from Virginia Tech and MBA from East Tennessee State University. Prior to retiring to Knoxville, he spent 33 years in various sales and marketing management positions with Caterpillar Inc. Much of his career was spent outside the USA working with Caterpillar dealers and customers in developing areas of the world. He also owned and managed an art and antique business in Hong Kong. His interest in entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial business planning and plan implementation stems from having developed two internal ventures for Caterpillar, working in management positions in two other “startup operations,” as well as consulting with several Caterpillar dealers in developing strategic plans for establishing new rental operations. His years overseas also have given him a keen interest in the challenges faced by managers living and working outside their home base.



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