Engineers Week 2004

College of Engineering honors alumni during Engineers Week 2004
Distinctive leadership in high profile positions characterizes the careers of three College of Engineering graduates honored on February 25 2004 at this year's Engineering Week Awards Banquet.

Along with the annual awards for two Engineers of Distinction, the college presented its first Technologist of Distinction award, created to annually recognize the distinguished career of Tennessee Tech Manufacturing & Industrial Technology Department graduate.

Alice L. Cannella, plant superintendent for the City of Chattanooga's wastewater treatment facility, and Randy G. Darcy, senior vice president and chief technical officer of General Mills, were named 2004 Engineers of Distinction. Lem McSpadden, owner of A+ Home Inspection Services, received the first Technologist of Distinction honor.

The two recognition programs honor alumni and others whose careers have contributed to or reflected credit on the College of Engineering's academic program. The awards banquet serves as the culmination of Engineering Week, a national event celebrated at Tech by highlighting engineering students and faculty.
Alice Cannell photoAlice L. Cannella ('78 B.S. Civil Engineering, '72 B.A. Sociology). Cannella's distinguished career reflects her commitment to public service. With special expertise in design, development, construction and operation of sanitary and combined sewer collection systems, her career path led her to positions with the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Hamilton County (Tenn.) government, Fyie Engineering and the City of Chattanooga.

Since 2002, she has served as plant superintendent over the regional wastewater treatment facility serving Chattanooga, Hamilton County, and surrounding communities in the Tennessee-Northwest Georgia area. In this role, she establishes operational and capital project priorities for the wastewater system and provides administrative assistance. She oversees a program with an annual operating budget of $17 million and a five-year capital improvements program of $60 million.

A Registered Professional Engineer, a Certified Grade II Collection System Operator, and a Grade IV Wastewater Operator and Tech alumnus also holds a degree in fine arts from Middle Tennessee State University.

Cannella is a member of the Society of Women Engineers, Tech Engineering Development Foundation, the Tech Engineering Dean's Advisory Board, and the Water Environment Federation.

"She has been a dedicated friend to the Tech's College of Engineering and an exemplary role model for aspiring engineers with an interest in public service," says College of Engineering Dean Glen Johnson.

Randy Darcy photoRandy G. Darcy ('73 B.S. Mechanical Engineering). Darcy joined General Mills in 1987 as director of Cereal Manufacturing. Named the company's senior vice president in 1994, he became responsible for purchasing, grain merchandising, engineering, manufacturing and packaging.

His responsibilities expanded in 1998 to include all aspects of the General Mills supply chain, including distribution and logistics. In 2003, he was promoted to his current position as senior vice president and chief technical officer with responsibilities for research and development, quality and regulatory operations, and supply chain operations.

Prior to joining General Mills, Darcy worked with Procter and Gamble's manufacturing, engineering, sales, and research groups from 1973 to 1987.

Darcy graduated cum laude from Tech. Attending the university on an athletic scholarship, he captained the 1973 varsity golf team.

In addition to his General Mills' leadership positions, he is a director of Northwestern Corp., PTI (a joint venture with Dupont), and Nistevo, as well as a member of the Dunwoody Institute Board of Trustees.

Lem McSpadden photoLem McSpadden ('71 B.S. Industrial Technology). During his 30-year tenure at Fleetguard/Nelson, a manufacturer of heavy-duty filtration and exhaust system products, McSpadden met numerous technological and sociological challenges, including integration of a second company and its product line into the company's business plan. He was responsible for leading a global cross-functional team of engineers, sales and marketing personnel to achieve growth for specific customers, including JI Case, John Deere and Peterbilt/Kenworth, on a global basis.

Joining Fleetguard/Nelson after graduating from Tech, McSpadden held numerous positions with the company, including sales training manager, senior account manager, and global account executive.

In retirement, McSpadden has exercised his entrepreneurial spirit by creating a new company in Cookeville, A+ Home Inspection Services. A certified inspector with American Home Inspection, he recently launched an additional business - EnviroTENN - that specializes in mold inspection and prevention.

McSpadden has devoted extensive energy assisting the College of Engineering, particularly through his service to the Tech Engineering Development Foundation.

"He has been an exemplary model for young people who aspire to use their technological education effectively in a 'real world' business environment," says Johnson.

In 2003, McSpadden and his wife, Donna ('75 Business Management), were selected by the Tennessee Board of Regents as the first recipients of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Philanthropy.

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